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Cotton Lottie's

Monday, 1 June 2015 12:01:41 Europe/London

If there is one person out there who has perfected the Lottie Blouse, it has to be Amanda! Not content with sewing up a whole collection of Lottie's for her own wardrobe, she has now turned her talents to helping her mum expand her wardrobe too! 3 Lotties and counting.....

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

Satin & Lace

Thursday, 28 May 2015 12:45:09 Europe/London

Satin and lace are the perfect fabric combination to create classic, elegant occasion and evening wear. Here's what happened when Maria put the two together.

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

Amanda's Rosie & Jim Dress

Monday, 11 May 2015 09:53:46 Europe/London

When we added some lovely, affordable Spring/Summer cotton prints to the collection, we weren't suprirsed to find Amanda being one of the first to order some! Since she ordered this fabric and published her blog post, sales for this gorgeous design have rapidly increased. Take a look below at her beautiful dress and you'll see why!

The Rosie and Jim Dress


I bought this beautiful fabric from White Tree Fabrics. I often blog for them and they send me beautiful fabric to make whatever I choose. This time though, I decided to make the most of my 20% off code (SEWDEPUTY) and bought two metres of this cotton.


It just had to be a Summer Ruby. When it arrived, I draped it on my mannequin and everytime I walked past it reminded me of when my children were little and watched a programme called Rosie and Jim. They were a little boy and a little girl who lived in a barge with Duck. Ginny  (@sweetmyrtle) was reminiscing along with me and sent the photo of Rosie and Jim ……who still live in her house!   

We decided I really did need a barge for the photo shoot and a barbecue for  my nephew’s birthday at my sister’s house in York gave me an opportunity to get some boat shots! 

Here are the twirling shots!



I used the Simple Sew Ruby dress pattern and added the concealed zip down the centre back. I used the fabric to make some bias binding to edge the sleeves.


As you can see we have some very mixed weather again and the River Ouse is very high today.


We even managed to find a solitary duck for the photo shots! 


I managed to find some waving passengers on a boat trip! Blog Manager was not impressed!!

She needed a mango smoothie and pain au raisin after all the river bank strolling and stress of her Mother waving at random people!


Pattern : Simple Sew Ruby Dress

Notions: 16inch concealed zip

Fabric : 2 metres from White Tree Fabrics

Wonky Factor: 9/10 maybe a little too short! 


Thanks to Amanda for letting us share this make with you!

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

Amanda's Liberty Blouse

Thursday, 23 April 2015 11:50:29 Europe/London

Liberty Wildflowers is our best-selling Liberty fabric. Our blogger Amanda simply couldn't resist buying some for herself and she has been kind enough to let us share her blog post with you all.


The Liberty Alan

It was my Dad’s birthday on Saturday and so the treat is always morning coffee in our nearest Bettys. If you follow my blog you will know how often I visit! It is a quintessential English tea rooms. He is called Alan, hence ‘The Liberty Alan’ and he collects old cameras. Here he is, showing off the birthday gift. 


I know I keep making Lottie blouses, but my excuse is…they really are lovely to wear, I feel smart even when casual and they really show off the fabric.  After sewing my other blouses – The Lawn Lottie and The Feathers- (remember I cut out three waiting to take the Blog Manager to the bus to Rome!!?!) and loving them so much, I decided I was an expert and could certainly make a space in my wardrobe for a Liberty classic.


It was a gorgeous Spring day walking to Bettys and so could not resist the daffodil cluster for a few Liberty Wildflower themed shots! 

I bought the Wild Flower Liberty fabric from White Tree fabrics. I just bought one metre and you may have noticed (those eagle eyed followers!) that the bow is slightly shorter on this Lottie.



Despite only buying a metre, I still had enough to make my own bias binding- I know May Martin would be so proud!! So I decided again to let it show on the edge of my sleeves. What is this called??!? I did it on The Feathers too and liked how the fabric is in a different direction, just an added extra! 


