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

Free Knit Chubby Bluebird Pattern

Linda from NaturalSuburbia posted a tutorial for this chubby wee bluebird of delicious happiness. This fuzzy charmer is made knitted mohair and with circular needles. She suggests knitting a flock of these as part of a centerpiece. They would also be sweet as holiday tree or gift ornaments. I want to knit a passel of them up in shades of sparrow brown, finch yellow, and of course, bluebird blue!
“Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
Who watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I’m the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul”

(By J. Linnell, J. Flansburgh)

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects
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How to Make a Victorian Pomander

Remember to buy fragrant spices, whole cloves, oranges, and beauteous ribbons from Britex to make this old-fashioned treat. Truli is a talented jeweler, and craft-person. Here she presents a tutorial for making traditional clove-studded pomanders. She says, “The Victorians hung pomanders in their closets to ward off moths. Every Thanksgiving I make the spicy orange pomanders and come Christmas time they are dried and ready to be put out in a large festive bowl for my family and friends to take home as a thoughtful handcrafted gift and the rich spicy fragrance will last for years…. they are so simple to make it’s also a nice project to do with your children or a great activity for children to make in supervised groups too.” Their smell makes me think of holiday gatherings … to the scent of freshly waxed antique furniture or fir trees, these make me nostalgic for hot cider, sleigh rides, and uproarious groups of peeps playing board games until 2 am.

Posted: Lace Trims & Ribbon, Projects
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Free Easy-to-Sew Laptop Sleeve Pattern

Elizabeth contributed this classic, practical and easy to sew pattern for a computer laptop sleeve to SewMamaSew. This project requires less than half a yard of fabric, allowing one to be beautiful while remaining thrifty. These would make fabulous holiday gifts, using unique fabrics from Britex Fabrics. I’d love to make one in a charming Japanese cotton/linen the-king-has-no-clothes fairy tale print, or perhaps in an urban graffiti strewn home decorating print.

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Free Bow Tie Pattern


We have had several requests for old-fashioned bow tie patterns recently…the kind that you need to tie yourself. Once again, BurdaStyle comes to our rescue with this open source bow tie instructions and bow tie PDF for a delightfully chic, yet retro bow tie pattern.  And Britex Fabrics’ online store now carries all the bow tie hardware you’ll need! And for all you bow tie fashion mavericks, here are directions on how to knot your new attire.

Download the PDFs and enjoy our very San Francisco photo shoot! Much more inspiration awaits at Britex.

IMG_1 Click here to read more »

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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Free Harry Potter Craft Project Patterns

It is Harry Potter madness! Just in time for this weekend’s opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 we have some cunning crafts. First we have a crocheted Golden Snitch by Melissa of Inner Child Crochet, then a Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban Gryffindor knitted scarf by Svyet of The Bookke Werm’s Realm, cross-stitch patterns for the crests of all four houses – Gryffindor (courage, bravery, loyalty, nerve, chivalry), Hufflepuff (hard work, tolerance, loyalty, fair play), Ravenclaw (intelligence, creativity, learning, wit), Slytherin (ambition, cunning, leadership, resourcefulness, pure wizard blood) by The Leaky Cauldron and LittleMojo, and lastly….. the officially crafty Harry Potter Craft Group. Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects
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Free A-Line Pleated Skirt Pattern

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)

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Make a Debonair Inverness Cape

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.

Posted: Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Free Make Fabric Fortune Cookies Tutorial

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).

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Bespoke Vest with Welt Pockets

Melissa from Art of Sewing has detailed her process in sewing a lined vest with welted pockets for her friend, The Professor. This charming bespoke waistcoat was made with Britex wool and lining, and accessorized with favorite buttons from an old vest of The Professors. Her journey starts on August 26th and ends October 7th, with the welted pocket tutorial running Sept 20th to the 24th. I love the beautiful contrasting red top-stitching and buttonholes!

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Free Geek-tastic Knit Potholder Patterns

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.

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects
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