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Boho Autumn Jacket

Wednesday, 16 September 2015 10:12:46 Europe/London

What could be better in this weather than a snuggly quilted jacket? If you find some inspiring prints and the right pattern you could make this fabulous jacket your next make. Read more about Manju's wonderful make...

Vogue 7975 quilted cotton version 

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Manju's Tuxedo jacket

Monday, 20 April 2015 14:29:30 Europe/London

Every occasion dress needs a jacket for later on if it gets chilly, or just in case you fancy covering up. Finding the perfect jacket that suits all occasions and is suitable for all types of events is often very tricky. Unles....you make your own like Manju did. This fantastic jacket looks amazing with her self made silk dress, and we think would work will with any outfit. Read more from Manju, below.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket: White Tree Fabrics Project

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Hi Friends,

First of all thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post. At the end of that post I said I had made a jacket to go with the dress. Well, not exactly to go with the dress. But I felt a smart dress like that needed a smart jacket that I could throw over it if necessary. So, as my next White Tree Fabrics project, I decided to make a black satin tuxedo style jacket from Vogue 8958.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

I have to say that the satin is very hard to photograph without showing it as being incredibly wrinkled. I promise you, in real life it doesn’t look that bad!

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

White Tree Fabrics very generously supplied me with the pattern, this premium duchess satin and this premium viscose lining. I prewashed all the fabrics before sewing and I can testify they wash and sew beautifully and the end product looks very high quality.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket – Inside Lining

The Vogue pattern itself is a great pattern to have in your stash. I think it is their take on the Le Smoking tuxedo jacket first shown by YSL in 1966. It’s just a classic pattern and I would love to make up view D sometime in a crepe. It also features 2 piece sleeves which give a great shape and are very comfortable to wear:

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket - two piece sleeve

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket – two piece sleeve

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket - flap and button detail.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket – flap and button detail.

I have quite a bit to say on the pattern: see below for full details.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: 
Fitted, lined vest or jacket has collar variations, shoulder pads, princess seams and front button closing. A: button trim. B: flaps. C and D: side front pockets. BC and D: two-piece sleeves.

I made view B.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes – although I did some of my own things.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished fit (see notes below!), the two piece sleeves and the overall shape. Nothing to dislike as such.
Fabric Used:
Duchess Satin (not silk) outer with viscose lining.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
First thing to say is that I reckon there is about 3 – 4 inches of ease in this pattern. As I figured I would only be wearing this jacket to more evening type events over a thin blouse or dress I decided to size down by one size.

I think the instructions call for sew in interfacing? (Can’t actually remember now). I used iron on knit fusible interfacing. In addition to interfacing the jacket facing, flaps and under collar as per the instructions I interfaced all the hems and also fused a back stay.

I added a pleat to the lining at centre back.

I added 1/4 inch extra height to the armholes of the lining at the front, back and sleeves to allow more ease with the lining.

I shortened the sleeves by 3 inches.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment.

I bagged out the lining. The pattern has you bagging out the body: don’t see why Vogue couldn’t have just gone one step further and instructed you how to bag out the entire jacket?
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would like to sew view D sometime. Yes, I recommend, although this jacket is rated as easy and I thought there was quite a bit of work involved: it did take me a while to sew up.
Conclusion:

I am severely lacking in smart jackets in my wardrobe, so I am very glad to have this one as a start. I wore it over skinny jeans and a silk top (to blog soon!) on Friday night to a local fashion show and was very pleased with how it felt and looked.

Until soon and have a great week ahead.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Comments | Posted in WhiteTree Blog Team Bloggers Creations By Lisa Washington

Pretty in Lilac Lace!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015 09:22:29 Europe/London

We're so pleased to bring you another fabulous lace creation, this one is from our lovely blogger Manju and features a very adorable model - maju's daughter Kezia. We love this make, which features one of our best-selling, most affordable laces.

   GBSB Lace Challenge

 

GBSB LACE CHALLENGE

McCalls 6829: DIY Girls Lace Peplum Top #GBSB

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top
McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

Hello Readers,

Who’s been watching Series 3 of the Great British Sewing Bee then? Wasn’t it great? Without giving too much away, the theme for the week was “sewing with challenging fabrics”, one of them being lace. The lace featured in todays post wasn’t sewn up by any of the contestants (I don’t think), but I think I did spot it for a few seconds being handled by Debra? Anyway, this lace is a very reasonably priced corded lace fabric in lilac, from White Tree Fabrics. White Tree Fabrics asked if I would make something up in this fabric to compliment their laces being featured on the program and I was happy to do so.

