Monday, 28 September 2015

Girl Charlee ginghams

I'm sure you're aware by now that Girl Charlee recently set up a UK branch and have been spreading the word about their awesome knit fabrics throughout the land. They contacted me a while back to see if I'd like to try out something from their range and I was more than happy to oblige! 

They have a really interesting selection to choose from, including some lovely ponte de roma knits and cotton jerseys. I finally settled on two of their cotton jersey gingham prints in Paloma Grey and Classic Blue. I chose gingham as it's midway between a solid colour and a busy pattern, plus it's a nice change from stripes. My original inspiration was this picture of a simple Diane Von Furstenberg top from my Gingham Pinterest board, not the matching shorts though!


I decided to pair the fabric with the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top, which Tilly very kindly gifted me when it was first released. 

The fabric is a nice quality cotton T-shirt fabric from the Modern Air Collection. It has 25% stretch and good recovery and the cotton content gives it a bit of stability so it doesn't misbehave and curl up all over the place. It's also quite wide (142cm), so I only needed a metre to make the top.



I chose the plain neckline and arm options - I thought the ruched neckline would get a bit lost amidst all that gingham and ruched arms are just not really my style. Based on reviewer feedback on the tight fit of this pattern, I cut a size 5 all over, which is one size larger than I'd usually sew for a TATB pattern. This was deliberate - the Agnes top is designed to be very close fitting but I didn't want mine to turn out absolutely skin tight and look like a leotard! The fit wasn't bad, but I needed to make a few tweaks to the hips and shoulders, next time I'll grade down to a size 4 in both those areas. Once I'd cut the fabric out, it only took me one episode of Desert Island Discs to sew it up on the overlocker. I then changed to my regular sewing machine and finished the neckband, sleeves and hem with a double needle. I took 2cms off the length of the full length sleeves (T-Rex arms) and that was it!

But let's back peddle a bit, at the beginning of this post I mentioned that I'd received two gingham prints -  grey and royal blue - so what did I do with the grey? Well I actually had the same intention for the grey gingham, which was to make an Agnes top. At the eleventh hour though, I rashly decided to abandon my original plan and make an Agnes dress instead (with 1.5m I had just enough fabric). I used this tutorial from Tilly's blog to make it, but used the half circle skirt from the Lady Skater dress instead of the gathered rectangle from the tutorial.

The colour of the grey gingham is lighter than this in real life
Alas, once I'd sewn it up, I realised it was very much a summer dress - I think this was because of the colour. I chose the grey because it looked like charcoal grey on the website, whereas in reality it has a much lighter tone, more like a dove grey. And when seen as a whole dress (rather than a top), it was just far too light and summery to wear in autumn. So I've decided to save it for next summer instead - I haven't finished the hem and the arms yet, so I may well end up making it short sleeved. For what it's worth, the Classic Blue gingham is exactly the colour as it appears on the website - a bright, royal blue.



So I did get two garments out of my fabric in the end: one to wear now and one to save for next summer. I really like the top - it's already proving useful in this in-between weather. It's a close fit, but still comfortable and the cotton jersey feels lovely to wear. I've worn it a few times already - with jeans (see above) and with a cardigan and red denim skirt.


If you'd like to try out some Girl Charlee fabric of your own then you're in luck as they're very generously offering one winner two metres of their choice of fabric!  Hoorah! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me which Girl Charlee fabric you'd choose if you're the winner. The full range can be found in their online shop here. The giveaway is open worldwide and closes at midnight GMT on Sunday 4th October. The winner will be chosen at random. Please make sure you leave your email address if it's not linked to your Blogger profile so I can contact you if you're the winner.

Fabric was given to me free of charge for review. All views my own.


66 comments:

  1. Really hard to choose! The vintage Berlin plaid catches my eye, also the red gingham! Love your blue top!

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  2. Ooh what a lovely top! Sure you can't be persuaded to give the shorts a go too? They'd look fab! :)

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  3. What a great top! Looks really crisp and fresh, love it!
    In terms of fabric, it's so hard to pick one! Already bought the sensible navy ponte so if I were lucky enough to win I'd have to give in to the novelty print and pick the gold glitter stags! http://www.girlcharlee.co.uk/gold-glitter-aqua-triangle-stag-on-white-cotton-jersey-blend-knit-fabric/girl-charlee-p-12193.html

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  4. I have just bought my first overlocker and am itching to get making some things for my two little girls. I think I would either pick a bright chevron, or the Got Dog fabric as I am a sucker for dachshunds!

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  5. I love your dress and top! I would choose the black kilim tile print - two meters would be enough for a cool dress.

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  6. I would choose some ponte roma, like the Small Black Houndstooth on Cafe Ponte De Roma Knit or the Blue Red Ethnic Diamond Rows Ponte de Roma - perfect for fall and winter.

