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


The Britex Blog

  • Vintage Valentine Apron Pattern

    February 5, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    This circa 1945 vintage apron pattern from the gal at Tipnut is just the thing! We'll wear while baking Valentine’s day sweets for our sweetie, and love the heart-shaped bib and the flowering heart appliqués. No one can resist the delicious sight of a dedicated and be-aproned chef removing hot home-made Linzer cookies from the oven!

  • Sew Dandy-esque Pocket Squares of Britex Silks

    February 3, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    Spiff up, stand out and sew a drawer full of one-of-a-kind pocket squares with Britex Fabrics’ amazing world-renowned selection of imported silks. I hear from dandified sources that pocket squares are this season’s accessory for our dedicated follower of fashion. According to Aaron Britt of SFGate, there are several sartorial guidelines to wearing this dapper devise, including the admonition not to match your tie to your pocket square. Lord Whimsy has graciously supplied PDFs of 13 pocket square folds, from the Winged Puff to the Cagney. I can barely compete with Lord Whimsy’s splendid prose, so won’t: “A slightly pedantic note for the acolyte: The occasion or setting will often recommend a particular knot or pocket square fold. (Festive? Sober? Rascally?) ….Trial and error in these matters can be good fun, but over time, one will gain a sense of what works best, and a personal repertoire will take shape.”

  • Free Vintage Embroidery Transfers of Housekeeping Cats!

    February 2, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    Meow meow…….if I’m going to mop, sweep, polish, mend, and iron I’m going to do so with vigorous verve! Vicki from PatternBee brings you these free iron-on vintage embroidery transfers of housekeeping, bushy-tailed kitty-cats. These industrious kittens would be super-cute embroidered on tea towels, and a set of them would make a charming Mother’s Day gift!

  • Create a Top Hat for your Fashion Doll

    February 1, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    We are top hat crazy! The talented Lori has created a detailed tutorial for making silk top hats for 16? collectible fashion dolls. These stunningly chic silk top hats could coordinate with your doll's riding habit, or perhaps be the perfect accessory for a dashing Marlene Dietrich ensemble a la Morocco. And I love the snippet of veiling! All supplies can be purchased at Britex Fabrics.

  • Men's Shirt Sew-Along with Male Pattern Boldness

    January 27, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    Peter at MalePatternBoldness has been busy! He is running a Men's Shirt Sew-Along on his blog beginning on Tuesday, February 1st. Here is a chance to sew along with other folks, while learning how to meet the fitting and sewing challenges in making men’s bespoke shirts. Peter also is one of the featured sewers on BurdaStyle, with a shirt that he made using a vintage 1939 men’s pattern. This vintage-styled shirt has a removable collar and collar stand that fits over the band (which is sewn onto the shirt), and the top closes with a shirt stud. And as we all know, M. Du Jour adores detachable collars for the wonderfully practical and delightfully fussy accessory that they are!

  • Make Shoe Wings!

    January 26, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    We all want spring to arrive sooner rather than later, and I’m pinning all my warm weather wishes upon these winged shoes! Artemisthephoenix posted this tutorial on making glorious wings for your shoes. The wings fasten through the shoe laces and eyelets, and she made them in sparkly gold lame. They are so simple to make that it would be fabulous to have a pair for every pair of lace-up shoes in your wardrobe. Can you imagine an entire BART train full of winged commuters?

  • Free Cross-Stitch Pattern of a Double-Decker Bus

    January 25, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    Spring is coming, we are redecorating, and have become besotted with this free cross-stitch pattern of an English double-decker bus! It would be smashing as the front of a loveseat pillow, and backed with vibrant red suede or linen. Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics' 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.
    Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
    Of every head he's had the pleasure to have known
    And all the people that come and go
    Stop and say hello
    On the corner is a banker with a motorcar
    The little children laugh at him behind his back
    And the banker never wears a mac
    In the pouring rain...
    Very strange.”

    (By J. Lennon, P. McCartney)

  • Free Child's Apron Pattern Plus a Perky Squirrel

    January 25, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    This free pattern for a child’s be-pocketed apron from Vicki at PatternBee is ideal for keeping wee chefs neat and tidy! All it takes is ½ yard of fabric and some bias tape. Embroidered vintage critters on each pocket make this apron perfection, and Rectangle has just the collection of free vintage embroidery transfers to spiff things up! I’m partial to this perky squirrel. As a bonus, here is a tutorial from Jaden and her 4 year old son, Andrew on baking no-knead bread.

  • Make a Hand-Sewn Fabric Valentine Card & Envelope

    January 21, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    Jennifer at SewMamaSew made this delicious tutorial for a hand-sewn fabric Valentine’s day card and envelope! All you need is an exterior fabric and a complimentary lining fabric, interfacing, embroidery floss, pretty buttons to seal it shut….and love. We adore the hand-stitched details, and are eager to embroider sweet stanzas to tantalize our secret friends!

  • Make an Umbrella Case - Crocheted Accessories from 1895

    January 19, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    Just in time for spring are directions for making crocheted accessories, including an umbrella case and suspenders! With springtime showers on the horizon, the umbrella case is eminently practical. The authors recommend crocheting it in silk yarn, and who are we to disagree? Its open weave makes it eminently suitable for the facilitation of drying your umbrella. The crocheted races are totally irresistible. I picture them made up in a variegated yarn for a jaunty striped look, and then worn with a rumpled linen suit and spectator shoes. All items can be found in The Last and Best Book on Art Needlework (Published by The Brainerd & Armstrong Company. c. 1895) (Published by The Brainerd & Armstrong Company. c. 1895) This delightful booklet was posted by the wonderful folks at the AntiquePatternLibrary, and includes a “Huge collection of embroidery, crochet and knitting patterns for silk threads and yarns, including descriptions of the thread itself, hundreds of stitches and types of needlework, and beautiful illustrations. Socks, mittens, motifs, chains, edgings, bags, ties, bags, belts, tassels, fan, slippers, lamp shade, garter, suspenders, embroidered flowers.”

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