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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

How to Make Gloves


It is glove weather, and I have spent more time than not with my hands shoved into my pockets in a vain effort to keep them warm and coddled. A pair of soft leather gloves in espresso brown with contrasting crimson stitching may be just the thing to wear this winter to keep your fingers toasty. The generous folks at VintageSewing have posted the pages from 1950—How to Make Gloves by Eunice Close. Directions include everything you’ll need to fashion gloves including how to measure your hand, linings, design, inserting a handy zip and more.

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Make a Wacky Pom-Pom Pillow


Anything that uses 12 long yards of pom-poms has my vote as a mandatory and jocular home decorating accessory! Susan from Living with Punks created a wiggly pom-pom pillow, and then graciously made a tutorial so we could all make one. Pom-poms lend soft texture, brilliant color and swaying motion to this pillow. And of course Britex has pom-pom trim in scads of colors, including growl-tastic animal print pom-poms.

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Make Wee Felt Matryoshkas


These miniature, felt, hand-sewn Matryoshkas or Russian nesting dolls would make delightful holiday ornaments, gift package additions, or ever-so-cute zipper pull decorations! April from SewToSpeak crafted a free tutorial and PDF pattern on how to make them. They would make an ideal group craft project!

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How to Make Suave-tastic Sock Garters


Don’t let sartorial dejection impede success! Sock garters are for everyone, not just kilt-wearers! Haley of wildwoodflwrv posted this easy-peasy tutorial on how to make sock suspenders. Make them in several colors and coordinate with your suit trousers! Sock garters add a hidden suave finishing touch to any attire.

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Tailoring a Historically Accurate Waistcoat or Vest


Jim, the senior researcher at The Sewing Academy has posted numerous tutorials on tailoring reproduction historical garments. This set of photographed instructions documents the steps he took to sew a stunning silk brocade formal vest, from painstakingly making welted pockets, working with hair canvas and batting to give the garment body, attaching the collar, and bagging the lining. The Sewing Academy is E. S. Clark’s on-going living history project (1840 to 1865), and contains an online trove of information for seamstresses who are interested in historical clothing construction. Many of these construction techniques are also applicable to sewing modern garments, and we are proponents of the beauty and sturdiness hand-finishing.

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Free Childs Pleated Skirt Tutorial


Tiffany from Simply Modern Mom designed this free tutorial for a child’s side buttoned pleated skirt for SewMamaSew. This skirt is so simple that it doesn’t even require a pattern….just the ability to make basic pleats. This would be classically adorable in one of our vibrant tartan plaids, or in retro pet-able in ribbed corduroy. Perhaps you could even sew complimentary mother-daughter holiday skirts!

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Free Embroidery Transfer of Queen Anne’s Lace


We love Queen Anne’s lace or bird’s nest for its delicate shape. This plant gets its name from the laciness of the white flower, with the red flower in the center representing a drop of Queen Anne’s blood from a tatting slip when making the lace. It is unclear whether it was Anne (1574 – 1619), the first Stuart Queen Anne, who was brought over from Denmark at fourteen years of age to be a Queen to King James of Scotland, or Anne (1665 – 1714), the daughter of William and Mary, and the last monarch in the Stuart line. Alicia of RosyLittleThings gives us a charming free transfer of graceful sprigs of Queen Anne’s lace, and suggests embroidering them upon the edge of a pillowcase. This would add a touch of summer meadow to any winter bed linen set.

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Make a Handy Roll-Up Knitting Needle Case


Fionnuala at Basil Exposition present a tutorial for a customizable, easy–to-sew roll-up knitting needle case in a valiant effort to keep pairs of needles together, to avoid last minute scrambling for an errant needle. This project uses less than one yard of fabric, and would make a delightful gift for your favorite Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle or Madame Defarge.

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How to Alter or Grade a Pattern


Some of us have a long weekend over Thanksgiving, which is a perfect time to get caught up on sewing projects and learn new techniques. Terry at Threads Magazine wrote a wonderfully instructive tutorial on pattern grading. Grading enables you to proportionally increase or decrease the size of a pattern, while maintaining shape, fit, balance, and scale of style details. This means that you can adjust for your very specific body shape and size, or make several sizes of one pattern for special occasion attire such as bridesmaid’s dresses, or transform a too-small vintage pattern into one that is usable.

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How to Make an Infant Carrying Wrap


Rachel from QuirkyMomma presents directions on how to make a no-sew Moby-style infant carrying wrap (and how to tie it) These baby slings are fashioned from long pieces of interlock knits, which Britex stocks on our 2nd floor. We would love to see a carrier made of one of our soft terry-cloth or thermal knit. Polka dots? Bold colors? Pirate prints? Schlep your baby in style!

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