New!

What is new and fabulous in our online store this month? Silks, woolens, cottons, buttons, lace trims, and more...each month brings new temptations!

Upcoming Events

The latest updates and gatherings involving the Britex Community. Stay up to date and make sure to mark your calendars

Blog

Information and tutorials for folks interested in antique Italian lacework, nouveau fashion, sewing techniques and much much more!

Category Archive: Projects

Make an Umbrella Case – Crocheted Accessories from 1895


Just in time for spring are directions for making crocheted accessories, including an umbrella case and suspenders! With springtime showers on the horizon, the umbrella case is eminently practical. The authors recommend crocheting it in silk yarn, and who are we to disagree? Its open weave makes it eminently suitable for the facilitation of drying your umbrella. The crocheted races are totally irresistible. I picture them made up in a variegated yarn for a jaunty striped look, and then worn with a rumpled linen suit and spectator shoes. All items can be found in The Last and Best Book on Art Needlework (Published by The Brainerd & Armstrong Company. c. 1895) (Published by The Brainerd & Armstrong Company. c. 1895) This delightful booklet was posted by the wonderful folks at the AntiquePatternLibrary, and includes a “Huge collection of embroidery, crochet and knitting patterns for silk threads and yarns, including descriptions of the thread itself, hundreds of stitches and types of needlework, and beautiful illustrations. Socks, mittens, motifs, chains, edgings, bags, ties, bags, belts, tassels, fan, slippers, lamp shade, garter, suspenders, embroidered flowers.”

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects
Tagged: , , , ,
|Post Comment

Gnome-a-rama


Who does not like wee forest creatures? Here is a plethora of cunning diminutive free gnomes and gnome accessories. Andra with a pattern for a child’s knit stocking hat to keep your bairn’s head warm, Debi from DebiBirkin.com has a tutorial on adorably dressed gnome dolls with braids and beards, Andrea from BadBird.com has a très cute embroidery transfer for plump gnomes and spotted mushrooms, NovaMade (another librarian!) made a smart, traveling gnome costume for her child,
and Megan of Sanctimommy presents another knit gnome doll….one can never have too many gnomes!

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects, Sewing
Tagged: , , , ,
|Post Comment

Ribbed Sweater with Britex Buttons – Risa


We have a soft spot in our hearts for libraries…..and of course librarians. Risa of LibrarianKnits is a knitter and a librarian, so we want to give her double the love! When she finished this lovely ribbed sweater she chose over-sized, shiny Britex Fabrics buttons to complete her ensemble, and emphasize the asymmetrical front. We adore this sweater’s mock turtleneck and the warm coffee-colored yarn! The free pattern is called by Gilet chaussette asymétrique and can be found on the community knitting site, Ravelry.

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Knitting & Crocheting, Made by You, Projects
Tagged: , , ,
|Post Comment

How to Sew Bluff Pockets


2011 is the year of the pocket! I want pockets on everything right now; I want pockets to keep my mitts warm, pockets to store pieces of salted caramel wrapped tightly in waxed paper, and pockets to slip love notes into. Kathleen from Fashion-Incubator.com, and Sandra from TheSurlySeamstress posted these fabulous tutorials on how to stitch on bluff pockets, otherwise known as pockets with no visible outside stitching. Bluff pockets have a classic simplicity that we adore.

Posted: Sewing, Sewing Techniques
Tagged: , , ,
|Post Comment

Striped Knit Fingerless Glove Pattern


Becky posted PDF instructions for these cozily spiffy striped fingerless mitts on CraftZine. This unisex pattern will keep your chilly limbs toasty while you bike, text, or play bass. Be a pirate and knit them in black and white, yellow and black for a bee-tastic look, be a wafting faerie in pale pink and meadow green, or in heathered brown and grey for a gentlemanly approach!

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects
Tagged: , ,
|Post Comment

Sewing and Sewing Machine Maintenance Guidelines

For novice sewers (and really anyone!), we have rounded up some basic suggestions for sewing project success:

1. Measure yourself carefully and buy your pattern according to your measurements; pattern sizing and ready-to-wear sizing are radically different.

