Clever Charlotte–Sewing Patterns for Modern Children's Clothes Blog
12 Mar 2014

DesignMom Interview

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Hi Folks!  I wanted to alert you to a blog entry from my favorite lifestyle blog, DesignMom and it’s all about me!

LivingNookGabrielle was a pleasure to work with and while I was nervous to showcase my home and my thoughts in such a public way, the questions she asks really made me stop and appreciate my family and the place where we live.  So you are welcome to come on in and tour my home!


25 Feb 2014

MidCentury Child’s Chair

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Hi Folks.  Just wanted to share a quick little project I finished last week that has me super excited.  While out shopping with my 3-year-old at a local vintage store, she spotted a little chrome child’s chair in the dusty basement of the store.



I wasn’t keen on the purchase but when she batted her eyes at me I made the $20 purchase. I knew recovering the 1970′s vinyl wouldn’t be a problem but the chrome was damaged in several areas.

Before3If you look closely you can see the areas of rusted gunk.

Before2Thank goodness for the internet to cure all ills… I found this BradyBunchRemodel post which outlines the steps to refinish the chrome with just a bit of tinfoil!  Can  you imagine… so simple!  After a very little bit work with the tinfoil and some quick work of a staple gun, here’s my daughter’s new chair.

After1I was totally amazed how easily the rust came of just by rubbing the tinfoil across the chrome.  The only downside of the project was that the reaction of the two metals creates this black stuff that stains your fingernails.  Next time I will wear gloves.

After2The chair fabric is from my favorite linen source Gray Line Linens. Though it’s tricky to see from the photo, this linen is light tan with a gold finish. I love the contrast between the chrome and soft gold.

Wren Chair

Here’s the happy girl in her chair.  Now does anyone know where we can find another so we can avoid the girls fighting over this one?



20 Feb 2014

London Calling

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Anyone up for a trip to London?  We just received images of the cutest winter store display featuring our Starling Dress from The Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead, London.


How wonderful of them to showcase the Starling in Foxes in Snow from Wildwood.  Charlotte loves the combination of the fun fox print with the graphic flounce.

HaberdasheryGetting itchy for spring?  Sew up a Starling Dress and be ready!  Thanks for the inspiration, Village Haberdashery!

31 Jan 2014

Hoodie to Cape

1 Comment Raven Hoodie & Pants

Things have been a little slow around our household with all the school closings due to arctic temperatures.  To survive the cabin fever, we needed a new addition for the dress up box. A couple quick modifications to our Raven Hoodie pattern and here we are!


A few months ago I came across a florist/party planning shop that was going out of business.  As part of the sale, there were gobs of textiles used to dress banquet tables.  After digging through dusty detritus, I found 3 yards of lovely red velvet.  It’s polyester, which I would usually avoid like the plague, but what’s not to love about FREE??!?


Changing the Raven Hoodie to a fabulous cape requires some simple adjustments: a new shoulder seam and a lengthened hem.

Starting where the Front and Back shoulder seam meet at the neck, redraw the shoulder by coming out about as far as the original sleeve and curving down parallel to the Center Front and Back. Make sure this curve matches on both the Front and Back pieces in length and curvature.  


The hood is attached in the same manner as described in the instructions.


My daughter is thrilled that she can now be either a wizard or little red riding hood…

Cape1…or maybe even a velvet super  hero!

Cape4Stay warm and keep sewing, friends.


~ Carla


25 Jan 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Flip

1 Comment Chickadee Blouse & Skirt

Voting is underway at Frances Suzanne for your favorite Chickadee Flips.

Voting will remain open until Sunday, January 26 at 11:00 PM CST.

The 4 contestants, Al, Cindy, Heidi, and Janice, each did such an amazing job with re-imagining our Chickadee Blouse & Skirt. We are truly in awe of their creativity and their attention to details!  Head-to-toe, we think they are all winners!

Don’t forget to check out the lovely sew-along-at-home looks too [Click here and here].

Just to recap the looks, in order of appearance on Frances Suzanne:

Janice’s Classic Wool Jacket and Plaid Skirt {So-Cal Sewing Mom}

Janice Flip this Pattern

Heidi’s Drop Waist Dress with a Cape {greendoodle}

Heidi Flip this Pattern

Al’s Radiant Orchid Dress Coat {Shaffer Sisters}

Al Flip this Pattern2

Cindy’s Piped Jacket and Box Pleat Skirt {Siestas and Sewing}

Cindy Flip This Pattern


Please help us show our support for these ladies by voting this weekend!!


Happy sewing!


~ Erin and Carla

15 Jan 2014

Orchid in Action

2 Comments Orchid Top & Skirt

Sometimes it’s tough to tell exactly how a pattern will sew up until you can see it on a live model.  Well, here are some of the cutest models we know sporting our new Orchid Top and Skirt.


On the left is a purple poplin Orchid Top and a metallic brocade skirt is sewn up as a Size 3 and worn by my rather small 3-year old.  Not to leave my 6 year old out, I whipped up a Size 5 velvet skirt this weekend and it took no more than an hour to produce (*disclaimer: this is the 7th or 8th Orchid skirt I’ve sewn in the creation of this new pattern so I’m getting rather proficient!  I would estimate an average sewer could get the skirt done in under 2 hrs).


I see this skirt working for many occasions and many seasons.  My girls even tried to wear their Orchid skirts skiing this past weekend, but this idea was quickly shot down by my husband who is a purist on the slopes.


The recent deep freeze in the Ohio valley modified our typical clothing choices, but now that we are back above freezing temperatures, I think the Orchid will make a show at school this week.

Here’s a [rather out-of-focus] look at the back placket in detail.  I love being able to use covered buttons to spice up a look with contrasting fabric.




A happy little model in her favorite color: purple!

Happy Sewing!

~ Carla