Charlie Tunic PDF Sewing Pattern is here!

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The Charlie Tunic Sewing Pattern is a digital PDF sewing pattern that you purchase, download, and print at home. The sewing pattern includes detailed step by step instructions, color photographs and full-sized pattern pieces for SIX sizes (12 months – 5T) for babies and children. Seam allowances are included on all pattern pieces. Instructions and cutting lines for short sleeves are also included.

The digital PDF including pattern pieces and instructions will be sent to your PayPal email address (please do not request that we forward to a different address. Thanks!) via instant download link as soon as payment is received.

***UPDATE: Want to make a Charlie Dress? The Charlie Dress Add-On is now available! ***

$14 – Charlie Pattern Pack (original tunic pattern + dress add-on)

This tunic is an intermediate or “advanced beginner” project. I would recommend this project to someone who had some experience sewing simple garments before. Clear instructions for all of these techniques are given (they are not prerequisite skills), so an advanced beginner who has confidence could tackle this. Appropriate for an intermediate sewist who has some experience with various machine-sewn projects before. I am always happy to assist you by answering questions via email (see pattern for email link) if you should run across anything that is giving you trouble!

12-18 months, 18-24 months, 2T, 3T, 4T, 5T

solid woven fabric for main tunic (1 yd needed for 12mo-3T / 1.25 yd needed for 4T-5T)*
1/3 yard or more fabric for facings (quilting cotton works great!)
Interfacing for facings is not recommended unless you are using very lightweight materials such as gauzes or or other sheer fabrics.

*Recommended fabrics: linen/tencel blends (shown in picture above), shirtings, or other lightweight cotton or linen materials are recommended. The more drape your fabric has, the more movement the tunic will have when worn, so quilting cotton may make this a little stiff, but some of the lighter-weight quilting cottons will work fine!

click image below for size chart and finished garment dimensions (also included in pattern file):


The Charlie Tunic was featured on my blog on the following posts:
Charlie Pullover Tunic
More Charlie Tunics
Charlie with short sleeves
Short-sleeved Charlie in action!

And I can’t wait to show you how I’m making this pattern for girls!!!

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Special thanks to my testers: Emily, Jess and Sabra for helping me test the pattern and for all of your amazing and helpful feedback!

Share your photos: I can’t wait to see all of the awesome Charlie tunics on your little ones! Please add your pictures to the Rae Made Me Do It photo pool so we can all enjoy them.

Thanks for your patience! As usual, please be patient with me as there are bound to be glitches at first. Please email me (rae DOT made AT gmail DOT com) if there are any issues and we’ll get them worked out!

Short-sleeve Charlie in action!

UPDATED: totally went back and read this later and realized you might be thinking, what is that grubby little blanket doing in those pictures? That’s his blankie. It’s not remotely handmade and it has an applique of Elmo on one corner. But he loves it.

It didn’t take a Hershey bar to get him to put this on. However, I am not ashamed to admit I may have pouted a little. This is the Charlie Tunic with short sleeves. Now that it’s on I think I prefer the sleeve facings inside (so you could fold up the cuff and see just a little bit of print) but it’s cute this way too. I’ve added cutting lines and instructions to the sewing pattern for short sleeves, with facings in or out, and it will be available shortly! Sorry to be such a tease on this; I’ve just been a little busy with that top thing lately.

Free Chevron Wristlet Pattern!

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for the chevron trend. So I’m over on Grosgrain today for free pattern month with a tutorial for a little wristlet that can provide you with your Chevron-fix on a daily basis. Since I like to carry different bags on different days, this wristlet functions as my “wallet,” I just throw it in whatever bag or purse I happen to be carrying that day. It’s plenty big enough to hold all of the essentials: credit cards, cash, cell phone, pen and checkbook, chapstick, whatever.

All you need is a few basic supplies…

And your pattern….


right click on file once it opens to save/print

{this pattern is provided to you for FREE with the intention that it be used for personal use. Thanks! }

And the instructions (CLICK OVER TO GROSGRAIN FOR THE FULL TUTORIAL) and you’re good to go!