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

The pattern I have used is McCalls 6829 which is sadly now discontinued (although some sites still appear to be selling it). This is one of the Fashion Star patterns, and although, personally I don’t think the envelope photographs do it much favour, it is lovely when made up.

I made view B, but basically decided Kezia has too many party dresses, and a top might be more practical. So I cut the skirt off at 8 inches to make a peplum top. I cut a size 7, but ended up removing a total of about 3 inches from the side seams.

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top
McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

This top is fully underlined (except the yokes) and lined using this aubergine light weight satin (currently reduced to 50% of the original price!) The yokes were cut from this lilac shimmer mesh. I added a sparkly button from my button jar.

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top

The fabrics were easy to cut and work with, although I did use a microtex needle to sew through the satin.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
CHILDREN’S/GIRLS’ DRESSES: Lined dresses (cut on the grosgrain) have raised waist, pleated skirt and tie ends, ruffles attached to lining, back-button, loop (elastic) and zipper. A: overlay, sleeves and narrow hem. B: underlined, yokes, purchased flowers, trim and ribbon for tie ends. Designed for lightweight woven fabrics. SUGGESTED FABRICS: Satin, Linen, Peau de Soie; A – Contrast (Overbodice): Single Edged Scalloped Lace. B – Lace. B – Contrast (Yoke): Organza. Ruffle – Netting

I made a slightly modified version of View B.

Pattern Sizing:
3 – 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, except I made a peplum top rather than a dress.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Nothing to dislike. I love the finished product.

Fabric Used:
A corded polyester lace, a shimmer mesh for the yokes and a lightweight satin to underline and line.

All fabrics were supplied by White Tree Fabrics as a promotion to tie in with this lace being featured on series 3 of the Great British Sewing Bee.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I cut a size 7 for my 6 year old daughter and removed 3 inches in total from the side seams. I cut the skirt pattern off at 8 inches to create a peplum. Next time I might lengthen this slightly. She’s tall :-)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes! I think this is such a cute top and I could definitely see me making this again in fun cottons for the summer. Yes, if you can get this pattern (it’s now discontinued), I would recommend. It is perhaps a little bit of an older look, but made in cottons I think it will be very cute.

Conclusion:
My daughter’s very pleased with this. It’s perfect to dress up jeans or leggings but still practical to let her play rough and tumble at parties.

 

McCalls 6829: lace peplum top


Manju's Navy Lace Party Dress

Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:18:11 Europe/London

We love this gorgeous Navy lace Party dress, which proves that not every party calls for a little black dress! 

Navy Lace Dress

McCalls 6989: navy and black lace dress with cuffed sleeves

This dress is my latest make for White Tree Fabrics. They provided the fabric and the pattern (of my selection). Whilst I genuinely do love the lace, I am not so sure about the pattern itself. Here’s the lowdown!

The pattern is McCalls 6989, which is a Melissa Watson pattern for Palmer and Pletsch. Here’s the line drawings:

McCalls 6989: line drawings

McCalls 6989: line drawings

The sleeves are, without doubt, my favourite part of the dress. They are actually a two part sleeve that is designed to sew in with no ease. I french seamed the sleeve pieces and used a recycled diamante button I had in my stash.

McCalls 6989: navy and black lace dress with cuffed sleeves

McCalls 6989: navy and black lace dress with cuffed sleeves

McCalls 6989: navy and black lace dress with cuffed sleeves

McCalls 6989: navy and black lace dress with cuffed sleeves

The rest of the pattern….I am a bit….meh about.

The bodice is designed with armhole princess seams. Obviously, I didn’t do a muslin (I hate doing muslins and will generally tissue fit where possible). I did a two stage FBA using Fit for Real People, adding 1.25 inches to the front piece, and 1 inch to the side panel (does that sound a lot?) Yep. The bodice ended up huge, and I removed 2 inches from either side seam (i.e. 4 inches in total!) I also dropped the apex point by 2 inches.

McCalls 6989: navy and black lace dress with cuffed sleeves

McCalls 6989: navy and black lace dress with cuffed sleeves

So, also, in case you’re wondering, I swapped the skirt out for a pleated skirt. The main reason for this was I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the skirt as in the pattern. I actually think that skirt would have been nicer. I ended up shortening the skirt by 2 inches and further shortening the bodice by about 0.5 – 1.5 inches. Philip pointed out to me that the skirt does seem to be dipping low in the front and I think he’s probably right. Sigh.

