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

Category Archive: Sewing

Sew Reversible Cloth Napkins

Maggie from the super homemaking and crafting blog Smashed Peas and Carrots, created this simple tutorial on Kirtsy for making double-sided cloth napkins. Cloth napkins are luxurious, thrifty and ecologically sound. Make a handful from cotton or linen fabrics in your stash, pack a picnic basket with cherry scones & a thermos of tea, and spend a lazy afternoon reading under a shady tree in the park!

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Make an 18th Century Petticoat for Spring!

Lauren of American Duchess fame, created this tutorial on crafting an 18th century petticoat…..and who doesn’t need a new petticoat for spring? She says, “The cool thing about 18th c. petticoats is that they have a special and awesome way of being both adjustable to the wearer, and including secret pocket-slits so you can access your secret hanging pockets. Petticoats can be worn as underskirts, just on their own, or you can pile them up to create extra-huge puffy skirts. They can also be worn for other big-skirted centuries.” We love the knife pleating details. A poufy petticoat would be whimsically perfect to wear while swinging to and fro under a weeping willow tree, cloud watching, and day dreaming. Then afterwards, a wee tea-time picnic would be marvelous!

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Free 1740 Men’s Waistcoat Pattern

The folks at the Costume and Textiles Department at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)worked with Thomas John Bernard, a theatrical costume designer, to draft several men’s clothing patterns, including this man’s waistcoat. Originally made in silk plain weave (faille) with silk embroidery, and circa 1740, we crave this in iridescent brown taffeta lined with cool wintergreen silk….marvelous for a starry late night riverside picnic. Download this PDF for an annotated pattern.

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Make a Bespoke Necktie

Kathleen from Fashion-Incubator has a wonderfully detailed post on making bespoke men’s neckties via reverse engineering. I am practically enamored with the photo of her father’s military necktie, and the nifty idea of sewing button-holes in the back of the tie in order to keep it in place by fastening it to ones shirt.

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Tuft a Dining Room Chair Seat

Here is another easy-peasy and inexpensive home decorating project with tons of graphic impact. Theresa from Apartment Therapy and Design Sponge made a tutorial on how to tuft a dining room chair. Wouldn’t this be great in a stark urban geometric black and white print? We love the vintage meets très modern air that tufting provides!

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Make a Shower Curtain to Jazz Your Nest!

It is springtime; time to air out your wintery home, scrub, repaint, and gussy up your cozy nest! We love spending hours in the tub soaking in a hot scented bubble-bath, snoozing, and relaxing…..a snazzy easy-to-sew shower curtain (tutorial courtesy of Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous) is great for a fast ‘n chic salle de bain rejuvenation. We like to skip those pesky grommets and sew button-holes instead, and we particularly adore this Japanese-linen retro print (This fabric is available on the 2nd floor of Britex Fabrics! 415-392-2910)

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Sew a Passport Cover

Just in time for a restorative getaway to a rock-strewn and balmy Mediterranean island, here is a tutorial from Matt at Design*Sponge for a hand-sewn passport cover. This could be made in either leather, or even faux leather….we love hand-sewing for its meditative nature, and with this case you’ll have plenty of time to daydream about fields of wildflowers, picnics of crusty bread, hard cheese, sticky thyme honey, salty olives, and wine, and lazy afternoon snoozes on a soft blanket.

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Make a Felt Baby ABC Book!

It is the year of the dragon, so don’t be too surprised to see babies blooming like posies! Claire from Craftzine made this tutorial for a group baby gift — an old-fashioned felt cloth alphabet book. Clair says, “The book is beautiful, hilarious, and put together by friends with all levels of artistic skills. I love the different approaches to each page and that the personality of each contributor is obvious as you flip through the book…The great thing about this project is that you could organize a “mailed baby shower” for a friend who is far away, or at least allow distant friends and family to participate in a baby gift that will be personal and meaningful.

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Geek-tastic Headband

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Becky and Jimmie from Make made a beating heart headband. We love fashionable geek-tastic crafts; with brocade ribbon from Britex, and a scratchbuilt perfboard Arduino build from Mintduino parts, this is a twinkling success.

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Sew a Car Kit!

Megan at HoliDash made this awesome tutorial for a handy car kit to keep in your car’s glove box. Sew one with Britex Fabrics’ sports fabric from our 4th floor, and then pack it with all the necessary tools and emergency accruements. Band-Aids, tweezers, stain remover, a flashlight, a cell phone battery, toiletries…..and who knows what else. This would make a swell Father’s Day gift for all the dads in your life.

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