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

Category Archive: Projects

Corset Making 101


Stefan, costumière extraordinaire has documented making his progress making a corset for a friend. His instructions span several months of process of corset creation, and include extremely clear written instructions and photographs. The busk insertion section is amazingly clarifying. He uses professional corset-making supplies including busks, coutil, and spiral boning….all items that Britex now carries on the 3rd and 2nd floors! Please email M. Du Jour at Britex Fabrics if you want to buy corset-making supplies, and you will be guided to the correct department.

Posted: Fabrics, Other Notions, Sewing
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Free Child’s Bear Knit Hat and Mittens Pattern


Linda, StitchNation, and VogueKnitting have joined forces to bring us unstoppable cuteness in the form of a pattern for a knit infant and toddler size hat and mittens. From the glowing pink ear interiors and chubby paw pads, to the practical under-the-chin button fastening, this set will keep your little bear toasty all winter!

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects
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Free Felt Harry Potter Doll Tutorial


Heidi of MyPaperCrane crafted a PDF tutorial for this groovy Harry Potter felt doll! He even has a removable robe and gigantic round spectacles….just like the real Harry Potter! All you need is felt, embroidery floss, and a needle, stuffing, a couple of pipe cleaners, fabric glue, a stick, and pins. She made it using a sewing machine, but it would also be easy to hand-sew. This is a great toy for Potter fans of all ages.

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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How to Make Fabric-Covered Thumb-Tacks


Jessica from HowAboutOrange posted this tutorial on how to make super-cute fabric-covered thumb-tacks. This would be a fabulous way to use up tiny scraps of fabric, and to accessorize your bulletin board. Some made up in fabric printed with tiny teapots and teacups would be delicious in the kitchen holding up a collection of vintage recipe booklets – Cakes Men Like…..yum!

Posted: Projects
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Elsa Schiaparelli and Jean Cocteau Collaborate


Paris is swell. Designer Elsa Schiaparelli worked in collaboration with avant-garde artist Jean Cocteau in 1937 to design a jacket for that year’s Autumn collection. The jacket was embroidered with a woman caressing the waist of the wearer, and long blonde glittering locks cascading down one sleeve, with the embroidering being executed by the couture embroidery house of Lesage. This stunning garment is made of linen, gilded metallic thread embroidery, beads, and paillettes. This is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Museums
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Free Downloadable Lace-Up Sewing Cards


Encourage youngster’s love of sewing and creativity! Children’s lace-up sewing cards are wonderful toys for preschoolers that teach little fingers fine motor skills by lacing the string or yarn through the holes. Here are several sets of free, downloadable and printable sewing cards. Kate has made up cheerful and simple flower, star and moon shapes;Tristan provides instruction for making banana, pear and apple fabric-covered lace-up shapes; and Alexandra has reproduced some amazingly cute vintage lace-up sewing cards on her blog and Flickr. I want to spend Sunday morning sipping hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows and stitching the perky little squirrel!

Posted: Projects, Sewing Techniques
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London Bridge Japanese Cotton


We just got several bolts of new Japanese fabric, including this briskly fabulous piece with London images including the Tower of London, red double-decker buses, and marching Queen’s Guards. I deeply desire a bow tie from this, which I’d debonairly wear with a red wool double-breasted vest and 501s. This fabric is 85% linen/15% cotton, 45” wide and $29.99/yard.

“London Bridge
Is Broken down,
Dance over my Lady Lee.
London Bridge
Is Broken down
With a gay Lady.”

(Earliest printed English version, Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book, 1744)

Posted: Fabrics, Projects, Sewing
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Hedgehog Pincushin


Sarah made this easy-peasy tutorial for creating adorable hedgehog pincushions on BurdaStyle. Shade of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle! These would make a great last-minute addition to anyone’s sewing kit gift.
“Then Mrs. Tiggy-winkle made tea—a cup for herself and a cup for Lucie. They sat before the fire on a bench and looked sideways at one another. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle’s hand, holding the tea-cup, was very very brown, and very very wrinkly with the soap-suds; and all through her gown and her cap, there were hair-pins sticking wrong end out; so that Lucie didn’t like to sit too near her.” – B. Potter

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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Rockin’ Felt Guitar


Here are directions from Andrea on making a soft sculpture electric guitar, along with a PDF pattern. This rockin’ guitar takes three colors of felt, along with ever-useful pom-poms as trim! It will have your tyke playing Smoke on the Water and Sheena Is a Punk Rocker quicker than you can say “rock on!”

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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Make a Bottle Cozy


Are you looking for a last minute gift project? Brett from DesignSpongeOnline designed these easy-to-sew wine cozies. They are sewn using under ¼ of a yard of fabric, making them an ideal project to splurge on fancy-schmancy fabric, or to utilize your tag end stash scraps. Make one up as an alternative to a gift bag when presenting your pal with a bottle of wine or sparkling cider! As Cleopatra knew, everything looks more handsome when wrapped carefully in gorgeous textiles!

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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