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

Couture Researcher and Britex Fabrics Enthusiast – Dolly McFadden

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Long time Britex Fabrics customer, custom clothing designer, and couture documentarian Dolly McFadden has been sewing couture fashions since her mother taught her to hand sew. “I spent more time ripping things out and pressing them than working with the sewing machine,” she said in the 1990 October/November issue of Threads magazine.

 

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Her research and cataloging of the “Theatre de la Mode” fashion exhibit won the documentary of the same name an Emmy. The exhibit was made up of over 200 one-third scale French mannequins and garments. The Theatre de la Mode was created in 1946 and toured all over the world to raise money for post-war France economic recovery. It was also designed to highlight the French fashion industry. It kept the Paris fashions on the map as the world recovered from the Second World War.

Designers such as Lanvin, Balenciaga, Balmain, Sciaparelli, Patou, and others were represented in the Theatre. Extreme care was taken in the making of each mini-garment, down to trim, buttons, hats and accessories. The result was a true reproduction of the designer’s creations. The collection has been housed at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington, since its last exhibition at the De Young Museum in San Francisco in 1946. McFadden says she feels “So fortunate and grateful to be part of some of these projects.”

 

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McFadden has been shopping at Britex Fabrics over the years, and is considered one of our regular customers. She creates custom clothing designs and teaches couture techniques. Special occasion gowns she has designed over the years include wedding gowns and headpieces, after five dresses, and a variety of one-of-a-kind fashions.

Click here to read more »

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I Love Britex Fabrics

NEW BUTTONS

Announcing free Britex buttons with purchase in our brick and mortar store! A new staff favorite is the new houndstooth one. Collect all six of these awesome buttons. Come in and make a purchase and any one of them can be yours!

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THE Outlander Dress–from Britex Fabrics!

Season 2 of Outlander premiers on Saturday evening, and one of the most iconic new costumes–featured prominently in the Starz official trailer and all over the Internet–is this stunning dress made of fabric from Britex! We were thrilled to work with Outlander costume designer Terry Dresbach, who spent several days here choosing fabrics, trims and buttons for both seasons. Most of the fabrics that she selected were plaids and woolens for Season 1 (set in chilly Scotland), but this particular fabric is such a unique, spectacular combination of color and pattern that we are not surprised to see it emerge in Season 2, set in 18th century Paris.

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This dress is made of a heavy, luxurious furnishing fabric produced in Turkey by one of our favorite sources. Unusually, the floral pattern does not run up the roll, but was designed in panels. Each panel was 27″ square: which meant that there were two panels in each 3/4 yard. We are generally wary of carrying panels like this in the store, because the square design tends to limit application to pillows, ottomans and the like–but we absolutely fell in love with the colors and were confident that our customers would feel the same!

Terry is an incredibly savvy designer, so she turned the panels to her advantage, placing the flowers strategically around the skirt and bodice…and we can’t imagine a more beautiful usage for for one of our favorite fabrics. We’re also proud to mention that Outlander creator Ronald Moore (who happens to be Terry’s husband) says in the Starz trailer that this is his favorite dress!

We no longer have this particular piece in the store (because it took a LOT to make this dress), but we carry other fabrics of similar quality and design from the same source–so come in and take a look!

Expect to hear more from us about Outlander as the season progresses!

Click here to read more »

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We Love Our Customers

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Sue Manuel who is a loyal Britex Fabrics customer stopped in looking for some fabric for a new creation that her dress maker back in Canberra, Australia will be making for her. Our staff immediately noticed the fabulous jacket she was wearing was crafted from our French wool, silk lining, and shiny buttons. Her jacket was designed and made by Gloria Grady, her dress maker in Australia.

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From the Tropics to Buttons on a Winter Coat

Corozo Buttons
The Tagua nut is the seed of a tropical palm that grows in the Northwestern region of South America, starting North of Peru, throughout Ecuador, Columbia, and Southern Panama. Tagua can be made into many beautiful items such as carved figurines, buttons, and other fashion accoutrements. It can be cut, pressed, heated, burned, lasered, bleached, tinted, and polished to phenomenal bright finishes.

The Tagua is found inside a fruit that is approximately one foot in diameter and is covered with hard spikes. After approximately eight months, when the fruit ripens, the liquid part of the fruit that tastes like concentrated cocoa is used as a medicine for kidney problems.

Ironically, the Tagua is found in the tropics, yet often ends up as Corozo buttons on winter coats.

To add some fabulous flair to any winter coat, check out our wide variety of Corozo buttons available online.

 

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Pirate Mania!

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Welcome to Pirate season, maties! With summer slowly rolling in, so is festival season; the states offer a wide array of pirate fair opportunities, including our very own Northern California Pirate Festival. So, take inspiration from Peter Pan, Hook, Clobba Clothing, (and many more!) because Britex is here to help outfit you for the high seas.

Click here to read more »

Posted: Britex Fabric Store, Fabrics, Lace Trims & Ribbon
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all of us here at Britex Fabrics! Enjoy this celebratory day and maybe come in for a peek at our themed items. Everything from luscious double faced Kelly green silk, shamrocked heirloom and eyelet lace, to patches and buttons in shamrock shapes, and glittering Swarovski crystals. But, most of all, we wish you a joyous day and be safe out there on the busy streets!

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Touring Britex After Hours: Britex History Meets Fabrics 101

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Here it is—the much discussed Britex After-Hours Tour. So what happens during these evening hours is no longer a secret. First, visitors are greeted and helped to a fine selection of cheese and an assortment of drinks from white wine to sparkling cider. Geana Sieburger, Britex’s educator and programs gal, leads the tour floor by floor starting with a quick chat about what attracted everyone to the tour. Click here to read more »

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