Of Note

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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!

13 Jan 2014

The Orchid Skirt and Top is now shipping!

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Introducing: Clever Charlotte Orchid Top & SkirtA quick announcement to let you know that the Orchid Top and Skirt Pattern is now shipping.  To all those who pre-ordered with us… thank you!  Your orders are in the mail.  For those of you were waiting for us to have the pattern ready to ship, now is your time to order.  The Orchid pattern is the perfect project to enlighten these chilly, dreary January days (for us in the northern hemisphere, at least).


29 Oct 2013


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Halloween 4

Halloween is here and I’m excited to show you what I’ve been up to in the workroom. After a brief debate about princesses and fairies, the girls chose costumes from the animal kingdom this year (insert sigh of relief). Evelyn decided upon a monarch butterfly costume which, to my luck, Erin already made for a previous  Halloween.  It is a gorgeous and accurate reproduction of the butterfly, complete with iridescent silk.

Monarch Butterfly costume

A few minimal changes and it the monarch is perfectly sized for her. Wren asked specifically for an orange ladybug costume, which I was happy to create by using some black buckram I picked up from Michaels Arts and Crafts store, some leftover bits of orange silk, black ¼” elastic, and a button.

Halloween 8

In the spirit of Erin’s costume, I chose to reverse applique the ladybug spots which was easily accomplished by tracing the bottom of a glass jar in a random pattern over the wings, then stitching just outside my traced lines.  I trimmed each circle about 1/8” from the stitch lines to expose the black buckram underneath.  The edges of the wings are finished with bias strips of the same orange fabric.

Halloween 10

I positioned a button and button hole at the top of the wings to allow them to rotate freely as Wren ‘flies’ through the air.

Halloween 7

The wings are secured with some black elastic at the shoulders and wrists.

Halloween 9

To complete the look I fashioned a little triangle out of the orange fabric and made a waist strap of elastic (this is *NOT* a G-string although it strongly resembles one worn backwards).

Halloween 11

With the wings open, I think this little butt piece makes the outfit.

Halloween 2

A quick pair of antenna fashioned out of large pipe cleaners later, my little lady bug is ready to to hunt some candy!

Halloween 5

What are your kiddos wearing this Halloween??

08 Oct 2013

In the Workroom

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While hard at work on some fantastic new Clever Charlotte projects, I thought I’d share what I whipped up a fragmented 6-hr interlude in my work schedule.  A new dress!  And gold!  I’ve been so obsessed with a gold color pallet lately… from shiny brass lighting fixtures in my home to what I wear on my person.  Gold is back in a big way.


This dress was inspired by Oscar de la Renta.  I wanted a very full skirt ala Oscar that spills from a tight waistline. The 2″ darts are sewn short so that the differential in the dart from fold to point creates a lot of fullness. The princess bodice is easy to tailor and fits me like a glove… but not so much the dress form.  You can see it pulling across the back. Sadly she, like most others, is a bit bustier than me.


Here’s a side view.  Notice the pockets.  All formal wear should have pockets, don’t you think?  Being petite at 5’1″, I wonder if this is going to make me too wide below the waist seam…. high heels should help.

Inspired by a conversations I had with a friend during a recent visit to the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Dior and More exhibit, I decided to make a facinator to match the ensemble.  Facinator = frothy little poof of a hat.


I used a facinator backing purchased from a millinery supply company.  It’s open sinamay backing allowed me to attach the 6 gold embellishments around the edge and the large ‘gold’ brooch in the center.  I stuck in the feathers because all facinators need a bit of movement, don’t you think?

IMG_2464Sneek peak of the back of the facinator.  Not as pretty as the front.



Ready for the party!  And I promise to be back at the Clever Charlotte work table as soon as I recover from my hangover. Cheers!