Friday, 20 April 2018

Book Review: Stretch! by Tilly Walnes (& GIVEAWAY!)

Today we continue our reviews of our favourite books about sewing with stretch fabrics with 'Stretch!' by Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons fame.

Stretch! was only released 6 weeks ago but has already taken the sewing world by storm thanks to Tilly's superb knowledge, beautiful patterns and stunning presentation.

The book is such a thing of beauty and quality (as you would expect from Tilly), containing 7 chapters including 5 based around new patterns specifically designed for stretch fabrics.

The first chapter teaches you all about knit fabrics, where to get them, how to prep them, fit them, sew them, an invaluable guide to stripe matching and more!

Tilly's knowledge base is excellent and she covers everything you need to know for sewing with knit fabric.

The second chapter deals with sewing on a traditional machine and on an overlocker (serger), covering stitches, settings and lots of handy hints and troubleshooting tips which are perfect for those people who have bought an overlocker but have been too scared to use it (we know who you are!)

The next 5 chapters are dedicated to each pattern - Bibi Skirt, Frankie Baseball T-Shirt, Freya Sweater & Dress, Stella Hoodie & Joggers, and Joni Dress. 

There are full size printed paper patterns included with the book to trace and use, and the instructions are given in Tilly's beautiful, clear style with detailed notes and gorgeous photographs.
Each pattern has various adaptations meaning you get multiple options to suit your style or your requirements.

The Bibi Skirt has a Pinafore option (which is already proving very popular, see below), the Freya has a top version and dress version along with cowl & roll neckline options and a pretty pleated ruffle feature, the Stella has hoodie, joggers, sleeveless hoodie and hoodie dress versions along with pocket option and the Joni has a maternity version and sleeve options.  

I make this 10 unique garments, with multiple variants!

For those familiar with Tilly and the Buttons patterns (available on the Girl Charlee website HERE), you will know how awesome they are, well designed, beautifully fitted and easy to follow.  For those who are new to Tilly, this book is a great place to start as you get a whole wardrobe of patterns along with an amazing reference book, all for £22.50 (that's under £2.50 per garment!)

The book is well thought out with each chapter naturally progressing your skills and confidence.  The patterns are placed in order of difficulty, from the very simple Bibi Skirt in Ponte De Roma (the easiest knit fabric to work with), through to the more complex twist front Joni dress in velvet or sequin knits.  

Each chapter also covers a specific technique such as attaching a neckband, buttonholes and quartering, so you learn as you sew without being overwhelmed.

If you are new to sewing, new to sewing with knit fabric, or even a more experienced sewist, there is something for everyone!

See below for your chance to win a copy of the book and some of our lovely fabric to get you going!

We've already seen so many amazing makes from Tilly's 'Stretch' book in our fabrics that we had to dedicate a special "Knit Picks" just to these!

Thanks to everyone for sharing, we really enjoy seeing your Girl Charlee creations and look forward to seeing many more 'Stretch' makes.

Keep your pictures coming and don't forget to tag us on Instagram (@girlcharleeuk) or email us your pics (

Item: Freya Dress

By: @shesewsvintage

Fabric: Lipstick Red Lips on Blue French Terry Spandex Blend Knit Fabric (Sold out, but lots of other colours available!)

Item: Stella Hoodie & Joggers

By: @bobbinsandbuttons

Sky Blue Solid Cotton Jersey Terry Knit Fabric (Sold out, but lots of other colours available!)


We have a copy of 'Stretch' to give away to one lucky reader, along with 3m of ANY of our fabrics, enough to make any pattern in the book, possibly 2!  Thanks to Tilly for providing a copy of her amazing book!

To enter, simply add a comment below with your email address and state which of our fabric(s) you would like (can be a combination of more than one!) You can visit our site to browse all of our wonderful fabrics HERE.

We will draw one name at random on Friday 27th April at Midday and announce it in the comments of this blog.

Only one entry per person, comments must contain an email address and chosen fabric(s) to be entered into the draw.  

All entries will be added to the Girl Charlee Fabrics Newsletter.

Good luck!
For more ideas, patterns and tutorials, follow Girl Charlee's boards on Pinterest.

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