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  7. Nice top - shame the grey isn't more autumnal, but something in the 'bank' for next summer. Just don't forget you have it! I have been checking out the girl Charlie shop for a while now. I like both of these but it is so hard to choose! http://www.girlcharlee.co.uk/teal-blue-heather-grey-half-inch-stripe-cotton-jersey-blend-knit-fabric-p-9095.html?cPath=90_103 or http://www.girlcharlee.co.uk/mod-pink-grey-squares-on-blue-cotton-jersey-blend-knit-fabric-p-11129.html?cPath=90_103

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  8. Oh I love it! Gingham isn't normally a fabric I would choose but this looks great; nice and fresh. I've been seeing/reading/hearing so much about Girl Charlee UK and as soon as I build up the courage to sew some jersey, they're who I'm turning to for fabric! Choosing one fabric is pretty difficult but the Grey Scuba Blue Triangle Stag Cotton Jersey is pretty fab.

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  9. Lovely! Both garments are so cute and fresh. I think the grey one is quite summery and will be great with shortened sleeves.

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  10. Congratulations on your British Sewing Award nomination. I really like your gingham top and the dress is adorable. The fabrics over at Girl Charlee look amazing. I will definitely be using them in the future. I have my eye on http://www.girlcharlee.co.uk/emerald-green-red-ethnic-diamond-rows-ponte-de-roma-knit-fabric-p-10538.html?cPath=90_168 and http://www.girlcharlee.co.uk/maya-stripe-azulon-coral-cotton-jersey-blend-knit-fabric/famous-designer-p-12215.html?cPath=90_103

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  11. I'm so excited Girl Charlee is available in the UK! I love your color choices, I'm keen on Got Dog Almond Blue Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric to make a top....

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  12. Lovely top. I need some new jams and think I'd get a lovely pair out of 2m of Chartreuse Purple Floral on Aqua Green Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric

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  13. At last we can get our mitts on their gorgeous knits. I'd go for the pineapples on white from modern air collection. choistie@yahoo dot co dot uk

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  14. Love the top and dress you've made, even though I'm normally not a fan of Gingham! The Girl Charlee fabric looks amazing. I would choose the Navy Blue Solid Ponte de Roma Fabric or the teal oriental blossom fabric (when it's back in stock). My email is judith.stepper@gmail.com.

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  15. It's all about the stags!!!
    Love your gingham creations
    Frankie
    X

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  16. Love the outfits. I'm am seriously lusting over a feather print Jersey they've got.

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  17. The top looks lovely on you :) I really like the fox family on Aqua cotton jersey blend. I love this site!

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  18. I've just downloaded the deer and doe plantain (I know I know I'm late to jump on this one) and want to sew up a fun tshirt. I have something about all things nautical at the moment so it would have to be the navy blue anchors away I think.

    Love the dress you. With the warmish weather were still having I'm sure you get get a few wears out of it this year still.

    Holly

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  19. Finally! Great to have GC in the UK. Now to look up their lovely options. Yteesmile@yahoo.com

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  20. Please don't include me in the drawing. I just want to comment on how great the bright blue gingham top looks on you with jeans and with the cardigan and skirt.

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    1. Aw thank you very much Jeanette! x

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  21. The gingham top suits you perfectly! I'd go for the peacock feather print jersey cotton; it matches my tattoo! Although there's a lovely fox print jersey there too, which my niece would love...
    hester.duffy@gmail.com

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  22. So difficult to choose! I think the quatrefoil jersey in teal, or one of the gorgeous chevrons...

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  23. Red fair isle reindeer to make Christmas pjs. Zoggle@me.com

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  24. I like the fox family in jersey. Its an adorable fabric. batresyohana@yahoo.com

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  25. I love the Quatrefoil in grey as I have a PJ pattern I want to have a go at. Jo x

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  26. I really like the floral knits like the chartreuse white

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  27. I've been itching to get my hands on some ponte knit

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  28. The Vintage berlin plaid for me!
    avril_corbett@yahoo.co.uk

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  29. Great top, looks fantastic with red skirt and cardigan. It's a tough choice, I really like black lattice ponte.

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  30. I keep looking longingly at their knits but as I am on a fabric diet I have had to resist but if it was a freebie, well that would be different. It would have to be the Gold a Glitter Aqua Triangle Stag on White or maybe the Grey, Mint Green Navajo stripe. Oo, 'eck, what a choice! Jennylarking at gmail dot com.

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  31. ooh, this giveaway ends on my birthday! i would choose the rose red sweatshirt fabric to make a seamwork astoria (quickly becoming my favourite pattern!). thank you for the giveaway! beththegulfmini@googlemail.com :)

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  32. Cute as a button! I "think" I might give the same blue gingham a whirl that you chose! It looks so fall in the country. Maybe I'm too old? Who really cares? Ybennett@centurytel.net Thanks for entering me in the giveaway!

