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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

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  • Elsa Schiaparelli and Jean Cocteau Collaborate

    December 18, 2010 by Britex Fabrics


    Paris is swell. Designer Elsa Schiaparelli worked in collaboration with avant-garde artist Jean Cocteau in 1937 to design a jacket for that year's Autumn collection. The jacket was embroidered with a woman caressing the waist of the wearer, and long blonde glittering locks cascading down one sleeve, with the embroidering being executed by the couture embroidery house of Lesage. This stunning garment is made of linen, gilded metallic thread embroidery, beads, and paillettes. This is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


  • Urbane Country Fair Japanese Cotton

    December 18, 2010 by Britex Fabrics


    I’m in love with this sophisticated country fair Japanese cotton. It is lightweight enough to be perfect sewn up into a pair of urbane tailored pajamas, perhaps with chartreuse piping around the cuffs, collar, and pocket. I’m also much enamored of the color scheme and the taupe background. This soft fabric is found on... Britex Fabric's 2nd floor, is 100% cotton, 45” wide and $24.99/yard.


  • Scrumptious Velvet Scarf - Mel

    December 17, 2010 by Britex Fabrics


    Mel created this scrumptious scarf from imported print velvet on Britex Fabric’s 1st floor, and a solid ultramarine blue
    rayon/silk velvet from our 2nd floor. The ends are accentuated with silk ribbon tassels that complement the abstract design of the print delightfully. This would brighten up any gloomy day!


  • Free Downloadable Lace-Up Sewing Cards

    December 17, 2010 by Britex Fabrics


    Encourage youngster’s love of sewing and creativity! Children’s lace-up sewing cards are wonderful toys for preschoolers that teach little fingers fine motor skills by lacing the string or yarn through the holes. Here are several sets of free, downloadable and printable sewing cards. Kate has made up cheerful and simple flower, star and moon shapes;Tristan provides instruction for making banana, pear and apple fabric-covered lace-up shapes; and Alexandra has reproduced some amazingly cute vintage lace-up sewing cards on her blog and Flickr. I want to spend Sunday morning sipping hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows and stitching the perky little squirrel!


  • London Bridge Japanese Cotton

    December 17, 2010 by Britex Fabrics


    We just got several bolts of new Japanese fabric, including this briskly fabulous piece with London images including the Tower of London, red double-decker buses, and marching Queen's Guards. I deeply desire a bow tie from this, which I’d debonairly wear with a red wool double-breasted vest and 501s. This fabric is 85% linen/15% cotton, 45” wide and $29.99/yard.

    “London Bridge
    Is Broken down,
    Dance over my Lady Lee.
    London Bridge
    Is Broken down
    With a gay Lady.”

    (Earliest printed English version, Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book, 1744)


  • Hedgehog Pincushin

    December 17, 2010 by Britex Fabrics


    Sarah made this easy-peasy tutorial for creating adorable hedgehog pincushions on BurdaStyle. Shade of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle! These would make a great last-minute addition to anyone’s sewing kit gift.
    "Then Mrs. Tiggy-winkle made tea—a cup for herself and a cup for Lucie. They sat before the fire on a bench and looked sideways at one another. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle's hand, holding the tea-cup, was very very brown, and very very wrinkly with the soap-suds; and all through her gown and her cap, there were hair-pins sticking wrong end out; so that Lucie didn't like to sit too near her.” – B. Potter


  • Britex Now Carries Boning and Busks!

    December 15, 2010 by Britex Fabrics


    Britex Fabrics has just expanded their selection of boning and other corset-making notions. We now carry both flat and spiral steel boning in widths from ¼” to ½” and 4” to 17” long, busks with brass or chrome knobs, and all black busks on the 4th floor. We will feature details later! To assist you with your garment construction, here is Tight Linings and Boning by Mary Brooks Picken, and published by the Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences in 1922. This 44 page book covers making the making the tight lining, boning, and girdles or waist-line foundations.


  • Green Leather Clutch - Michelle

    December 15, 2010 by Britex Fabrics


    Michelle sent us a photograph of this stunning green leather clutch that she crafted. She wrote, “People had been telling me about Britex for years and I finally made the trip in. It was so beautiful, I started to cry. I had a few hours before I needed to be anywhere, so I started at the top and worked my way down. When I was upstairs, I fell in love with the leather remnants. I'm a vegetarian, so I rarely buy leather, much less sew with it, but I figured that remnants from a tannery is as close to recycling as one can get. I saw these pieces and just knew they would make a perfect little clutch. They also gave me a good reason to use the beautiful yellow silk scarf that had been waiting for the right project. Thank you for creating such a wonderful place!” You’re welcome, Michelle….we are happy that we were able to be part of your creative process!


  • Rockin' Felt Guitar

    December 14, 2010 by Britex Fabrics


    Here are directions from Andrea on making a soft sculpture electric guitar, along with a PDF pattern. This rockin’ guitar takes three colors of felt, along with ever-useful pom-poms as trim! It will have your tyke playing Smoke on the Water and Sheena Is a Punk Rocker quicker than you can say “rock on!”


  • Rubber Gaiters by M. Du Jour

    December 14, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    M. Du Jour has finally completed making their rubber spats, and wore them into the office today! They are made from chrome snaps from Britex, up-cycled truck inner tubes, and rivets, with pattern guidance from Minnie at thankyoufornotbeingperky. These spats are très chic, with a touch of la brute, and are ideal for rainy San Francisco winter weather. No more unsightly rubber galoshes; these will keep your calves dry, and your attire en vogue.


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