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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

Make a Shark Hooded Towel

IMG_3933Bethany from Bethsco.blogspot made this easy-peasy tutorial for making a shark-tastic hooded towel, perfect for drying off your wee one…and of course Britex Fabrics carries fusible web and white fabric remnants for the shark’s gnashing teeth.

“A treacherous monster is the Shark
He never makes the least remark.
And when he sees you on the sand,
He doesn’t seem to want to land.
He watches you take off your clothes,
And not the least excitement shows.
His eyes do not grow bright or roll,
He has astonishing self-control.
He waits till you are quite undressed,
And seems to take no interest.
And when towards the sea you leap,
He looks as if he were asleep.

Click here to read more »

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Make Tailored Linen Roman Shades!

The handy creative folks at “How to Love Your Home” made this awesome video tutorial on making classic Roman shades without using a sewing machine. Roman shades are a simple, fabric-friendly way to dress up a window; we love using linen for Roman shades for a tailored and natural look.  We adore this combination of periwinkle linen and bittersweet brown grosgrain trim – so restful and lush! blue and brown

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Pattern Play with Stripes by Jamie Lau Designs

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When I saw the thick, bold charcoal and oatmeal colored stripes on this textured linen blend, I immediately thought of playing with contrasting stripes and creating a strong, structured silhouette for a high-fashion fall look. In this blog post, I’ll walk you through how to update an existing pattern and share some helpful design and patternmaking tips along the way.

Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Free Arts & Crafts Style Cross-Stitch Pattern

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The munchkins have returned to school, the nights are cooling down, and autumn is at least thinking about approaching. We love evenings of hibernation, cozily ensconced in our favorite broken in armchair, hot spiced cider by our side, our favorite fur baby at our besocked feet, and needlework in our lap. Sandra Rose has assembled a tidy collection of over 150 free vintage cross-stitch patterns, including samplers, alphabets, borders, corners, and all-over patterns…..there is everything from bats, to cranes, to Art Nouveau foliage and more. We are particularly enamored with this Arts & Crafts style floral border and these sublime bats. Now is the time to buy some linen, and make a set of hand embroidered napkins for your holiday dinners! Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects
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Free Oversized Tee Pattern & Tutorial

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It seems like tissue knits are everywhere lately, and with good reason, they’re amazing for summer layering. They make a nice light layer for cool evenings or, if you’re in Chicago like I am, all these cool days we’re having lately. Tissue knits can be a bit intimidating, they’re so thin, wispy, and roll like crazy, so I’m here to show you how I work with them.

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I was lucky enough to be able to make two tees in this amazing Japanese tissue knit, the first I went with these classic tomato and cream stripes and in the second I did a bit of color-blocking with this amazing neon yellow and charcoal grey. These knits are so light and airy, I couldn’t believe it. Serious dream town. In this tutorial I’m using my Hemlock Tee pattern which I created just for these tissue knits. You can download the pattern for free here at Grainline Studios.

Click here to read more »

Posted: Fabrics, Fashion Tips, Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Dapper Up! Knit a Handful of Bow Ties

knit bow tieWe love bow ties, ascots, and cravats, and Mister Moffat agrees, “See the bow tie? I wear it and I don’t care. That’s why it’s cool.” – Steven Moffat from Paisley, Scotland (writer and producer of Dr. Who.) This free pattern for a knit bow tie is available from the Knit Picks Design Team on the knitting site, Ravelry. This sweet number only takes 231 yards of fingering, so you can easily knit a baker’s dozen,, in order to express your suave dapperness every day of the week.

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects
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Vintage Pattern Primer – Tips from Laura Mae

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Hello fellow sewing enthusiasts! I’m Laura Mae from Lilacs & Lace. It will probably come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of vintage patterns.  I adore reproductions, which are generally a little more forgiving because of the added markings and updated instructions, free of damage and strange smells.  But there is something wonderful about working with a vintage pattern that is decades old.  Some have written notes or postmarks, and even contain newspaper clippings, or facing pieces cut from newsprint.  I love to imagine what the original purchaser had in mind when she picked out her pattern!

I chose a beautiful lightweight navy wool for this mail order pattern from the late 1940s.  A classic fabric for a classic silhouette!

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 If the idea of working with a vintage pattern intimidates you, here are a few hints. Click here to read more »

Posted: Britex Announcements & Sales, Fabrics, Fashion Tips, Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Sewing
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Free Newsboy Cap Pattern

silk cap copyIt is sullenly overcast with brief bursts of uncertain sunlight – perfect San Francisco summertime weather. I’m off to meander in North Beach. My plan and my attire are meticulously laid out; worn jeans, a white shirt, a caramel vintage cardigan, red suede desert boots, a café au lait, then a long satisfying prowl through the narrow aisles of City Lights bookstore, a Luciano Special sandwich and an Orangina from Molinari Delicatessen, a Napoleon from Stella’s, and then a languorous mid-day picnic in Washington Square Park. Later, I’ll tip my two-tone caramel and baby blue silk newsboy cap over my eyes and do a little cloud watching, interspersed with reading The Edges of Time from Kay Ryan’s book The Best of It, New and Selected Poems.
It is at the edges
that time thins.
Time which had been
dense and viscous
as amber suspending
intentions like bees
unseizes them. A
humming begins,
apparently coming
from stacks of
put-off things or
just in back. A
racket of claims now,
as time flattens. A
glittering fan of things
competing to happen,
brilliant and urgent
as fish when seas
retreat.

(Kay Ryan)

Posted: Fabrics, Projects, Sewing
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Free Pattern for a Cowl Neck Sleeveless Sweater

cowl sweater copyWe have a super sewing crush on Miz. Elaine May, AKA The Selfish Seamstress. She is a fabulously quirky combination of smart aleck attitude and red hot talent! She created this pattern for a sophisticated sleeveless cowl-neck sweater in size XS-S. The pattern is a simple three pieces and designed for knits. We’d love to see it made up in this soft burnt orange sweater knit– perfect for an afternoon drooling over the lushly colored paintings at the Diebenkorn exhibit!

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Tutorial: Ristretto Dress with Lining

Hi, I’m Britex Guest Blogger Kristin from skirt as top, and today I’m back to share a dress I made using Britex’s Smoke & Coffee Stretch Cotton, which I reeeally loved working with.

This dress is actually a remix of my favorite dress pattern, Made by Rae’s Washi Dress, and though as I sewed it I was calling it “Frankenwashi,” I came up with a prettier moniker now that it’s all done.  Named after one of our favorite coffee shops and alluding to the rich and complex color of the fabric—I’m calling it the Ristretto Dress!

ristretto dress tutorial

My favorite sewing challenge is to take a proven, great-fitting, well-written pattern and modify it into something new.  I do it when I sew for my kids all the time, but haven’t ventured into doing it for myself too often yet.

ristretto dress tutorial

Click here to read more »

Posted: Fabrics, Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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