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!
Britex Fabrics just made a special buy on rare vintage German glass buttons. We have all the colors of the rainbow…and then a few extra! Pick up a handful of these gleaming glass buttons to add some friskiness to a wool cardigan, or to adorn a delicate silk blouse. Prices range from 95¢ to $2.95. Available in-store only, or email us a email@example.com for details.
When we blearily arrived at Britex this morning, we found Precious Cargo, Empress 35 of Sacramento worriedly waiting outside for us to open. She needed tulle for the 11am funeral celebration for José Sarria at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, so naturally we let her in early, cut a length of tulle for Ms. Cargo, and sent her and her companion on their way. Mr. José Sarria, also known as Empress José I, left exceedingly specific fashion requests for his funeral service; female titleholders from his Imperial Court were requested to wear “black/dark full length (understated) mourning attire, crowns, shoulder length veils covering both crowns and one’s face” along with “black gloves (opera length if wearing short sleeves).” We’re tickled pink to hear that Empress José I will be buried in a plot next to San Francisco’s self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States, Joshua Norton, who died in 1880. Sarria was the first openly gay man to run for office when he ran for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1961, founded the Tavern Guild (the first gay business association in the United States), and the Imperial Court System, one of the oldest and largest gay organizations in the world, which is still in function today. The City of San Francisco renamed a section of 16th Street in Sarria’s honor. We love San Francisco; we are pleased that we were able to assist Ms. Cargo and play the tiniest part in honoring José Sarria!
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.
Ellen sent us this picture of her and her husband at the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery’s Historical Ball at the McDonald Mansion in Santa Rosa (the mansion was used for filming exterior scenes in Pollyanna – starring Hayley Mills. It is a stately Victorian and absolutely spectacular!) She told us, “I’d bought an antique lace ball gown at the Sonoma County Museum’s de-acquisitioning sale a few years ago, and brought it into Britex to figure out how to re-fashion it to fit me (the original owner of the gown was at least a foot short than I, and half my weight!) The original gown was of unusual cotton lace over silk – and the silk was in shreds. I took apart the lace and brought it into Britex. Douglas helped me choose just the right satin for the foundation of the gown. Many months later, the photo is the finished product! I rate visiting Britex up there with visiting Disneyland – and I am a major DL fan! I especially value the excellent customer service from staff who really know what they are selling. Thank you!!!” We are amazed at the magnificent job she did with this gown – and are thoroughly taken with the joy and charm that Ellen and her husband radiate.
Melody sent us the photos of her new quilt, the Fashionista Crazy Quilt. She says, “This Fashionista Crazy Quilt was a two year project completed by Melody Chan Doss in 2013. Members of the San Francisco Quilt Guild (SFQG) pieced 19 friendship blocks for this quilt from original theme material provided by Melody. They returned the pieced blocks after a year and Melody spent the next year embellishing each block individually before piecing them together with border, binding, and back. It is a unique quilt, never to be duplicated exactly. The center six blocks are decidedly more red than the balance of the White, Black, Red, and Gray color motif. Hope this provides some ideas for your own creative projects. Charlie Wambeke’s beautiful photography made this quilt come alive through his images presented here. This Crazy Quilt is a tribute to fashion; to my mother who is a former factory seamstress, and to Mrs. Lucy Spector who is the founder of Britex Fabrics where I have worked for 34 years, and who opened my eyes to fashion.” And of course, much of the trims and buttons are available on the 3rd floor of Britex Fabrics!
Meet Britex Fabrics’ spankin’ new guest blogger…Wanett, of the blog Sown Brooklyn! She describes herself as a reader. Writer. Wife. Watcher. Mama. Maker. Eater. Be-er. Do-er. Book lover. Librarian. Sewcialist. Native New Yorker. Brooklynite for life. Nocturnal being who crafts everything from stories, clothing, PowerPoint presentations and blog posts in the wee hours of the morning with hot tea, lots (and LOTS) of snacks, one ear on the kiddies and one eye on the clock as the minutes tick by. She is our kind of gal!
We’re pleased to present two new Liberty of London luxurious cotton lawns in our online store. Liberty of London is a distinguished English designer, producing fine cottons since 1875. The first is a fabulous digital design called Volcanism, which is inspired by Iceland’s active volcanoes. The second is called Kussman; inspired by Icelandic horses, which are born and reared from species dating back to the 9th and 10th Centuries. Both were influenced by William Morris’ poem; ‘Iceland First Seen’. Liberty cottons are durable, and nearly wrinkle-free when taken directly from the dryer. This fabric makes delicious pajamas, dandy tailored shirts, dapper bow ties, and is a joy for hand-smocking. 54″ wide. 100% cotton. Imported from England.
“Lo from our loitering ship a new land at last to be seen;
Toothed rocks down the side of the firth on the east guard a weary wide lea,
And black slope the hillsides above, striped adown with their desolate green:
And a peak rises up on the west from the meeting of cloud and of sea,
Foursquare from base unto point like the building of Gods that have been,
The last of that waste of the mountains all cloud-wreathed and snow-flecked and grey,
And bright with the dawn that began just now at the ending of day.” William Morris (1891)
The munchkins have returned to school, the nights are cooling down, and autumn is at least thinking about approaching. We love evenings of hibernation, cozily ensconced in our favorite broken in armchair, hot spiced cider by our side, our favorite fur baby at our besocked feet, and needlework in our lap. Sandra Rose has assembled a tidy collection of over 150 free vintage cross-stitch patterns, including samplers, alphabets, borders, corners, and all-over patterns…..there is everything from bats, to cranes, to Art Nouveau foliage and more. We are particularly enamored with this Arts & Crafts style floral border and these sublime bats. Now is the time to buy some linen, and make a set of hand embroidered napkins for your holiday dinners! Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.