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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

  • Make a Velvet Cloak

    October 6, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Vaargard Malorills from The High Fantasy Society wrote and posted these clear and fabulous directions for making a 3-pocketed, lined full-length cloak with (or without) a hood. This cloak only takes four yards of fabric and four yards of lining…five yards if you wish to add the hood, who wouldn’t want a hood?! I’d love to have a simple cloak in plush midnight blue velvet with a black silk lining, and a gold, black and blue tassel on the tip of the hood. It would be just the thing to wear to a romantic night at the opera. In addition to fabrics, Britex also carries lovely ornate hook and eye fasteners in our 3rd floor notions department.

  • Make Suspenders!

    October 5, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Jessica from RunningWithScissors has posted this awesome tutorial on making stylin’ suspenders or braces. She made them for her two year old, but they could be upsized for anyone! I imagine using colored elastic, metallic embossed leather, and classic horn buttons to tone all that fabulousness down a notch. All they require are six buttons, 1" wide elastic, and a wee scrap of leather…all items that can be found at Britex. These would be perfect to wear to croquet parties.

  • Free Vintage Knit Pram Set Pattern

    October 4, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    The generous folks at FreeVintageKnitting bring you this charming knit pram set consisting of a jacket and hood, leggings and mittens in two sizes (6m and 12m.) We love the elfin hood and long to sew a giant pom-pom on its tip. The jacket is double-breasted, offering an opportunity to spotlight these adorable lucky Kelly green monkey buttons.

  • 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!

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