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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!

Conversational Heart Dress – Darlene


Here is Darlene from the 3rd floor in her candy heart dress. This sweet little number is made of a conversational heart strewn cotton print, has handy side pockets, and is wonderfully fitted. Darlene drafted the pattern herself and hand-picked the side zipper. We love how she added a rainbow scattering of bugle beads to beautify the zipper-line…this kind of detailing is what makes hand-sewn items so charming! Although we are out of the black heart fabric, Britex has bubble-gum pink heart fabric on the 2nd floor.
Please email M. Du Jour at Britex Fabrics if you want to buy this fabric.

If you wish another fabric, contact us through our fabric mail order department for detailed mail order assistance.

Posted: By folks at Britex, Fabrics, Hand-Made with Britex Materials
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Make Elizabethan Fencing Gloves


Franchesca of glove.org brings us the instructions for constructing Elizabethan duello (rapier/fencing gloves) gloves circa 1640. Why not dandify ones mitts in this splendid fashion? These gloves require two to four-ounce (2 mm) kid, pig, chamois, or suede leather, and Britex Fabrics carries many marvelous colors of glove-weight leather on the 4th floor.

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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The k11 October 2nd Craft Sale in Berkeley


The talented folks at knit-one-one, a Berkeley studio that teaches knitting, felting, weaving and other textile arts for crafters of all skill levels, is sponsoring a free craft show Saturday, October 2nd! Be sure and stop by knit-one-one for inspiration and luscious local hand-crafted items.
When: Saturday October 2, 10 to 4
Where: The knit-one-one studio, 3360 Adeline Street, Berkeley CA 94703
Who: These fabulous crafters: Koide Studio, Jen Hewett Studio, Hairphernalia, Fresh On Mondays, Clarine’s Florentines, HoneyComb Jewelry, Heathered, King Bag Company, Reware, Tinted Mint, Peanoonies, and Tiny Sparks Design.

Posted: Classes, Events & Shows
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Free Printable Betsy McCall Paper Dolls


Many folks discovered a love fashion and dress-up by playing with the Betsy McCall paper dolls that were included in the back pages of McCall’s magazine. Each of Betsy’s outfits were carefully assembled; fabric choices and care were even delineated. I love this set for autumn in 1960, with a washable Orlon-pile-lined stadium coat, and a furry leopard coat accessorized with short black gloves. What 10-year-old wouldn’t want to slink around in wooly leopard at the county fair? Teri Pettit brings you free printable Betsy McCall paper dolls from 1951 to 1961.

Posted: Hand-Crafted Items
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Be-Giraffed Baby Quilt – Joanne


Joanne made this jaunty be-giraffed quilt for her soon-to-arrive great-grandchild. This is the third quilt that Joanne has sewn, and she displays a competent choice of contrasting fabrics and bold color sense. I particularly enjoy her use of classic gingham and polka dots, to coordinate with the graphically strong giraffe silhouettes. This quilt is tied using brightly colored craft thread. Quilting cottons are found on Britex Fabric’s 2nd floor.

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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How to Recover an Umbrella


It has been unseasonably (and unreasonably) hot and sunny in San Francisco, so this tutorial by Sandra Ericson at Threads magazine on how to recover an umbrella seems timely. Of course one may use these clear instructions to cover a patio umbrella, a decorative umbrella, a sun umbrella, or one to use in the drenching rain! I would love to make one in various menswear suitings for a tailored look, mixing colors and patterns willy-nilly. Of course, Britex carries a plethora of rain-resistant fabrics that would be ideal for this charmingly hand-crafted project.

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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How to Make Slant Pockets


Here are more instructions from Novita at VeryPurplePerson, and this time she shows us how to add slant pockets to pants to make them more functional and stylin’! I love how she uses navy polka dotted fabric for the pocket lining; it is a wonderful contrast to the blue and brown plaid pants fabric, and a charming detail.

Posted: Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Make Fairy Wings!


Here are directions for basic fairy wings from the talented folks at Instructables and ThreadBanger. At Britex, we prefer to glam things up a bit, and believe that all fairy wings beg for feathery and rhinestone sparkly goodness! Bewitchingly lovely fairy wing gilding accessories can be found on Britex Fabric’s 3rd floor.

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects
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Sew an Easy-to-Sew Reversible Bag


Novita from VeryPurplePerson and Tokyo made this free pattern for an easy-to-sew reversible bag for BurdaStyle. Here is in a version with black and white linen hounds-tooth on one side, and a graphic mustard and brown cotton print on the other side; we love the mixture of menswear and modern floral prints! This bag is roomy enough for a quick run to the farmer’s market to pick up vegetables for soup, or even an afternoon’s worth of shopping errands.

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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Free Knit Dog Sweater Pattern


And from the folks at FreeVintageKnitting……..winter is coming; knit a ribbed coat for your favorite pooch. The ribs add a dashing touch, reminiscent of beatniks and midnight doggie rendezvous.
“You know my girl just called me up
And she woke me from my sleep
You should have heard the things she said
You know she hurt my feelings deep.
I’m gonna buy me a dog
‘Cause I need a friend now.
I’m gonna buy me a dog,
My girl, my girl, don’t love me no how.”

(By T. Boyce and B. Hart)

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects
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