Special Announcement: Capital Chic Patterns

Today I have something very exciting to share with you: I’m starting my own pattern company, Capital Chic Patterns.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know about my fondness for drafting patterns and creating unusual garments using both drafting and draping techniques. On seeing so many wonderful indie sewing pattern companies become successful in their own niches, it was a natural next step for me to start a new venture which might allow me to make a little money while doing something I love. I am a big supporter of indie pattern companies but felt like there wasn’t one around that fully matched my personal style – modern, fashionable dresses and separates that suit my lifestyle. As you know, I live and work in central London and favour slim silhouettes, clean lines and tend towards the smarter or more formal end of the spectrum. That’s why my new collection of patterns is designed primarily as work wear and cocktail wear, though depending on the fabrics, these shapes could carry you through from weekend shopping to date night, or the office party to that summer wedding. I feel that there are people who sew whose personal style doesn’t necessarily fit into the vintage/retro style that a lot of indie pattern companies cater for, and those are the people for whom I’m designing.

Another thing I am passionate about is improving my own sewing skills as well as those of my readers and the community in general. I’m not a sewing expert but consider myself to be experienced in some of the more advanced techniques. I have always tried to share tutorials on ideas and techniques for refashioning and pattern making here on the blog, so that people may learn something new. And this is another thing I’ll be trying to address with the new company – the patterns are aimed at intermediate to advanced sewers. Again, I feel this is a sector that is not necessarily being covered as well as it could be by indie pattern companies at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that there is a lot of choice out there for beginners. But what happens when you want to progress and start working on your skills as a sewist? If you continue making beginner-rated patterns, you’ll never improve, and that worries me. I want people to challenge themselves – that’s the only way to learn! All Capital Chic patterns come with fully-illustrated and easy-to-understand instructions which will hopefully enable those that haven’t tried certain techniques to give them a go. The new collection includes things like sew-in boning, French seams, machine-rolled hems and various other techniques that wouldn’t be found in beginner-rated patterns. So if you’ve been making beginner patterns up to now, but are ready for a challenge, Capital Chic is for you.

Without getting too emotional, I want to say thanks to everyone for your support since I started the blog 3 years and 115 posts ago. It’s been an absolute blast, and here’s to the next 115! Huge thanks to those in the sewing blogger community who have helped with testing the patterns thus far. And extra-special thanks to Clare for being a sounding board and drinking companion throughout the whole process!

On that note, don’t worry, nothing will change over here on Charity Shop Chic. I’ll still be buying the ugliest things I can find in charity shops across the world and making them special, and sharing the process with you all. I promise not to become one of those blogs that started out great but became merely a tool for self-promotion. I’m sure you all know that is just not my style! There will be a brand new blog for the new company here where I’ll be talking about all sorts of things to do with the new patterns, such as pattern hacks, sewing tips, fashion and styling ideas and more. If that interests you, you can subscribe to the RSS Feed here. You can also subscribe to receive occasional email updates, on new pattern releases and that sort of thing, from Capital Chic here. And feel free to follow me with my Capital Chic hat on on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.

And now, I want to share a little bit about each of the new patterns with you. There are six designs in my first collection and they each come with two variations. Each comes as a print-at-home or print-at-copyshop PDF file, complete with fully illustrated instructions, in sizes UK 10-18. For full details, hop over to the new website.

Martini is a cocktail dress with a twist. In today’s crop-top shape with an above-the-waist skirt, the silhouette helps create the illusion of a narrow waistline. It comes either as separates, so you can show as much or as little skin as you like, or as a lined dress that looks like separates but without the risk of showing any midriff. Martini’s instructions include full descriptions of advanced techniques such as boning, french seams and inserting the zip guard, making it ideal for sewing intermediates looking for a challenge.

Martini Blue

Cosmopolitan looks flirty, but actually means business; it can be paired with a jacket and flats for work, then ditch the jacket and add heels for an instant evening-friendly look. T-shaped darts at the bust mean striped or plaid fabrics really come into their own, but this dress can just as effectively be made up in solid colours. The blouse version features a pleated peplum with just the right amount of ‘pep’ and the same T-shaped darts for interest.