2. Read the pattern’s directions all the way through first, and then follow them as you construct the project.

3. Use a fresh needle for each larger project.

4. Don’t stint on thread, but buy matching, good quality thread.

5. Use fabric that you truly adore, not just because it is on sale or you kind of like it.

6. Iron your seams as you go.

Stacy and BurdaStyle have several suggestions for sewing machine maintenance, including change your needles often, clean and dust your machine after each project, oil your machine as recommended by your manual, and tighten loose screws. We have found that by following these simple hints, many machine issues are resolved.

Posted: Sewing, Sewing Techniques
Tagged: , ,
|Post Comment

Free Short Cape Pattern


This short cape by the talented team at Thunderlily would be a dashing wrap for that in-between season that takes place after winter’s last chill, but before cherry blossoms are spreading their delicate pink petals across Japanese Tea Garden. We adore the vintage look and the asymmetrical zigzag buttoned front. The open source pattern and directions are posted as a PDF on the BurdaStyle. We think this cape would glamorous be in a deep, berry pink velveteen lined in grey stripped silk. Think pink!
“Think pink! Think pink! When you shop for summer clothes.
Think pink! Think pink! If you want that quel-que chose.
Red is dead, blue is through,
Green’s obscene, brown’s taboo.
And there is not the slightest excuse for plum or puce
Or chartreuse.
Think pink! Forget that Dior says black and rust.
Think pink! Who cares if the new look has no bust.
Now, I wouldn’t presume to tell a woman
What a woman oughtta think,
But tell her if she’s gotta think: think pink!

(By R. Edens)

Posted: Projects, Sewing
Tagged: , , , ,
|Post Comment

Free Vintage Cross-Stitch Patterns from the Netherlands


After all the quickly sewn holiday gewgaws that I’ve been making, I feel the need for continuity…for a long project that will fill my nights and whose beauty will unfold slowly. Lilian discovered these vintage cross-stitch patterns in her aunt’s attic, and then digitized, archived, and published the collection online at Gancedo.eu. Here is Winter from the Four Seasons collection; two thoughtful birds perched together on a wire, wings tight against their chilly chests and trees barren of leaves. I’m also fond of the Months of the Year collection, with the playful couple ice skating, planting their garden, flower plucking, grape stomping and more. These are perfect projects to while away the remainder of the winter and the spring! Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects
Tagged: , , , , , ,
|1 Comment

Free Cross-Stitch Coversion Tool


Our new favorite cross-stitch toy is MyPhotoStitch, a magical free online cross-stitch conversion tool. Just in time to prepare for February 14th, we have converted a vintage Valentine ’s Day card of three angelic cupids carrying giant pots of heart-shaped flowers into a cross-stitch pattern PDF. The possibilities are endless…..cross-stitch zombies for Halloween, your favorite tot for mother’s day, or create your own personalized family crest with a mélange of symbols (because every family is special!)

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects
Tagged: , , , , , ,
|Post Comment

How to make a Leather or Fabric Top Hat


Anytime is top hat time, and here are instructions from the über talented Jenn at Instructables on how to make a leather top hat and from Katie at BurdaStyle on how to make a fabric one (part I & part II). Everyone looks more glamorously mysterious in a top hat; like someone who eats caviar and blini for lunch, cavorts in Trevi Fountain at midnight, and breaks into tap dance moves….well, at the drop of a hat! Britex carries many hat-making materials on the 3rd and 4th floors including buckram, hat pin findings, millinery wire, veiling and silk flowers.
“I just got an invitation through the mails:
“Your presence requested this evening, it’s formal
A top hat, a white tie and tails
Nothing now could take the wind out of my sails
Because I’m invited to step out this evening
With top hat, white tie and tails
I’m puttin’ on my top hat
Tyin’ up my white tie
Brushin’ off my tails”

(By I. Berlin)

Posted: Projects, Sewing
Tagged: , , , , ,
|Post Comment