Friday, 9 November 2018

Customer Spotlight: Alison Hill (Hawkins and Hill Handmade)

Today we have an interview with Alison Hill, creator of Hawkins and Hill Handmade.  Alison is multi talented, producing bags, clutches, lampshades, cushions and textile art.

Tell us a little about yourself...
I live in Kent with my husband and our rescue dog Maddie. I have always loved making things and I will turn my hand to anything crafty!  I have a history in art and design and upholstery but lately I have been drawn to making bags of all descriptions and free motion embroidery, sometimes combining them together!

What inspired you to start your sewing/your business?
I have been creative for as long as I can remember I loved arts and crafts as a child. I would sit and draw and make things for many hours.
I started making my own clothes,then started making bags which I loved and couldn’t stop making. After giving them as gifts to friends and family they told me I should start selling them so I thought I would give it a go!

Where did the name come from?
The name came from my maiden name and my married name. Sadly my mum passed away and as she was my biggest supporter of doing anything creative I thought it would be nice to have the family name in the title.

How long you have been sewing and what are your goals for the future?
I have only been sewing on a sewing machine for about two years. I have a few more bag designs I would like to make and sell, but it’s one bag at a time at the moment! I love doing free motion embroidery so hope I can grow my skills and combine this with bag making and maybe developing my own designs in the future.

What inspires you/what would you describe as your design aesthetic?
A lot of things inspire me design wise. I personally like bold, contrasting prints but have to remember that they are not to everyone’s taste. I love all kinds of fabrics and textures - usually quite colourful, vintage or patterns with a vintage feel. I have a love of all things 60's.

What is your favourite thing about sewing?
I love creating, it gets me excited. I’m so happy to see something come from nothing and then seeing it in it's completed form. To have people use and like my bags is like a dream come true.

What is your least favourite thing about sewing or your biggest challenge?
I would have to say deciding what to make next!

Who do you look up to in the sewing community?
There are so many great bag makers and creatives out there but a few of my favourites are:

  • Tilly and the buttons as I brought her first book when I first started sewing and making my own clothes so that really kick started my love of sewing and making things. Plus when I get a chance I love making her clothes.
  • Sticky Toffee Chic make wonderful bags in fantastic fabrics.
  • Emma Giacalone textiles does the most fantastic free motion embroidery.
  • Emmaline bags, U-hangbag and Spencer Ogg design brilliant bag patterns that I love to make

What other crafts do you enjoy?
I also make lampshades, cushions, textile art and a bit of upholstery.

What are your favourite Girl Charlee Fabrics?

1:  Vegan Leather 
I currently love your gold and sliver but any of the colours are brilliant for bag making - so soft and supple!

2.  White and Black Wider Stripe Cotton Jersey
I have a soft spot for striped fabric and you cant go wrong with a black and white fabric.

3.  Red Grey Black Vertical Multi Stripe Ponte de Roma
This has a retro feel so right up my street!

4.  Sunshine Yellow Solid Cotton Spandex Knit Fabric
I love this bright colour.

5. Teal Green Grey Check Modal Cotton Spandex Knit Fabric
I love a patterned fabric.

Thanks to Alison for sharing her story.  Check out the Hawkins and Hill Handmade Etsy page or Facebook page to see more of her beautiful creations.  
If you would like to be featured in our Customer Spotlight, please email Mark -
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

Friday, 2 November 2018

October Knit Picks

Stripes, solids and florals reigned in October in all but one of our Knit Picks!  

Check out these beautiful creations to inspire your next project!

We love seeing all your makes so please keep your pictures coming and don't forget to tag us on Instagram (@girlcharleeuk) or email us your pics (

Before you look, there's still time to vote for us in the 2018 British Sewing Awards and 2019 British Craft Awards!
We're up against some big hitters in the industry and considering we are a small family business (just Ben, Jen & I) it's amazing just to be nominated but we'd also love to win!
We'd love you to vote for us and as a bonus you will also be entered into the prize draws to potentially win some amazing prizes!

Please click the images below to vote - 
Item: Unknown Hoodie

By: @beverleysmakerys

ItemMcCalls M7116 Empire Waist Dress

By: @winter_queen
Item: Self Drafted Trapeze Top

By: @traceysymonds11

By: @hawkinsandhill
By: @altered_in_scotland

Fabric: Black Solid Cotton Spandex Knit Fabric (See all 29 colours HERE!)
By: @alexjudgesews

By: @anna.puddles

Fabric: Black Solid Cotton Spandex Knit Fabric (See all 29 colours HERE!)

By: @wendy_stitch

Fabric: Desert Sky Marsala Gingham Cotton Spandex Knit Fabric (also available in mint green colourway)

By: @whendy7

Fabric: Dark Denim Heather Cotton Spandex Knit Fabric (See all 29 colours HERE!)
Keep sharing your pics via Instagram/Facebook/Twitter (don't forget to tag @girlcharleeuk or #girlcharleeuk), or email us

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