The Britex Blog
June 23, 2016 by Orange LingerieYou 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. 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. 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).
June 6, 2016 by VintageOnTap
Summertime in San Francisco can be fickle, but this year has had more beautiful days than not! 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. 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.
May 23, 2016 by Orange LingerieI 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 ConstructionI 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!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.
May 9, 2016 by MaleDevonSewingWow! 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!). 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).
April 27, 2016 by NicoleAtHomeAloha! 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! 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. 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.
April 5, 2016 by MissCrayolaCreepyIt 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!
March 21, 2016 by Jamie Lau DesignsMy 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.) 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.
November 23, 2015 by Britex FabricsWith 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! 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.
October 20, 2015 by Britex Fabrics
Wool knit Linden with lace overlay
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.
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!
September 28, 2015 by Britex FabricsHi, 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: 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.