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A Spotty Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Dress

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It is very much ‘that’ time of the year now in England when there is no denying that Autumn is well and truly here. It’s cold, I want the heating on and most of my fabric shopping now is now cosy corduroys, soft jerseys and snuggly sweatshirting.

My Tilly and the Buttons Cleo pattern is also something that I reach for in the Autumn/Winter. Whilst I have seen many Summer appropriate versions of this – for me it is all about snuggly thicker fabrics teamed with long sleeved jersey tops.

My fabric choice for this Cleo is this stunning navy spotty corduroy.  It was very kindly sent to me by My Fabrics, and I couldn’t be more pleased with it. There are so many colour choices with this spotty corduroy, but as I kind of knew that I probably wanted to pair it with my red striped Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Top, I went ahead and opted for the navy blue. Along with the huge choice of spotty cords, there are several other patterned designs and a wide range of the thickness of cord – from jumbo down to baby cord.

I would describe it as a light weight corduroy, beautifully soft, but certainly with enough structure to make the perfect Cleo.

As with all my Tilly patterns I cut a size 4, and I made no alterations other than shortening the length of the straps by 2″

I added a pocket on the bib front, but chose not to place the optional pockets on the back of the dress as I didn’t want any attention drawn to that area!!

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This is the first time that I have used dungaree clips as a fastening for a Cleo. I always  opt for a button option, but I have had these clips in my sewing basket for a while now and thought that I would give them a go this time.

They are really easy and straightforward to use, really nothing to them at all – you will need a hammer however. Fortunately my husband was able to provide me with that!

To attach the clips, carefully mark out exactly where you want to place them.

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Pierce a small hole using an awl or other sharp point.

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Place the pointed part of the rivet through the hole from the back, and line up the button over the top. Make sure if your button has a design on it, that it is the right way up, as it is impossible  to twist it once in place.

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Gently hammer into place!

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Ta Da! That’s all there is to it, such fun and the good news is that you get to do it all over again on the other side!

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I hope you like the outcome as much as I do. I really like the pairing of spots and stripes together, also love the red and blue combo too!

Thank you very much to My Fabrics for providing the fabric for this post. This is something I am going to love wearing this season. I certainly have my eye on some of the other patterned cords at My Fabrics and you may well be seeing more of this again soon!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Tilly and The Buttons Cleo Dress Pattern Review

The day I saw that Tilly and The Buttons had released a pinafore dress pattern was a great day for me. I had been trawling the internet for a decent pinafore pattern for a very long time and whilst I could find patterns with bibs and ‘skater’ style skirts I couldn’t find any with this all in one style with no waist seam. This was perfect! Last Winter I had admired a couple of patterned pinafores I had seen in the shops and this was what I wanted my Cleo to look like.

I was very excited to read that Tilly and the gang were going to be hosting a Cleo sewing party on November 26th, where you could share your progress on Instagram. Do check out the hashtag #sewingcleo for tons of inspiration. I very much wanted to be a part of this so the pattern was promptly ordered and whilst I waited for this to arrive I searched for my perfect patterned Cleo fabric. I ordered a gorgeous cotton drill from eBay – bit of a risk but it was just right. The only other supplies I needed to buy were a couple of buttons as I already had black thread, interfacing and some leftover lining fabric.

I chose to make the mini length version of the dress, which was perfect for my 5’2″ height. There is a knee length version with a front split if you prefer it longer. I also only cut and used the top pocket as I decided the hip pockets would not be flattering on my shape. I  decided to use buttons as the fastenings, as I thought using dungaree buckles would be too tricky – I am really happy with the button finish but have seen so many versions online made with the buckles that next time I will definitely be giving them a go. They can’t be that difficult can they?

As always the instruction booklet is superb. Great step-by-step photos and written instructions guide you through this project easily and it sews up in very little time – it would have been even quicker if I hadn’t chosen to line it. It’s a perfect pattern for any skill level. I must admit I prefer to cut out my pattern the day before sewing but on this occasion I wanted to do it all in one day.cleo6

I was concerned that the weight of the fabric would make the pocket too bulky to lie flat but this was not a problem and I enjoyed the placement of it and the topstitching. I love a bit of topstitching!

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Simple buttons and more topstitching

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I chose to line the dress with some pretty emerald green lining as I know this will always be worn with tights, and I hate it when dresses and skirts ride up over tights. It was simple enough to do I just cut the lining with the front and back dress pattern pieces and lay it on top of the dress pieces and tacked them into place. Easy.

It was such fun to be a part of the Tilly community for the day, I am thrilled with how the pattern came out – I may cut it a size smaller next time. If you love Tilly and The Buttons patterns too you may like to check out my Bettine pattern review on the blog. I am also currently just finishing my first Coco dress and of course that pattern review will be on the blog too very soon.

I love the finished dress, and I know I will happily make many more, I will probably try a corduroy or denim for my next one, or even a pretty upholstery fabric…

Have you enjoyed making a Cleo? Did you take part in the Cleo sewing party too?  As always I love to hear from you.

Thanks for joining me here and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy xcleo5