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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

  • Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave

    February 9, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    Be sure and mosey on down to the Legion of Honor between now and June 5th for the magnificent exhibition, Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave. This show consists of over 50 pieces, including nine frocks in black and white to highlight the intricate detailing and craftsmanship. “Working in collaboration with leading costume historians and young fashion designers, de Borchgrave crafts a world of splendor from the simplest rag paper. Painting and manipulating the paper, she forms trompe l’oeil masterpieces of elaborate dresses inspired by rich depictions in early European painting or by iconic costumes in museum collections around the world….Pulp Fashion draws on several themes and presents quintessential examples in the history of costume—from Renaissance finery of the Medici family and gowns worn by Elizabeth I and Marie-Antoinette to the creations of the grand couturiers Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Christian Dior, and Coco Chanel. Special attention is given to the creations and studio of Mariano Fortuny, the eccentric early-20th-century artist who is both a major source of inspiration to de Borchgrave and a kindred spirit.

  • Top-Stitching Hints

    February 7, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    We love the extra verve that judicious use of top-stitching adds to garments. A line (or two) of top-stitching can empathize the tailored angles of a jacket collar lapel, add decorative contrast with a coordinating thread color, or spiff up the pockets of a cowboy shirt. Carolyn of TheDiaryofaSewingFanatic gives us instructions and hints on top-stitching, including advice on needle type, the importance of consistent stitching line direction, and the top-secret scotch tape stitching guide method!

  • Vintage Valentine Apron Pattern

    February 5, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    This circa 1945 vintage apron pattern from the gal at Tipnut is just the thing! We'll wear while baking Valentine’s day sweets for our sweetie, and love the heart-shaped bib and the flowering heart appliqués. No one can resist the delicious sight of a dedicated and be-aproned chef removing hot home-made Linzer cookies from the oven!

  • Sew Dandy-esque Pocket Squares of Britex Silks

    February 3, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    Spiff up, stand out and sew a drawer full of one-of-a-kind pocket squares with Britex Fabrics’ amazing world-renowned selection of imported silks. I hear from dandified sources that pocket squares are this season’s accessory for our dedicated follower of fashion. According to Aaron Britt of SFGate, there are several sartorial guidelines to wearing this dapper devise, including the admonition not to match your tie to your pocket square. Lord Whimsy has graciously supplied PDFs of 13 pocket square folds, from the Winged Puff to the Cagney. I can barely compete with Lord Whimsy’s splendid prose, so won’t: “A slightly pedantic note for the acolyte: The occasion or setting will often recommend a particular knot or pocket square fold. (Festive? Sober? Rascally?) ….Trial and error in these matters can be good fun, but over time, one will gain a sense of what works best, and a personal repertoire will take shape.”

  • A Documentary on Neapolitan Tailoring Traditions - Kid Dandy

    February 3, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    Kid Dandy, an Italian creative group, are in the process of finishing up a documentary on Neapolitan tailoring traditions. Here is a 5 minute trailer for their stunning documentary. This film is a must to watch for anyone who is enamored with the craft of traditional fine tailoring, hand-stitching, hand-made button-holes…..and the luscious beauty of Naples, Italy. I love watching the beautifully suited Claudio Attolini as he talks about the process of tailoring while making gracefully articulate hand gestures that mimic hand-stitching.

  • Free Vintage Embroidery Transfers of Housekeeping Cats!

    February 2, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    Meow meow…….if I’m going to mop, sweep, polish, mend, and iron I’m going to do so with vigorous verve! Vicki from PatternBee brings you these free iron-on vintage embroidery transfers of housekeeping, bushy-tailed kitty-cats. These industrious kittens would be super-cute embroidered on tea towels, and a set of them would make a charming Mother’s Day gift!

  • Create a Top Hat for your Fashion Doll

    February 1, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    We are top hat crazy! The talented Lori has created a detailed tutorial for making silk top hats for 16? collectible fashion dolls. These stunningly chic silk top hats could coordinate with your doll's riding habit, or perhaps be the perfect accessory for a dashing Marlene Dietrich ensemble a la Morocco. And I love the snippet of veiling! All supplies can be purchased at Britex Fabrics.

  • Folk Art Circus Cotton

    January 28, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    The circus has arrived at Britex Fabrics’ 2nd floor cotton area! This cotton quilting-weight fabric is inspired by the folk art masterpiece, The Kirk Bros. Circus, a miniature carved circus made by Mr. Kirk between 1910 and 1954. I love the aerial bicyclist, and can almost taste the peanuts and hear the galloping horses. This fabric is 100% cotton, 44” wide and $14.99/yard. Please email M. Du Jour at Britex Fabrics if you want to buy this fabric, and you will be guided to the correct department.

  • Men's Shirt Sew-Along with Male Pattern Boldness

    January 27, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    Peter at MalePatternBoldness has been busy! He is running a Men's Shirt Sew-Along on his blog beginning on Tuesday, February 1st. Here is a chance to sew along with other folks, while learning how to meet the fitting and sewing challenges in making men’s bespoke shirts. Peter also is one of the featured sewers on BurdaStyle, with a shirt that he made using a vintage 1939 men’s pattern. This vintage-styled shirt has a removable collar and collar stand that fits over the band (which is sewn onto the shirt), and the top closes with a shirt stud. And as we all know, M. Du Jour adores detachable collars for the wonderfully practical and delightfully fussy accessory that they are!

  • Make Shoe Wings!

    January 26, 2011 by Britex Fabrics

    We all want spring to arrive sooner rather than later, and I’m pinning all my warm weather wishes upon these winged shoes! Artemisthephoenix posted this tutorial on making glorious wings for your shoes. The wings fasten through the shoe laces and eyelets, and she made them in sparkly gold lame. They are so simple to make that it would be fabulous to have a pair for every pair of lace-up shoes in your wardrobe. Can you imagine an entire BART train full of winged commuters?

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