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Katie's Orange Tee

Thursday, 5 March 2015 12:40:40 Europe/London

One thing WhiteTree fabrics are proud of is our extensive selection of laces. Stretch, rigid, with a scalloped selvedge, without, floral, geometric, all different colours and designs.....we have over 700 designs to choose from. So when we saw that The Greart British Sewing Bee were going to be featuring a Pencil skirt challenge where the contestants had to work with lace, we reached out to our bloggers and challenged them to make a garment of their choice, the only rule being that that had to work with lace too.  Katie chose our corded Burnt Orange Lace. Take a look at the gorgeous results below.

 GBSB Lace Challenge

GBSB Lace Challenge

Great British Sewing Bee Orange Lace Tee

When White Tree invited its blogger network to pick a lace fabric to celebrate the lace week (episode 5 of GBSB), it didn't take me long to pick my favourite. I went for this Burnt Orange corded lace because the colour is so beautiful and, being quite inexperienced in sewing lace, I thought a more rigid lace would be easier to deal with.

Great British Sewing Bee Orange Lace Tee

It's fabulous quality with a corded flower design set on a firm net background, though still with a bit of give for wearing comfort. The selvedge is edged in scallops, which I was determined to use as part of the design.

Great British Sewing Bee Orange Lace Tee

To show off the lace I picked a simple T-shirt pattern - the Salme pleated t-shirt. I did plan to add the pleats initially, but decided against it in the end as I wanted the lace pattern to be the star of the show. I made sure to line up the bodice and sleeve hems against the selvedge to be able to use the scallops for the edges.

Great British Sewing Bee Orange Lace Tee

I was going to underline the lace in a matching coloured cotton originally, but I like the idea of being able to wear different coloured camisoles underneath for different effects - I think it looks equally nice with dark and light colours underneath.

Great British Sewing Bee Orange Lace Tee

I wanted the seams to be as inconspicuous as possible, so after sewing the seams with a plain straight stitch I cut the seam allowances down to about 5mm and finished the raw edges together with a small zig zag (the fabric barely frays at all anyway). The neckline is simply turned and hemmed and of course there was no hemming required on the cuffs and bottom hem! This tee feels really luxurious yet easy to wear too. Be sure to tune in to episode 5 of the GBSB to see what one of the contestants did with this very same fabric!

Katie's Little Black (not a) Dress

Thursday, 4 September 2014 17:03:02 Europe/London

Katie's second make for WhiteTree fabrics is a wonderful two piece set made from our Black lawn embroidery fabric that we absolutely love! You might be forgiven for thinking that this material is for Summer only and certainly, the white colourway is perfect for sunnier weather. However, the black colourway lends itself perfectly to Autumn and Winter garments, with the help of some lining. 

Over to Katie.


Is it a dress?

No, it’s a two-piece-set-acular! Instagram convinced me to give this route a go for a change from frocks, along with the ever-inspiring Sophie whose two-piece makes have been especially stunning. This is also my second White Tree Fabrics make, and I used their cotton broderie lawn (check out Sam’s frilled blazer made with the same stuff) and power mesh. Both of these fabrics are tip-top quality and brilliant to work with, so it was a real joy to put together this little ensemble which had been buzzing round in my head for a while.

Katie two piece

The top is a Grainline Scout tee, the only tweak being the hem shortened and straightened off so I could lay it along the fabric’s scalloped selvedge. Due to the pattern’s cut, it still gets that pleasing dipped-hem effect because the top tilts to the back a little. This is a new length for me – I tend to go longish with tops – but I actually love it. It sits just on the waistband of most of my jeans and happily tucks into higher waisted things, making it nice and versatile. The lawn weight cotton teamed with the slightly oversize shape is really light and comfy to wear.

Katie tee & leggings

The eyelets in the broderie are pretty small so there isn’t much peekaboo-factor: I opted to just underline around the bust with the power mesh for a bit of extra coverage in that area. (This is very similar to the stuff I lined my Anna and Centauree in, and White Tree has it in a load of colours.) It’s French seamed throughout and the neckline is finished with narrow bias binding, very tidily if I say so myself. I’ve been reaching for this top over and over since I finished it; black is so easy to wear.

Katie skirt

Here’s the skirt on its own, as I wore it for a family lunch at the weekend (with a RTW Topshop top that I couldn’t resist). I’ve been hankering after trying this sheer hem strip thing ever since seeing Fiona’s organza addition to her Anna-lotte.

To retain the scalloped edge I cut the edge off in a 3″ wide strip and and sandwiched it back together with a strip of power mesh, using the overlocker so as to neatly finish the seam in one swoop. 

Katie skirt detail

It’s self-drafted, by which I mean it’s literally just a wide tapered rectangle gathered into an elastic waistband. I used this fab plush-backed wide elastic for the waistband. New favourite thing alert! It’s so comfy to wear and easy to install – I just cut a length to my waist measurement and topstitched it to the overlocked skirt edge, pulling the elastic taut to gather it as I did so. I’m keen to try the same stuff on a pair of slouchy pants soon. The skirt’s also fully lined with another layer of power mesh for coverage.

