A tale of two cleos…

I wasn’t convinced by the samples of the Cleo pinafore from Tilly and the Buttons. The curve from the waist to the hip was too pronounced for my taste (or so I thought), and I felt it made the garment unflattering. Enter the flurry of bloggers’ versions! I particularly fell for Dominique Major’s brocade version.

Pattern: Cleo Pinafore from Tilly and the Buttons
Made Before? only these two versions
Will Make Again? Yes
Fabric: olive print cotton from Spotlight, with an unbleached cotton lining, and fern upholstery brocade, also from Spotlight.

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The first version I made was in this olive print cotton from Spotlight. I knew the fabric would be too light-weight for the Cleo, so I fully lined it with an unbleached cotton. Funnily enough, I made this while my parents sat in the same room watching a tour of Greek cooking! I was craving Ouzo or Retsina, let me tell you…and some haloumi…

The pattern was straightforward, easy to follow, and the top-stitching not as hard as I thought it would be. I do think the key to top-stitching is to not really give a shit. Sure, there are wobbles in it and the pocket stitches are a tad hap-hazard…but no-one other than me knows, and certainly, no-one cares.

Rather than using a button or buckle, I bought a snap fastening kit off etsy and fixed on these little black ones. Snap fastenings may be the key to my sewing success…I’m debating how childish shirts with snaps would be – like, an entire wardrobe of shirts with only snap fastenings…

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The second version I made from this beautiful upholstery fabric, also from Spotlight. I cut the facings from the unbleached cotton Id used in the previous version. Unfortunately, the fabric is still too thick in places – for example, you can see here my snap has come out because there was too much bulk.

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Catherine was not convinced by this fabric. She thought I would look like a walking cushion in it. I was inspired by Dominique’s version, though, and ignored her.

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I love the way the straps meet at the back! It looks like a proper pinafore! Even though many parts of this pattern look as though they are finicky, it’s actually a very easy make. Each of these versions took not much more than an hour – turning the straps through being the most time-consuming part. Tilly’s instructions are outstanding, I’d recommend any of her patterns to a beginner.

I wore these a lot in Glasgow at the start of the year, with a dark green jersey dress I bought at H&M. They bring a bit of brightness and fun to the grim wintery days. I’m planning a maroon cord one, which is in fact almost done – but I’d love to do some embroidery on the pocket or try something else special. I think there is room in this pattern for some pom pom trim…or sparkles, like Kate from the Fold Line’s version…

Check out my pinterest board for some Cleo-themed inspiration. Are you making one? Have a different favourite pinafore pattern? Let me know in the comments…

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Stoff and Stil sewing plans…

Stoff and Stil have updated their website with some new Autumn and Winter fabrics, and after a couple of days successful sewing I felt I deserved a fabric hit! I’m hoping to get these done by Shetland Wool Week, which mother dearest and I will be heading to at the end of September.

1. Kielo Dress

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I’m planning to make a Kielo in some beautiful fern print crepe I already own, but when I spotted this pleated jersey I fell in love with the idea of a Grecian pleated and wrapped dress. I think this will also be an easy and versatile make – I can see it with tights and long-sleeves underneath in Winter, or with sandals in Summer for a night out. Simple, understated, but gorgeous.

2. Factory or Bettine Dress

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I love that Stoff and Stil include pictures of their fabric made up into garments – I would have missed this otherwise, but check out how it looks made up-

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The blousy fit of this reminds me of the Bettine, and given it’s a viscose fabric I think it will be the perfect fabric-pattern match. However, I’m tempted to try a factory dress, given my recent success with that pattern, and the option of wearing that with a cardigan and the collar poking out…the only hesitation I have there is the practicality of the Factory Dress’ slightly looser skirt on the windy Glasgow streets. I might end up trying to hack the two together, what do you think?

3. Definitely a Factory Dress…

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This is a potential wildcard. This cotton percale is listed as a “home” fabric and as it hasn’t arrived I’m not sure how soft and suitable for dressmaking it will be. However, I’m hoping it’ll make the perfect Factory Dress to wear in Winter, and feel subdued but slightly colourful – and I mean, it was on sale guys, who can blame me?!

I might end up making a toile of the factory dress, as I’m not sure how flattering I’ll find the skirt. The Orla dress which has been getting a lot of blog time recently looks a lot more youthful. Potentially I’ll try for the best of both worlds, making the Factory skirt gathered in the same way. I’ve also been wondering if side and back gathers, a la the Archer shirt, might be a win. I’m not going to make any promises, but a side-by-side comparison post could be interesting. I do love seeing Lisa Emerita’s process videos for those toiles….

What are your Autumn plans? Favourite online fabric stores? Wind + skirt solutions?