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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 1935 French Vintage Halloween Costume Patterns

vintage crowFrom soldiers and fairies, and chickens and postmen, this open source vintage French children’s costume instructional booklet (circa 1935) of 38 costumes from blogger Pillpat has you covered for an adorable Halloween costume party, although we certainly would not tell if you sized up and made these for yourself! We’re very fond of this coy rooster. Patterns and instructions are both included…and costuming fabric is available at Britex Fabrics.

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Part 1: Retro Gala Dress Pattern Handling Tips

Our retro queen Guest Blogger Laura Mae of Lilacs & Lace has a fabulous new project in store for us. There are so many details to this gala outfit that we have decided to break down the process into many fabulous technique-rich posts. Part 1 offers tons of pattern handling tips. Part 2 is a thorough bound buttonholes walk-through. Part 3? You’ll just have to wait and see.

[Britex has generously provided the fabric and sewing supplies for a dress I will be wearing to a formal event in October.  I will be sharing some of the steps and construction techniques with you as I work on this project over the next couple of months. All materials were selected in-store.]


01 Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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Make a Germ Costume for Halloween!

k2SOZwaNsj3Nc6ImIt is October…time to get your mad costuming skills together for Halloween! Mike from Make: made these awesome germ costumes for his children, and shares his construction tips for making the dreaded and frightening Pink Paramecium, which is typically found in freshwater, brackish and marine environments, such as stagnant basins and ponds. We love the practicality of making the macronucleus into the face opening, and the gullet and food vacuole into a pouch for treats! Milk Duds and Sweet Tarts never tasted better. Paramecia propel themselves by violently swishing their cilia, and we can tell that this one is especially speedy! Make your germs from fleece or felt, both found on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, via email at, or by phone at 415-392-2910.

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Woodland Stroll Cape by Wanett

Hello Britex blog readers!!! I’m Wanett (or Nettie, if you prefer) and I blog at Sown Brooklyn from…Brooklyn!! After I stopped squealing and jumping around when the good peeps at Britex asked me to join their team, I zoned in on the project I wanted to start with. Almost immediately the word CAPE!! (yes, all caps with !!!!) came to mind.  I love this Shetland pony wool plaid with a touch of mock Harris tweed, all in shades of blue accented with chocolate brown from Britex Fabrics – perfect for Brooklyn fall strolls!
Posted: Fashion Tips, Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Sewing
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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!

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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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