Thanks for a great month of free patterns, Kathleen!

Be sure to check out the other wonderful free patterns and tutorials that Kathleen’s been featuring all month long — they’re all lined up over on the sidebar of her blog so you can see them day by day.

Need more Chevron? Dana’s got an awesome pillow tutorial which I will readily admit served as an inspiration for this project (and photos above); as you can tell I share her strong love of stripes, chevron, and yellow!

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Best Top! Readers Choice of 2011

And now for our Readers Choice Award for Best Top of 2011! The top with the most reader votes from our final voting round goes to Shelby G for her Miss Eliza Bennet Top!

Shelby’s use of the floral fabric on top with the green sash is just wonderful. And you all know I’m a huge fan of the empire waist. I know many of you fell in love with this top as it swept the vote on in the first round of voting and captured 34% of the reader vote in the final round! Congratulations Shelby!!!

Shelby, Novita, and our three other finalists, Ruby, Nikki, and Amanda will all be receiving prizes (listed here and here) from my sponsors and other handmade designers and businesses who donated sewing supplies, patterns, and accessories for our sewalong winners this year!

Here’s another look at our lovely runner-ups one last time. Congratulations to you three as well! Your tops were amazing!

left: Simplicity 2456 by Nikki 
center: Swiss Pumpkin Top by Ruby 
right: Rose print blouse by Kitschy Coo

I hope you’ve really enjoyed our Spring Top Sewalong! It’s always interesting to me to watch how it all plays out — I don’t have a hand in any of the scoring or selection, so it’s really exciting to sit back (although it’s sometimes hard to just keep my mouth shut) and watch how it all unfolds. I’m so pleased with our winners and hope everyone who submitted a top or just followed along had a great time!

Best Top! Judges Choice of 2011

I’m happy to be able to announce our winners today! First up we have our Judge’s Choice Award, which goes to Novita of Very Purple Person for her Broken Stripes Top:

This top is a perfect example of how the baggy style which is so popular right now can look absolutely perfect! Novita’s nailed it here with a top that is perfectly proportioned and shows how prints can have just the right amount of bang when used correctly. I especially love it paired with the navy shorts with just a tiny bit of lace. Perfect! Congratulations Novita!!!

Today’s a double whammy for Novita because I just realized she’s just posted the most amazing pattern for Grosgrain’s Free Pattern Month for a scalloped hat today. I’m up tomorrow…MAN, that’s a tough act to follow!

And just in case you’re wondering how the judges chose this top: The judges nominated 30 of their favorites from the pool and then scored those favorites by choosing their top ten. We took those scores and added them up. There were two tops tied for first from the judges scores: This top, and the top that won the reader vote…up NEXT!

Rae’s Spring Top: Angel Top

{did you spot Curious George?}
A couple weeks ago I went over to Field’s to pick up some stretch lace. I originally had something very, very simple in mind. Something like this top:

The problem was that although that wide-necked baggy style is tre chic right now, the simple fact is that it does not look good on me. It’s really not the most flattering unless you possess waifish qualities. And even then, well…I shall let the picture above speak for itself (tangent: and those pants. OY. Would she really go out of the house in that getup?). But I did not know this until I tried it. So the first version of this top got scrapped. Luckily it was huge and baggy so I just changed the side seams and came up with the top shown above. I’m calling it the “Angel Top” only because the sleeves look like little wings to me, not because I am ever close to anything resembling an angel.

Just in case you wanted to make one too, I have created some hand-sketched instructions that are nowhere near the standard of quality you may be used to with my other patterns or tutorials. If you can manage to read my chicken scratchings or muddle your way through the drawings, you may in fact be able to create something similar to this top. It works best with stretchy knits; a serger is not necessary although if you decided to use stretch lace like I did you should finish the raw inside edges somehow (zigzag stitch would be fine). Good luck!