I also inserted an invisible zipper and cut the fabric on the cross-grain so that I could use the scalloped edge as the hem of the skirt.

McCalls 6989: navy and black lace dress with cuffed sleeves

McCalls 6989: navy and black lace dress with cuffed sleeves

The lace fabric is a cotton leaf flower lace in navy. It is a lightweight netted lace which is beautiful. The whole dress (except the sleeves) is underlined (not lined) with lightweight black satin. I am not going to lie. When I initally tried to sew the satin with a regular needle it snagged terribly, so I switched to a Schmetz microtex needle after which there was no problem. I overlocked all the seams inside. 
 

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Dresses have collar band, princess seams, semi-fitted bodice, raised waist, and back zipper. A: self-lined sleeves. B and C: collar, two-piece sleeves gathered into button cuffs with seam opening. C: bodice cut on crosswise grain and skirt on bias grain.

Pattern Sizing:

6 – 22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

The bodice part, yes. Due to fabric constraints I swapped the skirt out for a pleated skirt. I think it would look better with the gored skirt in the pattern.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes and no. The sewing instructions are fine. The fitting instructions (this is a Palmer and Pletsch pattern) were a little strange. No instructions on how to do an FBA, although the lines are marked on the pattern. I would have thought that would have been the most common adjustment sewers would make? But there is no guidance on it. Also, note, no body measurements are included on the pattern instruction sheets (only on the envelope flap), and there is no mention of needing buttons on the notions section of the envelope.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

My favourite part of the dress is the two piece sleeves which set in with no ease and the button cuffs. I am not sure about the rest of the dress…(including the high neckline on me).

Fabric Used:

All fabrics were provided by White Tree Fabrics. I used a navy cotton lace underlined with a lightweight black satin.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I did a two stage FBA using Fit for Real People, adding 1.25 inches to the front piece, and 1 inch to the side panel (does that sound a lot?) Yep. The bodice ended up huge, and I removed 2 inches from either side seam (i.e. 4 inches in total!) I also dropped the apex point by 2 inches and did a 1 inch sway back adjustment. As  mentioned above, Due to fabric constraints I swapped the skirt out for a pleated skirt. I think it would look better with the gored skirt in the pattern. I don’t think the front is hanging straight with the back. The question is, can I be bothered to go back and adjust it? :-) I did end up shortening the skirt by 2 inches and shortening the bodice by 0.5 – 1.5 inches.

 
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

You  know, I might sew it again, with the collar perhaps? I think it has potential….for me, it needs more work. I would recommend with caution! Hey, we are all individual…it might work brilliantly for you.

Conclusion:

I wore this dress on christmas eve and I felt comfortable in it and I didn’t feel bad wearing it. Maybe with time/ an adjusment to the front to get it evened up I might love it a little more!


1 Comments | Posted in WhiteTree Blog Team Bloggers Creations By Lisa Washington

Manju's Missoni Knit Dress

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 11:41:05 Europe/London

I'm not sure what happened to the 'hottest August on record' that we were promised, but I think it's safe to say that Autumn is well and truly on the way. Very soon, we'll be packing away our lovely light cottons in favour of fabrics that keep us that little bit warmer. Our lovely blogger Manju has already made a start by selecting one of our knitted fabrics, along with a power mesh for the lining, layering up ready for cooler weather. We absolutely love the result, which we think is stunning. Take a look at the full make below and see if this gets you inspired to start your Autumn sewing projects.

Sew Manju

It may be hard to believe but I think, at least in my corner of the world, that summer is over. We have had very heavy rain and strong winds for the last few days and it already feels like autumn is here. I may be being pessimistic, but that’s why the boots and tights.

But forget all that. I am so ready to start with the autumn sewing (although I have two summer tops left to blog about in the next week or so), but today I have got what I think is the perfect transition weight dress.

First of all I have to announce that I am now part of the White Tree Fabrics Blogging Team. What an honour to be picked. They have some beautiful fabrics, including  this gorgeous Missoni knit lace fabric on their site. This fabric is virtually weightless when you wear it. It has the most beautiful sheen to it, and a subtle silver metallic thread running through it, which is very hard to photograph. But trust me when I say you will not regret buying this fabric. It is a very classy classic!

