Sewing The Charlie Top | A Top & Dress Pattern from Violette Field Threads

From almost the first time I made a dress from Violette Field Threads, I’ve wanted to make a Charlie Dress. I bought the pattern months ago but hadn’t gotten around to sewing it up … until now.

I picked up a yard of this lovely yellow rayon challis at JoAnn’s last fall, knowing that I wanted to make something out of it, but not quite sure what. Then a couple of weeks ago, I got the pressing need to make Charlie. Part of the reason I felt compelled to make this pattern ASAP is that I bought the baby version, which goes from 0-3 months to 18-24 months. My daughter turns two this August … HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!

About the Charlie Pattern

The Charlie Top & Dress is available in baby (0-3 months to 18-24 months), girl (2T to 10 years), tween (10, 12, 14, and 16 tween), and doll sizes. It’s a fun dress and top that have an adorable tie detail, a gathered skirt, cap sleeves or elbow length tie sleeves, and a button placket in the back.

My Version of Charlie

I love the looks of the Charlie. Originally, I planned on a dress … but I didn’t have enough fabric so I went with the top version instead. Then, I didn’t have enough fabric for sleeves, so I decided to make it sleeveless (which isn’t an option with the pattern, but is easy enough to do.)

Sometimes you just have to adapt.

Constructing the Charlie Top

Making the Charlie Top was fairly straightforward. Honestly, once you’ve sewn so many dresses and tops, you get really used to the order of construction. I followed the instructions by glancing at them now and then, but otherwise put it together on my own. I hadn’t done ties like at the front of the neckline and the instructions for those were easy to follow.

Besides making it sleeveless, I did a couple of things differently than are laid out in the instructions.

I wanted a clean finish on the inside of the bodice without topstitching, so I folded under the lining and hand stitched it to hide the waist.

Initially, that was the only hand stitching I planned to do.

But then we went away for the weekend … so I pressed the hem before we left and hand stitched it while in the car.

The funny thing is … I enjoyed that so much that I decided to hand stitch the buttonholes. Without practicing first … yes, I’ve done something like that before!

You know, the first buttonhole looked terrible. But, every now and then I try to do something that helps me let go of perfectionism. So, I went with it. There are three buttonholes in total … it took me until the third to finally get the hang of it!

Besides, nobody is going to notice when it’s on an adorable, running, crazy-hyper toddler!

Changes I Would Make In Future

Elsie, my 20-month-old is very tall for her age. She’s always been off the charts for height. Even though I took a very deep hem, the top length is still surprisingly long. The next Charlie Top I make will be a bit shorter, closer to the actual length of a top that Elise normally wears.

If I make a sleeveless version again, I’ll probably take a smaller seam allowance at the armscye to make the shoulders just a bit wider. I’m not 100% sure that my seam allowance was spot on, it might have been a bit larger than intended which contributed to the narrow shoulders.

Final Thoughts

I will definitely be adding more Charlie Tops to Elsie’s summer wardrobe. The style is just so cute and honestly, rayon challis was the perfect fabric for it. Light and airy — it makes me want one for myself!

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