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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 Tutu Peacock Costume

    September 21, 2016 by Britex Fabrics


    This peacock tutu is so adorable that it bears a repeat! It is looking like an avian All Hallows Eve! Shauna from the creative blog, Shwin&Shwin made up a tutorial on how she created a tutu-esque peacock costume for her daughter from some knit fabric for the top, and poufy netting and felt for the tail…..and a generous dollop of talent. It would be super lovely with some sparkly sequins added to the feather eyes!  We love the way the tail bellows out, and her attention to peacock feather detail and coloring. All materials are available at Britex Fabrics; craft felt and sparklies are found on our 3rd floor!

  • Make a Lacy Mask For Halloween

    September 21, 2016 by Britex Fabrics

    mask from web

    With Halloween just around the corner, you may still not know what to wear, so here is an inexpensive and glamorous, last minute fix from the creative folks at DIY Enthusiasts.  Purchase some sheer organza or tulle, a handful of glittery rhinestones, and a length of silk ribbon on the third floor of Britex Fabrics, and make your own lacy mask...and become the mysterious queen or king of the ball.

  • Create Elegant 18th Century Footwear with American Duchess

    September 9, 2016 by Britex Fabrics


    Lauren from the impressive historical costuming blog, American Duchess, has a particular penchant for 18th century fashion. She developed this marvelous tutorial on how to gussy up a pair of Pompadour 18th century shoes using  braid trim, metallic lace trim, petersham ribbon, silk ribbon and more....all items available from Britex Fabrics. Get ready for your next bucolic frolic, Halloween shindig, Twelfth Night party, or Dangerous Liaisons dance.

  • Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA) Quilts Made With Fabric From Britex

    July 18, 2016 by Britex Fabrics

    header for blog Much like the stitch that is sewn into the fabric (fabric provided by Britex Fabrics) of each quilt, the binding force that gives fabric meaning and life, each student has a history upon which their reality is vested.   IMG_3276   However, history as it is taught in our public education system is not inclusive, ostracizing hundreds of thousands of Black and Brown people whose history lies outside of the dominant American narrative. A history that only hints at the endless suffrage, exploitation and violence incurred by minority populations; today’s social, educational and economic inequality remnants of that history. - Sara Trail IMG_3275   SJSA is an opportunity for students to see themselves reflected in a curriculum that values the stories of their ancestors and the legacy they have yet to realize. The curriculum itself is multidisciplinary drawing on concepts taught in ethnic studies, gender/women studies, education and sociology. The main objective of SJSA is to give young people a safe space and tools to develop a critical lens allowing understanding of the social issues that plague their communities.   IMG_3280   SJSA is a social process using art as both a learning environment and a sewing studio for young people. While sewing has become a gendered activity that is often thought of as outdated or exclusively female, the hope is that in introducing young women to the practice of sewing, they will see just how powerful it is to breath life into a simple piece of fabric. Quilting is more than just a hobby; it is a revolutionary practice of resistance.   IMG_3274   The Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA) is an opportunity for students to see themselves reflected in a curriculum that values the stories of their ancestors and the legacy they have yet to realize. The curriculum itself is draws on concepts taught in ethnic studies, gender/women studies, education and sociology.   IMG_3269

  • Millinery: Making a Lace Hat

    July 11, 2016 by Chuleenan of CSews

    Part I: Making a lace hat The first part of this tutorial is about making a lace hat using milliner Patricia Underwood’s Vogue pattern (V8891). I made version D – a small-brimmed hat – and trimmed it with Petersham ribbon. Hat 1The materials (Available at and / or at the Britex Fabrics brick-and-mortar store in San Francisco) Hat 2 The lace, tulle and millinery wire can all be purchased at Britex Fabrics. I chose a navy lace because it’s versatile and can go with a dress or jeans. But this lace has some stretch to it and the tulle has no stretch, which is not ideal but I didn’t really have any problems sewing them together. The tulle is a contrasting color so you can see the lace. If you get a matching color, the lace will just blend in and you won’t see the design of the lace. I’ll be using a couple of hat terms: 1. The crown, the part of a hat that covers the head. 2. The brim, which attaches to the crown. Brims can be small like the version D or wide, such as version E of this pattern. The millinery wire is inserted in the edge of the brim and that’s what makes it stand out from the crown. There are only three pattern pieces for this hat – two pieces make up the crown and then there’s the brim. The tulle is the lining and interfacing for this hat. Because tulle is semi-transparent and not very stiff, the pattern has you cut each two of each pattern piece. I traced size L rather than cutting out the pattern pieces. This means that if I want to make a hat for a friend with a smaller head, I can trace that size from the original pattern pieces. You can use pins or pattern weights to hold the pattern pieces in place. This is a synthetic lace so I wasn’t worried about the pins damaging the lace. If you use a delicate lace, you probably want to use pattern weights. I used scissors to cut this piece because I have more control on the curve.   Hat 3 And here’s the side of the crown – cut on the fold. Hat 4 The brim is also cut on the fold. I used pattern weights on these two pieces and cut them with my rotary cutter. The curve of these pattern pieces is easier to handle with a rotary cutter. You can use scissors or a rotary cutter to cut lace; it all depends on your personal preference and what you need to cut. Hat 5 I cut two pieces of the three pattern pieces from the tulle. For the crown, one piece of tulle acts as the interfacing and the other is the lining. The brim uses both pieces of tulle on the inside. Warning: There’s a LOT of pinning and basting for this pattern. You pin the tulle pattern piece to the lace piece for the crown (top and side) and baste them together before you sew. You pin and baste each pattern piece together. I used a safety pin to mark the center front of the crown. The seam is in the center back. I used a universal Schmetz needle 70/10 and a stitch length of 2. I didn’t have any experience machine sewing lace – only hand sewing it – but this was easy to sew. I didn’t use a special needle and it was fine.   Hat 6 I won’t go into every step because you can just follow the pattern instructions. But there was one part that was tricky to figure out, even with the instructions. After you’ve stitched the crown together and sewn the tulle lining (steps 1-8), you pin the lining of the crown to the lace crown wrong sides together. It looks like this. Hat 7 The you turn it right side out and you’re ready to attach the brim.