White Russian is a fairly close fitting sweatshirt, intended for pre-quilted jersey or sweatshirt fabrics or for quilting your own design. View A is a long sleeved raglan sweatshirt with cuffs, and View B is a quilted T-shirt with turn ups instead of cuffs. The pattern comes with templates for lion and fox quilting or appliqué designs and fully illustrated instructions for these techniques.





Bellini is a loose fitting, cap sleeved blouse with either a cutaway collar or a scalloped collar. Either collar option provides a blank canvas for embellishment. Add sequins, beads or sew-on gems for a night-time look, or go for a contrasting fabric such as leather/pleather for an edge. The blouse features bias-bound armholes, a machine rolled hem and french seams throughout. Full illustrated instructions for these techniques are included.


Manhattan is based on a pencil skirt silhouette with a curved side panel for added interest. Choose View A with its sexy, jagged hemline and exposed zip for a night on the town, or View B for a skirt that’s boardroom-appropriate with a chance to showcase special fabrics in the curved side panel. This dartless skirt sits at the waist and fits snugly with minimal ease.


Champagne is a basic, versatile pencil skirt design that moves from the office to after-hours drinks with ease. Both views feature a coordinating or contrasting hem band. The band for View A is straight at the front but party in the back with a small flounce taking the place of a vent. View B has more of a trumpet shape with a circular flounce front and back for a flirty feel. Both versions lend themselves to colour blocking, or to fabrics with two good sides/two different textures, such as satin backed crepe.


Thanks for reading! Normal refashioning service will be resumed shortly.



  1. clareyszabo

    Woohoo! You are live :) Very very excited to sew and welcome Capital Chic Patterns to the sewing world. Wishing you lots of success with your amazing pattern line! xx

  2. Ruth

    Congratulations! Your designs look fantastic and definitely a bit different to other indie pattern companies. I’m sure they’ll be a big success!

  3. Kate

    Where would we find fabric and notions information for each pattern? Can’t find how much fabric I would need and what size lace for the cosmopolitan pattern. I am so excited for you!

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Kate, you’re right, that information is missing. I’ll work on getting that data up later today. In the mean time, if it’s Cosmopolitan you’re interested in…
      For the dress, you need 1.5m of 115cm wide fabric, or 1.2m of 150cm wide fabric. The same amount of lining. One 40cm invisible zip, one hook and eye, two scraps of interfacing measuring 1.5x43cm. Lace trim, 6-9cm wide, 4 metres (2m if you only use it around the bodice).
      For the top, you need 1.1m of 115cm wide fabric, or 0.75m of 150cm wide fabric. One 20cm invisible zip, one hook and eye, two scraps of interfacing each measuring 1.5x23cm. Lace trim, 6-9cm wide, 2 metres.
      Hope that helps!

      • Kate

        Sorry I found a bug or something missing 45 minutes after launch. You must be having a stressful morning. Again congratulations.

        • charityshopchic

          Ha, no problem! I wasn’t sure how many people find that info useful before they buy, but I’m thinking it would be good to have it up there for completeness anyway.

          • Ros

            I definitely do. If I’ve got stash fabric, I’ll want to know whether it’s enough for the pattern before I buy the pattern.

          • charityshopchic

            Hi Ros, thank you, that is useful feedback! I’m still working on getting all the data onto the website in an easy-to-read way. But it’ll be up soon, thanks for your patience.

  4. Helen

    WOW!!! These are all beautiful! Amazing work. Well done. These are definitely different to what’s on offer elsewhere and while the whole retro vibe is definitely me, I have room in my heart and wardrobe for all of your patterns too. Love love love martini, Bellini and White Russian! I would say good luck, but I really don’t think you will need it. X

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Helen, so kind of you to comment! Yes, I’m trying to do something a little bit different to what’s out there at the moment from independent pattern companies. I think there is room for many different aesthetics in the market. Thanks for the good luck wishes, I do need them!

  5. sophiebataille

    Wow. I rarely comment, but I’m just stunned. So much work! So many options! So many details! This is way beyond what other indies started out with. Wish you ravishing success!

