New!

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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The latest updates and gatherings involving the Britex Community. Stay up to date and make sure to mark your calendars.

Blog

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

Gnome-a-rama


Who does not like wee forest creatures? Here is a plethora of cunning diminutive free gnomes and gnome accessories. Andra with a pattern for a child’s knit stocking hat to keep your bairn’s head warm, Debi from DebiBirkin.com has a tutorial on adorably dressed gnome dolls with braids and beards, Andrea from BadBird.com has a très cute embroidery transfer for plump gnomes and spotted mushrooms, NovaMade (another librarian!) made a smart, traveling gnome costume for her child,
and Megan of Sanctimommy presents another knit gnome doll….one can never have too many gnomes!

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects, Sewing
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Ribbed Sweater with Britex Buttons – Risa


We have a soft spot in our hearts for libraries…..and of course librarians. Risa of LibrarianKnits is a knitter and a librarian, so we want to give her double the love! When she finished this lovely ribbed sweater she chose over-sized, shiny Britex Fabrics buttons to complete her ensemble, and emphasize the asymmetrical front. We adore this sweater’s mock turtleneck and the warm coffee-colored yarn! The free pattern is called by Gilet chaussette asymétrique and can be found on the community knitting site, Ravelry.

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Knitting & Crocheting, Made by You, Projects
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How to Sew Bluff Pockets


2011 is the year of the pocket! I want pockets on everything right now; I want pockets to keep my mitts warm, pockets to store pieces of salted caramel wrapped tightly in waxed paper, and pockets to slip love notes into. Kathleen from Fashion-Incubator.com, and Sandra from TheSurlySeamstress posted these fabulous tutorials on how to stitch on bluff pockets, otherwise known as pockets with no visible outside stitching. Bluff pockets have a classic simplicity that we adore.

Posted: Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Striped Knit Fingerless Glove Pattern


Becky posted PDF instructions for these cozily spiffy striped fingerless mitts on CraftZine. This unisex pattern will keep your chilly limbs toasty while you bike, text, or play bass. Be a pirate and knit them in black and white, yellow and black for a bee-tastic look, be a wafting faerie in pale pink and meadow green, or in heathered brown and grey for a gentlemanly approach!

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects
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Men’s Shirt – Wil


This fetching plaid shirt was sewn by Wil. He has been sewing for a mere 60 days, and this is a modified and re-fitted version of his initial effort. Wil admitted that he very much enjoyed matching the plaid, and his meticulous results show it! He used a down-loadable pattern, and the fabric is a smooth pima cotton tartan. It is imported from England, 45” wide, $18.99/yard, and can be found on Britex Fabric’s 2nd floor. Please email M. Du Jour at Britex Fabrics if you want to buy this fabric. If you are out of town and wish to buy another fabric, contact us through our fabric mail order department for detailed mail order assistance.

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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Sewing and Sewing Machine Maintenance Guidelines

For novice sewers (and really anyone!), we have rounded up some basic suggestions for sewing project success:

1. Measure yourself carefully and buy your pattern according to your measurements; pattern sizing and ready-to-wear sizing are radically different.

2. Read the pattern’s directions all the way through first, and then follow them as you construct the project.

3. Use a fresh needle for each larger project.

4. Don’t stint on thread, but buy matching, good quality thread.

5. Use fabric that you truly adore, not just because it is on sale or you kind of like it.

6. Iron your seams as you go.

Stacy and BurdaStyle have several suggestions for sewing machine maintenance, including change your needles often, clean and dust your machine after each project, oil your machine as recommended by your manual, and tighten loose screws. We have found that by following these simple hints, many machine issues are resolved.

Posted: Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Free Short Cape Pattern


This short cape by the talented team at Thunderlily would be a dashing wrap for that in-between season that takes place after winter’s last chill, but before cherry blossoms are spreading their delicate pink petals across Japanese Tea Garden. We adore the vintage look and the asymmetrical zigzag buttoned front. The open source pattern and directions are posted as a PDF on the BurdaStyle. We think this cape would glamorous be in a deep, berry pink velveteen lined in grey stripped silk. Think pink!
“Think pink! Think pink! When you shop for summer clothes.
Think pink! Think pink! If you want that quel-que chose.
Red is dead, blue is through,
Green’s obscene, brown’s taboo.
And there is not the slightest excuse for plum or puce
Or chartreuse.
Think pink! Forget that Dior says black and rust.
Think pink! Who cares if the new look has no bust.
Now, I wouldn’t presume to tell a woman
What a woman oughtta think,
But tell her if she’s gotta think: think pink!

(By R. Edens)

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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Free Online Corsetry Seminar – The V & A Museum


The Victoria and Albert Museum is the epitome of British refinement and decorum. Here, they present a free online educational seminar in corsetry, complete with photographs of corsets, bustles, and crinolines from their collection.
“No other garment in Western history has assumed such political, social, and sexual significance. What is it about the corset? A mere undergarment, designed to enhance the female figure, has become an icon of all that fascinates about the ambiguous sexual codes of the Victorian era. Was wearing corsets primarily about sexual empowerment or restrictive chastisement? Could the corset explain common female maladies of the Victorian era, from fainting fits to miscarriage? How great was the suffering, for how small a waist? Lucy Johnston, curator at the Fashion Department of The Victoria and Albert Museum, takes us through the history of the corset, from the ascension of Queen Victoria through the first decade of the twentieth century. Most of us are not aware of the many different phases, shapes and fabrics of the corset, as well as the technological innovation involved. Suzanne Lussier, also of the (V & A Museum ) Fashion Department, sees the corset through to contemporary fashion, to reveal how our obsession with the corset has persisted and evolved to incorporate modern sexual and aesthetic tastes.”

Posted: Museums, Organizations
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Belly Dancing Costume


The gals on Britex’s’ 3rd floor created this jeweled belly dancing (or “danse du ventre”) costume with a few trims and items from their floor, and a couple of snippets of wafting chiffon from the remnant floor. The fitted top is constructed using a beaded lace overlay top, with metallic coin fringe providing jingling interest. The collar is made of a pair of gemstone encrusted appliqués in shades of amber and coffee, the belt is of a length of swishing beaded trim, and the skirt is made of several panels of chiffon. Please come into our store, or call Darlene at 415-392-2910 if you are interested in buying any of these glittery and delightful trims or jewels! (Fitted top $19.85, gemstone appliqués $27.95/pair, bugle bead trim $13.95/yard, coin trim $21.95/yard)

Posted: Britex Fabric Store, Other Notions
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Sandra Betzina Presents the Power Sewing Toolbox!


Power Sewing Toolbox: this workshop by Sanda Betzina is on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 between 7 pm and 9 pm. The cost is $60 per student. Call Britex Fabrics at (415) 392-2910, or visit us at 146 Geary Street in San Francisco to sign-up. Our hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Enrollment space in this class is very limited, so reserve your spot early! This two hour class is full of tips and techniques the patterns don’t tell you, but essential to a quality looking finished product. No longer will you be intimidated by mitered bindings, fringe detailing, classy seam embellishments, welt pockets and buttonholes, neckline bindings for round and V necklines, and truly invisible zippers. In addition, you will learn techniques for lining knit pants, T-shirts in stretch mesh and zippers hidden in pockets. Feel your sewing savvy soar from a C to an A+ as you learn new tricks of the sewing trade.

Posted: Britex Fabric Store, Classes, Events & Shows
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