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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

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
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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
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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.

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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!

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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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