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  33. I'd like the teal and grey stripe cotton jersey and if allowed one metre each of that and the teal prism square

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  34. Ive been searching for a good blue and white stripe for a breton type hemlock so almost certainly that... but I'm also tempted by the patterned hacci sweatshirt. Decisions! Jo from your dress class x

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  35. It looks great on you , with this summery weather I feel you could maybe have got some wear out of the pale grey dress? I do love the orange botanical flaura on navy as that feels like an autumnal choice.

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  36. Lovely top and I'm looking forward to seeing you wearing the dress :-)

    I think I would choose the Black Mauve Scattered Spots Baby Hacci Sweater Knit Fabric to make a cardigan. I've not sewn a cardigan before and I really fancy giving it a go.

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  37. Gorgeous! The blue / red / blonde combination looks fabulous! :)

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  38. Argh! i'd definitely go mad and get some of that " Orange Botanical Floral on Navy Cotton Spandex". I reckon the Nettie Body suit I've had planned for a year would go down royally in that!
    That gingham Agnes top has turned out lovely though. Looks perfect for Autumn!

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  39. I love sewing with knits and great to hear of the good quality on this site. Your top is fabulous! If allowed a metre of each I would pick a hacci knit, probably Black Mauve Scattered Spots for a hemlock tee and Gold Glitter Aqua Triangle Stag on White Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric for a festive top! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  40. It would have to be Got Dog Almond Blue Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric, so cute!
    Thanks for the giveaway

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  41. I love the Teal Blue Black Plaid Cotton Jersey.
    Your gingham is great!

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  42. This is great news! I would be happy with any nice knit as it is hard to come by in the UK but i really like the bold feathers on white jersey x

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  43. i will look forward to seeing the finished dress. i would love Vintage Motorcycle on Heather Grey Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric x

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  44. You chose perfectly with gingham, I'd choose the same. I look forward to seeing the grey dress next spring!

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  45. so many to chose from, but I go with Indigo Cotton Jersey Sweatshirt Fabric and make a sweatshirt for the colder months ahead.

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  46. The blue gingham looks lovely on you! I'd also love to try the Agnes top and I would choose either the navy blue anchors or the ivory and mustard stripe. I really need some long sleeve t-shirts for autimn! Alison, x

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  47. I love the bold feathers, and the foxes, oh and the gingham and the chevrons......

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  48. I love the bold feathers pattern. I used this in last year's colorway and its a great print.

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  49. Love your top and dress. I would go for the quatrefoil in either the grey or purple or the white triangles on grey. ron.stockford@gmail.com

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  50. I would certainly pick the Dachshund fabric... Matching boxer briefs for my kids, my sister and me!

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  51. Sleepy me... My e-mail address is mroeters at gmail dot com

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  52. Having made 2 linen BHL Anna dresses over the summer I'm keen to try a winter version in ponte de Roma so that would be my choice. Buddents@btinternet.com

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  53. I have the grey gingham too! I'm planning on making a top with mine. I'm going to be boring and pass on the wonderful prints, but I have a sudden urge to make a papercut coppelia out of this http://www.girlcharlee.co.uk/heather-charcoal-grey-solid-cotton-spandex-knit-fabric-p-4053.html

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  54. Ooops, forgot to leave me email! Here is the message again with my email address this time :-) The blue gingham looks lovely on you! I'd also love to try the Agnes top and I would choose either the navy blue anchors or the ivory and mustard stripe. I really need some long sleeve t-shirts for autumn. Alison, alicat4@live.co.uk

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  55. This is such a hard choice! I think I would have to go with my long time want and say the Modern Air Pineapples on White :) Thanks so much for the fantastic giveaway!

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  56. I love the fox family on aqua :)

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  57. I just love the ethnic elephants!
    sl(dot)phillips(at)virgin(dot)net

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  58. Quite a boring choice, but I could really do with some snuggly sweatshirt fleece for winter, like this one! http://www.girlcharlee.co.uk/koala-grey-cotton-jersey-sweatshirt-fleece-knit-fabric-p-9258.html

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  59. I like the white stitched arrows on blue. Perfect for winter! Thank you and love reading about your sewing journey.

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  60. very nice! I drool over the website often, thanks for the chance!

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  61. I love the black mauve scattered spots baby hacci sweater knit, still don't know how I remembered that name. Btw really love your top
    ellen.couwelier@qq.com

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  62. I like the rust chartreuse euro floral.

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  63. I am loving the bold feathers deign on white cotton jersey.
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

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  64. I'd go for some ponte roma, maybe the blue red ikat :)

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  65. I'd go for the navajo arrow tribal gold charcoal. Love that dress.

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