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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!

Free Historical Costume Patterns

Have you ever wanted to create an historically accurate bathing suit, corset, or an Elizabethan dress? With the rise in popularity of historical fiction period piece shows and films, it’s no wonder that there are hundreds of historical costume patterns available online for free.
www.costumingdiary.com has an entire collection of free historical costume patterns including Medieval, Elizabethan, and Victorian. Just one click on this page, and you will find a link to hundreds of other patterns.

 

1920 bathing suit

 

There is a pattern for a gentleman’s sack shirt from 1907, a corset from 1911, a bra from 1910, a young girl’s kilted suit from 1876, a boy’s Russian blouse costume from 1905, a gown from the Italian Renaissance, a 1950’s petticoat, and even a pattern for drawers and knickerbockers, as well as a really awesome women’s bathing suit project from the 1920’s that has no pattern at all.

 

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The variety of free patterns available is amazing, and these are just a few examples that have been compiled on www.costumingdiary.com.
Click here to read more »

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We Love Our Customers

Our customer Carla visited us in December and picked out a fabulous Italian Silk Cotton blend fabric. She was looking for fabric for a creation that she wanted to take on her vacation in February. The fabric she decided on screamed “tunic” to her, so she modified the Burda 6935 pattern, which she picked up the same day,  created a hi low hem, and added a pom-pom fringe and neck and shoulder trim to create a fun and breezy feel. The colors went perfectly with the waters of the Caribbean. She had fun wearing it and showing it off on the Island of Mustique.

 

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Simple DIY Suspenders Tutorial

SUSPENDERS TUTORIAL SUPPLIES LIST
A simple way to make suspenders with seven items, in only eight easy steps.

What You Will Need


1. Elastic
(no wider than 1″)

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2. 4 Straight Pins

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3. Needle and Thread

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4. One 1″ Metal Back Patch

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5. 1 Garment Tape Measure

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6. Scissors

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7. Four 1″ Grips With Brackets

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STEP 1: With the tape measure, measure from 1 inch below your left front pant loop, bring the tape measure over your left shoulder and down to 1 inch below and to the right of your center pant loop, or 1 inch below your right back pant loop. This is the length of elastic you will need. Be sure to cut 2 strips of the elastic in this length.

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STEP 2: With the scissors, cut 2 straps from the elastic in the length you measured in step 1.

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STEP 3: Use the straight pins to pin a horizontal line to hold the elastic end around the grip, making sure that when the grips are clipped onto your

pants, the elastic is snug but comfortable.

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STEP 4: Hand sew the end of the elastic so that it’s around one of the grip ends. (This will be the back right end)

STEP 5: Take the end of the elastic that is not yet sewn, and put it through the metal back patch, so that the point of the triangle is facing up.

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STEP 6: Sew the unfinished side so that it’s around a second grip end.

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STEP 7: Take the second strap of elastic and repeat steps 3-5, making sure both straps of elastic form an overlapping X.

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STEP 8: Trim off most of the excess elastic that remains, clip on all 4 grips.

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DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Idea: Aprons

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We here at Britex have one last Valentine’s gift idea for you. The people over at Momtastic put together instructions for a lovely heart pocket apron that requires less than a yard of canvas fabric. Come check out what we still have in stock! Gems like the popart cotton pictured above won’t last long.

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DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Idea: Bowties

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Don’t settle for the same, mass produced Valentine’s Day chocolates and cards as everyone else this year – join Britex Fabrics in celebrating this season of love and self-love by making gifts for your loved ones yourself. In the first of a multi-part series of counting down to Valentine’s Day, we pulled a simple DIY bowtie tutorial from our archives. Just click on the links to download the free pattern and instructions. Sure to charm the socks off your sartorially minted significant other, make a bold statement this Valentine’s Day with a present that’s already bow-tied to present. Britex Fabrics’ online store carries all the bow tie hardware you’ll need!

 

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Fancy party skirt by Nicole!

 

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With the holidays coming up, surely there are a few parties to attend, right? The iridescent magenta-black color of this stunning silk taffeta is so joyous and opulent that I knew it had to be a sassy, swingy skirt for an evening fête! When the fabric arrived, I was surprised by how stiff, yet light, the taffeta was. My experience with taffeta is pretty limited, so I knew I had a challenge on my hands!

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For the pattern, I used Sewaholic’s Hollyburn skirt really only as a jump-off point. First off, I removed the pockets. This is the opposite of what I typically do, but I knew the style wouldn’t look quite right with pockets (the sacrifices we make for fashion!) Second, I increased the circumference of the skirt hem by about 18″ by slashing and spreading the front and back pieces. With the stiffness of the fabric, I felt like more weight would help it drape and increase the drama.

Click here to read more »

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Workshop Alert December 19 – Fashion Design w/ Jamie Lau

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Calling all fashionistas and fashion enthusiasts! Have you ever wanted to learn real world fashion skills from a full-time designer? Well, now is your chance. Jamie Lau, of Jamie Lau Designs, will be here on December 19th to show you the basics for beginning a successful move into the world of fashion. She will cover starter fashion drawing techniques, creating mood boards for color selection, and will help with fabric awareness. Students will have access to croquis (fashion figure templates), colored pencils, and markers for sketching. In addition, you will also create inspirational mood boards using magazine tears, fabric swatches, and collage.

 

Because space is limited, we encourage you to sign-up right away! See our events page for information on reserving your spot.

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How to Sew Wool knit with Lace overlay w/Nicole!

Wool knit Linden with lace overlay

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I was won over by the Linden sweatshirt, designed by fellow Guest Blogger Jen from Grainline Studios, after making it in a sporty quilted fabric. But the wheels started turning immediately, and I felt like a lace-overlay version would take this basic wardrobe staple up a couple of notches.

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As luck would have it, I was due for my next project with Britex working with one of their amazing knits! After working hard to narrow down the choices, I decided on this beautiful medium-weight wool knit fabric, in an extra-dark loden (almost black) color. I’m a sucker for pale pink, so this cotton-blend lace was the perfect contrast. The image below shows how nicely this wool drapes. Very luxurious!

Click here to read more »

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Father’s Day DIY Gift Ideas

We know that sometimes the special guys in our lives can be difficult to gift. After hunting the stores, for what can feel like ages, it’s normal to feel down-trodden or uninspired. It’s always the same stuff! Well, we did some hunting and have compiled a list (with corresponding in-store items) of our favorite DIY Father’s Day gifts.

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Click here to read more »

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Tutorial: Silk Slip with Small Bust Adjustment

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Hello!  Nicole at Home, here.  Even with the onset of colder weather in California, I’ve not wanted to give up on wearing dresses.  But tights with dresses, and the static that clings them together, make me completely crazy.  So, with an opportunity to use some of Britex’s beautiful silks, I just had to make a slip.   Click here to read more »

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