I really loved sewing this fabric, it is like the Rolls Royce of fabric. I keep looking at the other choices on the website and eyeing them up as possible Lotties!! 

HELP ME!! I think I have a Lottie problem! Be warned it is contagious! Hila has now decided she needs one in her wardrobe- will she stop at one tho!?! 

Pattern: Simple Sew Lottie Blouse

Fabric : 1m of Liberty Wildflower from White Tree Fabrics. 

Wonky Factor: 8/10 I’m wondering if I hemmed it slightly shorter than the others… midriff is not the type for showing off!! 

You will be please to know I have ordered some more fabric from White Tree Fabrics…….wasn’t this designed  to be made into a Ruby!?!



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

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. 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?
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.

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

The Perfect Fit Bra

Thursday, 9 April 2015 15:30:30 Europe/London

According to research statistics, 80-85% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. It's not exactly an appealing idea to trot off to Marks & Spencers to get measured on a busy, sweaty Saturday afternoon or pay some of the high prices out there just for one piece of underwear. So what can you do to save money and ensure the perfect fit? Make your own of course.

Our affordable bra kit gives you enough supplies to make 2 bras with. That's just £15 for the most comfortable bra you will ever wear. Maria from How good is that? has road tested the bra for us, with fantastic results. She also collaborated with us on the idea of the kit, bringing to our attention the fact that there is a real need out there for an all in one bra kit. Take a look below.

Bra Kit Test

Here's a sweet convertible bra using powermesh, lace and bra notions from White Tree Fabrics UK. This is an idea Lisa was happy for me to work on and I've used Kwik Sew 3300 as my bra template. I say template because the pattern doesn't provide the cross back feature. This bra style is something I developed following a 'ready to wear' bra that I own.

Custom made Bra

The power mesh is soft and stretchy so I've used two layers of powermesh on the bra band. This gives the bra band more stability and I've cut one layer on grain and one layer cut off grain.

Custom made Bra

Now the flesh colour tricot fabric and underwire piping was from my stash. The bra hooks provided by White Tree Fabrics give you the convertible version (slider, o-ring and garter hook).

Custom made Bra

What I found is the best result for bras is to have the notions either the same width or wider than the bra strap.

Custom made Bra

I used the lace across the top of the bra cup only and I tried to balance the bows in the lace.

Custom made Bra

Here's where I was deciding on how long the underwire piping should be. I ended up lining the whole cup with underwire piping even though this hemline underwire is a half wire shape.

I wore this bra on a humid Summer's day and it was very comfortable and supportive.

Custom made Bra

The cups are lined and all the seams are enclosed so I think that helped me feel comfortable.  The bra you see has been wash a couple of times now so I know this bra is durable as well as lovely. Thanks White Tree Fabrics for letting me indulge in sewing a new bra using lovely lace for Summer.

Check yourself

Since we're talking about bras - what better time to encourage all of our lovely female readers out there to remember to regularly check their breasts? WhiteTree are proud to be working with Butterick Sewing Patterns, who in turn support the Eve Appeal, fighting against women's cancers.  You can read more about how buying a sewing pattern will benefit this worthwhile cause. Butterick are donating to the Eve Appeal for every Walk Away dress pattern sold. Now there's some lovely news!

The Lawn Lottie

Wednesday, 8 April 2015 10:04:51 Europe/London

Time for another fantastic make from our very own GBSB contestant, Amanda!

The Lawn Lottie

Here is the pattern:


So with great gusto, I cut out three Lottie blouses! I know, I know…I need to get out more! But I love the Lottie pattern so much. It fits beautifully, I love the vintage style and I just love wearing it! 

I decided to hunt out my left overs from the Lawn Bow dress I made for White Tree Fabrics last year. 


The White Tree newsletter said that Lisa was hoping for some pastel shades on the website soon and I couldn’t agree more. This is such a beautiful fabric to wear and sew! It would look great in a Summer dress, skirt or blouse. 


