Clever Charlotte

Chickadee Blouse & Skirt

Clever Charlotte partners with McCalls, Brings patterns to Jo-Ann Fabrics Stores!

Community, Patterns, Shop News, Uncategorized, Tulip Top & Bermuda Short, Sandpiper Capri & Top, Raven Hoodie & Pants, Orchid Top & Skirt, Olivine Dress, Chickadee Blouse & Skirt, Kestrel Coatcarla macklinComment
CleverCharlotteJoAnns

We are so pleased to announce our partnership with The McCall Pattern Company to bring Clever Charlotte patterns to JoAnn Stores across the nation!  We've been working with the fine folks at The McCall Pattern Company to expand our reach to sewers across the Nation.  Not only are our patterns available on the McCall's Website, they are also available at your nearest JoAnn Store!

 Our patterns can be found on the JoAnn Store's Green Pepper Rack, next to some other fun pattern companies.  We think they will catch the modern sewist's eye as he or she walks by, no?

Our patterns can be found on the JoAnn Store's Green Pepper Rack, next to some other fun pattern companies.  We think they will catch the modern sewist's eye as he or she walks by, no?

 Now these patterns can be purchased on your next stop to your local, convenient JoAnn Store!

Now these patterns can be purchased on your next stop to your local, convenient JoAnn Store!

Skirt Fixation and Seasonal Sale

Orchid Top & Skirt, Community, Chickadee Blouse & Skirtcarla macklinComment

Happy holidays from the ladies of Clever Charlotte.  It has been a busy season for us, though you wouldn't know it by the lack of blog posts.  Here is a quick update on some terrific reviews of our skirt patterns by Skirt Fixation

 Audrey and her gals at Skirt Fixation have been busy elves sewing up our  Orchid  and  Chickadee  patterns. Using  Mabel Madison  and vintage fabrics, they have created some really stellar outfits. 

Audrey and her gals at Skirt Fixation have been busy elves sewing up our Orchid and Chickadee patterns. Using Mabel Madison and vintage fabrics, they have created some really stellar outfits. 

What lovely outfits modeled by super sweet Annie. As the holiday season wanes, we know you'll be ready to get back to your sewing machines. Use this inspiration, along with the 20% off coupon below, to get sewing!


Flip This Chickadee + Special Sale!

Chickadee Blouse & SkirtErinComment

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: Clever Charlotte Chickadee Blouse Pattern
Flip This Pattern: Clever Charlotte Chickadee Blouse Pattern
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 DoodleCindy of Siestas and SewingJanice of So-Cal Sewing MomAl 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
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
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,

~Erin

A Valentine's Post, Part 1

Chickadee Blouse & Skirt, Raven Hoodie & PantsErinComment

In tribute to Valentines Day next week, Carla and I created not 1 but 2 warm and cozy looks for wintery V-Day. First up is this one:

Valentines Day ~ Raven and Chickadee Patterns by Clever Charlotte
Valentines Day ~ Raven and Chickadee Patterns by Clever Charlotte

In this ensemble, we've paired our complete Raven look (hoodie + front pintucked pants) with our Chickadee Blouse.

The hoodie is soft and scrumptious in this faux rabbit fur, aptly lined in a delicate white + red dotted Swiss. 

Valentines Day ~ Raven Hoody Pattern By Clever Charlotte
Valentines Day ~ Raven Hoody Pattern By Clever Charlotte

The tie on the hoodie is a simple wide grosgrain ribbon sewn into the seam (rather than on the outside of the fabric), and a small purple glass button closes the collar on the blouse.

Valentines Day ~ Raven Hoody and Chickadee Blouse Patterns By Clever Charlotte
Valentines Day ~ Raven Hoody and Chickadee Blouse Patterns By Clever Charlotte

Normally, we do not use quilters cotton for our kids clothes but here we made an exception for the perfect mix of Valentines colors of this pattern.

Valentines Day ~ Chickadee Blouse Pattern by Clever Charlotte
Valentines Day ~ Chickadee Blouse Pattern by Clever Charlotte

Finally, the Raven Pants are a fine wale corduroy (yes, they really are that red).  We added some coordinating fabric on the back pockets to tie it in with the blouse.

Valentines Day ~ Raven Pants Patter by Clever Charlotte
Valentines Day ~ Raven Pants Patter by Clever Charlotte

Happy sewing!