Manju Missoni Knit Dress

Let’s talk about the pattern. The pattern used is Vogue 1386, by Sandra Betzina. This dress couldn’t be simpler to sew. It has two pieces. That’s it. There are no zips or buttons, no sleeves to insert, and no darts to sew. It has a cowl neck to the front and a simple facing for the back neckline (which is stayed with seam tape; I also chose to stay tape the front cowl). There is a pattern piece included to sew a little bag which contains a weight to help the cowl neck drape properly. The fabric behaved beautifully on my machine and overlocker alike. I sewed all the seams on my machine  first and then finished edges on my overlocker. I finished hems on my overlocker then turned and stitched in place.

Missoni Knit Dress

I cut the pattern pieces in a single layer in an attempt to pattern match. I think I could have done a bit better but I won’t lose sleep over it :-) I am not a Missoni expert (this is my first time sewing with it), so if there are any experts out there feel free to chime in, but this particular fabric had the stripes running parallel to the selvedge. So I cut the entire dress on the cross grain. Is all Missoni fabric made this way I wonder? Anyway, because I am only 5’3″ and shortened the pattern so much (see below), I was able to cut the pieces on the cross grain, but if you are taller you may struggle…...

The pattern comes with pattern pieces to sew a self lined pull on slip, which I made using power mesh, again, from White Tree Fabrics. This slip is just brilliant, and although the bodice is slightly too long (I lengthened it; see below), it’s not going to stop me wearing this lots I suspect. It’s again so comfortable and lightweight and you really need the black underneath this fabric to bring out the richness of the colours.

Missoni Knit Dress

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:

Tunic or dress (semi-fitted through bust) has weighted tab forming front neckline drape, and narrow hem. Close-fitting, self-lined slip has raised waist and unfinished hemline. All are pullover.

I made the dress from view B and the slip from view D.

Pattern Sizing:

Bust 32 – 55 inches and hips 34.5 – 57 inches.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes, but I shortened my version dramatically (I lost almost 10 inches off the bottom of the pattern!) and added a ribbon belt to the dress.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

The dress pattern has two pieces. That’s it. There are no zips or buttons, no sleeves to insert, and no darts to sew.I am very happy with the finished dress. I would advise checking the length before cutting out to save precious fabric. The slip pattern is also a brilliant basic pattern to have in your stash. It is fully self lined and very comfortable. It would also make a cute nightdress pattern.
Fabric Used:

A gorgeous Missoni knit lace fabric with a subtle silver thread running through it for the dress, and power mesh for the slip, both from White Tree Fabrics. The dress fabric was cut on the cross grain.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I stay taped the front cowl to avoid it stretching out over time (there is a small weight sewn to the front to aid drape; pattern piece included to stitch weight bag).

I shortened the dress and slip pattern pieces by 7 inches. Yes, this pattern is drafted for a giant! :-) I ended up removing a further 3 inches from the dress hem before hemming.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment to the dress and slip.

I added 1.5 inches to the front of the slip but also added this to the back. Too much. Not unwearably so, but next time I would reduce this.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Maybe and yes.

Conclusion:

I love my Missoni knit dress. I can see this being a wardrobe staple for me this autumn and moving forward in to winter it is the perfect layering piece too.

Missoni Dress


Comments | Posted in Bloggers Creations By Lisa Washington

Meet our bloggers - Manju

Tuesday, 1 July 2014 12:00:01 Europe/London

WhiteTree fabrics are delighted to welcome Manju Nittala to the WhiteTree Blogging Team.

Manju

 

Manju lives in Carlisle and is married to Philip and has a daughter, Kezia. Philip and Kezia occasionally make appearances on her blog (when she isn’t selfish sewing!)

Manju has a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences, and worked in drug research and development and then drug registration before deciding to have a career break in 2012. She is currently a stay at home mum, who doesn’t regret her decision to support her family because it gives her lots of sewing time! However, she is contemplating going back to part time work soon.

Manju believes that being a stay at home mum doesn’t mean you should lose your sense of style. She likes to sew fun, fashionable garments that are easy to look after and fit in with her lifestyle and also likes to challenge and broaden her sewing skills, sewing a variety of different fabrics. Her favourite garment to sew is a dress.

You can follow Manju's sewing adventures over at her blog.

Sew Manju

Comments | Posted in WhiteTree Blog Team By Lisa Washington
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