Sewing garments and home articles can be a creative, thrifty, and productive skill. Are you thinking of taking up sewing, and need to buy a basic sewing machine? Or perhaps you want to upgrade to a new sewing machine with more whistles and bells (like an automatic buttonholer!), or maybe it is time to add a serger to your tool collection. Folks from around the world have reviewed sewing machines in the PatternReview.com forums. There are over 3,000 personal reviews from beginning sewers and professional sewers. The reviews are conveniently organized by machine brand. Another great resource is your local library. Many public libraries grant free online access to back issues of consumer review buying journals including Consumer Reports magazine; the Consumer Reports March 2009 issue rates several mechanical, electronics and embroidery sewing machines. Buy a sewing machine and before you know it you’ll be making cherry-adorned tea cozies, vintage-look skirts, and rustically glamorous linen drapes.
Category Archive: Projects
Sally Muir and Jo Osborne wrote the book, Best in Show: Knit your own dog, and this wee Jack Russell woofer is taken from that book. Here are directions for knitting your very own Jack Russell, a big dog in a small dog’s body. I can imagine a pack of these barky creatures as tree ornaments, or perhaps doggishly prancing on a fireplace mantle!
Here is a free All Hallows Eve cross-stitch pattern from the folks at Frimousse. We want to take these Halloween pixies and carry them around with us tucked into the brim of our fedora! They are so adorable and magical as they cook up a batch of autumn soup, while a wee black kitten assists. These would be extra fabulous embroidered on a bib or a bread-warmer. Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.
The changing of the seasons is always a great time to reevaluate your wardrobe and plow through your mending basket. Many times something that is boringly dull can be livened up with new brass fouled anchor buttons, a contrasting striped pocket, or a length of soft, narrow velvet trim. Other times, the fix is more challenging and a seam ripper, a generous dollop of patience, a cup of hot spiced tea, and a new zipper is required to make a garment wearable again. Many shy away from zipper replacement, but Jennifer from J. Stern Designs posted this illustrated tutorial on replacing a front fly zipper, and Tasia from Sewaholic posted directions on replacing the zipper in a vintage leather jacket. Yeah! It is almost like having new garments.
Britex has posted a slew of links to super-cute transfer embroidery patterns, but have neglected to post any directions on how to transfer these fabulous drawings to fabric, and then how to make the stitches that transforms your fabric into hand-decorated pillowcases, wall art, tablecloths, dishtowels and other household accouterments! Amy at SublimeStitching gives us three different easy-to-understand methods for transferring designs onto fabric, and then Jenny presents a plethora of stitches for both left-handed and right-handed seamstresses.
From the talented artist Andrea at Badbirds: Musings of a small angry bird, are two free and charming embroidery transfers for Halloween….Pumkin Girl in striped socks and Bat Boy in little horns. These playful youngsters would be devil-icious embroidered on either end of a special All Hallows Eve table-runner!
Vaargard Malorills from The High Fantasy Society wrote and posted these clear and fabulous directions for making a 3-pocketed, lined full-length cloak with (or without) a hood. This cloak only takes four yards of fabric and four yards of lining…five yards if you wish to add the hood, who wouldn’t want a hood?! I’d love to have a simple cloak in plush midnight blue velvet with a black silk lining, and a gold, black and blue tassel on the tip of the hood. It would be just the thing to wear to a romantic night at the opera. In addition to fabrics, Britex also carries lovely ornate hook and eye fasteners in our 3rd floor notions department.
Jessica from RunningWithScissors has posted this awesome tutorial on making stylin’ suspenders or braces. She made them for her two year old, but they could be upsized for anyone! I imagine using colored elastic, metallic embossed leather, and classic horn buttons to tone all that fabulousness down a notch. All they require are six buttons, 1″ wide elastic, and a wee scrap of leather…all items that can be found at Britex. These would be perfect to wear to croquet parties.
The generous folks at FreeVintageKnitting bring you this charming knit pram set consisting of a jacket and hood, leggings and mittens in two sizes (6m and 12m.) We love the elfin hood and long to sew a giant pom-pom on its tip. The jacket is double-breasted, offering an opportunity to spotlight these adorable lucky Kelly green monkey buttons.
Jane Whiteside, Northwest Territory Alliance (NWTA) patternmaker, in conjunction with Judith Wicker have complied a set of directions for a regimental coat for the uniform of the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, circa 1781 – 1783. We are quite enamored of the fine detailing that goes into antique clothing; I am fascinated by the wee hearts that reinforce and accent the coat tails. With 20 buttons marching up the front alone, these coats require some serious buttoning, and Britex is prepared! We have just gotten in a shipment of metal military and blazer buttons from a U.S. manufacturer, including many military motifs (although sadly, none from 1783.) This coat would be elegant done up in deep violet wool, with mustard and midnight blue striped silk lining, and accented with dozens of gold be-eagled buttons. It is time to resurrect this look of splendid grandeur!