What is new and fabulous in our online store this month? Silks, woolens, cottons, buttons, lace trims, and more...each month brings new temptations!

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

Brocade Evening Bags

Sally made these gorgeous bags from Vogue pattern 8375 (B. Randle Designs) These brocade evening bags are the perfect size for toting to the opera, and “Otello”, Verdi’s masterful adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy is this month’s San Francisco Opera production. All materials are from the 1st floor.
“My superb warrior! How many torments,
How many sad sighs, and how much hope
Led us to these tender embraces!
Ah! How sweet it is to murmur together:
Do you remember!
When you told of your life in exile
The fierce events and your long sorrows,
And I listened to you with my soul
In those fears and with ecstasy in my heart.”

Sallys bags

Posted: By folks at Britex, Hand-Made with Britex Materials
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Natalie, Victorian Chicken Woman (& contest winner)

Natalie from the notions floor was our Halloween costume winner. She was seen clucking and flapping her faille winglets in her Victorian chicken costume. The dress was cobbled together from several patterns. The hoop was made of steel boning and took two days to construct, while the dress was sewn in four days. The yellow-beaked hat was made from materials from our 3rd floor. It was inspired by historical Victorian fancy dress costumes. To learn more about Victorian costume dress read “Fancy Dresses Described; Or, What to Wear at Fancy Balls” by Debenham and Freebody, [1896], or “Fancy Dress in the Victorian Era” by A. Jarvis & P. Raine.
Natalie Halloween Winner 1

Posted: By folks at Britex, Hand-Made with Britex Materials
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How to Knit Socks!

To paraphrase Gertrude Stein in her poem Sacred Emily [pub. 1922]; “A sock is a sock is a sock.” Lion Brand yarn came up with this series of handy how-to videos so that even the most gimpy knitters (myself included!) can knit up cozy sock-a-roos in time for the chilly days of winter. I see this as an ideal way to use up rag-tags of yarn, so I end up both fugal and stylishly clown-ish.

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects
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Mary & Abraham’s Collaboratively Made Dress

This lovely fitted dress was a collaborative effort between Mary and Abraham; Abraham drafted the pattern, and Mary did the sewing! The fabric is a black and white graphic print by Diane Von Furstenberg. There is flattering shirring along the front bodice, and a side zipper helps you achieve a smooth form-fitting line while wearing this dress. This fabric can be found on the 2nd floor (please call ahead to verify stock).
Mary and Abrahams black and white dress

Posted: By folks at Britex, Hand-Made with Britex Materials
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Scarf Contest – Deadline Nov. 23, 2009

Scarf contest by Craftzine & Singer
Deadline November 23, 2009
CRAFT and SINGER® present the Me, My Scarf, and I Contest. The sew-tastic grand prize is a SINGER ProFinish Serger! To submit an entry, take a picture of yourself modeling your scarf, include a description of how the scarf describes your personality, and submit it to the Me, My Scarf, and I Contest Flickr Group.

Posted: Classes, Events & Shows
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Soccer Ball Costume!

It will be Halloween in a couple of days! Jack and Olivia came into Britex Fabrics with Lindsey, their nanny. Jack is dressed like a soccer ball, and had a hard time restraining himself from rolling down our isles. His sister, Olivia likes to help Lindsey with her knitting projects, and graciously agreed to wear the kitty-cat crown that our cashier, Judy had on hand.
Jack and Olivia Halloween 2009

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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Spooky Halloween Fabric

It is not too late to scoot on down to Britex Fabrics for some spooky Halloween fabric. Sew up an easy to make tote bag to carry your candy corn, caramel apples, and Sweet Tarts around. Compwalla posted easy directions for a beautiful and study bag on You are never too old to eat candy while sitting under a tree in the moonlight. Devil-licious!
Halloween fabric copy

Posted: Fabrics, Projects
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½ Scale Madeleine Vionnet Gown

Monique Saviano made this ½ scale reproduction of a Madeleine Vionnet gown for the 16th Annual Educational Conference of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. This delicate confection is made with silk chiffon from Britex Fabrics. The fringe is made of rayon chainette. One may read more about Madeleine Vionnet , an innovative designer who worked intensively with the bias cut, in Betty Kirke’s book “Madeleine Vionnet”, or in one of many articles about her such as “A Dressmaker Extraordinaire: Discovering the Secrets of Madeleine Vionnet’s Creativity”, which was published in Threads magazine in 1989.
Monique Saviano Vionnet reproduction

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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Wee Gnome Costume

Every home needs a lucky little gnome! Now you can outfit your shortest household member and have your very own wee mischievous gnome. Stavro from Instructables made up these delightful gnome Halloween costume directions. Find out more about gnomes by reading historian Thomas Keightley’s book “The World Guide to Gnomes, Fairies, Elves & Other Little People”, a definitive tome on mythology and folklore published in 1880.

Posted: Projects
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Faux Wood Grain Buttons

It is 1970 in Teheran, I’m 16 years old, watching the musical Camelot at the Bowling cinema in Shimroon, and slouched in my seat. I spit another pumpkin seed shell onto the floor, take a swallow of grape soda, and fiddle with the buttons on my sweater. I’m wearing a chocolate brown cable knit cardigan with faux wood grain buttons, a black shapeless turtleneck, tan corduroy bell-bottoms, and my hair is tied back with a strawberry-covered ribbon. Guenevere and Arthur are singing “What Do The Simple Folk Do?”, while Guenevere is twirling and weeping in Arthur’s arms.
“What else do the simple folk do
To pluck up the heart and get through?
The wee folk and the grown folk
Who wander to and fro
Have ways known to their own folk
We throne folk don’t know
When all the doldrums begin
What keeps each of them in his skin?
What ancient native custom provides the needed glow?
Oh, what do simple folk do?
Do you know?”

(by Alan Jay Lerner)

Posted: Lace Trims & Ribbon
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