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

Category Archive: Guest Blogger

Lipstick and Lace Chemise: How to Work with Chantilly Lace

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I love silk chemises. They are so simple and yet so luxurious. I also love working with lace. When Britex Fabrics sent me a black lipstick print silk fabric along with some Chantilly galloon lace and I knew immediately what I wanted to make!


Chemise Construction

I started with my camisole pattern and added 10”to the length. As with all bias garments, I made sure to have full pattern pieces so I could cut the fabric in a single layer. Since the garment is on the bias, I allowed for 2” seam allowances. I also cut some long bias strips to make the straps. I cut a few extra bias strips because it is always good to have options!

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The sewing was straightforward. With a Schmetz Microtex 70 needle and my favorite Gütermann Mara 120 thread (available at Britex Fabrics brick-and-mortar store) I sewed along the side seam lines while lightly stretching the fabric. Since the fabric edges are on the bias and will not fray, I finished the seams by merely pinking the fabric edges, a pretty and lighter weight finish compared to French seams. In the following picture you can see my original thread tracing of the seam lines in orange and the basted seam line in brown, both of which were removed after sewing by machine (the white thread) and finishing the edges.
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I made straps from bias strips that were folded, sewn and turned. I set these aside, planning to attach them as a final step once the lace was sewn to the garment, preserving as much optionality as possible for lace placement.

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Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Made with Britex Materials
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“Shacket” Made in the UK

Wow! I can’t quite believe I am writing a guest post for Britex Fabrics and hope this is the first of many. I enjoy making menswear so why not make a piece for my first post?

I enjoy taking things and adding a twist and this make will be no different. I have used the Kwik Sew K4075 Shirt pattern with a few twists.  I like to call it a ‘Shacket’, a shirt-jacket. I like the comfort of a shirt but making it a little bigger, little heavier and adding some informal details works well. A shacket is a great garment to throw on, when the sun starts to set or in the cooler months (we have a lot of those in the UK!).

 

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I was sent 3yds of Ribbed Charcoal Rayon blend Knit, a heavyweight fabric but beautifully soft. The ribbed pattern to the fabric really suits a shirt, giving that traditional pinstripe look but gives detail when cut cross grain such as in the yoke and cuffs. The pattern was cut and I was pleased to find the fabric didn’t curl at all. Pinning was a challenge due to the thickness and stretch but using good sharp pins helped. Anywhere I was worried about stretch I hand basted first (such as pockets on the fronts and button stand).

 

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Vintage-inspired Linen Sundress and Petite Adjustment Tutorial

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Aloha!  I was so excited to have the opportunity to make a garment out of one of Britex’s beautiful linen fabrics, and I knew immediately what I wanted to sew: a fabulous sundress for the summer (and my family’s trip to Hawaii!).  The timing of this project meant that instead of photos from my sewing studio or my neighborhood in Northern California, I could model the dress in Haleiwa, Oahu!

 

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The linen I chose for this project is a Midweight Cross-Dyed Turquoise Linen is fairly lightweight, though slightly more opaque than you’d expect.  Linens are always a bit shifty while cutting and sewing, so I had to take care not to distort the fabric, but overall, I found it very easy to sew and was the perfect choice for this dress.

 

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For the pattern, I selected the vintage-inspired Siren Sundress by Decades of Style.  The dress has a faux-wrap front bodice, with secured wrap skirt in the back.  However, the highlight of the design is the cross-wrapping straps that wrap around the waist to tie in the back.  Lots of wrapping going on in this dress!  While it takes a while to get it on (with the aid of a mirror or significant other to keep the straps flat), once “assembled”, it is comfortable and secure.

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Warm Wool Camden Cape: Made with Novelty Wool Coating

It may or not be nearing the end of winter here in California and it may or may not have been the best idea to make a lined wool cape, but how could I say “no” when this beautiful fabric was begging to be sewn into an awesome cape?!? Seriously guys, I don’t even care that the weather is going to warm up shortly, this cape is going to get a lot of use. I’m going to be wearing it in the middle of summer, dripping sweat, and it’s going to have to be pried off my body. Ok, I’m being dramatic, but I am really really in love with what I made!

