Clever Charlotte–Sewing Patterns for Modern Children's Clothes Blog
03 Jun 2013

Galena’s Alive!

3 Comments Galena Dress

Galena Dress Sewing Pattern by Clever Charlotte

Thank you all for your tremendous response to our newest pattern, the Galena Dress!! I just got the last of the orders out today that were placed through last Saturday, so I hope yours arrive soon.  Please don’t forget to share your finished Galenas with our Flickr group.

Galena live3

Here’s Carla’s Miss E dressed in our “cover look” from the new pattern. Our dress form is a size 3T and I’d say Miss E is just at the cusp of outgrowing it–especially in the length. (For comparison’s sake she’s a size 5 in commercial retail sizing.)

Galena Dress by Clever Charlotte

I have another Galena Dress version to share with you this week, and then I am hoping to do some “me” sewing, which I almost never do (hemming pants doesn’t count).

What about all of you, any fun summer sewing projects waiting in the wings for when you are in your air conditioned house waiting out the heat wave?  Or do your sewing urges go dormant in the summer?

Happy Sewing!










23 May 2013

Introducing Our Galena Dress Pattern

8 Comments Galena Dress

I am not going to lie–we are totally biased toward our latest pattern!

Galena Dress Pattern by Clever CharlotteOur Galena Dress maximizes the minimalist approach of bias tape trim to make a bold statement.  See how it frames the criss-cross bodice…

Galena Dress Pattern by Clever Charlotte…not to mention the “peek-a-boo” sleeves?

Galena Dress Pattern by Clever CharlotteJust in time for warmer weather, the keyhole openings in the Galena Dress will take full advantage of summer breezes.  It will easily transition from swimsuit cover-up, to a party dress and everything in between.

Galena Dress Pattern by Clever Charlotte

Bias trim is a great way to show off a small amount of signature fabric from your private collection or to splurge just a teensy bit on a small Liberty print (as we’ve done here). It only takes 1/2 yard of fabric to make enough bias trim for the Dress and you’ll have a little extra to spare.

Not up to making your own bias tape?  Commercially available trim is widely available too–more on that next week!

Order Up!

Yes! The pattern is now up for sale in the shop–though we won’t be shipping it until next week. (Any orders placed with a Galena pattern will be held until the pattern is ready.) But to make it so worth the wait, we are offering not one, but TWO delightful sales incentives to entice you to pick up those older patterns you’ve had your eye on:

 Now through May 31st:

Save 20 percent on all

older collections of patterns


order any 2 patterns and receive

the Eider Tunic pattern FREE!

The sale prices are now in effect and the only thing you need to do to get the free Eider is to place your order of 2+ patterns (we’ll happily add it in with your package) …so hurry on over and check it all out!

Happy Sewing!


09 May 2013

Coming Soon: A New Pattern!

4 Comments Design Updates, In the Workroom

Faithful readers, please don’t think we have fallen off the face of the earth.  The last month has been extremely hectic for both of us gals here at Clever Charlotte.  I am in the process of a move to a new home in the adjacent community, though still within walking distance to Erin.  Erin has been lawyering around town to keep her cerebral juices flowing.  Every spare creative moment we’ve had we are putting towards our newest pattern, due out in a couple weeks.   Yes!  A new pattern for summertime!

Well…. it’s not exactly true that ALL of my creative moments are directed to the new release.  Of course I’ve had a few little home-decor projects for the new digs, mostly for the girls’ rooms. I found matching upholstered headboards at our local thrift store and I’m embarrassed to say how little I paid.  Combined with free leftover pink ikat fabric from my mother’s stash, I rid the world of a little more chintz.






“But what about matching curtains?” you ask?  Here they are:


I had so much fun at my first attempt at grommet-top curtains.  I found the hardware at Rowley.  All you need are the grommets, a little plastic setter, and a mallet.  Easy peasy!

OK.  Back to work on the new pattern.  No more home-dec projects until the release!



30 Mar 2013

Hop, hop, hop.

1 Comment Olivine Dress

A spring treat for this holiday week.

Olivine Easter dress

Even with Passover and Easter upon us, you would think Mother Nature would be sending some daffodils and balmy breezes to lift our spirits. But not here in northern Ohio, where the temperature remains steady at the freezing point and there is still snow on the ground. Nevertheless, I’ve been sewing for my girls again.

The girls still have not grown out of their constant desire to be twins, so here are their requested matching dresses.


Luckily I had just enough gorgeous purpley poppy matte brocade fabric sourced in NYC a few years ago to use for the bodices. The skirts are created from a fine wale corduroy courtesy of our favorite in town fabric-retailer, while the chartreuse faux belt was carried all the way back from Thailand by my brother!  Thanks, Seth!


You may notice that the gorgeous little bow hand-tacked to the belt at the waistline of the dress. I created it using a Flourish Shoe Clip bow (part of a new accessory kit line we will be launching via Etsy soon–take a sneak peak at the bow tie kits already in the shop).


The bodice pattern pieces are from our Olivine Dress (using the Bodice Lining piece for the main fabric) but the cap sleeves shown are a variation of the Olivine original. Here’s how I changed the original sleeve to make a cap sleeve.

photo (39)

After cutting out the cap sleeve (cut along the dashed line shown above), you baste and insert the sleeve in a manner similar to a full sleeve.


Happy spring holidays to all!


20 Mar 2013

Press On

2 Comments In the Workroom

So, I’m back.  I haven’t been doing much sewing these last few weeks (though I have been thinking of such things, for sure), but I have been…letterpressing!


I have been dying to try a printing class at Cleveland’s local printing coop, Zygote Press, and was excited when my weekend schedule afforded me the chance to spend two whole days there.

Letterpressing Our Thank You Cards at Zygote Press

We were supposed to design and print a business card for our class project.  I designed a card to include with Clever Charlotte orders instead, so look for one of these cards in a Clever Charlotte package coming your way soon!

Sneak Peak at Our Thank You Cards

We printed our cards on a Chandler & Price, one of the leading platen presses of its day and still highly sought after. The C&P also happened to be  made right here in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.–see?

Letterpressing Our Thank You Cards

Letterpressing Our Thank You Cards

Before starting out on the C&P, we ginned up a hand-cranked Vandercook to proof our designs. Here are the 4 student works being locked up in the bed–

Letterpressing Our Thank You Cards

Letterpressing Our Thank You Cards

There were lots of other fun, old-timey things in the studio to photograph–

The Challenge Machinery Co.

I can’t wait to get back into the studio to finish up my cards, hopefully in a custom color, and who knows what other fun projects!

Letterpressing Our Thank You Cards

Happy pressing!

~ Erin

18 Mar 2013

High Fashion Flounce

1 Comment Starling Dress & Shirt

Recently on the runway scene there have been a slew of wonderful pieces that incorporate a flounce.  I thought they provided great inspiration for working with our unique Starling Dress flounce pattern piece.  Here are some ideas to use both on the Starling Dress and other patterns you may have in your collection.

Wouldn’t it be great to apply the Starling Flounce pattern piece to the armhole of a basic shift dress and let it drape down? (from Gucci)

I adore how this flounce application wraps gracefully around the shoulders (from Gucci):

And again, accenting the shoulders (from Gucci):

How about some asymmetry from Chloe Spring 2013 Ready to Wear?

Or this wide flounce from a center placket, not dissimilar from our original Starling Dress design (also from Chloe, Fall 2013 Ready to Wear.)

Does this get you inspired to rework your Starling Flounce?  We’d love to see your frothy concoctions posted to our flickr group!