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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 Techniques

Sewing Delicate Insertion Lace!

Lauren at Wearing History wrote a tutorial on preparing, designing, and machine sewing insertion lace onto garments. As she points out, delicate heirloom insertion lace is a delectable addition to Edwardian garments and undergarments. Prepare for the romance of the first days of spring by sewing a waft of a slip, or snappy tap panties with heirloom lace and silk chiffon (sheer silk on sale until 1/31/13) from Britex Fabrics.

Posted: Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Tutorial: Silk Tassel Scarf

Hi, I’m Jen from Grainline Studio and I’m super excited to present my first project in collaboration with Britex Fabrics, a tutorial to make this super cute polka dot chiffon scarf with tassels! This scarf is the perfect thing to throw on with your sweaters this winter, it dresses things up a bit and also adds a new texture to a typically knit heavy season. The silk was a dream to work with, softer and silkier than any chiffon I’ve worked with before and with a most beautiful sheen. Also can we talk about the color and print? It’s not just ivory, it has a subtle blush hint to it that makes it super flattering on everyone who’s tried it on so far and I’m a huge fan of the scattered polka dot. It’s a perfect way to throw an updated polkadot into your wardrobe. This was actually my first time working with silk thread (other than needle turned applique) and it really added a subtle polish that probably only I will notice, but isn’t that the best kind really? I think so. Make this scarf with or without the tassels, I think they’re pretty fun but unfortunately so does my cat who tried to steal one right before we took these finished project photos. You can follow the instructions below to make your own, click on the project supplies to order your own scarf materials!

Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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How to make Functional Sleeve Plackets

Sherry from the New Zealand sewing blog, Pattern Scissors Cloth, created a clearly written tutorial on making tailored jacket sleeve plackets. We’re all about the mitred corners and buttonholes, and although she notes that one does not need to make the buttonholes functional by cutting them open, we believe that you should go for full-on luxurious ostentatiousness and hand sew your vent buttonholes in imported silk buttonhole twist.

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How to make a Vintage Frock without Sewing

‘Specially for those of us who have a stupendous fabric stash, a festive shindig to attend, and little time, The Great Drapo shows us how to construct a vintage frock without a lick of sewing…or even any straight pins! The Great Drapo, AKA Alphonse Bergé and an ex-London window display designer appeared as the Great Drapo for millions of visitors to the New York World’s Fair. You can read more about him in this LIFE Magazine article circa August 1940. We adore the last gown; an elegant, one-shouldered bridal gown for any last minute city hall shotgun wedding!

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Hand-Sewn Victorian Welted Pockets

Andrew from the sewing blog Victorian Tailoring loves making things; He says, “Two years ago I started making historical clothing for my wedding – I made a Victorian suit and top hat for myself, and I made my wife’s Victorian dress and top hat.” He is hooked on the meticulous and meditative process of sewing garments by hand, and provided this tutorial on sewing welted pockets. This is the method most often after 1850, and set out in The Victorian Tailor by Jason Maclochlainn, available on the 3rd floor at Britex Fabrics. It took Andrew four hours to complete his first welted pocket…unfortunately; we aren’t privy to his accompanied colorful language, although we’re sure that it was appropriately Victorian! Arrah now!!

Posted: Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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How to Shorten a Metal Zipper

Rachel from Nest Full of Eggs found herself in a metal zipper quandary while sewing her son’s yellow pants, but successfully shortened two metal zippers from the top, and then made this tutorial to show you how to do the same! We love the completed project; the zippered pockets, glorious quantities of yellow, and her son’s nonchalant attitude are inspiring. (photo taken in the Guthrie Theater ‘Yellow Room’ 9th floor in downtown Minneapolis)

Posted: Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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How to Draft a Peplum

Put a peplum on it! Peplums have been worn for centuries; the word originates from the ancient Greek garment, the peplos. We’re partial to wearing them in conjunction with elbow length gloves, elegant chapeaus, dramatically glamorous vintage suits, cobblestones, and Paris river walkways. BurdaStye has a detailed tutorial on drafting and adding a peplum to a garment…now all we need is Paris!

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Winter Coat Sew-Along!

The superbly multi-faceted Gertie from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing: A Modern Homage to Vogue’s New Book for Better Sewing [Published 1952] is hosting another coat sew-along! Join her and her online sewing community as they learn the intricacies of constructing a winter coat. The pattern for the sew-along is vintage-inspired (and designed by Gertie herself!) Butterick 5824 – a glamorous shawl-collared, double-breasted number. Britex carries everything you’ll need for this project, including luscious coatings, sublime linings, snazzy buttons, and Butterick patterns. We’d love to make it in this spicy Dijon wool coating – perfect for a visit to the upcoming Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance exhibit at the De Young Museum.

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How to Sew with a Double Needle

Expert seamstress, educator, and blogger Nancy Zieman shares some tips for working with double needles. She points out that double needles are great for decorative stitching, hemming, and heirloom sewing. We’re particularly enamored with using this stitch to accentuate hemlines, cuffs, and other edges with a contrasting thread color. Of course, you can buy luscious silk top-stitching thread and double needles at Britex Fabrics.

Posted: Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Tips on Pretreating Wool Crepe Fabric

Just in time to take advantage of our current online midweight wool sale, Carolyn, the talented seamstress from the sewing blog Diary of a Sewing Fanatic wrote a wonderful series of tips on pretreating wool crepe fabric. She mentions four methods, and writes in detail on the forth; the London shrink method, dry-cleaning, washing and drying, and her practically patented steam the heck out of it method. Although dry cleaning is the easiest method, it is expensive. If you choose to take your wool into your own hands, we recommend trying it out on a small price of test wool first.

Posted: Sewing Techniques
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