~Erin

The Collar Project: Knit Chick(adee)

Chickadee Blouse & SkirtErinComment
Clever Charlotte's The Collar Project
Clever Charlotte's The Collar Project

We're truly mixing it up with today's Collar Project. An, of StraightGrain, gives us a taste of her European styling with the Chickadee Blouse!  She's sewing knitting, if you can get your mind around that one, piped with my all time favorite Liberty print (Mitsi).  

Unlike the Peridot Blouse, the collar on the Chickadee is sewn into the neckline, but as An shows us, don't let that stop you from playing around with the design and materials of the collar.

*  *  *  *  *

StraightGrain Knitted Collar1
StraightGrain Knitted Collar1

Hello everyone! I’m An from StraightGrain, and I’m honored to guest post here at Clever Charlotte. When Erin invited me to her Collar Project, I took the opportunity to finally make something which had been on my wishlist for a long time: the Chickadee Blouse. I decided to remix this gorgeous assymetrical blouse by using a hand-knitted piece for the collar.

StraightGrain Knitted Collar2
StraightGrain Knitted Collar2

My original plan was to knit a piece especially for this project, but some very busy weeks at work forced me to use a knitted piece from an unfinished project which had been lying around for over a year.

Here is how I made the collar. First, I cut the upper collar pieces out of interfacing, and ironed them on the wrong side of the knitted piece. Next, I cut out the pieces, stitched them together, and stitched the piping on the edge. Then I just followed the regular instructions for assembling the blouse.

StraightGrain Knitted Collar3
StraightGrain Knitted Collar3
StraightGrain Knitted Collar4
StraightGrain Knitted Collar4

I made the blouse in a taupe linen, and for the collar I used a light blue/greyish 100% cotton thread (Phildar). The Liberty of London piping is from La Droguerie (bought here).

StraightGrain Knitted Collar5
StraightGrain Knitted Collar5

This was first time I used a hand-knitted detail, but definitely not the last!

StraightGrain Knitted Collar6
StraightGrain Knitted Collar6

Thank you, Erin and Carla, for having me in this inspiring series!

~ An

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Eider Tunic, Chickadee Blouse & Skirt, Finch Shorts & Top, Raven Hoodie & PantsErinComment
garden grow2
garden grow2

We thought it would be fun to show some mix and match looks using our patterns from multiple seasons in spring colors.  It is so much fun approaching a project like this with a view to creating an entire wardrobe.  I think this shows off the versatility of individual pieces so fabulously.

garden grow1
garden grow1

We've already shown you this season's Kestrel Coat, lined in the same fabric shown here for the Chickadee Blouse.

garden grow3
garden grow3
garden grow5
garden grow5

Of course we couldn't leave well enough alone--the temptation was just too great to not throw in a few changes here and there.  Like the ruffle on the front of the Chickadee Skirt.   Or the short sleeves on the Eider Tunic, above (we kept the pintucks on the sleeves).  We also opted for a purchased belt to close the Tunic, rather than the cinched waist tie provided for in the pattern.

Or the fun, oversized cuffs on the Raven Pants (again, front pintucks intact)?

garden grow4
garden grow4

Lastly, for the Raven Hoodie--if you can still call it that since we dropped the hood just for fun--we used a contrasting thread color for a decorative touch, added a front pocket flap, sewed the waist ties into the side seams so that the ties could be tied off center (and allowing the front opening to overlap slightly) and left the outer edges exposed and frayed for, well, an edgier look (pun intended).

garden grow7
garden grow7

Happy Spring Sewing!

~Erin

A Valentine's Sneak Peak

In the Workroom, Raven Hoodie & Pants, Chickadee Blouse & SkirtErinComment
VDAY4
VDAY4

We have been really busy here in Charlotte-land, though  the blog has been relatively quiet, project-wise.

VDAY1
VDAY1

One of several things we've been working on lately is a trunk show for a brick and mortar shop down South.  We will share the full looks with you in a bit, but for now, these photos show some of the smaller details.  As the palette probably gives away, the show is a Valentine theme.

VDAY3
VDAY3
vday7
vday7

We had such fun using Moda's new Domestic Bliss by Liz Scott.  Its pink-red-purple palette is perfect for the holiday and is sure to have broad appeal to the under-8 set.

