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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!

Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes Exhibition at the V & A


Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes Exhibition is currently showing at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Founded by Serge Pavlovich Diaghilev (1872-1929), called in turns a dictator, devil, charlatan, sorcerer, and charmer, he revolutionised early 20th-century arts and continues to influence cultural activity today. Many of the amazing Ballets Russes costumes are available for online viewing on the V & A website, and their blog. Here is the cover of Le Théatre showing Tamara Karsavina in costume as the Firebird (May 1911) with a fillip of a white feather bustle, and a black and white photo of Ballet Russes dancers in costumes for Le Train bleu, wearing costumes designed by Chanel (Sasha – 1924.)

Posted: Museums
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New Designer Wool Felt


We just received a shipment of designer wool felt! This 3 mm 100 % wool felt is exceptionally dense at 0.28g/cm3, water repellent, and has a soft sheared surface. We have five natural heathered colors – charcoal, sky blue, beige, camel, and red. This felt cuts easily with regular scissors, leaving a sharp, clean edge. Designers are currently utilizing wool felt in jewelry-creation, messenger-style bags, phone and laptop covers, hats, coasters, and even decorative bowls! This 100% wool felt is 24” wide, $59.99/yard, and can be found on Britex Fabric’s 4th floor.
Please email M. Du Jour at Britex Fabrics or our fabric mail order department if you want to buy some of this amazing fabric.

Posted: Fabrics
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Elsa Schiaparelli and Jean Cocteau Collaborate


Paris is swell. Designer Elsa Schiaparelli worked in collaboration with avant-garde artist Jean Cocteau in 1937 to design a jacket for that year’s Autumn collection. The jacket was embroidered with a woman caressing the waist of the wearer, and long blonde glittering locks cascading down one sleeve, with the embroidering being executed by the couture embroidery house of Lesage. This stunning garment is made of linen, gilded metallic thread embroidery, beads, and paillettes. This is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Museums
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Urbane Country Fair Japanese Cotton


I’m in love with this sophisticated country fair Japanese cotton. It is lightweight enough to be perfect sewn up into a pair of urbane tailored pajamas, perhaps with chartreuse piping around the cuffs, collar, and pocket. I’m also much enamored of the color scheme and the taupe background. This soft fabric is found on… Britex Fabric’s 2nd floor, is 100% cotton, 45” wide and $24.99/yard.

Posted: Fabrics
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Scrumptious Velvet Scarf – Mel


Mel created this scrumptious scarf from imported print velvet on Britex Fabric’s 1st floor, and a solid ultramarine blue
rayon/silk velvet from our 2nd floor. The ends are accentuated with silk ribbon tassels that complement the abstract design of the print delightfully. This would brighten up any gloomy day!

Posted: By folks at Britex, Hand-Made with Britex Materials
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Free Downloadable Lace-Up Sewing Cards


Encourage youngster’s love of sewing and creativity! Children’s lace-up sewing cards are wonderful toys for preschoolers that teach little fingers fine motor skills by lacing the string or yarn through the holes. Here are several sets of free, downloadable and printable sewing cards. Kate has made up cheerful and simple flower, star and moon shapes;Tristan provides instruction for making banana, pear and apple fabric-covered lace-up shapes; and Alexandra has reproduced some amazingly cute vintage lace-up sewing cards on her blog and Flickr. I want to spend Sunday morning sipping hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows and stitching the perky little squirrel!

Posted: Projects, Sewing Techniques
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London Bridge Japanese Cotton


We just got several bolts of new Japanese fabric, including this briskly fabulous piece with London images including the Tower of London, red double-decker buses, and marching Queen’s Guards. I deeply desire a bow tie from this, which I’d debonairly wear with a red wool double-breasted vest and 501s. This fabric is 85% linen/15% cotton, 45” wide and $29.99/yard.

“London Bridge
Is Broken down,
Dance over my Lady Lee.
London Bridge
Is Broken down
With a gay Lady.”

(Earliest printed English version, Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book, 1744)

Posted: Fabrics, Projects, Sewing
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Hedgehog Pincushin


Sarah made this easy-peasy tutorial for creating adorable hedgehog pincushions on BurdaStyle. Shade of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle! These would make a great last-minute addition to anyone’s sewing kit gift.
“Then Mrs. Tiggy-winkle made tea—a cup for herself and a cup for Lucie. They sat before the fire on a bench and looked sideways at one another. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle’s hand, holding the tea-cup, was very very brown, and very very wrinkly with the soap-suds; and all through her gown and her cap, there were hair-pins sticking wrong end out; so that Lucie didn’t like to sit too near her.” – B. Potter

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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Britex Now Carries Boning and Busks!


Britex Fabrics has just expanded their selection of boning and other corset-making notions. We now carry both flat and spiral steel boning in widths from ¼” to ½” and 4” to 17” long, busks with brass or chrome knobs, and all black busks on the 4th floor. We will feature details later! To assist you with your garment construction, here is Tight Linings and Boning by Mary Brooks Picken, and published by the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences in 1922. This 44 page book covers making the making the tight lining, boning, and girdles or waist-line foundations.

Posted: Britex Fabric Store, Other Notions
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Green Leather Clutch – Michelle


Michelle sent us a photograph of this stunning green leather clutch that she crafted. She wrote, “People had been telling me about Britex for years and I finally made the trip in. It was so beautiful, I started to cry. I had a few hours before I needed to be anywhere, so I started at the top and worked my way down. When I was upstairs, I fell in love with the leather remnants. I’m a vegetarian, so I rarely buy leather, much less sew with it, but I figured that remnants from a tannery is as close to recycling as one can get. I saw these pieces and just knew they would make a perfect little clutch. They also gave me a good reason to use the beautiful yellow silk scarf that had been waiting for the right project. Thank you for creating such a wonderful place!” You’re welcome, Michelle….we are happy that we were able to be part of your creative process!

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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