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  • Millinery: Making a Lace Hat

    July 11, 2016 by Chuleenan of CSews

    Part I: Making a lace hat The first part of this tutorial is about making a lace hat using milliner Patricia Underwood’s Vogue pattern (V8891). I made version D – a small-brimmed hat – and trimmed it with Petersham ribbon. Hat 1The materials (Available at britexfabrics.com and / or at the Britex Fabrics brick-and-mortar store in San Francisco) Hat 2 The lace, tulle and millinery wire can all be purchased at Britex Fabrics. I chose a navy lace because it’s versatile and can go with a dress or jeans. But this lace has some stretch to it and the tulle has no stretch, which is not ideal but I didn’t really have any problems sewing them together. The tulle is a contrasting color so you can see the lace. If you get a matching color, the lace will just blend in and you won’t see the design of the lace. I’ll be using a couple of hat terms: 1. The crown, the part of a hat that covers the head. 2. The brim, which attaches to the crown. Brims can be small like the version D or wide, such as version E of this pattern. The millinery wire is inserted in the edge of the brim and that’s what makes it stand out from the crown. There are only three pattern pieces for this hat – two pieces make up the crown and then there’s the brim. The tulle is the lining and interfacing for this hat. Because tulle is semi-transparent and not very stiff, the pattern has you cut each two of each pattern piece. I traced size L rather than cutting out the pattern pieces. This means that if I want to make a hat for a friend with a smaller head, I can trace that size from the original pattern pieces. You can use pins or pattern weights to hold the pattern pieces in place. This is a synthetic lace so I wasn’t worried about the pins damaging the lace. If you use a delicate lace, you probably want to use pattern weights. I used scissors to cut this piece because I have more control on the curve.   Hat 3 And here’s the side of the crown – cut on the fold. Hat 4 The brim is also cut on the fold. I used pattern weights on these two pieces and cut them with my rotary cutter. The curve of these pattern pieces is easier to handle with a rotary cutter. You can use scissors or a rotary cutter to cut lace; it all depends on your personal preference and what you need to cut. Hat 5 I cut two pieces of the three pattern pieces from the tulle. For the crown, one piece of tulle acts as the interfacing and the other is the lining. The brim uses both pieces of tulle on the inside. Warning: There’s a LOT of pinning and basting for this pattern. You pin the tulle pattern piece to the lace piece for the crown (top and side) and baste them together before you sew. You pin and baste each pattern piece together. I used a safety pin to mark the center front of the crown. The seam is in the center back. I used a universal Schmetz needle 70/10 and a stitch length of 2. I didn’t have any experience machine sewing lace – only hand sewing it – but this was easy to sew. I didn’t use a special needle and it was fine.   Hat 6 I won’t go into every step because you can just follow the pattern instructions. But there was one part that was tricky to figure out, even with the instructions. After you’ve stitched the crown together and sewn the tulle lining (steps 1-8), you pin the lining of the crown to the lace crown wrong sides together. It looks like this. Hat 7 The you turn it right side out and you’re ready to attach the brim.

  • Insertion Lace on a Curved Seam - Guest Blogger Nicole

    June 30, 2016 by NicoleAtHome

    IMG_4854 I’m so excited to share my method for inserting lace into a curved seam (such as a princess seam).  For my blouse, I used this dusty peach handkerchief-weight linen and floral ivory insertion lace, though there are many, many options for both linens and laces, both online and in-store! After seeing one of the cover shots for the Hayden pattern, and making a couple myself (two versions here), I really wanted to insert lace in the seam lines on the front and along the hem.  The style lines are curved, though, so the typical way of inserting lace had to be tweaked a bit.   IMG_4875 Usually, insertion lace is applied on an uncut, unseamed piece of fabric.  The general steps are: sew along both lengths of the insertion lace, then cut through the fabric on the wrong side and press the fabric open.  On the right side, using a narrow zig-zag stitch, sew along the edge of the lace again (which catches the fabric on the wrong side) and the trim the fabric on the wrong side, close to the stitches.  Insertion lace can also be inserted into an existing seam, before sewing the seam and after taking into consideration the added width of the lace.   IMG_4870 However, for this blouse, the seam in which I wanted to put the lace was a curved princess seam along the front.  Instead of inserting the lace before sewing the seam, I did it a bit differently:

