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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

Free Pleated Skirt Pattern & Tutorial

Inspired by a Kate Spade frock, Melissa from the blog, Melissa Esplin made this easy-peasy tutorial and pattern for a pleated skirt. We love pleated skirts and this one is dramatically classic, with six pleats – three pleats in the front and three in back. Make it in this charming cotton print - strewn with softly delineated flowers on a khaki background and with a watercolor delicate feel.

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Tutorial: Working with Plaid—Man’s Shirt

When I discovered the beautiful and vintage-y modern plaid at Britex, I knew I had found the fabric for which I had been searching.  I had in mind a short sleeve button-up shirt for my husband, but wanted something different than classic dress shirting.  This fab plaid completely fit the bill!   However, once I laid out the fabric and went to cut out my pattern, I realized I had a big challenge ahead of me.  Plaid.  Matching plaid is one issue; deciding in which direction the plaid should be arranged and the overall layout was the other.  Should the plaid on the yoke be diagonal?  If the yoke is on the straight grain, could the pockets be diagonal?  What about the placket??  I was completely paralyzed by indecision for a while, but after looking at some ready-to-wear men’s tops, I opted to go for a straight-laced version with no diagonally arranged plaid pieces.  Really working the 70s vibe of the fabric might look great, but I wanted to be sure my husband would actually wear the shirt!

Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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Super Messenger Bag Tutorial

Papa’s got a brand new bag! Aleah from the blog NoTimeToSew made this nifty messenger bag tutorial with a three panel front and an interior zipper pocket.  We love the Japanese cotton linen blend that she used, but think it would be equally fabulous in wool; a little bird told us that our favorite dandy, Monsieur Du Jour, longs for this sewn in classic heathered grey wool flannel.

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Interfacing, Interlining, Underlining, and Lining—Knowing the Difference

The world of linings and interlinings can sometimes be mysterious, and because of that, can often be an afterthought. That’s why, when our POP-UP Britex sponsor Apparel Arts ran an article explaining the differences between these unique layers, we asked if we could share it on the Britex Blog. Read on and let us know if you found it helpful!

Click here to read more »

Posted: Classes, Events & Shows, Fashion Tips, Organizations, POP-UP Britex, Sewing & Craft Groups, Sewing Techniques
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Silk Organza – The Perfect Addition to Any Sewing Room

Hello everyone!  I am back with a new vintage dress and an underlining tutorial. Along with this yummy fuchsia chenille, I received a length of silk organza for this project.

Silk organza really is a miracle fabric, in my opinion.  It is crisp, lightweight, and can perform so many different functions.  First off, it makes truly beautiful garments, especially when embroidered.  At the other end of the spectrum, it can make an excellent press cloth.  Tear it into strips, and it can help to stabilize a zipper opening.  I even substitute organza for fusible interfacing on facings.  I could go on and on, but perhaps I should get back on point!

Click here to read more »

Posted: Fabrics, Fashion Tips, Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Make a Pressing & Sleeve Board

As we all know, pressing as you sew is tantamount with heirloom and couture garment construction. Sewing blogtress, Kaitui Kiwi of The Curious Kiwi from Wellington, New Zealand posted this power tool heavy tutorial for making that most coveted of pressing equipment, a pressing and sleeve board. Sigh – what a lovely tool!

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Make a Shirt for Your Favorite Dude

Father’s day is June 16th, which we see as an occasion to brush up on our oft neglected sewing-for-dudes skills. Tasia from Vancouver, Canada, and proprietress of the blog, Sewaholic produced this timely tutorial on making a fitting muslin for a men’s shirt, and then goes on to explain the process in which she alters the collar stand for a huskier neck.  Although she used a McCaLLS pattern, we’re enamored with the Negroni Shirt by Colette; a slightly retro shirt with a more modern cut. The Colette instructions and booklet guide you gently through every step of creating a well-crafted casual shirt: felled seams, a lined back yoke, and sleeve plackets on the long sleeve version. Why not make two shirts – one in delicious party mint pink organic cotton , and the other in ride-em-cowboy county fair blue gingham?

Posted: Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Tutorial: Mitered Corner Napkins, Two Ways by Nicole

At our house, we’ve been exclusively using cloth napkins for a while now.  I typically use quilting cotton for our “regular” napkins, so when I received the cotton and linen yardage from Britex, I almost felt guilty for using such incredible, beautiful fabric essentially for wiping dirty hands and mouths.  But as I worked with the linen in particular, I came to the realization that I wasn’t making a throw-away, disposable item; well-made table linens, from high-quality fabrics are the type of item one might inherit.  That thought made me especially happy since I chose the linen fabric to coordinate with a set of German breakfast dishes handed down to me from my grandmother.  How fitting!

Napkins come in all shapes and sizes, for all occasions.  For more “casual” napkins, I sew a narrow hem and little mitered corners.  For formal, special occasion linen napkins, I use a wider hem and the traditional sewn mitered corner.  This tutorial shows you how to make both! Click here to read more »

Posted: Fabrics, Fashion Tips, Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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POP-UP Britex: Color Blocking Workshop 5/16

Our next pop-up is right around the corner (rumor is that there are still a few seats left). This workshop will be taught by Jamie Lau, a designer, sewing instructor, fashion editor, and author. Jamie is no stranger to Britex—maybe you’ll remember—in December of last year Britex hosted the SF launch party of BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern, of which she is the co-author. On Thursday, May 16 she’ll teach POP-UP Britex: Color Blocking Workshop at Photobooth in the Mission.

Here is a little color blocking preview…

Click here to read more »

Posted: Britex Fabric Store, Classes, Events & Shows, Fabrics, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, POP-UP Britex, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Make a Child’s Bow Tie!

Jaime from Prudent Baby made this awesome tutorial for making a child’s bow tie. Britex even has the hardware you need for this child’s bow tie online! One is never too young to develop a finely tuned fashion sense and je ne sais quoi, and we think that bow ties are perfect for any occasion from weddings, to ice skating in the park, to afternoon tea!

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