It seems like tissue knits are everywhere lately, and with good reason, they’re amazing for summer layering. They make a nice light layer for cool evenings or, if you’re in Chicago like I am, all these cool days we’re having lately. Tissue knits can be a bit intimidating, they’re so thin, wispy, and roll like crazy, so I’m here to show you how I work with them.
I was lucky enough to be able to make two tees in this amazing Japanese tissue knit, the first I went with these classic tomato and cream stripes and in the second I did a bit of color-blocking with this amazing neon yellow and charcoal grey. These knits are so light and airy, I couldn’t believe it. Serious dream town. In this tutorial I’m using my Hemlock Tee pattern which I created just for these tissue knits. You can download the pattern for free here at Grainline Studios.
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Hello fellow sewing enthusiasts! I’m Laura Mae from Lilacs & Lace. It will probably come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of vintage patterns. I adore reproductions, which are generally a little more forgiving because of the added markings and updated instructions, free of damage and strange smells. But there is something wonderful about working with a vintage pattern that is decades old. Some have written notes or postmarks, and even contain newspaper clippings, or facing pieces cut from newsprint. I love to imagine what the original purchaser had in mind when she picked out her pattern!
I chose a beautiful lightweight navy wool for this mail order pattern from the late 1940s. A classic fabric for a classic silhouette!
If the idea of working with a vintage pattern intimidates you, here are a few hints. Click here to read more »
It is sullenly overcast with brief bursts of uncertain sunlight – perfect San Francisco summertime weather. I’m off to meander in North Beach. My plan and my attire are meticulously laid out; worn jeans, a white shirt, a caramel vintage cardigan, red suede desert boots, a café au lait, then a long satisfying prowl through the narrow aisles of City Lights bookstore, a Luciano Special sandwich and an Orangina from Molinari Delicatessen, a Napoleon from Stella’s, and then a languorous mid-day picnic in Washington Square Park. Later, I’ll tip my two-tone caramel and baby blue silk newsboy cap over my eyes and do a little cloud watching, interspersed with reading The Edges of Time from Kay Ryan’s book The Best of It, New and Selected Poems.
“It is at the edges
that time thins.
Time which had been
dense and viscous
as amber suspending
intentions like bees
unseizes them. A
from stacks of
put-off things or
just in back. A
racket of claims now,
as time flattens. A
glittering fan of things
competing to happen,
brilliant and urgent
as fish when seas
Hi, I’m Britex Guest Blogger Kristin from skirt as top, and today I’m back to share a dress I made using Britex’s Smoke & Coffee Stretch Cotton, which I reeeally loved working with.
This dress is actually a remix of my favorite dress pattern, Made by Rae’s Washi Dress, and though as I sewed it I was calling it “Frankenwashi,” I came up with a prettier moniker now that it’s all done. Named after one of our favorite coffee shops and alluding to the rich and complex color of the fabric—I’m calling it the Ristretto Dress!
My favorite sewing challenge is to take a proven, great-fitting, well-written pattern and modify it into something new. I do it when I sew for my kids all the time, but haven’t ventured into doing it for myself too often yet.
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I’m excited to join Britex Fabrics as a guest blogger starting this summer. As a San Francisco native, I’ve been shopping at Britex ever since middle school – even before I could sew – and I also had my West Coast book launch party there last December.
In addition to being a fashion designer, I also teach sewing, patternmaking, and draping classes in New York and beyond. I often run across students who are intimidated to sew with silk (and I don’t blame them!). In my inaugural post, I’m going to share some tips on working with silk as I walk you through the process of creating one of my dress designs – a lightweight draped cocoon dress that works great for hot New York summers, but that can also be paired with opaque tights when the temperature drops. Click here to read more »
Karletta, San Francisco’s urbane grandmother and blogger supreme from The Urbane Grandmother, combined Liberty of London cotton lawn, little girls, and a McCalls sundress pattern. Liberty of London cotton lawn is ideal for so many garments, including heirloom quality children’s clothing, men’s dress shirts, pajamas, vintage-style frocks, and more. Liberty is great for travel, as it can be easily washed out in the sink, and dries quickly and nearly wrinkle-free! Britex carries a generous selection of Liberty of London cottons in our SF store; if you can’t make it into the store, utilize our handy Customized Swatch Service so that you can fondle and drool over these luscious fabrics for yourself!
Wow! Our fabulous Guest Blogger, Kristin from SkirtAsTop made a simple summer sundress from Britex Fabrics’ cotton. The simple lines and full skirt really play up the abstract print and rich colors of the fabric, and the pattern is the Washi, a downloadable pattern from MadeByRae. No zippers or closures are needed due to the lovely back shirring. The fabric is 100% cotton, 57″ wide and $22.99/yard. It is available in-store and can be bought by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I set the phonograph needle down carefully, and Etta James’ husky voice pours into my living room like wild honey, sweetening the night and my soul in equal measures. Wrapping my cotton dressing gown tightly around me, I admire the hand-stamped wheat sheaves print and the deep indigo color . Despite the fact that it is May, the fog has rolled in bringing a chill. As Mark Twain supposedly said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”…and he is correct. Etta, a steaming bath, Earl Grey tea, the full moon, and a cat upon my lap keep me warm.
“Oh, it’s so good
On a cold night
To have a fire
Burnin’ warm and bright” (R. Newman)
Monsieur Dandy Du Jour
Hello everyone! I am back with a new vintage dress and an underlining tutorial. Along with this yummy fuchsia chenille, I received a length of silk organza for this project.
Silk organza really is a miracle fabric, in my opinion. It is crisp, lightweight, and can perform so many different functions. First off, it makes truly beautiful garments, especially when embroidered. At the other end of the spectrum, it can make an excellent press cloth. Tear it into strips, and it can help to stabilize a zipper opening. I even substitute organza for fusible interfacing on facings. I could go on and on, but perhaps I should get back on point!
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These two go together like blinis and caviar! Pair Colette’s Sencha Blouse with this geometric silk from Britex Fabrics. Rated for beginners, the vintage influenced Sencha sewing pattern has a discreet je ne sais quoi that only flatters the sedately boisterous silvery silk. Sew this up over the weekend, and be prepared for moonlit adventures. To make it all even sweeter, this diamond patterned silk is now 50% off in our newly created half off fabric section!