  • Novelty Wool Challis Print Robe & Hem Facing Tutorial

    June 23, 2016 by Orange Lingerie

    Finished_Garment You can never have too many robes! That was my first thought when I saw this amazing wool challis fabric from Britex. Wool challis is such an amazing fabric to work with and this Etro-like paisley print is exactly what I was looking for! Since I wanted a luxurious robe with a shawl collar and did not have one drafted, I decided to use Vogue Patterns 8888, View A. Vogue_Patterns_8888   Given the pattern repeat on this fabric (an uneven plaid), I ended up having to shorten the robe length by 1 ½” to get it to fit within my yardage. The amount I needed to shorten the robe by was just over the pattern specified hem allowance and I really wanted to stay as close as possible to original length. I thought a narrow hem would look out of place on such a luxe robe so I decided to make a hem facing!   Luckily I had decided to forgo pockets and had just enough fabric left to allow me cut hem facings. To calculate the dimensions of the hem facing, I first determined the size hem that I wanted. Keeping with the luxe theme, I decided to go with a generous 2” hem.   The hem of the robe is curved so to draft the hem facing, I first traced off the front and back pattern pieces along the line where I had cut the length. Next, I marked up from that line ¼” for the seam allowance to attach the facing to the robe, plus the 2” hem that I wanted to end up and finally another ½” to turn under the raw edge of the fabric and be able to topstitch the hem at 2”. Total width of the hem facing was 2 ¾” (¼” + 2” + ½”). I then traced the side seams of the garment to get the side seams of the hem facing so the facing so it would fit perfectly inside garment.   Hem_Facing_Pattern Once the robe was sewn up, I applied the facings. First I sewed the front and back hem facings together and pressed under the 3/8” that I had allowed to turn under the raw edge (the extra 1/8” would ensure I would be able to topstitch the hem at 2” and capture the facing).   Hem_Facings_Prep

  • Fabulous 50's Summer Wrap Dress

    June 6, 2016 by VintageOnTap

      Summertime in San Francisco can be fickle, but this year has had more beautiful days than not!   photo 1   Using a Designer Italian stretch cotton, I made Simplicity 8085, a 50s wrap dress which is perfect for running around the City on a sunny day. The fabric has these amazing watercolor swatches on a faux-linen background and the hand is nice and crisp for a midweight cotton. Because of the weave, it doesn’t unravel very easily, which makes this an excellent quick project.   Photo 2   For this dress I used just shy of 3 yards on 60” wide fabric, which is a little bit on the low end for a vintage design with a full skirt (luckily my short stature helps with the skirt length!) Most dresses of this style can push 4 ½” yards, so this is a nice compromise if you’re looking for a vintage-style piece without using too much fabric.   photo 3

  • Lipstick and Lace Chemise: How to Work with Chantilly Lace

    May 23, 2016 by Orange Lingerie

    Finished_Chemise_2 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!
    Cutting_Bias_Strips
     
    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.
    Pinked_Seams
    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.

  • "Shacket" Made in the UK

    May 9, 2016 by MaleDevonSewing

    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!).   IMG_1567   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).   IMG_1577

  • Vintage-inspired Linen Sundress and Petite Adjustment Tutorial

    April 27, 2016 by NicoleAtHome

    IMG_4435   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!   IMG_4455   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.   IMG_4476   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.

  • Warm Wool Camden Cape: Made with Novelty Wool Coating

    April 5, 2016 by MissCrayolaCreepy

    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!     Miss-Crayola-Creepy-Seamwork-Camden-7-032916

  • Polka Dot Shirt Dress With Button Placket Tutorial

    March 21, 2016 by Jamie Lau Designs

    JLDBritexFabricsCotton03152016_Main 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.) JLDBritexFabricsCotton03152016_1 JLDBritexFabricsCotton03152016_2 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.

  • Fancy party skirt by Nicole!

    November 23, 2015 by Britex Fabrics

      IMG_4224 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! IMG_4221 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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