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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

  • Tailoring a Historically Accurate Waistcoat or Vest

    November 30, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Jim, the senior researcher at The Sewing Academy has posted numerous tutorials on tailoring reproduction historical garments. This set of photographed instructions documents the steps he took to sew a stunning silk brocade formal vest, from painstakingly making welted pockets, working with hair canvas and batting to give the garment body, attaching the collar, and bagging the lining. The Sewing Academy is E. S. Clark’s on-going living history project (1840 to 1865), and contains an online trove of information for seamstresses who are interested in historical clothing construction. Many of these construction techniques are also applicable to sewing modern garments, and we are proponents of the beauty and sturdiness hand-finishing.

  • Free Childs Pleated Skirt Tutorial

    November 27, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Tiffany from Simply Modern Mom designed this free tutorial for a child’s side buttoned pleated skirt for SewMamaSew. This skirt is so simple that it doesn’t even require a pattern….just the ability to make basic pleats. This would be classically adorable in one of our vibrant tartan plaids, or in retro pet-able in ribbed corduroy. Perhaps you could even sew complimentary mother-daughter holiday skirts!

  • Free Embroidery Transfer of Queen Anne's Lace

    November 26, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    We love Queen Anne's lace or bird's nest for its delicate shape. This plant gets its name from the laciness of the white flower, with the red flower in the center representing a drop of Queen Anne’s blood from a tatting slip when making the lace. It is unclear whether it was Anne (1574 - 1619), the first Stuart Queen Anne, who was brought over from Denmark at fourteen years of age to be a Queen to King James of Scotland, or Anne (1665 - 1714), the daughter of William and Mary, and the last monarch in the Stuart line. Alicia of RosyLittleThings gives us a charming free transfer of graceful sprigs of Queen Anne's lace, and suggests embroidering them upon the edge of a pillowcase. This would add a touch of summer meadow to any winter bed linen set.

  • Make a Handy Roll-Up Knitting Needle Case

    November 26, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Fionnuala at Basil Exposition present a tutorial for a customizable, easy–to-sew roll-up knitting needle case in a valiant effort to keep pairs of needles together, to avoid last minute scrambling for an errant needle. This project uses less than one yard of fabric, and would make a delightful gift for your favorite Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle or Madame Defarge.

  • How to Alter or Grade a Pattern

    November 24, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Some of us have a long weekend over Thanksgiving, which is a perfect time to get caught up on sewing projects and learn new techniques. Terry at Threads Magazine wrote a wonderfully instructive tutorial on pattern grading. Grading enables you to proportionally increase or decrease the size of a pattern, while maintaining shape, fit, balance, and scale of style details. This means that you can adjust for your very specific body shape and size, or make several sizes of one pattern for special occasion attire such as bridesmaid’s dresses, or transform a too-small vintage pattern into one that is usable.

  • How to Make an Infant Carrying Wrap

    November 24, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Rachel from QuirkyMomma presents directions on how to make a no-sew Moby-style infant carrying wrap (and how to tie it) These baby slings are fashioned from long pieces of interlock knits, which Britex stocks on our 2nd floor. We would love to see a carrier made of one of our soft terry-cloth or thermal knit. Polka dots? Bold colors? Pirate prints? Schlep your baby in style!

  • Britex Holiday Hours

    November 24, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Britex Fabrics will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25th. We are open Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th between 10 am and 6 pm. We have several sale tables, including some wools on the 1st floor, but we do not have a Black Friday sale. Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

    P.S. (And here is a bonus recipe for lusciously creamy and light Spoon Bread, Du Jour’s favorite holiday side dish)

  • Make a HTML Code Necktie

    November 24, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    We all agree that Etsy rocks! Michele presents a free How-Tuesday tutorial on creating a geek-tastic computer code necktie. Although the directions provide enough "Personalized Code" for one snazzy tie, you could also customize your cravate with your own code….perhaps a secret romantic poem or a sneaky, snarky message?

  • Free Wacky Crocheted Spats Pattern

    November 24, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    This free crocheted spats pattern from HookYarnAndNeedles is very Fred Astaire meets Velveeta cheese. Spats are naturally debonair and gracious, while crocheted granny squares reek of macaroni and cheese and snuggling on the sofa with a Ross Macdonald paperback. Granny square spats are wrong in a plethora of ways, but somehow, I love them all the same.

  • Free Knit Chubby Bluebird Pattern

    November 23, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    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)

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