IMGP9590 Today you are witness to my latest victory in the world of men's fashion - Matt has officially decided he likes wearing prints!  Wahoo!  The world of menswear fabric shopping just became SO MUCH MORE FUN for me. IMGP9594 This awesome cotton/spandex knit came from Girl Charlee - an online fabric store where the most beautiful printed knits that are perfectly suited to the Strathcona Henley and T-shirt pattern exist in abundance. IMGP9587 I had a lot of fun planning out how the stripey 'Aztec' inspired print would fall on the tee.  I cut the neckline binding so that it would feature one of the smaller designs so that it wouldn't look too wild and then, when Matt tried the un-hemmed t-shirt on, we decided it would be neat to end the sleeves and the t-shirt hem at the same section of the pattern for a bit of consistency.  I think little decisions like this (plus a conservative sleeve length and overall style) help to calm the impression made by the wild print.  It's all a game of balance!IMGP9584 I'm learning that it's best to snag Matt for a photo shoot when he's planning to do something that keeps his mind off the awkwardness of posing for photos - in this case, he was just about to ride his bike to work this morning.  (By the way, I would be remiss not to ask you to admire his bike a little after he so patiently posed for me!  He just finished repainting it and re-assembling it after switching it from a regular mountain bike to a fixed gear bike, isn't he clever?!) IMGP9583 Now, to share the fun I've been having sewing menswear with prints, Girl Charlee has very generously offered to give one of you readers a $30 gift certificate to their store.  They are one of our newest PDF pattern stockists so now you can head to their store for a one stop shopping experience when you next want to sew up a pair of knit Comox Trunks (for example)...which, coincidentally, are the PERFECT platform for the most wild of prints - only you will ever see how crazy they look! IMGP9579 To enter yourself in the contest for this $30 gift certificate, simply leave a comment explaining what menswear garment you would want to sew in a Girl Charlee knit fabric.  The winner will be chosen this Friday, July 18th so head on over to Girl Charlee right away to pick your knit and then leave a comment below.  Have fun planning your garments!



dressingtherole said:

A crazy thought just popped into my head – would it be possible to turn the Comox into a (somewhat scandalous) pair of swim trunks? Modified somewhat to be a little more decent, of course. I’m about to embark on my first swimsuit for myself, so I have swimwear on the mind!


sewgrandma said:

I have been planning to order the Strathcona Henley pattern to make a shirt for son#2’s 38th BDay. That is coming up July 22. Since I haven’t ordered the pattern yet I would make view 1 shirt for Xmas. Son #1 (40) is going to get view 2 shirt for Xmas. They are particular in their taste but “nothing ventured is nothing gained”. DH needs undershirts so I’ve got that covered with your free pattern. Love your patterns.


Judy said:

Comex trunks all the way! I would use the bear print from the wildlife collection.

Amy Y

Amy Y said:

I’d love to make my hubby a Henley!!

Barb Jolly

Barb Jolly said:

I would make a shirt using the same Aztec print.


nextbestbetty said:

I would love to sew some Men’s Henley shirts! Girl Charlee has such nice, affordable fabric!!


tworandomwords said:

Surprisingly, I didn’t even have to convince Mr. Guy to wear a shirt covered in cats wearing sweaters so I’m pretty sure he’s game for whatever I make for him (although for some options I wont ask him before I make it, that way he can’t say no!). I’d definitely make him more t-shirts, with the scraps going to Comox trunks (he loves wearing his bright polka dot trunks).


Kathryn said:

My 13 year old daughter sewed a Strathcona henley for her dad this winter. We had very little fabric choices in our local fabric store. It would be nice to try again (and improve upon the placket) with a wider variety of knit choices from Girl Charlee!


Katie said:

I’m thinking either a Strathcona tee in the Vintage Motorcycle jersey blend fabric or Ivory Tossed Alphabet jersey blend fabric!

As you can tell, my man has no problem wearing prints!


Tammy said:

What an awesome Strathcona tee. I would sew my husband a Strathcona t-shirt with the heather gray blue yellow gradient cotton jersey. The selection of knits at Girl Charlee are incredible! We’re limited by Fabricland where I live with so many "unknown fibre’ knits. Thanks for the opportunity!

Kristin Parker

Kristin Parker said:

I love Girl Charlee & think the Henley is cute.


Tiffany said:

My hubby and I love motorcycles, so I’d probably use the Vintage Motorcycle print. That would work for a Strathcona tee and maybe matching Comox trunks!


Naomi said:

I would love to make another Strathcona Henley for my boyfriend! I made him one so far and he wears it a lot – and looks so good in it! Totally a win-win situation ;)


Liz said:

I bought the comox trunks ages ago to make a pair for my fiance, but because of uni and work and all those pretty dresses I’m yet to choose fabric for them – maybe I could convince my James to wear some interesting undies for once!


