Design Updates

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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!



05 Sep 2012

Introducing Our New AW2012 Collection!

11 Comments Design Updates, Patterns

We are excited to share Clever Charlotte’s three new looks for fancy affairs, school, and play! Look for a separate announcement in the next several days when the patterns are ready for pre-sale.

So, without further delay–

1. Olivine Dress:  Our signature dress–lots of pleats really make the Olivine Dress sing and will have your little girl twirling on the dance floor.  Have fun selecting a special fabric (like the Liberty Tana Lawn we’ve used here) for the contrasting skirt pleats and pockets!

2. Peridot Blouse & Ankle Pants:  There is no shortage of special detailing in our Peridot Blouse & Ankle Pants–the detachable Peter Pan-style collar can be modified in any number of ways to embellish the Blouse or a ready-to-wear dress or sweater in your little girl’s closet. The accompanying skinny Pants have a row of 5 buttons at each ankle. We’ve styled them here with covered buttons in a contrasting fabric, but this is the perfect opportunity to use other decorative buttons in your stash.

3. Jasper Vest & Jodhpur Pants: The modern lines of our Jasper Vest & Jodhpur Pants are perfect for boys and girls. The Vest has an asymmetrical zipper up the front.  We show it here with a gathered back and buttoned tab (harkening back to our Finch Shorts).  We think the Vest is a fun accent piece for any outfit as well as a warm, practical layer for chillier days. The Pants have an elastic back waist and pleated side panels that lend a comfortable feel of European styling. 

We hope you like the new looks as much as we do.  Here are a few other close-up shots of each new pattern in the collection.  

We hope you’ll pin the looks you like on Pinterest!

As noted above, we’ll be announcing the start of pre-sales soon–with a special offer for our other patterns.  Be sure to sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t already so you don’t miss a thing!

Happy Sewing!


30 Aug 2012

Charlotte Gets a Makeover

9 Comments Design Updates, Of Note

In recent months we’ve alluded to some big changes we’ve been making to how we do things around here. Today, we are excited to show you the updated look for our logo that will be part of the new patterns to be unveiled soon.  You’ll start to see Charlotte’s new look on our website and other places in the next few weeks.We worked with the lovely gals at Chartreuse to design this new look and to bring a fresh, sophisticated feel to our pattern packaging.  I think I am as excited about this aspect of the new patterns as I am about the patterns themselves!

So, for the new patterns–how soon until we have something to show you? How does NEXT WEEK sound??  We will have photos and details of the 3 new patterns on the blog by mid-week, and, if all goes well between now and then, pre-sales will start at the end of next week.

Have a great long weekend everyone and happy sewing!

~ Erin

23 Jul 2012

A New Team Member

8 Comments Design Updates, Of Note, Shop News

We had a special delivery from Jay, the Printer Fairy, last week and look what he brought, on an old hospital gurney, no less!

Now residing in our guest bedroom  studio, against what might have been the last 5′ strip of unadulterated wall space remaining in my entire house–

It’s a new printer, very nearly the size and weight of any employee we could have hired, so it is easy to think of it as such.

This new printer will print our patterns in full-scale, which should make test sewing and the like a much faster process for us.  It is but one of several very noteworthy changes we’ve been making behind the scenes at Clever Charlotte over the last few months, all in anticipation of the debut of our next collection.  

Speaking of new patterns, we are into the nitty gritty of finalizing all the details of the new Autumn/Winter collection, but we are still a little way’s off. Postings will be light until then as it feels every waking minute is consumed by these patterns and general midsummer fatigue.

What else does Charlotte have up her sleeve?

Well, for starters, the new collection: it consists of 3 looks in all. One is a dress, and not just any dress–one that will really get your heart rate up (couldn’t we all use a little more aerobic sewing?)  The other two outfits are pants/separates just right for back to school sewing.  They will integrate well with patterns from our prior collections.  Fingers crossed that we’ll have some pictures/ordering details available on our blog come August!

