The Cleo pattern has been so popular. I was never quite sure if it was the right shape for me but until you try something you never know!
Cleo is a beginner-friendly pattern that gives you the basic premise of a pinafore / dungaree dress, keeping it nice and simple without too many add-ons. It comes with patch pockets front and back which need top-stitched on, and over the shoulder straps. The inside is finished with a facing. You get the option of two lengths – mini and knee length. I made a size 5 (UK14) as the mini length.
I used some Robert Kaufman dot chambray in indigo from the shop (also available in black and burgundy). The pattern recommendations are for heavy to medium weight fabrics and this chambray is really a light to medium weight fabric. Since we are heading into summer I was trying to make something that I could wear just now…while this fabric is perhaps a touch light weight, I think it will be OK.
Cleo came together no problem. The instructions are extremely detailed with clear step by step photos. I cut the front and back pieces on the fold for extra speed and to avoid messing up the spots. I top-stitched with a coordinating thread to keep them simple. The Prym dungaree clips simply push together – no hammer required! It was pretty quick to sew, but you want to take your time with the top-stitching. I did some little boxes at the top of my pockets to secure the corners.
A good tip for making these type of patch pockets is to do a line of stitching just inside where your fold line will be (1.5cm in this case) and use this as a guide to press all the edges under. It makes the process much quicker, neater and the result more accurate.
I finished the hem with some pre-made striped bias binding to maintain as much length as possible.
Ooft, the mini length is pretty short! I’m not sure I’ll be brave enough to wear this without tights, although I’ve let the straps out a bit more which has definately helped. I’d add to the length as well if I made it again. I’ve got a McCalls pinafore pattern in progress and it has more shaping at the waist – it will be interesting to be able to compare them when I’m finished.
Total cost: £37.55
Fabric: 1.2m of Chambray Dot in Indigo @ £16/m = £19.20
Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Cleo = £12.50
Notions: Dungaree Clips, thread and interfacing = £5.85
I’m wearing my Cleo with a modified Grainline Studio Lark Tee made with Lillestoff blue and white stripe organic cotton jersey. It is the boatneck version with a faced neckline. I’ve got a post planned to show you how I did it!