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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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Blog

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

Create a Top Hat for your Fashion Doll


We are top hat crazy! The talented Lori has created a detailed tutorial for making silk top hats for 16? collectible fashion dolls. These stunningly chic silk top hats could coordinate with your doll’s riding habit, or perhaps be the perfect accessory for a dashing Marlene Dietrich ensemble a la Morocco. And I love the snippet of veiling! All supplies can be purchased at Britex Fabrics.

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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Folk Art Circus Cotton


The circus has arrived at Britex Fabrics’ 2nd floor cotton area! This cotton quilting-weight fabric is inspired by the folk art masterpiece, The Kirk Bros. Circus, a miniature carved circus made by Mr. Kirk between 1910 and 1954. I love the aerial bicyclist, and can almost taste the peanuts and hear the galloping horses. This fabric is 100% cotton, 44” wide and $14.99/yard. Please email M. Du Jour at Britex Fabrics if you want to buy this fabric, and you will be guided to the correct department.

Posted: Fabrics
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Men’s Shirt Sew-Along with Male Pattern Boldness


Peter at MalePatternBoldness has been busy! He is running a Men’s Shirt Sew-Along on his blog beginning on Tuesday, February 1st. Here is a chance to sew along with other folks, while learning how to meet the fitting and sewing challenges in making men’s bespoke shirts. Peter also is one of the featured sewers on BurdaStyle, with a shirt that he made using a vintage 1939 men’s pattern. This vintage-styled shirt has a removable collar and collar stand that fits over the band (which is sewn onto the shirt), and the top closes with a shirt stud. And as we all know, M. Du Jour adores detachable collars for the wonderfully practical and delightfully fussy accessory that they are!

Posted: Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Make Shoe Wings!


We all want spring to arrive sooner rather than later, and I’m pinning all my warm weather wishes upon these winged shoes! Artemisthephoenix posted this tutorial on making glorious wings for your shoes. The wings fasten through the shoe laces and eyelets, and she made them in sparkly gold lame. They are so simple to make that it would be fabulous to have a pair for every pair of lace-up shoes in your wardrobe. Can you imagine an entire BART train full of winged commuters?

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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Free Cross-Stitch Pattern of a Double-Decker Bus


Spring is coming, we are redecorating, and have become besotted with this free cross-stitch pattern of an English double-decker bus! It would be smashing as the front of a loveseat pillow, and backed with vibrant red suede or linen. Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.
Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he’s had the pleasure to have known
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say hello
On the corner is a banker with a motorcar
The little children laugh at him behind his back
And the banker never wears a mac
In the pouring rain…
Very strange.”

(By J. Lennon, P. McCartney)

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects
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Free Child’s Apron Pattern Plus a Perky Squirrel


This free pattern for a child’s be-pocketed apron from Vicki at PatternBee is ideal for keeping wee chefs neat and tidy! All it takes is ½ yard of fabric and some bias tape. Embroidered vintage critters on each pocket make this apron perfection, and Rectangle has just the collection of free vintage embroidery transfers to spiff things up! I’m partial to this perky squirrel. As a bonus, here is a tutorial from Jaden and her 4 year old son, Andrew on baking no-knead bread.

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects, Sewing
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Make a Hand-Sewn Fabric Valentine Card & Envelope


Jennifer at SewMamaSew made this delicious tutorial for a hand-sewn fabric Valentine’s day card and envelope! All you need is an exterior fabric and a complimentary lining fabric, interfacing, embroidery floss, pretty buttons to seal it shut….and love. We adore the hand-stitched details, and are eager to embroider sweet stanzas to tantalize our secret friends!

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects, Sewing
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Make an Umbrella Case – Crocheted Accessories from 1895


Just in time for spring are directions for making crocheted accessories, including an umbrella case and suspenders! With springtime showers on the horizon, the umbrella case is eminently practical. The authors recommend crocheting it in silk yarn, and who are we to disagree? Its open weave makes it eminently suitable for the facilitation of drying your umbrella. The crocheted races are totally irresistible. I picture them made up in a variegated yarn for a jaunty striped look, and then worn with a rumpled linen suit and spectator shoes. All items can be found in The Last and Best Book on Art Needlework (Published by The Brainerd & Armstrong Company. c. 1895) (Published by The Brainerd & Armstrong Company. c. 1895) This delightful booklet was posted by the wonderful folks at the AntiquePatternLibrary, and includes a “Huge collection of embroidery, crochet and knitting patterns for silk threads and yarns, including descriptions of the thread itself, hundreds of stitches and types of needlework, and beautiful illustrations. Socks, mittens, motifs, chains, edgings, bags, ties, bags, belts, tassels, fan, slippers, lamp shade, garter, suspenders, embroidered flowers.”

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects
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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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