  • Simple DIY Suspenders Tutorial

    February 24, 2016 by Britex Fabrics

    A simple way to make suspenders with seven items, in only eight easy steps.

    What You Will Need

    1. Elastic
    (no wider than 1")


    2. 4 Straight Pins


    3. Needle and Thread


    4. One 1" Metal Back Patch


    5. 1 Garment Tape Measure


    6. Scissors


    7. Four 1" Grips With Brackets

    STEP 1: With the tape measure, measure from 1 inch below your left front pant loop, bring the tape measure over your left shoulder and down to 1 inch below and to the right of your center pant loop, or 1 inch below your right back pant loop. This is the length of elastic you will need. Be sure to cut 2 strips of the elastic in this length.


    STEP 2: With the scissors, cut 2 straps from the elastic in the length you measured in step 1.


    STEP 3: Use the straight pins to pin a horizontal line to hold the elastic end around the grip, making sure that when the grips are clipped onto your

    pants, the elastic is snug but comfortable.


    STEP 4: Hand sew the end of the elastic so that it's around one of the grip ends. (This will be the back right end)

    STEP 5: Take the end of the elastic that is not yet sewn, and put it through the metal back patch, so that the point of the triangle is facing up.


    STEP 6: Sew the unfinished side so that it's around a second grip end.


    STEP 7: Take the second strap of elastic and repeat steps 3-5, making sure both straps of elastic form an overlapping X.


    STEP 8: Trim off most of the excess elastic that remains, clip on all 4 grips.


  • Furoshiki Gift Wrapping with Fabric

    December 27, 2015 by Britex Fabrics

    Use fabric instead of throw away paper to wrap your gifts! The Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan published a guide on Furoshiki, an origami-like fabric folding technique for wrapping gifts. Combine beauty, creativity, and sustainability when wrapping your gift. And, of course, Britex Fabrics has scads of beauteous fabrics!

  • How to Sew Wool knit with Lace overlay w/Nicole!

    October 20, 2015 by Britex Fabrics

    Wool knit Linden with lace overlay


    I was won over by the Linden sweatshirt, designed by fellow Guest Blogger Jen from Grainline Studios, after making it in a sporty quilted fabric. But the wheels started turning immediately, and I felt like a lace-overlay version would take this basic wardrobe staple up a couple of notches.


    As luck would have it, I was due for my next project with Britex working with one of their amazing knits! After working hard to narrow down the choices, I decided on this beautiful medium-weight wool knit fabric, in an extra-dark loden (almost black) color. I'm a sucker for pale pink, so this cotton-blend lace was the perfect contrast. The image below shows how nicely this wool drapes. Very luxurious!

  • How to Make a Cadet Cap: Tutorial + Free Pattern

    October 1, 2015 by Britex Fabrics

    hat options5

    Hello Britex readers, this is Mary from Craft Buds and I'm excited to be guest posting here today! I've put together a free cadet-style hat pattern for you. Just download the pattern from Craftsy here (you'll need a free Craftsy account) and we'll get started. I've used two fabrics provided by Britex in my hat, a beautiful midweight herringbone olive & espresso wool for the exterior, and a silky smooth chocolate brown rayon/cupro for the lining. The fabrics are both high quality and were a perfect set of fabrics for a warm and comfortable hat. All kinds of woolens would work for this nifty cap. Try this Glen plaid wool, then line it with toasty, glorious red warm-back lining! Wool plaidLINING-85-RED60D  

  • Tutorial: Adding a Waist-Stay to a Garment

    August 17, 2015 by Britex Fabrics

    Blog1 Hello everyone, it’s Laura Mae from Lilacs & Lace. Today I would like to share my new frock made from this delicious cotton batiste as well as a great way to take your garment sewing to the next level with a grosgrain waist stay!  

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