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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

  • Sew a Regimental Coat, Circa 1781 – 1783

    October 1, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Jane Whiteside, Northwest Territory Alliance (NWTA) patternmaker, in conjunction with Judith Wicker have complied a set of directions for a regimental coat for the uniform of the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, circa 1781 – 1783. We are quite enamored of the fine detailing that goes into antique clothing; I am fascinated by the wee hearts that reinforce and accent the coat tails. With 20 buttons marching up the front alone, these coats require some serious buttoning, and Britex is prepared! We have just gotten in a shipment of metal military and blazer buttons from a U.S. manufacturer, including many military motifs (although sadly, none from 1783.) This coat would be elegant done up in deep violet wool, with mustard and midnight blue striped silk lining, and accented with dozens of gold be-eagled buttons. It is time to resurrect this look of splendid grandeur!

  • Dotty-licious Cotton Fabrics at Britex

    October 1, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    We just got in these dotty-licious cotton fabrics this week! The first fabric has a leafy olive green background and rows of stalwart polka-dotted penny bun mushrooms (44” wide and $14.99/yard), and then we have egg and bird silhouette fabric in two color-ways…yummy fuchsia with canary yellow, and lime green with robin’s egg blue (44” wide and $12.99/yard). This 100% cotton medium-weight fabric can be found on Britex Fabric’s 2nd floor.

    Please email M. Du Jour at Britex Fabrics if you want to buy this fabric.

    If you wish another fabric, contact us through our fabric mail order department for detailed mail order assistance.

  • Conversational Heart Dress - Darlene

    October 1, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Here is Darlene from the 3rd floor in her candy heart dress. This sweet little number is made of a conversational heart strewn cotton print, has handy side pockets, and is wonderfully fitted. Darlene drafted the pattern herself and hand-picked the side zipper. We love how she added a rainbow scattering of bugle beads to beautify the zipper-line…this kind of detailing is what makes hand-sewn items so charming! Although we are out of the black heart fabric, Britex has bubble-gum pink heart fabric on the 2nd floor.
    Please email M. Du Jour at Britex Fabrics if you want to buy this fabric.

    If you wish another fabric, contact us through our fabric mail order department for detailed mail order assistance.

  • Make Elizabethan Fencing Gloves

    September 30, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Franchesca of brings us the instructions for constructing Elizabethan duello (rapier/fencing gloves) gloves circa 1640. Why not dandify ones mitts in this splendid fashion? These gloves require two to four-ounce (2 mm) kid, pig, chamois, or suede leather, and Britex Fabrics carries many marvelous colors of glove-weight leather on the 4th floor.

  • The k11 October 2nd Craft Sale in Berkeley

    September 30, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    The talented folks at knit-one-one, a Berkeley studio that teaches knitting, felting, weaving and other textile arts for crafters of all skill levels, is sponsoring a free craft show Saturday, October 2nd! Be sure and stop by knit-one-one for inspiration and luscious local hand-crafted items.
    When: Saturday October 2, 10 to 4
    Where: The knit-one-one studio, 3360 Adeline Street, Berkeley CA 94703
    Who: These fabulous crafters: Koide Studio, Jen Hewett Studio, Hairphernalia, Fresh On Mondays, Clarine's Florentines, HoneyComb Jewelry, Heathered, King Bag Company, Reware, Tinted Mint, Peanoonies, and Tiny Sparks Design.

  • Free Printable Betsy McCall Paper Dolls

    September 29, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Many folks discovered a love fashion and dress-up by playing with the Betsy McCall paper dolls that were included in the back pages of McCall's magazine. Each of Betsy’s outfits were carefully assembled; fabric choices and care were even delineated. I love this set for autumn in 1960, with a washable Orlon-pile-lined stadium coat, and a furry leopard coat accessorized with short black gloves. What 10-year-old wouldn’t want to slink around in wooly leopard at the county fair? Teri Pettit brings you free printable Betsy McCall paper dolls from 1951 to 1961.

  • Be-Giraffed Baby Quilt - Joanne

    September 29, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Joanne made this jaunty be-giraffed quilt for her soon-to-arrive great-grandchild. This is the third quilt that Joanne has sewn, and she displays a competent choice of contrasting fabrics and bold color sense. I particularly enjoy her use of classic gingham and polka dots, to coordinate with the graphically strong giraffe silhouettes. This quilt is tied using brightly colored craft thread. Quilting cottons are found on Britex Fabric's 2nd floor.

  • How to Recover an Umbrella

    September 28, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    It has been unseasonably (and unreasonably) hot and sunny in San Francisco, so this tutorial by Sandra Ericson at Threads magazine on how to recover an umbrella seems timely. Of course one may use these clear instructions to cover a patio umbrella, a decorative umbrella, a sun umbrella, or one to use in the drenching rain! I would love to make one in various menswear suitings for a tailored look, mixing colors and patterns willy-nilly. Of course, Britex carries a plethora of rain-resistant fabrics that would be ideal for this charmingly hand-crafted project.

  • How to Make Slant Pockets

    September 27, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Here are more instructions from Novita at VeryPurplePerson, and this time she shows us how to add slant pockets to pants to make them more functional and stylin’! I love how she uses navy polka dotted fabric for the pocket lining; it is a wonderful contrast to the blue and brown plaid pants fabric, and a charming detail.

  • Make Fairy Wings!

    September 24, 2010 by Britex Fabrics

    Here are directions for basic fairy wings from the talented folks at Instructables and ThreadBanger. At Britex, we prefer to glam things up a bit, and believe that all fairy wings beg for feathery and rhinestone sparkly goodness! Bewitchingly lovely fairy wing gilding accessories can be found on Britex Fabric’s 3rd floor.

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