Moda DB
Moda DB

And what says "winter holiday" more than a little faux fur?

VDAY2
VDAY2

Happy Sewing!

~Erin

Charlotte Goes to Art Walk!

Kestrel Coat, Of Note, Chickadee Blouse & Skirt, Raven Hoodie & PantsErinComment

Last weekend was the Murray Hill Art Walk in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood.  We were delighted to be invited to present a trunk show at our friend Nan's shop, Murray Hill Bolt & Spool located in the Old Schoolhouse.  If the flattery in the invitation wasn't enough to make us giddy, we were positively ecstatic to see the Clever Charlotte looks that Nan put together.

Bolt & Spool 2
Bolt & Spool 2

In the year since it opened, Nan's shop has become one of my favorite places in Cleveland.  It is always bright and sunny, even when the weather outside would dictate otherwise.  The charm of the space is equaled by the quality and variety of the fabrics--you will find something for every sewing need here:  Liberty cottons, fantastic wools, linens, corduroys and other apparel fabrics, fine silks, velvets and gorgeous ribbons for fancier occasions, fun quilters cottons and lots of lots of sewing books and patterns.

The looks that Nan put together from our patterns really showcase her taste in colors, fabrics and design details.  Doesn't this flannel shirt version of the Chickadee Blouse look positively cozy?  She paired it with the Chickadee Skirt fashioned in an olive-y~brown corduroy and lined in a fun tiny floral print. The Kestrel Coat to the right of the Chickadee is in black velveteen with a very sophisticated gray/yellow damask print quilters cotton.  Devine!

b+s3
b+s3

Now for the first look above--Nan's creativity really shows through here, no?  She's used green grosgrain for the contrasting tie on the navy Raven Hoodie.  LOVE how she's carried the ribbon through to the pockets and pantlegs on the coordinating pink corduroy pants.  Isn't this a perfect 3-season look?? So fresh and girly.

Bolt + Spool 4
Bolt + Spool 4

Carla and I also had plenty of our own looks on hand to show off this weekend.  Remember this one?

Bolt and Spool1
Bolt and Spool1

We've got one more Charlotte look to share with you next week and then some non-apparel Christmas-related projects.  Thought we'd change it up a bit before the holidays.

PS Be sure to visit Nicole's blog this weekend for a Kestrel Coat giveaway!

Happy Sewing! ~ Erin

A Heartfelt Thank You & Giveaway

Eider Tunic, Of Note, Wren Dress, Chickadee Blouse & Skirt, Raven Hoodie & Pants, Starling Dress & ShirtErinComment

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Carla and I have many things to be thankful about this year, Charlotte being one of them.  So we thought a special shout-out to you, our readers, followers, customers and fellow sewing enthusiasts, is particularly in order today. We also wanted to highlight some of your wonderful fall Charlotte creations from around the www.  To see even more, head on over to our Flickr group.

Skirt As Top + Pattern Giveaway!

Kristin of skirtastop is graciously hosting a pattern giveaway to accompany her first Clever Charlotte project--the Kestrel Coat.  She even gives us a mini-tutorial on how to modify (i.e. simplify) the sleeves from 2 pieces to 1.  While you're there, be sure to enter the giveaway by leaving a comment on her blog by this Sunday. Gobble gobble!

Skirt as Top Kestrel Coat
Skirt as Top Kestrel Coat

Charming Charm Stitch

A great eye for fabrics is just one of Laura's many sewing talents.  She seems to produce new looks on her blog in her sleep.  So far, she's sewn up 2 Chickadee skirts and 2 Raven Hoodies!  See them all on her blog and make sure you check out her great online fabric store for a lovely selection of Japanese imports and other designer fabrics.  [PS She's got a 10% off sale going on right now.]

Charm Stitch Hoodie & Skirt
Charm Stitch Hoodie & Skirt

Madame Mother of 5

Nicole of Down Under has sewn up every one of our spring/summer patterns at least once for her (count them 4!) daughters and has many well-photographed tutorials to go with each look.   She just finished up 2 posts detailing different ways  to line our Starling Dress and she's already scheming her look for the Kestrel Coat.  So stay tuned and visit her site often!

Five & Counting
Five & Counting

Queen of the Flies

Melanie from Queen of the Flies tries her hand at the Eider Tunic.  She does tiny prints so well, the Eider was a perfect choice for her.  Seems Melanie has also learned the critical photography skill of candy bribes for photo shoots!

