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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

  • Sew a Regimental Coat, Circa 1781 – 1783

    October 1, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Jane Whiteside, Northwest Territory Alliance (NWTA) patternmaker, in conjunction with Judith Wicker have complied a set of directions for a regimental coat for the uniform of the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, circa 1781 – 1783. We are quite enamored of the fine detailing that goes into antique clothing; I am fascinated by the wee hearts that reinforce and accent the coat tails. With 20 buttons marching up the front alone, these coats require some serious buttoning, and Britex is prepared! We have just gotten in a shipment of metal military and blazer buttons from a U.S. manufacturer, including many military motifs (although sadly, none from 1783.) This coat would be elegant done up in deep violet wool, with mustard and midnight blue striped silk lining, and accented with dozens of gold be-eagled buttons. It is time to resurrect this look of splendid grandeur!

  • Make Elizabethan Fencing Gloves

    September 30, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Franchesca of brings us the instructions for constructing Elizabethan duello (rapier/fencing gloves) gloves circa 1640. Why not dandify ones mitts in this splendid fashion? These gloves require two to four-ounce (2 mm) kid, pig, chamois, or suede leather, and Britex Fabrics carries many marvelous colors of glove-weight leather on the 4th floor.

  • How to Recover an Umbrella

    September 28, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    It has been unseasonably (and unreasonably) hot and sunny in San Francisco, so this tutorial by Sandra Ericson at Threads magazine on how to recover an umbrella seems timely. Of course one may use these clear instructions to cover a patio umbrella, a decorative umbrella, a sun umbrella, or one to use in the drenching rain! I would love to make one in various menswear suitings for a tailored look, mixing colors and patterns willy-nilly. Of course, Britex carries a plethora of rain-resistant fabrics that would be ideal for this charmingly hand-crafted project.

  • Make Fairy Wings!

    September 24, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Here are directions for basic fairy wings from the talented folks at Instructables and ThreadBanger. At Britex, we prefer to glam things up a bit, and believe that all fairy wings beg for feathery and rhinestone sparkly goodness! Bewitchingly lovely fairy wing gilding accessories can be found on Britex Fabric’s 3rd floor.

  • Sew an Easy-to-Sew Reversible Bag

    September 24, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Novita from VeryPurplePerson and Tokyo made this free pattern for an easy-to-sew reversible bag for BurdaStyle. Here is in a version with black and white linen hounds-tooth on one side, and a graphic mustard and brown cotton print on the other side; we love the mixture of menswear and modern floral prints! This bag is roomy enough for a quick run to the farmer’s market to pick up vegetables for soup, or even an afternoon’s worth of shopping errands.

  • Free Knit Dog Sweater Pattern

    September 22, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    And from the folks at FreeVintageKnitting........winter is coming; knit a ribbed coat for your favorite pooch. The ribs add a dashing touch, reminiscent of beatniks and midnight doggie rendezvous.
    “You know my girl just called me up
    And she woke me from my sleep
    You should have heard the things she said
    You know she hurt my feelings deep.
    I'm gonna buy me a dog
    'Cause I need a friend now.
    I'm gonna buy me a dog,
    My girl, my girl, don't love me no how.”

    (By T. Boyce and B. Hart)

  • Free Infants Knit Middy Top Pattern

    September 22, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    This free knit child’s sailor middy top pattern by Crystal Palace comes in four sizes, 6m -9m, 12m, 18m -24m, and 2 years. We love the stripes along the sleeves and waist, the v-neckline, and the middy. This sweater would make any gurgling wee one into a hearty mate, calling out seafaring shanties and consulting compasses with the caption!

  • Free Vintage Knit Clothing Patterns for Fashion Dolls

    September 20, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    These vintage patterns from the folks at FreeVintageKnitting for 15” fashion doll’s knit clothing are the cat’s meow. Here is a pair of suave slacks and a spiffy v-neck cardigan for both Miss B. and Mister K, along with a chic Chanel-style suit for Miss B. These projects can be made with leftover yarnage, knit up quickly and would make fabulous additions to any child’s doll collection’s wardrobe.

  • Learn to Sew with Sewing Cards for Children

    September 20, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    OTTOBRE Design, a Finnish magazine specializing in sewing for children's and youth, published this free charming set of sewing cards on their website. They designed these doggie-tastic sewing and coloring cards in to introduce children to sewing, and to keep their little hands busy while mom’s working on her own sewing project. I remember being amused for hours with similar sewing cards as a child, and can only speculate that it lead to a lifelong love of sewing.

  • Free Midsummer Night’s Dream Tu'Tu'orial

    September 17, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Kathleen of GrosgrainFabulous contributed this gossamer child’s free tutu pattern to BurdaStyle. Not only is it dreamily fairy-like, it is made mostly by knotting tulle to an elastic or ribbon waistband. We love the addition of greenery vines to the dandelion puff of a skirt. This would be sure to please every wee fairy in your life!
    “The moonlight fades from flower and rose
    And the stars dim one by one;
    The tale is told, the song is sung,
    And the Fairy feast is done.
    The night-wind rocks the sleeping flowers,
    And sings to them, soft and low.
    The early birds erelong will wake:
    'T is time for the Elves to go.”

    (By Louisa May Alcott)

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