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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

Sew 1940s French Silk Knickers!

vv-fknickers2Jeanne from the blog Sew Vera Venus: a modern make on vintage style is marvelous. Having said that, you should check out her blog for cheeky and stupendous free 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s clothing tutorials and patterns. She has instructions for risqué knickers, jaunty capes, sensuous lounging pajamas, sophisticated pencil skirts, flirty sundresses and more! We’re particularly enamored with these 1940s French panties with appliquéd lace bows.  Jeanne created directions and patterns for both the dainties and instructions for the lovely bow! Britex Fabrics’ sheer silk fabric and solid silk fabric categories are on sale until September 30, and we have lovely vintage lace and heirloom lace for the trimmings!

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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Make a Tailor’s Ham & Sausage!

Image 10-finished-hamsPressing as you go always makes garments look more polished. A tailor’s ham is used when pressing curved seams, such as a bust or a hip seam. You can also use a tailor’s sausage to slip into a sleeve to press open that hard to reach seam in order to press it flat.  Kristiann Boos, of Victory Patterns made this tailor’s ham and sausage nifty tutorial and free pattern for UK blogger, Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons. Cover yours in scraps of butchly traditional plaid wool, or perhaps a bit of super cute Japanese cotton linen.

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Tutorial: Vintage Finishing Techniques

Hello everyone!  I am back with a tutorial on finishing edges with Hug Snug Rayon Seam Binding from Britex Fabrics, and will be using this rose strewn soft and sheer cotton/silk voile fabric from Britex Fabrics.


Different fabrics require different finishing techniques, but this is my absolute favorite.  And best of all, it requires only a straight stitch from a basic machine! Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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Make a Stick Horse or Unicorn!

stick horse copyFall is a great time for new projects, and Lorraine from the craft and sewing blog, ikatbag, concocted this neighingly swell tutorial for making a stick horse. We love her loopy pink mane, but don’t be fooled by the sweet look in her eyes….this horse is a racer, and I can hear the thundering sound of fierce gallops in the distance! (webbing, stuffing,  and fabric can be found at Britex Fabrics)

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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


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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Tutorial + Free Oversized Tee Pattern


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.


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, Tutorial
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Tips: Vintage Pattern Primer


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!


 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, Tutorial
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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

(Kay Ryan)

Posted: Fabrics, Projects, Sewing
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