Clever Charlotte

Kestrel Coat

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!

Holiday Tidings

Kestrel Coat, Olivine Dresscarla macklinComment
ClevercharlotteHoliday20122
ClevercharlotteHoliday20122

As a continuation of my post last week, I wanted to show you what else I've been sewing this holiday season--specifically, matching Christmas outfits for my girls! I created these dresses from the Olivine dress pattern, using the only the lining pieces (Lining Front Bodice, Back Bodice, Lining Front, Skirt Back) instead of the outer pleated pattern pieces. Omitting the pleats and the sleeves from the Olivine sped up my sewing and, gratefully, freed up more time for Christmas shopping and eggnog sipping.

CleverCharlotteHoliday12121
CleverCharlotteHoliday12121

As you surely know by now, the green collars are separate pieces created from our Peridot look. The patch pockets at not part of the original Olivine pattern but were added because my girls have a pocket obsession and I thought the dress itself needed more of that lovely green velvet. Styling the dresses over a simple white long-sleeved t-shirt gives it all a seamless look.

ClevercharlotteHoliday20124
ClevercharlotteHoliday20124

The dress fabric was the find of the century... one gem in a sea of aging polyester from a little old lady's house Erin and I raided a few years back.  It is a cotton pique embroidered with green starbursts.  I scored about 5 yards, and had just enough left over from other projects to create these two dresses.  The green works perfectly with the velvet and the season.

In addition to the dresses, I had a few moments to put together a new Kestrel Coat, featuring the same wonderful velvet.

Clevercharlotteholiday20125
Clevercharlotteholiday20125

The only modification I made was turning the two-piece sleeve into a one-piece, again in the interest of time.  The coat has been worn nonstop since it came off the assembly line and every time my daughter wears it I think I really need to make an adult-sized version of this coat.  Maybe in the new year....

CleverCharlotteKestrel2
CleverCharlotteKestrel2

Happy holidays to all and happy sewing!

~Carla

IMG_4587
IMG_4587

New Kestrel Spring Collar -- Free Download & Discount Are Here!

Kestrel CoatErinComment
kestrel spring5
kestrel spring5

Last week we announced a new collar for the Kestrel Coat, which we are calling the Spring Collar, to be used along with our original Kestrel Coat pattern.  I am happy to announce the pattern piece* and instructions are now ready for free download.  Print it at home onto 8.5x11" printer paper--no piecing together necessary!  Just click on the button below to access it.

What's that you say? You don't yet have the original Kestrel pattern?  Well, now's your chance to get it at 10% off--it's on sale in our shop now through the end of the month!

[download id="1" format="2"]

*Note: The graded pattern piece is for the solid pink collar piece pictured above.  We've gone the extra step in this version to add a 1/2" ruffle to the stand-up collar by sandwiching the ruffle in between the main and lining collar pieces when sewing those together.  Let us know in the comments if you'd like to see a short tutorial on this added embellishment!

In Time for Spring: A New Kestrel Collar

In the Workroom, Kestrel CoatErinComment
kestrel spring5
kestrel spring5

It is March, and we are thinking spring around these parts!  Today we are announcing the upcoming release of a free new pattern piece for our existing Kestrel Coat pattern--a new collar piece perfect for milder days ahead.  The Spring Collar pattern piece can replace the pointed collar in our original Kestrel design (seen here). For added fun, we've styled it here with a little 1/2" ruffle.  

kestrel4
kestrel4

For the coat shown here, we have used a cotton pique in coral pink (similar to this), and a colorful polka dot polyester lining and vintage buttons from our archives. We've also styled this look without the gathered, two-part sleeve, just for something a little different.  Remember when Kristin showed us how to do that?

kestrel spring1
kestrel spring1

But don't worry, we've left that beautiful back untouched:

kestrel spring4
kestrel spring4

The new pattern piece and modified instructions are now available for free PDF:  Click Here.

Happy Sewing!