I love the bow, and I didn’t sew the ends so that the fancy edging showed.


I used shop bought bias binding on the sleeves and hand stitched it down.


How did I wear it….. I  wore my shop bought (from years ago!!) geometric black and white raincoat! I have always loved a raincoat!


Pattern: The Lottie Blouse -Simple Sew

Also made here: The Lace Lottie, The Paisley  Bow 

Fabric: Black Lawn from White Tree Fabrics

Wonky Factor: 9/10 . I love it but think it should be a little more fitted at the sides. A new blouse from leftovers! Thanks White Tree!


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

The Outlander Dress

Wednesday, 8 April 2015 10:00:43 Europe/London

Now for something completely different. Maria brings us our very first historical period piece make, and it's wonderful! The work that has gone into the corset on this amazing outfit is just fantastic - take a look below at what inspired this make.

The dress

 The dress - needs no introduction really.

And it's a significant part of the Outlander story, hence I didn't attempt to make this as is. Terry's work on this dress is amazing. There's lots of detailing involved. You can read about it on her blog.  So I've taken elements of this dress as I've never made a corset. My version is not a replica. It couldn't be. But this is a reminder of the awesome work the show's costumers put into the original dress. White Tree Fabrics provided the fabrics and they were excited with this dress concept. 

Here are my starting fabrics from White Tree and I used Simplicity 3809.
It was the white bonded fabric that spurred on my idea to make something like the wedding dress. White Tree Fabrics has the 'right' fabrics to make the dress. Sometimes it's hard to get everything you need from one place but not this time. The bonded fabric is a knit so I interfaced so it morphed into a woven fabric. The silver fabric is much finer than the original dress so I lined the skirt as well as the bodice.
The cream fabric was perfect for the underblouse. I used two layers on the blouse sleeves and pulled the hem edges for a similar fringed edge. This fabric doesn't fray too much so it was easy to create a similar fringe.  The silver fabric is metallic so I cut it out using paper scissors. I used fabric scissors for the other fabrics.

Then came the fun part, adjusting the bodice for the corset.

What you see here is my test version using quilting cotton and the boning. This was good practice. You can also see a close up of the corset being prepped with boning. The boning is sewn onto the lining and not in the seams. There is the inside after I finished the seams. I hand stitched the lining onto the zipper seams. And internal layer of fabric could have been included for a firmer fit. The silver fabric is very light so I used white calico for more firmness but less bulk. 
Below is the finished corset.
The back of the corset is higher than the front neckline. I've also used an open ended zipper for the back centre seam.
So what does this outfit look like on me.....
This dress weighs much less than the original wedding dress in Outlander. There was plenty of work in creating the corset and I enjoyed this process.  It's very simple and uses the elements that work for me. Thank you White Tree Fabric for these fabrics. They've kept me busy while waiting for the next part of Outlander to hit our screens in April.
Comments | Posted in WhiteTree Blog Team Bloggers Creations By Lisa Washington

Luxury Liberty PJs

Monday, 30 March 2015 12:32:40 Europe/London

We're so pleased to bring you the first blog team make from Curtis, who is a brand new addition to the WhiteTree team, and also our only male blogger. Curtis has only been with us a short while and has already completed a fantastic project! Take a look at his wonderful creation below...

Luxury Liberty Pyjamas

Curtis Liberty PJs

This is my first blogging project for White Tree Fabrics, and I have enjoyed the challenge. I picked pyjamas after seeing this as a challenge on the Great British Sewing Bee last year (season two). I have been itching to give it a go and make my own cosy nightwear.

In total this took me about five hours to complete. It took over an hour to hem and tidy the seams inside.

I used the following for the challenge:

The Fabric
I picked Lodden C Tana Lawn Liberty Fabric, with quite a defined William Morris style pattern. The detail on the fabric is very ornate with lots of detail; the feel is quite silky cotton.

