Friday, 29 September 2017

Great British Sewing Bee Live 2017

Last weekend we exhibited at the Great British Sewing Bee Live show at the ExCeL in London.  It was a really fun filled four days so we thought we'd share some of our pictures. 

Lots of Lovely Girl Charlee Makes!
It's always great to meet our customers face to face, especially when they are wearing makes with our fabrics!  Here are just a few we managed to snap...
Meeting the Stars!
We also had lots of the GBSB stars coming along to the Girl Charlee Stand for a chat (and a look at our fabrics of course!) 
Blogger Heroes
I was really exciting to meet some of my blogger heroes - 
Workshop Wonders
A few of the workshops were working with Girl Charlee fabrics (and wearing them), including the draping workshop with Lorna Knight- 
We got an amazing surprise when Jane White came along to our stand with her students to show us their Slouchy Tops in our Ponte De Roma - 
Thanks to everyone who came along!  We will be exhibiting at Ally Pally, Dublin and Harrogate soon, to see all when and where, visit our Facebook events page HERE.

Finally, congratulation to Victoria Grant, who has won our prize draw from the show for £50 of Girl Charlee fabrics!
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Happy Sewing!

~ Mark & The Girl Charlee Team

Friday, 22 September 2017

Classic Fabrics Back in Stock + New Named Clothing Pattern

Today we have 3 popular classic prints back in stock - 

Our Mod Diamonds pattern in Green & Yellow, and our Navy Rose Lattice (which also comes in Red HERE.  These were all very popular first time round so get yours now before they sell out!

Click your favourite below or see all our New Arrivals HERE.

We are really excited to have the new FW17 collection from Named Clothing available to download.

8 new patterns (2 of which are 2 in 1 for extra value!) from Finnish sisters Saara and Laura Huhta to add to their existing collection of over 60!  If you haven't tried a Named Clothing pattern yet you really should, they are beautiful!

Click on your favourite below or see all our Indie Designer patterns HERE.
Sign up to our email newsletter to keep up to date with all our new fabrics, competitions/ giveaways and all the Knitty News! The sign up box is HERE or on our website

Happy Sewing!

~ Mark & The Girl Charlee Team

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Tutorial Tuesday: A Guide to Stretch Fabric

Why do fabrics stretch?
Stretch fabrics (knit fabrics) are made using interlaced looped fibres rather than woven fibres .  The “knit” or loops give the fabric some of its stretch, alongside elastic fibres which have stretchy properties themselves, for example lycra/spandex/elastane (3 names for the same fibre), rayon/viscose (2 names for the same fibre) or polyester.

What is stretch and how is it calculated?
The stretch of fabrics are expressed either as “2 way” or “4 way”.  2 way stretch is horizontal, running across the fabric from selvedge to selvedge.  4 way stretch is both horizontal AND vertical, running both across the fabric and up/down the fabric - 
Stretch is expressed as a percentage and is quite simply calculated – 

Stretched fabric width - Original fabric width
-----------------------------------------------------------     x 100  =  Stretch percentage
                  Original fabric width

For example… If you have a 10cm square piece of fabric, stretch it across it’s width until you feel resistance.  This fabric stretches to 15cm so the horizontal stretch is 50% 
(15 - 10 = 5, divided by 10 = 0.5, multiplied by 100 = 50%). 

Now repeat this process from top to bottom of the fabric.  This piece of fabric stretches to 13cm, so the vertical stretch is 30% 
(13 - 10 = 3, divided by 10 = 0.3, multiplied by 100 = 30%).

So this fabric has 4 way stretch, written as 50%/30%.

If there is no vertical stretch then the fabric has 2 way stretch, written as 50%


What can I use different stretch fabrics for?

Knit fabrics can vary greatly in stretch, even within a specific category of knit fabric, but in general the following is a good guide 

The type of fabric you use for your project will depend on the requirements of the garment.  Your pattern will normally specify which types of fabric you can use and any required stretch.  As you get more confident sewing with stretch fabrics you can also use them for patterns designed for woven fabrics (see these articles for some great hints and tips for converting patterns from woven to stretch fabric –

For tighter fitting clothes like leggings/sportswear, 4 way stretch is essential as the fabric will need to stretch both ways (e.g. around the legs and up and down the knee joint).
For looser fitting items or for fitted items which don’t need to give, 2 way stretch will usually suffice, but you can still use 4 way stretch fabrics.
The advantage to 4 way stretch is that you can use the stretch/pattern in either direction.  2 way stretch will offer more stability for fitted clothing, similar to a woven fabric, but will also give you some room to breathe!

For more information about knit fabrics, plus hints, tips and tutorials for sewing with them, see the Girl Charlee Pinterest page

If you need any help or advice regarding stretch fabrics we're happy to help!  You can call us (01635 522530), email us ( or add a comment to our blog.  We also provide free samples of our fabrics so you can check them out before you buy!  You can order samples through by setting up an account and adding the fabrics you want to your stash, then requesting swatches from there.
For more ideas, patterns and tutorials, follow Girl Charlee's boards on Pinterest.

Don't forget to sign up for our email updates to keep up to date with all our New Fabrics, Sales, Giveaways and all our Knitty News! Click HERE to sign up!

Happy Sewing!

~ Mark & The Girl Charlee Team