~Erin

An Or-Kestrel Coat

In the Workroom, Kestrel CoatErinComment

Doesn't this Kestrel Coat look ready for a night to the symphony?  Though the name itself is a bird fitting to the Clever Charlotte girl who wears it, I have always fancied the name because it conjours in my mind a night on the town via open carriage (a la an 18th century opera coat).

Coat 2
Coat 2

Anywho, I have been itching to show you this latest Kestrel Coat that I sewed for Art Walk at Murray Hill Bolt & Spool a few weeks ago. The coat features two beautiful fabrics from Nan's shop--a gorgeous teal wool coating paired with an Anna Marie Horner's "Little Honey" voile. Both were tremendously rewarding to work with and made for a tremendously rewarding finished coat.

Coat 1
Coat 1

Living in a northern climate, wool coating has been something I have been wanting to sew with for some time. It was unexpectedly forgiving to work with--it didn't unravel and took to the coat's shaping fabulously. I was worried it would be a little thick to gather at the back and sleeves, but my fears were unfounded. The wool produced a very structured garment but not at the cost of comfort--the coat still drapes smoothly and isn't stiff at all. The cotton voile is a great choice for the lining as it has a very smooth, light hand that facilitates getting the coat off and on, even over bulky winter sweaters.

The seams of the coat were a little bulkier than they would be with, say, a corduroy, but I dare say even the topstitching went smoothly.  See here, you can see one of the collars with topstitching and other without.  Makes quite a difference, wouldn't you say?

Coat 4
Coat 4

I made the coat in a size 3T (my daughter's short arms probably warrant a shorter sleeve, but I took it to be a perfect opportunity to let a little of the lining peek through).  Since both my fabrics were extra wide (about 54"), I needed only about 1 yard of each (slightly more for the wool since I chose to make both sides of the collar in the wool).  I used 5 silver filigre buttons for the front.

Coat 3
Coat 3

Interested in sewing up a Kestrel Coat of your own? Nicole of Mother of 5 has just put together a step by step tutorial for the coat on her blog, so be sure to check it out!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

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

Kestrel Coat Details

Design Updates, Kestrel CoatErinComment
Navy Kestrel Coat
Navy Kestrel Coat

Looking for the complete new fall collection? We mentioned earlier this week that the Kestrel Coat has some unique design elements that will make this coat really stand out on the playground. Today, we want to share some closer up shots of our Kestrel Coat so that you can get a clearer picture of those details.  Above is the coat from Monday's post that is sewn up in our navy velveteen.  Here's a second version in our Drake Corduroy that uses a contrasting lining on the collar.

Kestrel Coat in Drake/Etchings1
Kestrel Coat in Drake/Etchings1

Carla sewed up this size 5 version for a little friend's 5th birthday. She used the mustardy Etchings fabric for the lining. Unlike the navy coat, which has the velveteen on both sides of the collar, Carla used the mustard lining fabric to line the collar as well as the inside of the coat. As a result, you'll see the collar really "pops" now against the rest of the front.

I think this version also illustrates better how the two collar ends weave into each other to form the "integrated" scarf.  Note the collar in this corduroy version is turned in a way to maximize the mustard fabric you see.  You could also twist the collar slightly to turn down the lining to get a more subtle effect if you wanted it.  Of course, like our cover shot, using the same fabric for both sides of the collar accomplishes a totally different feel.

Kestrel Coat in Drake/Etchings3
Kestrel Coat in Drake/Etchings3

In addition to the unique collar, here are some shots of the gathered "poof" (for lack of a better, more technical term) found at the mid-back of the Coat and echoed in the sleeves. The curved gather results in a bit of loft in the fabric along the arc, but it is not at all bulky or uncomfortable.

Kestrel Coat in Drake/Etchings2
Kestrel Coat in Drake/Etchings2

Want to see more about the fabrics featured here?  Here's our original post about the new collection.

Finally, stay tuned for more details next week about when the shop will be accepting pre-orders of the new patterns!

Happy Sewing!

~Erin

PS Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter if you have not already! Look for the sign up box in the upper right corner of the blog.

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