We are freshly back from the beach, so I wanted to quickly share some shots of a few Clever Charlotte sewing patterns in action there.
The weather couldn't have been better and my little landlocked children maximized every minute they could of the sand and surf.
I showed you this Beach Eider a few weeks ago and the boy look will be coming up later this week.
Until then, happy sewing! ~Erin
If you guessed our Eider Tunic-turned-swimsuit cover-up, you win 5 points! Spring Break is next week and we'll be visiting my family in South Carolina. A few of those days will be spent at the beach, and while the weather looks iffy for sandcastles, I am sure Nora's new cover-up will be equally perfect for trips to and from the indoor pool.
Here's another view. Can you spot the quick change?
The tunic is made with a white terry cloth: very soft and fluffy, and, I discovered when ripping out a few seams, very loosely woven. So, rip with care. I made very few adjustments to the Eider pattern itself, but several changes to the construction of the garment--
First, I shortened the length of the front and back pieces by 1.5" (equal to the hem allowance, which isn't needed with the bias tape trim). I omitted the yoke and finished all the raw edges with a colorful bias tape.
Because I wanted to use a separating zipper down the center front, the waist ties that are usually used to cinch in the waist of the tunic would have been somewhat cumbersome. However, I felt strongly that I still wanted to gather the waist a bit to avoid the bath robe look. I tried several methods to recreate the cinching effect, but due to the relative bulk of the terry cloth, neither long gathering stitches nor elastic thread in the bobbin achieved sufficient gathering effect. Instead, I sewed stretched pieces of 1/4" elastic on the right side of the fabric along the waist channel placement line marked on the pattern.
For this size 3T, I sewed approximate lengths of 3" to the left and right of the center front (see below) and another 7-8" along the back. The gathering effect was better than the first two methods, but I think for the next iteration of this tunic, I will opt to use a stronger (eg wider) elastic for an even greater effect. I hid the elastic with the waist tie channel called for by the original pattern, adding some additional color to the tunic at the same time.
I intend to use the bias tape for another project as well, so I used a full yard of fabric, which makes A LOT of tape. (It makes me so happy when I can double up on sewing projects!) For this 3T tunic, I estimate I used 4 yards of the finished double-fold bias tape to bind all of the edges, sew the waistband and create the 2 buttons tabs (see below).
Finally, after debating whether to make the tunic with the original sleeves (sans pintucks) or shortened for warmer weather, I was pleased to find a compromise--a button tab to hold the rolled up sleeves in place for cooler/windier days. On the next iteration, I may try shortened sleeves but add a hood.
I have one more beach-bound sewing project to complete this weekend and I can't wait to show you some "in action" shots of both later next week!
Happy Sewing and, for those of you celebrating, Happy Easter! ~ Erin
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.
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)?
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).
Happy Spring Sewing!
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!
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.]
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!
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!
Thank you all for a great inaugural year and have a great Thanksgiving!
Happy Sewing! Erin, Carla and Charlotte
As promised earlier this week, we've put together a tutorial for attaching the yoke of the Eider Tunic to the body of the garment. Hopefully these photos help you better understand the process.**
**Please ignore the fact that the Yoke is already sewn to the Body-- the pictures were taken a bit late.**
Here we have positioned the right side of the Yoke [here, the printed fabric] to the wrong side of the body of the Tunic [the mauve corduroy]. It may seem odd, but matching right side to wrong side is critical to the success of the Yoke attachment. Once the layers are aligned around the neckline, snip the seam allowance a full 1/2". Again, this may seem strange since you are nearly snipping into the viewed part of the garment... just take care that you do not snip beyond 1/2".
This photo shows in more detail how the garment will move at the snipped point. Snipping enables you to get the machine needle right in the crux of the Yoke opening.
Sew from the snipped point up the center front, around the neckline and back down the other side of the center front. Your start and finish points should be nearly the same point.
After trimming the seam allowance of the seam just sewn to 1/8", flip the Yoke over the body so that the wrong side of the Yoke is then positioned against the right side of the Tunic.
Use a point turner to get crisp points where the center front of the garment meets the neckline. Because you have already pressed the seam allowance along the lower edge of the Yoke under 1/2", you are nearly ready to top stitch the Yoke in place. Taking care that the Yoke lies flat along the body along its entirety, pin the lower edge of the Yoke to the body and topstitch.
Good luck and happy sewing!
We're back with some more looks from our new collection. These are some before school shots of the Eider Tunic we sewed up for our girls last week. Carla's version is a great colder-weather version in a mauve corduroy. The solid corduroy provides a nice backdrop for the patterned fabric used for the contrasting yoke and waist tie--
The version I sewed for Nora uses two of the fabrics from our fall collection--the Etchings fabric in mustard and the white herringbone for the yoke. I like how the white shirting fabric visually breaks up the intensity of the mustard fabric. For an added pop, I used a woven blue ribbon. Unfortunately, in my haste, I didn't zigzag the ends of the ribbon to prevent it from fraying, so Nora spent most of her morning at preschool shredding it.
I am putting together a quick pictorial about attaching the yoke to the tunic and will have that ready for you little later this week.
~ Carla and Erin
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:
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.
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:
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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).
~Erin & Carla