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

Polka Dot Shirt Dress With Button Placket Tutorial

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My favorite part of the design process is fabric selection. For this new spring shirt dress design, I elected to work with a crisp, luxury cotton shirting fabric by Burberry. To add interest to the overall design, I chose a contrasting hand-dyed blue cotton for the outer cuff layer and glazed marine blue buttons to highlight the polka dot print. Oftentimes, I find button cuffs to be a little restrictive, especially when I want to roll up my sleeves. Thus, I decided to draft a three-quarter sleeve with a full slit cuff for more freedom and less fuss. (Plus, you can still see a peek of the polka dot fabric sewn as the inner cuff layer.)

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In this tutorial, I will discuss how to draft a standard button placket with a straight fold-back facing using a basic shirt sloper (base pattern used as a template to develop patterns). In womenswear, buttonholes are placed on the right-hand side of a garment that closes at the front. Since I am sewing a shirt dress similar to a classic button-up shirt, I will be providing instructions for marking vertical buttonholes – the measurements for horizontal buttonholes are slightly different. In this design, the buttonholes run vertically down the placket, with the buttonhole on the collar stand sewn horizontally.

Click here to read more »

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Simple DIY Suspenders Tutorial

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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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Tutorial — Silk Linen Curved Seam Midi Dress

Silk Linen Curved Seam Midi Dress + Tutorial by Jamie Lau Designs

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In my latest design, I chose to work with a slubby textured silk linen blend. One of my top-selling dresses is a relaxed fit ikat midi dress with short kimono sleeves. I wanted to create a new midi style with three-quarter sleeves in a slightly heavier weight fabric.

 

Click here to read more »

Posted: Fashion Tips, Guest Blogger, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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Tutorial: How to Sew a One-Piece Flat Collar

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For this garment, my goal was to create a color block resort-inspired look. Linen seemed like the perfect choice for a relaxed fit, lowered-waist shirt dress. I chose a midweight blue linen for the primary body of the dress and combined it with a semi-sheer natural linen for the color block elements. I thought that the embroidered polka dots would work great for accent features on the collar, button placket, and skirt and sleeve hems. I most recently wore this dress to my art exhibition in Kyoto, which featured my hand dyed, handwoven, and handsewn kasuri (ikat) fashion designs. Click here to read more »

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2014 Blog Re-Cap: One Eleven Studio

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The 2014 Guest Blogger Re-cap is here—because you’ve probably missed a few pretty amazing projects along the way this year and because we’re so proud of each blogger’s ability to transform Britex fabrics into beautiful garments and accessories. During the next few weeks you’ll be treated to exclusive re-caps of our favorite guest blogger projects. We’ll show you the best of the best from each of our guest bloggers with all their individual style.

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Let’s see…we have bloggers contributing from Australia, Canada, Portland (OR), Chicago, Brooklyn and around Northern California (of course). Today’s featured blogger is from across the continent where the sun always shines, except for when it pours. Tori of One Eleven Studio is a bag maker from Florida with a love for simple design and quality textiles. Click here to read more »

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Tutorial: Knit a Loop Scarf with Fabric

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Kika Knaup led an awesome workshop last week that left several—locals and non-locals—wishing they could have joined us. We decided to pull out our camera and document the process so that anyone could give this easy project a try. Please keep in mind that this tutorial does not teach the basics of knitting—though we have linked to some helpful videos. This tutorial will show you just how simple it is to knit almost anything using fabric strips! Let’s get started…

Materials:
1/2 to 1 yard of two different fabrics – soft knits recommended
scissors or rotary cutter
knitting needles size 35 or 50

IMG_1497 Click here to read more »

Posted: Classes, Events & Shows, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Knitting & Crocheting, Projects, Tutorial
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