The Pattern
I picked a Vogue V8964, and decided to make the long sleeve and long legged version of the pattern.

Handy hint before I start: I would just say how important it is to press the paper pattern pieces before you lay them on the fabric, and if you do it as you pin it to the fabric there is some static that helps set the pieces in place.

Curtis Liberty PJs

Curtis Liberty PJs

My first challenge would be to pattern match as I cut out the paper pattern. This is the first time I have ever pattern matched, and it was less stressful than I thought. The main things to pattern match are down the front, and also making sure the pattern is centred on the back.

The other main challenge for this pattern was inserting piping. For this I used binding. The first thing to bind was the front pocket on the top, which also had to be pattern matched on the top bar, which all had to be pattern matched to sit on the top front.

Curtis Liberty PJs

The construction of the top was simple, sew fronts to back and the sleeves flat , and then the shape comes from sewing the sleeve together and down the sides.

Curtis Liberty PJs

To create the piping effect on the front I sewed the binding to the fronts, and then attached the facing to this, to reveal the piping.

The bottoms: I found it a real struggle to try and follow the instructions for the fly but other than that they are very straight forward, once the fly and button are inserted, sew inner legs, outer legs and they are constructed! Held up by an elastic waistband.

Curtis Liberty PJs

I am already looking forward to my next project!

The good

  • The fabric was great to work with, easy to sew.
  • Using bias binding was a great quick way to do piping. Within the pattern there is a template to do your own piping.
  • I am pleased with the pattern matching; this fabric is a good one to use for a regular pattern match. Also really pleased with my pocket pattern matching.
  • I learned a lot of new skills doing this pattern, piping, inserting an elastic waistband, a buttoned fly and pattern matching.

The bad

  • The pattern is not that descriptive; you definitely have to have knowledge of doing things like facing, collars, etc.
  • As briefly mentioned the fly on the trousers was rather complicated. In the end I used May Martin’s Sewing Bible to help me through it. 
Curtis Liberty PJs
Comments | Posted in WhiteTree Blog Team Bloggers Creations Fabrics By Lisa Washington

Product Launch with Amanda!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 12:06:08 Europe/London

What better way to launch our beautiful new Flower Guipure fabric than with the help of Amanda of Sew Deputy? You may recognise Amanda from Series 3 of The Great British Sewing Bee - she made it through to episode 4 of 6. Here, she shows us what you can create when there are no deadlines or pressures involved!

We were in the 90% view of the eclipse here in the North East of England, so it seemed appropriate to name my new guipure lace dress after a viewing!  

I got the lace from White Tree Fabrics to recreate the Lace Coat dress, however, when it arrived it was so beautiful I couldn’t cut into it without perfect pattern pieces…..just in case it went horribly wrong! 

Bet you can’t guess the pattern I reached for???


Yes, the Simple Sew Skater dress . I didn’t have enough fabric for the circle skirt and so went for a gathered skirt attached to the bodice. I was worried it was too ‘sticky out’ on my waist, but a new black patent belt seems to do the trick. I also made the back higher and used a side zip. I didn’t make the slip as I have a few from BHS (British Home Stores- a UK STORE) and as they are only £8 it seems silly to make them! 



My blog photographer felt with such a posh, lace dress we needed a contrast background…….the back alley of our Victorian terrace seemed perfect!






My shoes are just beautiful…they are black velvet with butterflies embroidered on them…tricky for cobbles though! 

Pattern: Simple Sew Skater Dress #006

Fabric: 2m of black guipure lace from White Tree Fabrics. I have a 20% off code for you to use at WT Fabrics: Enter SEWDEPUTY at the checkout.

Notions: 9inch zip in the side seam

Wonky Factor : I did think 7/10 because of the gathered waist, but am tempted to up it to a 9/10 now I have seen the photos! The lace is just beautiful! The better the fabric the better my sewing! 


Ps. I also spotted Kate Garraway wearing a very similar dress! 

Pps . Shoe  inspection photo by request!




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