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

Category Archive: Sewing

How to Construct a French Seam


Gertie from the blog Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing: A Modern Homage to Vogue’s New Book for Better Sewing (pub. 1952), has posted a fabulous tutorial on French seam construction. French seams are a classic method of seam finishing, making back of the item as attractive and neat as the front, and are an ideal finish for sheer fabrics. This is another bit of persnickety attention to detail that lends flair and beauty to hand-sewn garments!

Posted: Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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How to Use Silk Organze as Underlining


It is bridal season! Sherry from the Auckland, New Zealand-based blog, pattern ~ scissors ~ cloth demonstrates how to use silk organza as underlining for a fitted cocktail or wedding gown bodice. She says that she uses it a lot in wedding gowns because it is lightweight, crisp, and is easy to cut, sew and press. Underlining adds body and stability to your shell fabric, and allows you to catch stitch hems and seam allowances invisibly. It is this kind of persnickety attention to detail that makes bespoke items fit with flair and beauty!

Posted: Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Online Jeans Sew-Along


MalePatternBoldness’s shirt sew-along has been so rowdily successful that Peter at is hosting another adventurous sew-along! This time Peter and company will be making bespoke jeans with an online jeans sew-along. The gates for this exciting community learning experience open on Monday, May 2, 2011. You may use any jeans pattern, and Peter has several suggestions…and of course, any gender may participate.

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Make a Jabot for Spring!


Gail Art, at the charming blog Art, Beauty and Well-Ordered Chaos, presents directions on sewing an 18th century ruffled jabot. Typically made in pristine white from lace, linen or a combination of both, there is no reason not to make one in other colors. This fabulously foppish steam-punk neck-wear would amazing made up in lace or silk-bamboo fabric ….perhaps in a moss green, coffee brown, or periwinkle blue to pick up the shade of one’s eyes.

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Make a No-Sew Zebra-Skin Felt Rug


Here is a PDF pattern and directions to make a pop art inspired felt zebra-skin rug. This will make any adobe even more groovylicious! It is perfect to snuggle indoors for a long evening of buttered popcorn and Gin Rummy. It’s so simple you can adjust the technique to make a rug in just about any size or style, including a welcome mat, and there is no reason that you couldn’t make in it high-grade wool felt in grey and cream for a more subtle effect! Britex Fabrics carries wool felt and acrylic felt on our 4th floor. (courtesy of Etsy’s How-Tuesday and Dorm Decor by Theresa Gonzalez and Nicole Smith)

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Free Pattern – The Coffee Date Dress


This vintage-inspired dress is perfect for a coffee date! It is a sophisticated frock, with a slight scoop neckline, a-line skirt, and ruffle detail at the bodice front. Talented Elaine, the Selfish Seamstress, designed and drafted this pattern as a free download, and I love what sweetiepiebakery on BurdaStyle did with the ruffled bib (click for PDF)! Done up in red velvet, it throatily whispers, “Be Mine!”

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Top-Stitching Hints


We love the extra verve that judicious use of top-stitching adds to garments. A line (or two) of top-stitching can empathize the tailored angles of a jacket collar lapel, add decorative contrast with a coordinating thread color, or spiff up the pockets of a cowboy shirt. Carolyn of TheDiaryofaSewingFanatic gives us instructions and hints on top-stitching, including advice on needle type, the importance of consistent stitching line direction, and the top-secret scotch tape stitching guide method!

Posted: Sewing Techniques
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Vintage Valentine Apron Pattern


This circa 1945 vintage apron pattern from the gal at Tipnut is just the thing! We’ll wear while baking Valentine’s day sweets for our sweetie, and love the heart-shaped bib and the flowering heart appliqués. No one can resist the delicious sight of a dedicated and be-aproned chef removing hot home-made Linzer cookies from the oven!

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Sew Dandy-esque Pocket Squares of Britex Silks


Spiff up, stand out and sew a drawer full of one-of-a-kind pocket squares with Britex Fabrics’ amazing world-renowned selection of imported silks. I hear from dandified sources that pocket squares are this season’s accessory for our dedicated follower of fashion. According to Aaron Britt of SFGate, there are several sartorial guidelines to wearing this dapper devise, including the admonition not to match your tie to your pocket square. Lord Whimsy has graciously supplied PDFs of 13 pocket square folds, from the Winged Puff to the Cagney. I can barely compete with Lord Whimsy’s splendid prose, so won’t: “A slightly pedantic note for the acolyte: The occasion or setting will often recommend a particular knot or pocket square fold. (Festive? Sober? Rascally?) ….Trial and error in these matters can be good fun, but over time, one will gain a sense of what works best, and a personal repertoire will take shape.”

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A Documentary on Neapolitan Tailoring Traditions – Kid Dandy


Kid Dandy, an Italian creative group, are in the process of finishing up a documentary on Neapolitan tailoring traditions. Here is a 5 minute trailer for their stunning documentary. This film is a must to watch for anyone who is enamored with the craft of traditional fine tailoring, hand-stitching, hand-made button-holes…..and the luscious beauty of Naples, Italy. I love watching the beautifully suited Claudio Attolini as he talks about the process of tailoring while making gracefully articulate hand gestures that mimic hand-stitching.

Posted: Classes, Events & Shows, Sewing Techniques
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