  6. Elena

    Wow, this is so exciting! I love Martini, and the idea of a fox-quilted White Russian (never thought I’d put those words together!) sounds amazing. Congratulations!

    • charityshopchic

      Ha, yes it does seem like a bit of an unlikely combination! But really, you can design your own motif and quilt or applique it on, and I hope people will. The instructions tell you how to do it. Thanks for the supportive comment!

  7. rachielou

    I think this is brilliant – well done! I wish you all the success in the world. These patterns are definitely more my style than most of the indie patterns out there, and I really appreciate the fact that they are aimed at the more advanced sewist!! One question, how do you manage to work and find the time for this venture? I really admire anyone who can juggle their time well, and as someone who struggles to find time to sew and work full time (too much TV probably!!), I’m genuinely interested to hear how others do it. Thank you, congratulations and good luck!

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Rachielou, thanks for your kind words about the new collection! I’m so glad to hear that there are people who want to challenge themselves with harder patterns as well :) I do work full-time in a completely unrelated field, but have been spending all my free time on this project for a number of months. It’s been really hard work but I have loved every minute so far!

  8. Jenni

    I wondered what the pattern was for your Minerva frock, your own Martini! Love these, good luck with your lovely patterns x

  9. Esta

    I’ve been admiring your inventive construction techniques for a while now and I’m really happy I can finally recreate something similar myself. And you’re right, there’s not much catering for the seamstress with intermediate skills. All the best for you and your pattern line!

  10. Kirstieh

    I feel like everything you have designed is aimed at me!! I adore the first dress and cant wait to get started. Congratulations and here’s to a successful future!

  11. Tamsin W-P

    These are all fab. Simple elegant modern patterns seem quite hard to find and I think these will fill that gap – well done. I have often admired your refashions as well, so glad to hear you will continue with those, although how you find the time with this new venture and full time work I don’t know! I hope this goes well for you.

    • charityshopchic

      I’m glad you like these designs, Tamsin – I feel strongly that there is a need for more contemporary womenswear patterns in the indie sewing world. Yes, I’ll be sewing all day and all night by the sound of it, but I’ll try my best to keep blogging as much as I can.

  12. helen

    Wow! I’m am so excited for you.
    Good luck in your venture and I shall now go to your links and sign up where necessary!

  13. KathleenS

    Hi Sally, I really like your philosophy with these – aiming for intermediate/advanced and the sleeker modern aesthetic. And I’ve admired your work on your blog for a while. So, I just bought Martini and I like the look of it so far. (And like others I’m amazed that you’ve been able to release 6 patterns up front!)

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Kathleen, that’s fantastic news, thank you so much! I hope you have fun sewing the Martini, it’s my favourite of all the designs. I would love to see photos when you’re done!

  14. Lien

    Congratulations!! The patterns are absolutely stunning :)
    Since I’m a novice, I think I have to practice a lot this summer before I can make any of your patterns :) But that’s an extra motivation ;)

    Good luck!

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks, Lien! The White Russian is probably the easiest of the designs – if you’ve sewn knits before you should be OK with the basic sweatshirt, though the quilting is a little more tricky. The Champagne skirt might also suit you.

  15. Ellen

    Congratulations on this exciting venture! I agree these classic styles and challenging patterns have been overlooked in the indie pattern offerings to date. Excellent!!

  16. Barbara J

    Congratulations on your new venture. I’ve been following your blog for probably all of the 115 posts and know you have the skills to draft these beautiful new patterns. You’re so right about them filling a hole in the indie pattern community; they are sharp and sophisticated, trendy but timeless. The one that hits me first is the Bellini. Gosh, what a gorgeous blouse. I’ll be putting that in a shopping cart soon! Again, many congrats and positive vibes for your success.

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Barbara, thank you for commenting! Thanks for all your support over the last few years. I’m so glad you think there is a market for these designs as I’ve been working really hard on them. I would love to see your Bellini when it’s finished – I hope you will share some photos!

  17. MJ

    Good for you! You are the best refashioning blogger so it is good that you can share your excellence with others. I have always thought you should be a designer! I wish you so much success!!