To be honest I’m not sure I’ll ever wear them together like this as I find all-over black a bit draining on me, but they do work! I generally find it much easier to plan and sew dresses, since I’m usually more inspired by dress silhouettes than skirts and tops. I feel a bit like I tricked myself into sewing separates here by thinking of them as a single project and considering how they’d work both together and separately. The upshot is I have two brilliant new wardrobe basics that are still a bit special.


Shop for the fabrics below:

Black Lawn Embroidery ► here

Power Mesh Lining ► here


Comments | Posted in Bloggers Creations By Lisa Washington

Katie's Cardi

Monday, 7 July 2014 16:50:53 Europe/London

We were so pleased to be able to welcome Katie Marcus to our Blog Team. Not only is her blog wonderfully professional looking, but it's crammed full of top quality sewing projects and some truly amazing handmade clothing.  When Katie chose our warm jersey to work with, we were very excited to see what she would create with it. The answer was a fantastic cardigan that's perfect for cooler summer evenings and is the ideal way to wrap up when the sun goes down.  Here's Katie's make in full.

cardi 1 

I’m very behind on photographing and sharing finished projects again (the old work effect, sigh), so this snuggly cardi is no longer very seasonally appropriate thanks to the lovely London sun we’ve been having lately. But it’s still a handy wardrobe builder and great for throwing over a dress or cami when the temperature dips. It’s a Style Arc Simone cardigan in Warm Jersey, which was kindly sent to me by White Tree Fabrics.

cardi 2

I was going to make another Julia initially but decided to try the Simone, mostly because pockets. I’m – eh – moderately happy with the pattern. I agree mostly with this Pattern Review post that the drape is not like how I expected from the diagram. It hangs very heavily and rather sticks out around the hips, one place where I really don’t need any extra weight! The pockets are made by sewing a large dart in the front then folding it to the side seam, so you have six layers folded up in the hem which obviously makes it quite bulky. A lighter knit that the one I used is recommended, so maybe that would help. The instructions are typically brief but easy enough. There’s one error to be aware of: you need to cut two neck binding bands and seam them at the CB (the instructions have you cut only one which obviously isn’t long enough).

cardi 3

Chunky pockets aside, the fit it pretty good. It’s a bit longer than I expected, ending below the bum on me when I was hoping for mid-hip. You can’t shorten it from the hem because of the pockets, so next time I would take a couple of inches length out from around the waistline.

cardi 4

The Warm Jersey fabric is a finely-knitted poly/elastane mix with a heathered effect from different coloured strands. Isn’t the colour just gorgeous? It matches both my living room and my blog! It comes in more scrummy muted colours too – redbrowngreyblue (and Erin just used the richer aubergine purple for a hoodie). As the name suggests, it’s very soft and cosy and has a beautiful drape. I definitely snuggled in it like a blanket while deciding what to make it into. It was also great to work with – my overlocker and sewing machine both loved it. Despite being a proper knitted-looking knit it doesn’t fray or get fluff everywhere and it’s sturdy enough to not stretch all over the place when being cut and stitched.


The fabric behaved beautifully for the neck binding and I love how polished it looks – almost like a slim blazer lapel. There’s clear elastic in the shoulder seam to support the weight. One more change I would make next time is to hem the main cardigan before adding the neckband with the short edges pre-finished, because it feels a bit odd to me to have the hem going right over the band.

cardigan seams

I think it looks best on me with the pockets shoved to the back, not hanging around the front in its slightly weird trapezium-shaped way. It will definitely get plenty of wear this summer and beyond, and I might make it again with the fitting tweaks I mentioned as I do like the style. Obviously, the grey warm jersey is calling my name for next time.

warm jersey caridgan

We love what Katie did with the warm jersey fabric, and we look forward to seeing what she does for her next project!

You can shop Katie's project here.

Cardigan material here ► Product code 0709, Warm Jersey Fabric 

Waterfall cardigan sewing pattern ► Vogue V8839

Batwing cardigan sewing pattern ► Vogue V8796

Comments | Posted in Bloggers Creations By Lisa Washington

Meet our Bloggers - Katie

Thursday, 22 May 2014 10:22:53 Europe/London

WhiteTree fabrics are delighted to welcome Katie Marcus to the WhiteTree Blogging Team.


Katie is a North-London-living web designer by day and a sewist by night. Other than sewing, she loves travelling, good (veggie) food and her two lovely cats. This year Katie has already been to Israel, Panama and Ecuador and has managed to fabric shop in each one! 

Katie first learned to sew as a teenager - her mum made soft furnishings and Katie bought myself an overlocker and used it to refashion band t-shirts.She rediscovered the hobby only last year but has quickly become quite obsessed with building the perfect handmade wardrobe.

Her favourite things to sew are slouchy trousers, dresses with pockets and anything out of knit fabrics. Katie's also a bit obsessed with making the perfect-fitting jeans! You can follow along with that and her other sewing adventures at

We're excited to see Katie's first project for WhiteTree.


katie 3

Comments | Posted in WhiteTree Blog Team By Lisa Washington
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