We are also adopting a new nomenclature for these patterns to replace the avian theme used heretofore and will likely continue changing it up every so often in the future. Surprisingly we were able to  get a lot of life out of the bird names used for our first two collections.  But finding suitable names was becoming increasingly harder (Nuthatch, Titmouse, and Killdee will have to wait). We’ve reached into one of our former lives for inspiration to name the upcoming patterns.

The final thing I am excited to share with you today is that, after the release of our 3 new Autumn/Winter patterns, we will be moving away from semi-annual releases of pattern collections and instead, we’ll be releasing single patterns more continually throughout the year, as the mood strikes us, more or less. We feel that this will enable us to nimbly react to new trends and our own creative impulses and to move patterns from concept to our store much more quickly.

So lots more to come soon.  Until then, happy sewing!


10 Oct 2011

A Busy Month

1 Comment Design Updates, In the Workroom

I spent a good deal of time over the weekend planning many, many sewing projects for the remainder of the month.  (All this planning and sewing may have resulted in a missed appointment with the Tooth Fairy on Saturday night, but we can’t say for sure.) With KCWC this week, our new collection launch imminent and Halloween just around the corner, there will be no break for my sewing machine or me for the remainder of October.

So in lieu of any actual finished garments to day, I thought I’d share what is on my to do list and is likely to appear on our blog in future weeks.

First, Halloween.  This is one of the few times of the year that I sew for my 6-year old son.  JR has requested an Obi Wan Kenobi outfit to go with his prized light saber (pictured below).  Unfortunately, patterns for Jedi Knight costumes are as hard to find as Jedi Knights themselves and, accordingly, sell on Ebay for ridiculous amounts.  So, I am winging it. May the force be with me.

Nora’s costume is also going to be a one-off design and is in such an early conceptualization stage right now, I don’t dare commit to anything on paper–or blog as the case may be.  I promise pictures of any winning designs, but reserve the right to make a very generic Tinkerbell from a Simplicity pattern instead.

Next, school clothes for Nora, featuring several new Clever Charlotte designs.

- A pair of Raven Pants in our drake corduroy + several coordinating Chickadee Blouses:

- An Eider Tunic in our mustard Etchings cotton with white bib:

- And finally, a Raven Hoodie featuring this Echino linen/cotton fabric:

I also am hoping to do a boy-inspired Raven Pants & Hoodie with this corduroy and plaid  (I am a huge sucker for plaid pants–the plaider the better):

In addition to these kids items, I took the bold step over the weekend of ordering two fabrics for me!  Sound ambitious?  You betcha!  So enough typing already, back to the cutting table…

Happy Sewing!


06 Oct 2011

Kestrel Coat Details

2 Comments Design Updates, Kestrel Coat

Looking for the complete new fall collection? Click here.
We mentioned earlier this week that the Kestrel Coat has some unique design elements that will make this coat really stand out on the playground. Today, we want to share some closer up shots of our Kestrel Coat so that you can get a clearer picture of those details.  Above is the coat from Monday’s post that is sewn up in our navy velveteen.  Here’s a second version in our Drake Corduroy that uses a contrasting lining on the collar.

Carla sewed up this size 5 version for a little friend’s 5th birthday. She used the mustardy Etchings fabric for the lining. Unlike the navy coat, which has the velveteen on both sides of the collar, Carla used the mustard lining fabric to line the collar as well as the inside of the coat. As a result, you’ll see the collar really “pops” now against the rest of the front.

I think this version also illustrates better how the two collar ends weave into each other to form the “integrated” scarf.  Note the collar in this corduroy version is turned in a way to maximize the mustard fabric you see.  You could also twist the collar slightly to turn down the lining to get a more subtle effect if you wanted it.  Of course, like our cover shot, using the same fabric for both sides of the collar accomplishes a totally different feel.

Sleeve detail from the front

In addition to the unique collar, here are some shots of the gathered “poof” (for lack of a better, more technical term) found at the mid-back of the Coat and echoed in the sleeves. The curved gather results in a bit of loft in the fabric along the arc, but it is not at all bulky or uncomfortable.

Want to see more about the fabrics featured here?  Here’s our original post about the new collection.

Finally, stay tuned for more details next week about when the shop will be accepting pre-orders of the new patterns!

Happy Sewing!


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