So I think this will be my last spring top for this week…there are others, abandoned on a heap in my sewing room that will probably have to wait to see the light of blog. One needs sleeves yet and then I realized the rest of the fabric got packed into storage. Haha, oops!
I’m so excited about the winners of Spring Top Week! I need to go make their crowns and put together the announcement post. Will be back soon with that. Thanks everyone for voting!!!

Rae’s Spring Top: Blue Ice Cream Top

I like this shot for some reason, blurry and unmade up. 

Those of you who have followed this blog for awhile have already seen this top in its previous form (right here). I started this one last summer at the Weekend Sewing Workshop in Vermont (btw, am going to Heather’s NEW YORK workshop this fall, am SO excited!!!) and by the time I left it was mostly finished but not hemmed. It sat in my closet all winter while I deliberated on how to make it a little more interesting. I love this blue Anna Maria Horner voile, but I felt the plain top still needed something. Lace? Some sort of embroidery? Heather had suggested doing some Mexican embroidery but my skills weren’t quite up to that challenge. Then Anna Maria Horner came to the rescue with this post where she showed some very simple but lovely embroidery on a skirt for her daughter. About the same time, Dana posted these awesome sprinkle shirts that I loved. I decided this would be perfect for the neckline, and I’m really pleased with the result:

It’s just enough detail to be interesting, but yet it doesn’t take away from the lovely design (the pattern was adapted at the Weekend Workshop by Liesl Gibson from her Ice Cream dress pattern for children; she recently developed the Lisette women’s pattern line as an answer to requests for the Oliver+S patterns in adult sizes). While the Ice Cream dress pattern is adorable on children, its blousy tunic style is a little trickier to fit on all sorts of women’s bodies (Liesl mentions in this blog post that the Portfolio Tunic was Lisette’s answer to the Ice Cream dress). Liesl made one for herself (which looked absolutely stunning on her petite figure, have spent way too much time looking for this post and can’t find it!), but I decided on me it looked better with a fitted waist:

I’m not sure if you can see this in the picture above or not but the elastic thread shirring was done with colors that matched the neckline embroidery, a slightly more time-consuming detail that will probably never get noticed. It fits nicely at the waist with 5 rows of shirring. By the way maybe this will be useful to someone else so I’ll mention it: I finally figured out how to do elastic-thread shirring on my front-loading-bobbin Bernina; if you use that little screwdriver that came with the machine to loosen the bobbin screw 180 degrees (so one half turn) and then thread the elastic thread through the bobbin as usual, it works on voile like a charm!! Have I mentioned how much I love this voile? I just finished a dress for Clementine in this blue color as well and I can’t wait to show you!

Don’t forget to VOTE for your favorite Spring Top of 2011!!

Spring Top Week: FINAL VOTE!

It’s been a fun week showing you so many fantastic tops! I hope you were encouraged to go and sew something for yourself.

Now it’s time to reveal the final four tops with the highest score from each day. To recap, a panel of 13 judges scored each and every top that was entered in our Spring Top Sewalong Pool before the deadline (the pool is still open now for fun, so feel free to keep adding your selfish-sewing projects!). The 48 tops with the highest scores were voted on each day this week; today and tomorrow you’re going to vote to pick a winner!

One of the things that made me the happiest about this week’s voting was that each day, every single top got lots of votes. Of course it definitely helped that over 1300 of you voted every day (WOW)!

Here are the results of those daily votes, our four finalists:

Monday’s winner:

Tuesday’s winner:

Wednesday’s winner:

Thursday’s winner:

Simplicity 2456 by Nikki

Congratulations to these four finalists (who will all be receiving prizes) and also to all of the other tops that made the voting round. There were so many great tops submitted this year, it was really hard to choose. I’m so glad I didn’t have to pick a winner by myself!!

Voting will be open until 5 PM eastern tomorrow. Please help me get out the vote by sharing this poll or post. Thanks everyone.

And: I still have two more of my own tops to show you yet. That’s how it goes when you’re a mom; posting tops isn’t exactly high-priority, if you know what I mean. So I’ll see if I can post those both later today!