  18. Heather Lou

    Way to go lady! Super stoked for you – the collection looks AMAZING – I really want a Martini and Bellini and its only 9am! Way too early to be drinking!

    Really smart to go niche here my darling – there are lots of us cropping up but I think catering to a more advanced sewist with these chic designs is a fabulous idea! Good luck and congratulations!

    • charityshopchic

      Ah, thanks so much, Heather! I have to say that seeing you make such a success of Closet Case patterns has really been inspirational for me. If I could be half as successful as you, I’d be happy! I thought long and hard about whether the market could support any more indie companies, and came to the conclusion that my offering would be really quite different to the majority of indie patterns out there, so I decided to go for it. Thanks again for your support, it means a lot to me!

  19. puu

    congratulations, sally! looks like a lovely first collection! i love that you specifically thought of an advancing sewist instead of an absolute beginner – we need more like you out there :-)

  20. Deb C.

    Beautifully done! I like to see modest clothing that is chic and flattering at the same time. Congrats and wish the best for you.

  21. Michelle

    CONGRATULATIONS on your pattern line! I love your aesthetic and these designs definitely fill a gap in the world of indie sewing patterns.

  22. Connie

    Congratulations to you and I wish you much success. I’ve been following your blog for some time now and admire your skill at sewing and your even better skill at designing when doing your refashions. I especially like the quilted lion design and would like to make that for my daughter but she is larger than your largest size. I wonder if it would be possible to buy your lion template by itself, then I could use an existing top and just embellish with the lion.

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Connie, thanks so much for the words of support. Unfortunately I am not selling the lion/fox templates individually at this time, but you or your daughter could probably draw your own motif to quilt? Or, depending on you daughter’s size, you might be able to grade the pattern up a little? It’s quite a straightforward shape. Failing that, if there is the demand for it, I am hoping to increase the size range on some or all of the patterns later in the year.

  23. Claire

    Wow, you have been busy! I wondered why there were so few refashions lately! Beautiful designs too, love the Martini and White Russian especially (but they are all gorgeous!). Congratulations on the launch and best wishes with this, looks like you have found your own niche, which I’m sure will be very successful!

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Claire, yes, there has been a lot going on behind the scenes here! Don’t worry though, I have more refashions lined up for the coming weeks. Thanks for the words of support and I am glad you like the new designs!

  24. sew2pro

    Ooh, my entire family could do with a sweatshirt each! And we love lions and foxes!

    Good luck in this well-thought out venture. You’re right amount there not being enough cool stuff for intermediate and advanced sewists.

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks, I’m so glad you agree there is a gap in the market for this sort of thing. Lions and foxes were my first choice but you could do anything from slogans to freehand embroidery. Happy sewing!

  25. Amy

    CONGRATUALTIONS on launching your pattern company! I agree there isn’t enough of this esthetic out there in the Indy world! Can’t wait to see all that comes. Can’t wait to try one out as well!

  26. Simona

    Hey Sally! I am sure your new venture will be a success! You are very talented your patterns are superb!
    You rock girl!!!

  27. photosarah

    Congrats! I noticed you hadn’t been posting much lately. Best of luck in your new venture. It’s nice to see some different sorts of patterns. Pretty sure I’ll end up buying the sweatshirt one :)

  28. dee

    These look great, I really want to make the martini but I am new to sewing so will practice all summer with the goal of sharpening my skills enough that I can take it on!

  29. Eileen Laurette

    Woo hoo hoo! SO excited for you, Sally – I’ve been following your blog for quite awhile and love your refashions, but kudos to you for taking the next step and offering your own line of patterns! Go, you!

  30. Fadanista

    What an exciting venture and you’ve launched with so many patterns! As an (ahem) older sewer, I am pleased that there are patterns suitable for me as well, and your designs suit my shape better than many of the available indie patterns. I am already planning which ones to buy (nope, don’t need another pattern, but can’t resist!).

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Sue! So glad there is something here you want to make – I am hoping that most of the designs will work for women of any age. Regarding the size and shape, I am drafting for textbook ‘standard’ proportions in the hope they will fit as many people as possible. I’d love to widen the size range but I need to wait and see whether there’s enough demand first.

