Archive for Patterns

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


22 Dec 2013

Pre-Order Orchid and New Year’s Sale (A little early)

2 Comments Orchid Top & Skirt, Shop News

Our New Orchid Pattern is Up for Sale

We are happy to announce that our newest pattern, Orchid, is now in the shop and we are accepting pre-orders.  

Now through January 5th, you can also get 20% off all other Clever Charlotte patterns!

See our original post announcing Orchid by clicking here.

Orchid Top & Skirt Back View
For our cover look, we used a plum poplin for the top and a quilting cotton for the bow.  The top has raglan sleeves and if you look closely at the photo above, you can just see the shoulder dart we’ve added to provide a nice soft curve.

The skirt is a medium weight poly brocade in a funky gold and silver weave for an overall sophisticated look. When selecting a fabric for the skirt, we recommend choosing a medium-to-heavy weight fabric that will hold a good crease.

Orchid Skirt Close Up

A few things about Pre-Orders and Our New Year’s Sale:

1. We currently anticipate mailing out the first shipment of patterns the week of January 6th, but we cannot guarantee the exact ship date yet. We pride ourselves on fast turn-around times for all our orders and pre-orders are no different. We will do our best to communicate any notable shipping delays.

2. Since all of our orders process through PayPal, payment for any pre-orders will be processed at the time of order and not at the time of shipment.

3. If an order includes the new Orchid pattern, we will ship all other items at the same time. If you want other items sooner, you will have to place a separate order.

4. Don’t forget to use the Code “Happy2014″ at check out to save 20% on all our other patterns.

We hope you have a happy holiday and a great start to your (sewing) year!

~Erin & Carla

20 Dec 2013

Our Holiday Present to You: A NEW Clever Charlotte Pattern!

7 Comments Orchid Top & Skirt

The little elves at Clever Charlotte have a new pattern to introduce to you, complete with a “bow on top”!

Introducing: Clever Charlotte Orchid Top & Skirt

Meet Orchid, our 13th pattern!

Think holiday parties and orchestra concerts on a snowy winter’s evening.

There’s a little bit of nostalgia wrapped up in our pleated skirt and vintage, buttoned-back Top with contrasting front bow tie.

The fitted waist skirt has deep box pleats and a side zipper.

Ooh, and speaking of the button placket, here’s the view from the back — just the project to use those heirloom silver buttons you inherited from your Aunt Mildred, don’t you think?

orchid back

We invite you to preorder before the holiday, with shipping to commence after the first week of 2014.  What better way to kick off your sewing projects in the New Year!

Look for an announcement this weekend in your inbox and here on the site about the start of pre-sales.


Happy holidays and happy sewing!

~ Erin & Carla

29 Nov 2013

Flip This Chickadee + Special Sale!

1 Comment Chickadee Blouse & Skirt

Flip This Pattern: Clever Charlotte Chickadee Blouse Pattern

This may be old news to some of you out there, but Clever Charlotte will be the featured pattern designer for Frances Suzanne’s Flip This Pattern in January. We’re celebrating by putting our Chickadee Blouse & Skirt pattern on super-duper sale!

Flip This Pattern

If you don’t already know about Flip This Pattern, here’s the skinny: an indie children’s pattern is featured each month.  3-4 guest bloggers will take the pattern and have fun with it (aka “flip” it).  For those of you at home, you can sew-along too, with prizes to boot. There are still 6 months left in this unique series and it’s a great way to get find out about all the truly remarkable indie pattern companies out there. 

Guest Bloggers

Be sure to check out Frances Suzanne throughout the month of January to see the re-designs of our Chickadee Blouse & Skirt pattern that all you creative types come up with.  Here is the line up of talented guest bloggers-competitors who have already been hard at work planning something exciting to show you in January:

Heidi of Green Doodle
Cindy of Siestas and Sewing
Janice of So-Cal Sewing Mom
Al of  Shaffer Sisters

Chickadee on Sale until 12/15

Plan ahead today with our Super Special Chickadee Sale – Just $10 until 12/15!  That’s the lowest price we have ever offered on our patterns!! No coupon needed–the price is already marked in the shop, so plan ahead today for your January, post-holiday sewing projects.  

Click here to see some other Chickadee looks on our site and, of course, you can take a look through our Flickr group.

* * * * *

Today I am so excited to be sharing a Chickadee Blouse sewn by my friend, Tara, for her not-quite-2 year old, Miss E.  [Miss E was last spotted on our blog snuggling up to her new quilt].

Clever Charlotte Chickadee Blouse Pattern sizes 2T-8

Tara made a size 2T with added length to the hem so Miss E can grow into it.  She also lengthened the sleeves by an inch, which was helpful in giving the sleeves some “poof” with the gathered elastic cuff.  The fabric is Denyse Schmidt’s Flea Market Fancy ‘Posie’ in quilting cotton. So sweet, don’t you agree?

Clever Charlotte Chickadee Blouse Pattern sizes 2T-8

Happy Belated Thanksgiving, everyone!  Now go get all your holiday shopping done so you have time to Flip This Chickadee!

Happy Sewing,