 

 

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Polka Dot Shirt Dress With Button Placket Tutorial

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My favorite part of the design process is fabric selection. For this new spring shirt dress design, I elected to work with a crisp, luxury cotton shirting fabric by Burberry. To add interest to the overall design, I chose a contrasting hand-dyed blue cotton for the outer cuff layer and glazed marine blue buttons to highlight the polka dot print. Oftentimes, I find button cuffs to be a little restrictive, especially when I want to roll up my sleeves. Thus, I decided to draft a three-quarter sleeve with a full slit cuff for more freedom and less fuss. (Plus, you can still see a peek of the polka dot fabric sewn as the inner cuff layer.)

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In this tutorial, I will discuss how to draft a standard button placket with a straight fold-back facing using a basic shirt sloper (base pattern used as a template to develop patterns). In womenswear, buttonholes are placed on the right-hand side of a garment that closes at the front. Since I am sewing a shirt dress similar to a classic button-up shirt, I will be providing instructions for marking vertical buttonholes – the measurements for horizontal buttonholes are slightly different. In this design, the buttonholes run vertically down the placket, with the buttonhole on the collar stand sewn horizontally.

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Fancy party skirt by Nicole!

 

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With the holidays coming up, surely there are a few parties to attend, right? The iridescent magenta-black color of this stunning silk taffeta is so joyous and opulent that I knew it had to be a sassy, swingy skirt for an evening fête! When the fabric arrived, I was surprised by how stiff, yet light, the taffeta was. My experience with taffeta is pretty limited, so I knew I had a challenge on my hands!

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For the pattern, I used Sewaholic’s Hollyburn skirt really only as a jump-off point. First off, I removed the pockets. This is the opposite of what I typically do, but I knew the style wouldn’t look quite right with pockets (the sacrifices we make for fashion!) Second, I increased the circumference of the skirt hem by about 18″ by slashing and spreading the front and back pieces. With the stiffness of the fabric, I felt like more weight would help it drape and increase the drama.

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How to Sew Wool knit with Lace overlay w/Nicole!

Wool knit Linden with lace overlay

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I was won over by the Linden sweatshirt, designed by fellow Guest Blogger Jen from Grainline Studios, after making it in a sporty quilted fabric. But the wheels started turning immediately, and I felt like a lace-overlay version would take this basic wardrobe staple up a couple of notches.

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As luck would have it, I was due for my next project with Britex working with one of their amazing knits! After working hard to narrow down the choices, I decided on this beautiful medium-weight wool knit fabric, in an extra-dark loden (almost black) color. I’m a sucker for pale pink, so this cotton-blend lace was the perfect contrast. The image below shows how nicely this wool drapes. Very luxurious!

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How to make Harem Pants with Shams!

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Hi, it’s Shams from Communing with Fabric with another garment made from a lovely Britex fabric!

When Britex asked me to choose one of their polyester fabrics, I was drawn to their Japanese-Influenced Polyester Crepe. The pic on the website doesn’t show its true glory, so here it’s draped over a chair:

 

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I love the texture of a pebbled crepe and this fabric came through the washer and dryer like a champ.

But how to use it?

I wanted to sew it into harem pants, but I could also see this as a stunning kimono jacket. The fabric resists wrinkles and would be great for travel.

I decided to use Sandra Betzina’s harem pant pattern, Vogue 1355. This harem pant is unusual in that it is close-fitting through the crotch. The fullness is located on the inside leg, not at the outer hip.

 

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Posted: Fabrics, Guest Blogger, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Sewing & Craft Groups, Tutorial
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How Do I Add Piping: Curvy Sewing Collective Post

Hello! I’m Tanya and I blog at Mrs. Hughes. I’m excited to be the first of the Curvy Sewing Collective editors to contribute to the Britex blog. I’m a NorCal girl and Britex is one of my most favorite places to shop!

 

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For this project, I chose this sublime royal purple worsted wool. This fabric is a midweight wool, with a nice drape that works well for the Decades of Style 1930’s Stardust Skirt. I love retro styles, but I’ve never ventured into the 1930’s silhouette as I’ve always found it to be more form-fitting than I’m generally comfortable with. However, I do like to step outside of my self-imposed boundaries occasionally and venture in to new territory, and thus entered this 1930’s skirt. Click here to read more »

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Indigo Basketweave Raw Silk Cap Sleeve Pleated Dress

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Earlier this summer, I relocated my design studio from New York to San Francisco, which meant closer proximity to Britex and more fabric shopping. This past weekend, I taught a fashion design workshop at the Britex Salon. In addition to fashion illustration and creating mood boards, we also touched upon the importance of fabric awareness in fashion design.

 

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Posted: Britex Fabric Store, Fabrics, Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials
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