Queen of the Flies Eider Tunic
Queen of the Flies Eider Tunic

Thank you all for a great inaugural year and have a great Thanksgiving!

Happy Sewing! Erin, Carla and Charlotte

Once Upon a Thread, Take Too

Community, Inspiration, Chickadee Blouse & Skirtcarla macklinComment

Erin and I weren't quite ready to be done with Halloween so we have taken up the Once Upon a Thread challenge over at No Big Dill this week:

No Big Dill OUT
No Big Dill OUT

For those of you not already familiar with "OUT", the challenge is to make clothes inspired by children's literature.  We've added our own requirement to incorporate our own Clever Charlotte patterns in the chosen look (of course!).  Erin's look will be coming up later in the week.

One series on high rotation in our household is Mo Willems' Knuffel Bunny (one, too, and free).  Recreating Trixie's eclectic look was a no-brainer for my daughter, Evie.

Knuffle Intro
Knuffle Intro

To recreate Trixie I had to venture no further than my own fabric stash.  I pulled an off-white quilters cotton with a little paisely print to use for our Chickadee skirt.  After cutting it out, the skirt took me less than a half hour to sew (it is extremely easy!).

OUT: Knuffle Bunny 3
OUT: Knuffle Bunny 3

The long sleeves of the 'undershirt' is made from this bizzare mesh knit with embroidered plastic circles that came from the now defunct Haight Ashbury fabric store where I used to work.  Full disclosure:  I didn't make a shirt--I just made a tube to slide over each arm...Cheating?  Not when you have two young children, a small business, a household to run, and an endless list of holiday sewing to accomplish.

OUT: Knuffle Bunny4
OUT: Knuffle Bunny4

The green T-shirt is from Target. Since it's hard to find a short sleeve shirt in Cleveland in November, I had to hem the sleeves of a long sleeve shirt.   The star fabric on the shirt also came from the stash.  Due to a non-functioning zig-zag stitch on my machine, I used a straight stitch to adhere it to the shirt. The Knuffle Bunny sidekick and leggings came from Evie's own stash.

Evie makes a great Trixie, no?

OUT: Knuffle Bunny 2
OUT: Knuffle Bunny 2

Happy sewing!

~Carla

PS don't miss Design Mom's recent interview of Mo Willems!

Pre-Order Our New Patterns + Special Pre-Order Giveaway!

Shop News, Raven Hoodie & Pants, Eider Tunic, Chickadee Blouse & Skirt, Kestrel CoatErinComment
Raven Cover
Raven Cover

The day has arrived! We are happy to say that our four new A/W2011 patterns are now in the shop for pre-sale!

To celebrate this kick-off event, we are hosting a giveaway/drawing open to everyone who pre-orders the new patterns. Three lucky winners will be chosen at random from all eligible orders placed by next Friday, Oct. 21st.  Each winner will get a free Clever Charlotte pattern of her or his choice.  See complete details below.

A few important notes about pre-orders:

Eider Cover
Eider Cover

1. We currently anticipate mailing out the first shipment of patterns the week of Oct. 24th, 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.

Chickadee Cover
Chickadee Cover

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.  This is not our preference, but we are at the mercy of PayPal and we hope you understand.  Again, our commitment to you, the sewing public, is strong and we value your repeat business.

3. We are in the process of uploading the A/W2011 Fabric Collection and notions to the shop. Everything should be available for purchase by Monday.

A few important notes about the giveaway:

Kestrel Cover
Kestrel Cover

1. We are happy to be offering three lucky winners one of our sewing patterns of their choice.

2. US & International customers are eligible.  To enter, you must place an order in our shop for any of our new A/W2011 patterns (that is, the Chickadee, Eider, Kestrel & Raven patterns) by 11:59 pm EST, Friday, October 21st. Each eligible order will count as one entry.  The winner will be selected from all eligible orders by random drawing & will be announced here on Monday, October 24, 2011.

3.  Good luck!

****

Have a nice weekend everyone and, as always, happy sewing!