Erin said:

My husband has been bugging me to make the strathcona henley! i’d love to give it a try.


fionamakes said:

Definitely a Strathcona tee! Never made a tee for my guy before and would love to try!


fabrictragic said:

I’ve been promising my hubs a Strathcona tee for ages, and he’s all about plain colours right now, so a navy cotton-spandex would probably be his first choice. And yes, very impressed about the bike – and I like your photography strategy! :) thanks for the giveaway!


Luminosajane said:

I have to Comax trunks pattern—need to choose some fabric! I’d also love to do the Henley


gilliancrafts said:

Thanks Morgan! What a lovely thoughtful reply! Your points about price in relation to cheap RTW makes a lot of sense of me, and is a good way to think about it. I’ve certainly bought excellent fabric at those prices, both locally and online, but there’s a lot of crap in that price range too! I’m glad to hear their swimwear is on point – they’ll have lots of fans for that. (Also, I’m getting the feeling that as someone just outside the Toronto area, I’ve got access to a much better selection of fabric “locally-ish” than you do! And thanks to Fabricland sales, I really never pay more than $5-7/m for nice jersey.) I"m sure you have to go through lots of yardage when you are testing patterns so I can see the appeal of something affordable!

I think my frustration comes in as someone who tries to read the descriptions really carefully to make informed choices… and then consistently the descriptions are way off! Even when I kept that in mind on this last order and tried to keep in mind that things would be lighter than described, I still didn’t manage to choose well! That said, I did just blog a dress that I made with the black floral print I loved from them, and the fabric was just lovely to work with. It really comes down to consistency for me, and clearly, I’ve had better luck elsewhere.

Speaking of better luck elsewhere – I got 3m of black interlock secondhand at Value Village today for $6, and I’m excited to try out your free men’s undershirt with it! My mister is a bit outside your size range, but I figure that’s an easy pattern to grade up. Thanks for offering it!


helencloke said:

I’m planning to make my husband some comox trunks as a Father’s Day gift. I think I’d be able to get away with using the crazy Kumquat Teal Navajo Modal Cotton Rayon Spandex. It features his favourite colours afterall!


sarah said:

I like Girl Charlee’s selection but definitely agree with gilliancrafts above…that being said, you just cannot beat their prices or print choices and I am constantly ogling their newest lines. I think that the Strathcona Henley would be a great choice for some of their jersey prints (and on a side note, I want to try some of their new peach skin fabrics to see how well they are made). Thanks for the giveaway!


Anonymous said:

I want so badly to try the comix pattern for husband and son. Heathered knit would be their choice. A saucy print would be mine!

Crunchy Con Mom

Crunchy Con Mom said:

I think my husband actually would love that Henley too! I don’t think he’d go for Aztec, but I bet he’d do a stripe or something.

Amy G

Amy G said:

I would make some comox trunks for my hubs. I would have to let him pick the print though…he’s picky!


Cora said:

Wow, I’m so impressed you got him to wear prints! It looks fantastic. I think I could probably get my husband to wear stripes…. maybe. But a Strathcona in a solid would be a hit!


ThreadTheory said:

Hi Gillian,
Wow, I really appreciate your honest videos and I think you should keep those up whenever you have a review of something sewing related (though I know videos can be tons of work so no pressure!). I have been generally quite happy with my Girl Charlee purchases so far. First off, so you know, I have been buying fabric with my own money and have not received any of their fabric for free. When they began stocking our patterns they generously offered fabric to me but I preferred to spread the knit awesomeness with readers through a gift card and they were flexible and happily did so! I just wanted to say this so that you know I’m giving my actual opinion when I sew with their fabrics and not a sponsored one!

I agree with many points that you made in your video, especially that the weights of the fabrics you purchased were not as heavy as you expected. This was the same experience for both of my orders that included jersey but I was actually quite pleased with this for most of the fabrics because the knits available to me locally are much thicker than Matt prefers to wear and often either too wrinkly or too drapey for menswear. The cotton blends that I purchased (such as the one I used for Matt’s shirt) are much better suited to t-shirts than anything I can find locally because they are fairly stable, are lighter weight and they wash quite well (all of them became softer and a little stretchier after washing). The bathing suit spandex that I bought for myself, on the other hand, was exactly the weight I expected and actually (in my limited experience of nylon spandex!) better quality than I expected for the price point. The sweater knits I have purchased are much thinner than I expected (so I agree with you that the descriptions tend to be a little misleading) and have a pronounced polyester content, but so far they have washed very well and still look lovely and new (plus their sweater knit prints and textures simply CAN’T be found elsewhere for anything less than $20/yard or metre!).

Now, a note on price – I wasn’t expecting any of the fabrics I purchased from Girl Charlee to be high end knits and instead anticipated them to be equivalent to what I would find at popular lower priced ready-to-wear stores simply based on the price point. I think Girl Charlee pricing is spot on for their fabric quality. To me they are a great combination of trendy and cute prints unavailable to me elsewhere and textures/weights that Matt and I prefer to wear while also being realistically mid-range when it comes to quality (and also mid to low range when it comes to price). To give you a bit of a comparison to knits I have access to elsewhere: The knit I purchased for our Comox Trunks supplies kit is the same price wholesale (50% of the retail price) as most Girl Charlee fabrics are at retail pricing – so I would certainly expect far different characteristics from a fabric of that price point!