  31. Molly

    This is so exciting, you’ve hit on everything I’d been missing in the indie pattern market (difficulty, modern, office wear)! I’m looking forward to digging into a couple of these patterns.

  32. Charity

    Wow, congratulations! Those are some great designs… my favorite is Champagne. I’ll be following along on your new blog as well.

  33. Naomi

    These all look so fantastic I’m having a hard time deciding which to buy first! Congratulations and good luck with the new venture. x

  34. learningnewtricks

    So absolutely excited! Whenever I see one of your refashions and all of the tailoring skills you include, I wonder why you haven’t started your own pattern line. I am definitely passing on your line to other sewing friends. Will you include US sizes? You have made my day!!!

    • charityshopchic

      Ha, thank you! I have UK sizes on the size chart, but that’s just as a guide. Like with all sewing patterns, you should measure yourself and choose the correct size based on that, as all companies’ size charts are different.

  35. Jamila

    Hi Sally! Congratulations on releasing all these lovely patterns – they definitely fill a gap in the pattern market and appeal to my design aesthetic. Sadly, the sizing is way too big for me ( as it is with most sewing patterns) but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’ll release a smaller size later because I’d hate to miss out on such great designs!

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Jamila! Thank you so much for the feedback. Yes, the size range is quite limited right now as I have limited resources… I am hoping to expand the size range later in the year, depending on what the demand is like, so stay tuned!

  36. francescapia

    Lovely designs – found my way here thanks to Closet Case:). What fun – I love indie patterns and yours are a different niche. Tell me – do you plan ever to release paper patterns? I tend to buy pdfs, sit on them, and then eventually order the paper pattern – did that just now with Pauline Alice! Also, do you include finished measurements? And last but very much not least, do you design for a B cup or what?

    • charityshopchic

      Hello and thanks for commenting. I am not planning to release paper patterns in the near future. The business model for selling paper patterns is quite different to PDFs and I think it’s unlikely that’s something I’d want to do. Never say never, but it’s unlikely.
      The patterns do include finished garment measurements on page 1 of the instructions.
      Yes, the patterns are cut for ‘standard’ proportions which means B cup. The size chart is here… http://www.capitalchicpatterns.com/pages/size-chart
      Hope that answers your questions but please get in touch if you need anything more.

      • francescapia

        Wow! you’re fast:). Cool. If I know there won’t be paper then I will get a PDF…. I am so glad re the finished measurements – you must be one of the few that does. And great about the B cup.

  37. Marble City Cat

    Martini is beautiful. It reminds me a little of something Jacqueline Kennedy would have worn when she was first lady. I don’t do arms. Do you think it would be easy enough to add a sleeve to the “crop top” – that garment is too fabulous to call a crop top – I think I will give it a go anyway. Loads of luck with your patterns. I don’t think you’ll need it.

    • charityshopchic

      Thank you so much, Marble City Cat! If you want to add a sleeve from another pattern, you might need to extend the shoulder of the crop top a little to get it to sit right. Good luck with it and let me know how you get on, I would love to see your finished dress!

  38. Helena A.

    I wish you all the best! Enjoy with your new site!
    kisses from Portugal!

  39. Jessica

    Congratulations! What a huge accomplishment! Very beautiful pieces….I’m sure you will be super successful. Can’t wait to hear more about it! Have loved loved loved reading your blog the last few years. You have truly inspired me so many times! Go girl!

  40. Ann T.

    It was love the moment I laid eyes on White Russian! I have ordered the pattern, and plan to make the quilted lion ASAP. Your first collection is impressive, and I wish you well in your new endeavor.

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Ann, that’s great that you love the White Russian as much as I do :) Thanks for the well wishes. I would love to see pictures of your sweatshirt when you’ve finished it – please tweet me at @capitalchic with your pics!

  41. liz

    i’m a bit behind on my blog reading, so belated congrats! this is an awesome new venture and i look forward to buying a pattern or two!

  42. Gema

    I feel a bit late to this party – but I’ve got to say, that is such an achievement, and so inspiring! Congratulations!!

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