~Erin & Carla

Mix and Match

Chickadee Blouse & Skirt, Raven Hoodie & PantsErinComment
Raven + Chickadee
Raven + Chickadee

What do you get when you cross a Chickadee with a Raven? This cute combo, of course:

Nora's top is the soon-to-be-released Chickadee Blouse. I made it in a light and airy cotton lawn with a kitschy print--I just have a weakness for vintage looking prints and I loved the color combination. Girly, without being overly sugary.

Chickadee Blouse
Chickadee Blouse

The pants are shown in the same dark teal corduroy as we feature in a few of our cover looks this season, and boy is it soft and comfortable. Comfy, as in knit pant comfy.  I would love to find some additional colors of this corduroy to make Nora a few more pairs of these pants for school and play.

By the way, here's a close up of the inside of the waistband, featuring the buttonhole elastic.  (The contrasting fabric was just for fun.) There's enough excess elastic on both sides to allow several inches of growth in the waist.

Raven1
Raven1
Chickadee + Raven
Chickadee + Raven

The winning endorsement for the outfit came from Nora herself.  When I asked her try them on this morning before school, I was only intending to check fit. She steadfastly resolved to wear them to school--which, I should add, was the first day this week that she hasn't worn a dress. Yea!  Here are a few rare action shots:I didn't say they were *happy* action shots, did I?

Chickadee + Raven
Chickadee + Raven

Have I mentioned Nora's petite body results in some strange fitting issues--mainly, she's all torso with short limbs (just about the opposite of me as she could be). So the pants are sewn in size 2T and fit fine in the waist, but are too long on her by an inch or so. I made the blouse in 3T and I'll need to shorten the sleeves next time by quite a bit. In all other ways, the blouse fits her great.  (To be fair, these are the same issues she faces with RTW clothes.  After all, she's 3 years old and weighs only 26 lbs!)

Happy Sewing!

~Erin

A/W2011: The Real Deal

Design Updates, Eider Tunic, In the Workroom, Kestrel Coat, Patterns, Chickadee Blouse & Skirt, Raven Hoodie & PantsErinComment

Here we are, as promised!  We still have some finalizing to do before our new patterns will be in the shop, but we are just too excited to wait any longer to share these with you!  We hope you like the new collection.

AW-Unviel
AW-Unviel

So what's in the new collection?  We again have 4 looks this season with a total of 6 pieces, and, as we'll be showing you in future blog posts, these pieces work interchangeably so that you truly can build an entire wardrobe before you know it.

So here's the rundown of all 4 patterns. Let us know what you think!

Chickadee Blouse & Skirt:

Chickadee-Unveil
Chickadee-Unveil

The adorable, feminine Chickadee Blouse has a lined bodice and an off-set collar.  It is paired with the "faux-wrap" skirt--meaning it wraps around the body but is sewn closed so that it doesn't flap up during wear. The Chickadee Skirt is fully lined and requires no hemming!  Genius, if I say so myself.  We are also trying out buttonhole elastic in the skirt's back waistband this season because we think it adds flexibility in the fitting process.

Eider Tunic:

The Eider Tunic hits mid-thigh and cinches at the waist.  Think of all the fun ribbon possibilities for the waist ties!  It can be worn over leggings or, in the event of colder temperatures, with pants (Raven Pants, anyone?).  It features pintucks on the contrasting front yoke as well as on the sleeves at the wrists.

Eider-Unveil
Eider-Unveil

Kestrel Coat

This is the real gem in the collection. Our Kestrel Coat features a gathered, slightly poofed back and sleeves that evoke vintage couture lines.  The pointed collar also serves as a built in scarf, weaving into itself to keep little necks warm. The navy velveteen used in the photo makes the details a little hard to see, but we'll have more views soon to show of the Kestrel Coat's  special charms.

Kestrel-Coat
Kestrel-Coat

Raven Hoodie & Pants

Finally, a look for both boys and girls!  The lined Raven Hoodie is reversible.  It has cropped, kimono sleeves (so they are one piece with the main body of the garment--no separate pattern piece).  It closes with a simple waist tie, though we bet you can think of lots of fun ways to modify the closure!  The Raven Pants have a small pintuck running down the front of each pantleg & there's an elastic back waistband (again using buttonhole elastic for added fitting flexibility). We provide three pocket options that can be sewn to the front or back of the Pants (or even to the Hoodie, if you are so inclined).

Raven-Unveil
Raven-Unveil

Happy Sewing! 

~Erin & Carla