I’m excited to join Britex Fabrics as a guest blogger starting this summer. As a San Francisco native, I’ve been shopping at Britex ever since middle school – even before I could sew – and I also had my West Coast book launch party there last December.
In addition to being a fashion designer, I also teach sewing, patternmaking, and draping classes in New York and beyond. I often run across students who are intimidated to sew with silk (and I don’t blame them!). In my inaugural post, I’m going to share some tips on working with silk as I walk you through the process of creating one of my dress designs – a lightweight draped cocoon dress that works great for hot New York summers, but that can also be paired with opaque tights when the temperature drops. Click here to read more »
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.
Sometimes all it takes is Friday and the promise of the upcoming weekend to calm me. I don’t anticipate any roosters crowing tomorrow morning, but I’m hoping for butterflies, love, and posies. This cross-stitch pattern would make up into a charming gift for a lucky someone, and with vacations and lazy weekends, summertime is the perfect time to start the project. Design by R. Lanser. Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.
Karletta, San Francisco’s urbane grandmother and blogger supreme from The Urbane Grandmother, combined Liberty of London cotton lawn, little girls, and a McCalls sundress pattern. Liberty of London cotton lawn is ideal for so many garments, including heirloom quality children’s clothing, men’s dress shirts, pajamas, vintage-style frocks, and more. Liberty is great for travel, as it can be easily washed out in the sink, and dries quickly and nearly wrinkle-free! Britex carries a generous selection of Liberty of London cottons in our SF store; if you can’t make it into the store, utilize our handy Customized Swatch Service so that you can fondle and drool over these luscious fabrics for yourself!
Is it the start of summer that brings on restlessness? Something about the month of June and the changing smells and colors of the seasons; towering hollyhocks, quick dragonflies, pungent marigolds, industrious bumble bees, delicate Queen Anne’s lace, and a rainbow of zinnias. Nothing assuages me today. I try a careless bouquet of flowers, a steaming morning latte, and a melted grilled cheese sandwich, but all I can do is sigh. Sometimes the only way around season doldrums is drastic, so I put on my grey silk shirt, grey and plum spectators, and my dapper dusty plum velveteen double-breasted suit , and head out to the local karaoke dive for an evening of tuneless debauchery.
“Jambalaya, a-crawfish pie and-a file gumbo
‘Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-oh
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou.”
(Hank Williams, Jr.)
Get 20% off all 80+ fabrics in the Lightweight and Midweight Cotton Categories from Saturday, June 15th to Sunday June 30th. Cotton fabric holds a special place in our fashionable heart. First cultivated 7,000 years ago, cotton is a timeless natural-fiber fabric, whose breathability makes it ideal for many garments. We carry an ever expanding collection of cotton fabric in our online store, including delicate Italian and Swiss voiles, brilliantly colored hand-loomed Guatemalan ikat fabric, Italian and Swiss elegant shirtings, and chic designer cotton fabric. Sale ends June 30th. Quantities are limited, so shop early for the best selection! (This sale is good for online Light and Midweight Cotton Categories fabrics only – in-store cotton fabrics are not included in this sale)
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!
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We love helping folks get married! After 4 1/2 years together, Melissa and Z decided to tie the knot. Melissa is a singer and songwriter with 13 CDs tucked under her belt, and Z is the author of a Lambda nominated novel; creativity and talent runs happily in their family! Melissa decided to sew Z’s wedding shirt, miscalculated in cutting for the collar, and emailed us hoping we still had the fabric she’d bought from us earlier. She mailed us a swatch to match. Fortunately, we still had it……so now Melissa and Z are blowing bubbles, noshing on chocolate macaroons, and blissfully wed. Z’s shirt was made by Melissa with assistance from her mother, Connie. They used Burda men’s shirt pattern 7767, with several alterations. Melissa says that Z was so ecstatic with her shirt that they have returned to Britex for several more lengths of cotton shirting. As we all know, there is nothing like a well tailored shirt to make us feel fabulous. A selection of Britex Fabrics’ shirtings can be found online…and are 20% off from June 15th to June 30th.
Who makes a sculpted felt Underwood typewriter? The amazing Blyth from Halifax, Canada! Tabulator – cadmium yellow round keys – Underwood logo, they are all here. Looking at this, and I can easily imagine Dame Ngaio Marsh cloistered in her book-lined study pounding out witticisms from Troy, Alleyn, and Francophile Detective Sergeant Fox.
Wow! Our fabulous Guest Blogger, Kristin from SkirtAsTop made a simple summer sundress from Britex Fabrics’ cotton. The simple lines and full skirt really play up the abstract print and rich colors of the fabric, and the pattern is the Washi, a downloadable pattern from MadeByRae. No zippers or closures are needed due to the lovely back shirring. The fabric is 100% cotton, 57″ wide and $22.99/yard. It is available in-store and can be bought by emailing us at email@example.com.