April 16, 2015

April Customer Spotlight :: Vienna Goates of Nennie & Nolie

Our April Customer Spotlight is about Vienna Goates of Nennie & Nolie. Learning to sew did not come easily to Vienna, but the more she practiced, the better she became at it. Once she discovered the perfect design for a comfortable, fitted headband, she started her own business. Here is more about Vienna and her company - Nennie & Nolie.

About Vienna ::

I always wanted to learn to sew, so I took a sewing class at a little quilt shop in my college town almost five years ago. I could barely sew a straight line at the time. I was the worst student in the class; I had to unpick everything I did and start over at every step. My teacher was patient and didn't get frustrated (even though I did!) and she made me believe that I could really learn to do it. With each project I tackled (I started with quilts) I learned a little more and became a better seamstress. When I was pregnant with my first baby; I was so excited to make anything and everything I could for her and her nursery. And I've pretty much been sewing every day ever since then. I first started sewing with knits when I was pregnant with my second baby; I wanted to make some swaddle blankets from some cute knit fabrics. The first of many orders from Girl Charlee! After that I decided I could learn to make simple dresses for my tall, skinny toddler, and I started using the scraps to make my first headbands.
I've loved wearing headbands for years, but I always ran into the same problems. I could never find any that stayed on my head without slipping off, or if they did, they were uncomfortable and hurt my head after just an hour or two. I thought I could make some, but I couldn't find any tutorials that I really loved, so I started playing with some ideas to figure out my own design, and voila, my twist headwraps were born. I started selling these and a few other things I made at farmer's markets and then opened my Etsy shop. The headbands started selling like hotcakes so that's what I focused on for the majority of my business. In January of this year I added my little boy bow ties, which are also my own design, simply because I have both a girl and a boy, and I want my shop to have something for everyone.
My headbands are comfortable, stay put all day long, and come in a ton of gorgeous patterns and colors. I am always so happy when my customers tell me how much they love my headbands. People love them for running and working out because they stay on, and they wash up beautifully! They fix any bad hair day, and can be worn with any hairstyle; up, down, long, short; they're for everyone. One of my very favorite aspects of my business is selecting the fabrics that I use for headbands. I get compliments on the huge variety and fun, unique prints that I offer. I love this little business so much and I'm so proud of it. I have a huge passion for fabric and sewing and I'm so blessed to be able to use it to create things that make people happy.

Visit Vienna's Etsy ShopFacebook, and Instagram today!
We hope you have enjoyed reading about Vienna. If you would like to be featured in our next Customer Spotlight post, email gcblog@girlcharlee.com and we will get in touch.

~ Heather & The Girl Charlee Team

April 14, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday :: Pattern Blocked Seafarer Top by Sew Much Ado

It looks like color blocking is becoming one of this seasons hottest trend - YAY! I'm starting to see color blocked garments and accessories popping up everywhere, and I just love it. As a sewist, mixing various colors and prints is one of my favorite things to do. You never know what's going to look good together until you try it!
Abby from Sew Much Ado put together this lovely sewing tutorial about pattern blocking her Seafarer Top Sewing Pattern to add a faux sweetheart yoke. The Seafarer is already so flattering and comfortable, and now you can add this fun, feminine element to it. This is also an opportunity to dress up your basic tee. If you don't already have this pattern, be sure to pick it up in the Girl Charlee Indie Sewing Pattern shop today!
Once you cut and attach your two fabrics for your tee, the rest of the pattern is assembled as normal. At the end of her tutorial Abby shows so many ways she styles her new tee. I think my favorite look is this one with her cute floral sweater and belt.
Suggested fabrics for the Seafarer are cotton jersey and cotton spandex knits. This is the perfect project to try mixing different prints and solids together. Sometimes an unexpected pair of prints can look great together! A few of my picks from the store:
We hope you enjoy this tutorial! We love to see what you sew up so please send 1-2 images of any project you make with Girl Charlee Fabrics to gcblog@girlcharlee.com and you might see your creation featured in our next KnitPicks!

Happy sewing!
~ Heather & The Girl Charlee Team

Girl Charlee Fabrics Easter Sewing Contest Winner

The Girl Charlee Fabrics Easter Sewing Contest has come to an end, but we are pleased to announce that our lucky winner is Heather Blake!! We had such an incredible outcome with so many amazing projects submitted, and we want to thank everyone that took the time to show us what they made. We will have another contest soon so keep an eye out for when our next one will be. Heather, your $75 Girl Charlee Gift Certificate is on its way!

Thank you again to all of our participants! Happy sewing!
~ The Girl Charlee Team

April 9, 2015

Girl Charlee Knitriffic Blogs :: Shwin & Shwin

Our March Knitriffic Blog features Shwin & Shwin, a fun creative blog written by two sisters, Shauna and Morgan. With sewing tutorials, DIY beauty, home decor, and more, this sister duo is unstoppable! What makes this blog especially Knitriffic is that these ladies love knit fabrics. There are endless sewing tips and tutorials designed with knit fabrics in mind.
In addition to all of the helpful knit sewing tips and tutorials, Shwin & Shwin is FULL of Free Sewing Patterns! A few of my favorite free knit fabric sewing patterns include the Lizzy Peplum, the Boys Hooded Sweatshirt, and the 30 Minute Tee Shirt Dress. You can check out all of their free sewing patterns here!

I've recently noticed a category on the blog called Sewing With Knits. This will direct you to a separate website of Shauna's, full of knit-specific fabric tips and tricks. This page is best described as a round up for all things knit. From the most basic information about what knit fabrics consist of, to the tools required for sewing, to many different sewing tutorials, this website is full of valuable information regard sewing with knits.
If you have a favorite sewing blog let us know all about it in the comments, or email gcblog@girlcharlee.com and we might feature it in our next Knitriffic Blogs post!

Happy sewing!
~ Heather & The Girl Charlee Team

April 7, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday :: Stretch Denim Skinny Jeans by It's Always Autumn

For this weeks Tutorial Tuesday, we wanted to show you how easy it is to work with stretch denim! We partnered up with fellow blogger Autumn Baldwin of It's Always Autumn to give you some tips and tricks on How to Sew with Stretch Denim. In her post, she goes over everything from prewashing your fabric, to picking the right needle, to sewing multiple layers of fabric, and more! That same week, Autumn released this excellent tutorial on How to Sew Girls' Skinny Jeans from a Leggings Pattern.

To make her skinny jeans, Autumn altered the Go To Leggings with Skirt Sewing Pattern. One great suggestion that she wrote is to go up one size, because stretch denim isn't quite as stretchy as cotton spandex or cotton jersey. 

To create the appearance of traditional jeans, Autumn had to make a few simple adjustments to the leggings. She added faux pockets to the front, real pockets to the back, a faux fly (where a zipper would go), and a button. Besides the back pockets, these aren't functional changes as much as they are changes that help create the illusion of jeans.

Now that you know how to sew up some jeans for your little one, it's time to make a matching pair for yourself! Shop Women's Pants Sewing Patterns for several different options to create your Mommy & Me look. A few of my picks from the store:

Shop Girl Charlee Twill & Denim Fabric for a great selection of high quality stretch denim fabrics. We carry solids in several different colors, and if you're looking for a bold statement piece, we have fun printed denim too! A few of my picks from the store:

We hope you enjoy this tutorial!  We love to see what you sew up so please send 1-2 images of any project you make with Girl Charlee Fabrics to gcblog@girlcharlee.com and you might see your creation featured in our next KnitPicks!

Happy sewing!
~ Heather & The Girl Charlee Team