2011 January

Archive for January, 2011

27 Jan 2011

Our Spring/Summer 2011 Pattern Collection

Comments Off Design Updates, Inspiration, Shop News

Erin finally unshackled me from my drafting table long enough to tell you about our inaugural collection of girl’s clothing patterns that we plan to release this April. Our Spring/Summer 2011 collection includes four looks with six total pieces which we feel can form the staples of every girls’ warm weather wardrobe: two dresses, a capri pant/top combo and a short/top combo.

Each look has been created for the inspired sewer who wishes to create unique garments for their favorite girl. Our collection is rich in design elements that we think makes each garment stand apart from what you would find at a big box retail store and, what’s more, FUN to sew!

The design process began in September 2010 when our vision for an original pattern company started to take real shape in the form of Clever Charlotte. Erin and I sat down and sketched loads of possible designs and narrowed them down to a few of our favorites. I translated these favorites into pattern form by hand drafting, with the help of our 3T dress form. Next,we sewed up countless muslins to make sure that each pattern worked on real little bodies. Though our ‘fit models’ (our daughters and the daughters of very gracious friends) were not always so willing to participate in fittings, we found candy bribes improved their willingness tremendously.

Patterns in ProgressThe pieces in the collection have been inspired by many things, but mostly our daughters and our desire for them to be confident, creative individuals. With a nod to current trends, we have designed with our own closets in mind. While we knew we had to narrow down the looks to just a few core components, we are excited to use this website to introduce additional embellishments and variations for each piece that we hope will expand on the design options available to you and further inspire you to keep on creating.

We can’t wait to share our inaugural collection with you, which we hope, together with our tailored fabric selections that will also be available for purchase, will provide people who sew with exciting new options for modern children’s’ wear.  Stay tuned for more details and pictures of the S/S11 Clever Charlotte looks in the upcoming weeks.

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11 Jan 2011

Inspiration—Part 1

Comments Off Inspiration

Art by Anne Siems/Small Magazine W2010

Art by Anne Siems/Small Magazine W2010

Where do you find inspiration?  Not surprisingly, the on-line craft and sewing community has been a boundless source of ideas for me.  Most mornings, I am more excited to open up my Google reader to see what blog-goodness has sprung up overnight than I am to open my email.

In addition to the many blogs I follow, one of my favorite on-line resources are digital magazines.  These e-magazines are published with varying degrees of frequency, but never fail to be rich in styling & vision.  In addition to relishing the amazing photography & graphic design, I make a point to pour meticulously over the ads, which themselves provide a roadmap to unique and eclectic products.

Allow me to share some of the kid-centric webzines that I have bookmarked.  I should add that all of these are free and have companion blogs for even more inspiration on a daily basis. (As always, click on an image to enlarge it!)

  • Smallable. One of my favorites is Paris-based Smallable, which has been around for 2 years.  As you’d probably expect from its French-ness, it is at the forefront of children’s fashion.  An ad-free magazine, it features simple photos and minimal text (luckily, they publish an English version).  In addition to clothes, the magazine includes kids’ furniture, toys, room décor, etc. from designers world-wide.  Smallable opened their Paris concept store in 2010, but luckily for those of us in the US, most of the items are available for purchase in their webstore, often exclusively.

    Winter 2010 Inspiration Children's Fashion

    Smallable Magazine, Winter 2010

  • Small Magazine. Not to be confused with Smallable Magazine, Small Magazine has been publishing four issues a year since 2007.  Small’s focus is independent and smaller designers for children, and each quarterly issue devotes quite a few pages to author and artist interviews as well as large photo spreads about their creations.  Throw in a few elaborate photo shoots to rival an issue of Vogue, a DIY craft project, a recipe or two and voila!

Summer 2010

One of my favorite regular features in Small are the themed collages that compile the works of many different artists into such a lovely and artful display.

  • Babiekins. Similar to the content and whimsical aesthetic of Small is Babiekins, another US-based webzine.  Expect to find ethereal photos and a heavy emphasis on design, designers and the design process.

    Babiekins Magazine, Issue 3

  • LMNOP. LMNOP, an Australian offering, finds the most interesting and novel toys and other kid-friendly products, and includes parenting tips and lots of DIY projects.
01 Jan 2011

Start Small, Think Big

Comments Off Of Note

Have you ever had a creative idea that wakes you in the middle of the night with all of the endless possibilities swirling around in your head?  For Carla & me, Clever Charlotte has been that idea for many months now.  We can’t wait to share more with you and transform our creative energy into yours.   For now, have a little patience as we set the stage. It’s coming, we promise.

PS 1/1/11 — Today’s the first day of many for this little blog and I think the date is befitting our simple start, don’t you?