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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

  • Free A-Line Pleated Skirt Pattern

    November 19, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Britex has a fantabulous selection of woolens and tartans that would be superb made up into this simple pleated a-line skirt. This free (open-source) skirt pattern is brought to us by the creative folks at BurdaStyle, and the stylish piped version pictured is sewn by the talented Aimee. I love the yoke, and since only the front is pleated it uses a minimal amount of fabric, allowing one to splurge and make it in a couple of colors. How about one in Campbell and one in Douglas Grey?
    “Those schoolgirl days, of telling tales and biting nails are gone,
    But in my mind,
    I know they will still live on and on,
    But how do you thank someone, who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
    It isn't easy, but I'll try,
    If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky in letters,
    That would soar a thousand feet high,
    To Sir, with Love

    (By R. Granier, M. London, D. Black)

  • Make a Debonair Inverness Cape

    November 19, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    As Sherlock knows, we all need at least one Inverness cape in our wardrobe. Somewhat cobbled together but detailed none the less, here is a cutter's guide for an Inverness cape, with instructions on drafting a quarter-scale paper version, and a vintage sizable pattern for an Inverness cape from Pumpkiny. Next is a photographic tutorial on tailoring an Inverness cape from Jim at The Sewing Academy at Home. I love the idea of making a model to test-drive the construction, and the antique Goodyear hard rubber buttons on his finished garment make me swoon. This cape would add a several cups of romantic dash to any gadabout’s attire during the upcoming chilly months.

  • Free Make Fabric Fortune Cookies Tutorial

    November 18, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Just in time for gift-giving, Lady Harvatine presents a tutorial for creating fabric fortune cookies. These would make inspired Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, or other holiday presents, and are a great way to use up scraps of fabric from your stash. I love the idea of personalized fortunes or notes; perhaps a camel herringbone cookie with “One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards” (Oscar Wilde), or a luxurious silk one with “Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves” (Dorothy Parker).

  • Free Geek-tastic Knit Potholder Patterns

    November 17, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Ilana of Off the Hook Astronomy is a scientist of the finest tradition and a grad student in Astrophysics. She has designed these free patterns for double-knit potholders. One set is emblazoned with a Star Trek Next Generation sign, and the other with a Buffy the Vampire Slayer “B”, and the cartoon demon from the video game Zero Punctuation. These would be perfect gifts for your geek-tastic friends to prevent them from scorching their delicate digits while removing fresh-baked chocolate brownies from their oven.

  • Make a No-Sew Leather Kippah כיפה (Yamulkah ירמולקא)

    November 16, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    This year Hanukkah starts in just 15 days, on December 1st! Britex (and Bretts) have made a tutorial with a pattern for a beauteous no-sew leather kippah (yamulkah). These are amazingly suave; it would be easy to whip up a clutch of them in one industrious evening. Make kippot as gifts…and then later fry latkes and sing “S’vivon Sov Sov Sov”. All are made with leather scraps purchased from Britex Fabrics.

  • "Where The Wild Things Are" Stocking

    November 16, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    The multi-talented Pip from Australia made this clever tutorial on how to make a Maurice Sendack Where the Wild Things Are holiday stocking. This would also be perfect gift bag for any wild and wacky child or adult. "And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!"

  • How to Turn a Vest Lining

    November 5, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    With the turning of the leaves, it is vest season, although M. Du Jour claims that every season is waistcoat season! Katherine from Bloom’s Fabric Obsession wrote and photographed a beautifully clear tutorial for making a lined vest. She has included instructions how to turn the lining through the side seams. This method practically guarantees a smooth finish to your bespoke garment….and as we all know, being smooth is essential to all well-bred dandies.

  • Make a Lunch Bag

    November 5, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    It seems like everyone we know is in the midst of a creative flurry of home-cooking and virtuous thriftiness. Dorie from TumblingBlocks has a great idea for holiday gifts; super-duper easy to make lunch totes. We think they would be perfect packed with a bag of make-it-yourself brownie mix. You can sew this lunch bag of the suggested oilcloth or any sturdy fabric. We have a pal that made one of a scrap of heavy herringbone wool lined with bandanna fabric for a chic urban feel. Oilcloth can be found on Britex Fabric’s 4th floor.

  • How to Make a Muff

    November 4, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Winter is coming, and with it long snowy moonlit ambles at midnight. Faux fur muffs are a genteel and fashionable way of keeping your paws warm, snuggly, and free from chilblains. Muffs were introduced to woman's fashion in the 16th century and were worn by both men and women in the 17th and 18th centuries. BurdaStyle and ElaineMay have developed this step-by-step tutorial on working with faux fur and making a lined muff.

  • How to Jimmy a Brother KH-930e Knitting Machine

    November 3, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Here are hacking shenanigans from Limor at LadyAda, and Becky from SternLab! They have written instructions on how to talk electronically to a Brother KH-930e knitting machine, then create unique custom patterns and load them from your computer to the machine. Did you want to knit a portrait of your favorite bowser? A tastefulArt Nouveau pattern? A Dia dos Mortos motif? A groovy Pop art image? Now you can.

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