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New silk fabric, woolen fabric, cotton fabric, buttons, lace trims, and more...each month brings new temptations!

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

Cowgirl Shirt with Sparrows

Chartreuse winged sparrows perch gaily on fuchsia chainette in this Japanese cotton/linen print. This fabric would be smashing made up with Decades of Style pattern #4008, a 1940’s retro-style rodeo cowgirl shirt with optional piping. Can birds chirp “yippie ki-yay”?
“We’re old cowhands from the Rio Grande
And we come to town just to hear the band
We know all the songs that the cowboys know
‘Bbout the big corral where the doggies go
We learned them all on the radio
Yippie yi yo kayah”

(By Johnny Mercer)
Cowgirl Shirt in Japanese Fabric

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Leather Kippah

Here is a beauteous kippah made by Bretts. The gleaming bronze leather is from Britex Fabrics. It is worn by Kevin Hinshaw, clarinet playing member of Orkestar Zirkonium, and the former music director of world renowned Circus Contraption.
Leather Kippah

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by our Customers
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Brocade Evening Bags

Sally made these gorgeous bags from Vogue pattern 8375 (B. Randle Designs) These brocade evening bags are the perfect size for toting to the opera, and “Otello”, Verdi’s masterful adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy is this month’s San Francisco Opera production. All materials are from the 1st floor.
Desdemona:
“My superb warrior! How many torments,
How many sad sighs, and how much hope
Led us to these tender embraces!
Ah! How sweet it is to murmur together:
Do you remember!
When you told of your life in exile
The fierce events and your long sorrows,
And I listened to you with my soul
enthralled
In those fears and with ecstasy in my heart.”

Sallys bags

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by Folks at Britex
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Mary & Abraham’s Collaboratively Made Dress

This lovely fitted dress was a collaborative effort between Mary and Abraham; Abraham drafted the pattern, and Mary did the sewing! The fabric is a black and white graphic print by Diane Von Furstenberg. There is flattering shirring along the front bodice, and a side zipper helps you achieve a smooth form-fitting line while wearing this dress. This fabric can be found on the 2nd floor (please call ahead to verify stock).
Mary and Abrahams black and white dress

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½ Scale Madeleine Vionnet Gown

Monique Saviano made this ½ scale reproduction of a Madeleine Vionnet gown for the 16th Annual Educational Conference of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. This delicate confection is made with silk chiffon from Britex Fabrics. The fringe is made of rayon chainette. One may read more about Madeleine Vionnet , an innovative designer who worked intensively with the bias cut, in Betty Kirke’s book “Madeleine Vionnet”, or in one of many articles about her such as “A Dressmaker Extraordinaire: Discovering the Secrets of Madeleine Vionnet’s Creativity”, which was published in Threads magazine in 1989.
Monique Saviano Vionnet reproduction

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Faux Wood Grain Buttons

It is 1970 in Teheran, I’m 16 years old, watching the musical Camelot at the Bowling cinema in Shimroon, and slouched in my seat. I spit another pumpkin seed shell onto the floor, take a swallow of grape soda, and fiddle with the buttons on my sweater. I’m wearing a chocolate brown cable knit cardigan with faux wood grain buttons, a black shapeless turtleneck, tan corduroy bell-bottoms, and my hair is tied back with a strawberry-covered ribbon. Guenevere and Arthur are singing “What Do The Simple Folk Do?”, while Guenevere is twirling and weeping in Arthur’s arms.
“What else do the simple folk do
To pluck up the heart and get through?
The wee folk and the grown folk
Who wander to and fro
Have ways known to their own folk
We throne folk don’t know
When all the doldrums begin
What keeps each of them in his skin?
What ancient native custom provides the needed glow?
Oh, what do simple folk do?
Do you know?”

(by Alan Jay Lerner)
BUTT-PLAS-121-BRN30-mRIBB-BROC-15-BLKGRN1375-m

Posted: Lace Trims & Ribbon
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Jaleen’s Wedding Shrug & Hat

We just got this shout-out! We think Jaleen did a fabulous job on her shrug and hat, and that they make a super cute couple (and we adore how their photographer, Kyle Monk captured all this!): “THANK YOU BRITEX for helping me find a fabric that matched my dress so perfectly and trim that finished it so nicely. I recently got married in an awesome but tricky-colored version of taupe and I made the shrug and the hat all by myself, despite not having the slightest idea what I was doing. It worked out! Thanks so much for your help and patience!! Best – Jaleen”
Jaleens wedding copy

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Spanish Coin Button

One of my favorite musicians is playing tonight at Shakespeare & Company Booksellers. I need to spiff up my plain vintage white cotton/poly French-cuffed shirt, so quickly make a pair of cuff-links from two silver Spanish coin buttons. I put on a pair of brown leather chaps over my jeans, tuck in my shirt, and pull on my brown zipped boots. I toss a burnt sienna cashmere scarf that I’ve trimmed with wide French ribbon with Art Nouveau motifs over my shoulder, throw on my favorite brown plaid wool jacket, kiss my cat, and run out the door. I barely have time to scarf down a dinner of falafel and Orangina before the show. I don’t want to miss folk singer and accordion player, Marie-Josee Houle. I’m hoping she’ll perform “Shallow Breathing”.
BUTT-METL-27-SIL40-mRIBB-ECCL-33-LAVBRN1875-m

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Denim Jeans Made by Ryan

Ryan-licious from the second floor of Britex made his jeans in Britex Fabric cotton denim. Notice the insolent fit and the custom “keyhole” stitching rear pocket design. This fabric can be found on the 2nd floor (please call ahead to verify stock).
Ryan's jeans copy

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Tablecloth and Napkin Set with Mitered Corners

Mel made this classic tablecloth and napkin set as a wedding gift. The tablecloth is made of 100% cotton damask, and the coordinating napkins are of 100% white bamboo voile. Mel recommends prewashing the bamboo voile to allow for shrinkage, and mentioned that it presses up like a dream! I love the expert job that Mel did mitering the napkin corners. This set would make any dinner stand out. Both the damask and bamboo voile are available at Britex Fabrics. This fabric can be found on the 2nd floor (please call ahead to verify stock).
Napkins by Mel

Posted: Fabrics, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by Folks at Britex
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