Clever Charlotte

Eider Tunic

Once Upon a Thread...

In the Craft Room, Eider Tuniccarla macklinComment
  I'm so excited to show you what recently came out of my sewing room. This look is inspired by No Big Dill sewist, blogger, and mom-extraordinaire Katy Dill's   Once Upon a Thread   sewalong!  Thanks Katy for the kick-in-the-rear to make something fun. 

I'm so excited to show you what recently came out of my sewing room. This look is inspired by No Big Dill sewist, blogger, and mom-extraordinaire Katy Dill's Once Upon a Thread sewalong!  Thanks Katy for the kick-in-the-rear to make something fun. 

 I asked Evelyn about her current favorite book and  again  she named a  Mo Willems  favorite:  "Should I Share My Ice Cream?" (Mo, in case you are reading this blog, the answer is "no" in every situation.) 

I asked Evelyn about her current favorite book and again she named a Mo Willems favorite:  "Should I Share My Ice Cream?" (Mo, in case you are reading this blog, the answer is "no" in every situation.) 

  Evelyn has enough pink in her wardrobe so I chose to evoke Gerald, the kind elephant in the "Piggy and Gerald" series of first-readers, as my inspiration. I chose a gray linen fabric left over from my bedroom curtain project (!).

Evelyn has enough pink in her wardrobe so I chose to evoke Gerald, the kind elephant in the "Piggy and Gerald" series of first-readers, as my inspiration. I chose a gray linen fabric left over from my bedroom curtain project (!).

 The tunic is Clever Charlotte's  Eider Tunic  with some modifications.  I shortened the sleeves, moving the pin tucks upward, and reduced the width of the yoke to make it a little more 'elephantine'.  Doesn't the shape look a little like Gerald's trunk??!

The tunic is Clever Charlotte's Eider Tunic with some modifications.  I shortened the sleeves, moving the pin tucks upward, and reduced the width of the yoke to make it a little more 'elephantine'.  Doesn't the shape look a little like Gerald's trunk??!

 I zig-zagged around some ice cream shapes and hand-tacked them to a patch pocket. Mint chocolate chip, I suppose, but I forgot to add the chips.

I zig-zagged around some ice cream shapes and hand-tacked them to a patch pocket. Mint chocolate chip, I suppose, but I forgot to add the chips.

 She needed a new first-grade outfit that would take her into the fall. She has already asked to wear it tomorrow to school.  

She needed a new first-grade outfit that would take her into the fall. She has already asked to wear it tomorrow to school.  

Thanks, Katy, for the lovely post on our Peony and Tulip patterns!  It's so fun to see your work.


Surf and Sun

Eider Tunic, Raven Hoodie & PantsErinComment
MyrtleBeach1
MyrtleBeach1

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. 

MyrtleBeach3
MyrtleBeach3

The weather couldn't have been better and my little landlocked children maximized every minute they could of the sand and surf.

MyrtleBeach4
MyrtleBeach4

I showed you this Beach Eider a few weeks ago and the boy look will be coming up later this week.

MyrtleBeach2
MyrtleBeach2

Until then, happy sewing! ~Erin

Beach Bound

Eider Tunic, In the WorkroomErinComment

Recognize this?

beacheider4
beacheider4

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?

beacheider1
beacheider1

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. 

beacheider8
beacheider8
beacheider5
beacheider5

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.

beacheider3
beacheider3

For the trim, I used  Sarah Jane's Meadow in Soft Pink, which is covered with tiny flowers in pink and orange and makes for the cutest bias tape, and followed Katy's method for making continuous bias tape.  

beacheider7
beacheider7

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.

beacheider2
beacheider2

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

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 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

Sewing the Eider Tunic Yoke

Eider Tunic, In the Workroom, Tutorials, Uncategorizedcarla macklinComment
Eider5
Eider5

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.**

Eider Yoke Tutorial1
Eider Yoke Tutorial1

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".

Eider Yoke Tutorial2
Eider Yoke Tutorial2

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.

Eider Yoke Tutorial3
Eider Yoke Tutorial3

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.

Eider Yoke Tutorial4
Eider Yoke Tutorial4

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!

~Carla

An Eider Duo

Eider Tunic, In the WorkroomErinComment
Eider Duo
Eider Duo

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--

Eider Tunic
Eider Tunic

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.

Eider Tunic
Eider Tunic

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.

Eider Tunic
Eider Tunic

Happy Sewing!

~ Carla and Erin

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

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