To sum things up, I really enjoy shopping at Girl Charlee for the access to awesome prints and different weights and textures than would otherwise be available to me and I also am really grateful for their super affordable pricing. I find, even with shipping, I pay far less than I would if I purchased fabrics locally (especially if I make a large order!). I think their fabrics are perfectly suited to fun and trendy sewing projects that you plan to wear a season or two but I would maybe suggest looking for higher end and higher priced fabric to create a wardrobe staple that will last many years.

I hope this little review is helpful to you and anyone else who reads it! Thank you for giving me the incentive to write it and for providing your super useful videos. Good luck with your online fabric shopping experiments!

- Morgan


Meg said:

I can’t wait to try to make some menswear! I would try to rub off his favorite pair of lounge pants (I think they are really long underwear that hit below the knees) that my husband bought at Uniqlo. He lives in them, and I would like to make a week’s worth so I don’t have to wash the dang things all the time! They look best in crazy prints.


Alyssa said:

I’d love to try out the Strathcona Henley pattern. Probably in the black and cream tri blend stipe that I’ve been admiring.

Michelle Horst

Michelle Horst said:

Hmmm menswear, a different avenue for me. :). The strathcona T-shirt looks like fun.


Heather said:

I’d love to copy my mister’s favorite RTW tshirt. His are getting raggedy.


Lydia said:

I love Girl Charlee! I would make my husband the same shirt but in a cool green!


Valonda said:

I think it would be awesome to sew up several pairs of comox trunks! I’ve gotten some great fabric from Girl Charlee that would be perfect!

Susan Malone

Susan Malone said:

I think I would like to try stitching the Strathcona Henley. I never sew for my husband and this has made me think it might a possibility!


Christine said:

That shirt looks great. I don’t think my husband is too interested in patterns but I’m sure he’d like a Strathcona Henley in a solid. Although if it was a blue pattern… I can get him to agree to anything as long as it’s blue. Thanks for the giveaway.


fenna said:

I have sewn the Newcastle and the comox in Girl Charlee fabric!!! I’d love to sew up another Newcastle though the t-shirt would be fun as well!


meganleiann said:

I’m eager to try the Newcastle again. I’ve been eying Girl Charlee for a while. It might be time to order.


gilliancrafts said:

Great t-shirt! I’ve had very mixed luck with Girl Charlee – well, to be honest, mostly bad! I did a video of my latest order on my blog , and I’d be so curious to know how it compares to your own experience! (You certainly seem happy, which is great – I’m just mystified why I’ve been disappointed three times! Here’s my post:
Like you, I’m shipping to Canada, and it just so disappointing when after all the postage the fabric just isn’t what the descriptions promised!


brookechurch said:

I want to make some Comox trunks for my man!

Beth Byrge

Beth Byrge said:

I already have some GC tri blend fabric to make a tshirt for my hubby! But I’m sure I could always use more… :)


Rosalie said:

T shirts that mix prints and solids.


lilysageandco said:

Having seen this post, I would say a Henley! I’ve sewn one for hubby so far, but would rather poke my eyes out that sew a dozen more in monochrome. I think it’s time he started accepting prints and this could be the way to convince him…


Mel said:

The only menswear item I’ve ever made is the comox trunks. My husband loves a good henley, though, this would be the perfect excuse to try it out :) thanks for the chance!


Rachel said:

Oh I’m dying to make a Strathcona for my fella! If I could get him to wear prints that would be the best, I think instead I might utilize that bleaching method you made a tutorial for a little while ago instead to make something that’s not so plain but not as big of a jump for him as an amazing print.


Amy said:

I’d love to make a Strathcona Henley! I don’t know if I could get my bf to go for a print though…maybe seeing this tee will convince him!


addrudge said:

Hmm, not sure I could get the hubs to wear a print other than stripes. I do really like the heather knits though. I can picture a long sleeved, black Strathcona. Kinda boring but my man looks good in black :)


suzanne said:

Matching shirts for my boy and my man!


desedera said:

My guy is pretty conservative about prints. But I think he would like a Strathcona henley out of the Gray Aqua Tie Dye Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric. I haven’t made up the pattern yet, so this would be the perfect opportunity.

Tara Malinowski

Tara Malinowski said:

I would sew up some Comox Trunks, I love how they fit my husband.


misscrayolacreepy said:

Cool shirt and cool bike! Go Matt!

I would like to make this shirt again :) Luke really likes the first version I made him and I owe him another one.

Lindsay Woodward

Lindsay Woodward said:

Oh, I love Girl Charlee! I would make by husband some Strathcona henleys out of their deep forest and sandalwood French terry knit fabrics.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.