Black Babycord Cleo


I finally jumped on the Cleo Dungaree Dress wagon after much trepidation. It's not a shape I would usually go for as ideally I need to be nipped in at the waist, but Tilly and the Button's pattern has taken the sewing community by storm and I wanted in on the action.

Also, the promise of a quick and satisfying project was just too big a temptation!




In a wild departure for me, I settled on black babycord instead of a print, which makes it incredibly versatile. I paired it with my Ghoulish Gable Top here, but I'll be sharing some other Cleo style tips soon.

Having tried RTW dungaree dresses before, the straps are always too long and the hips too snug. The beauty of making your own of course is that you can tweak the fit to near perfection. Size-wise I cut a four and then graded the hips to a six. I took eight centimetres off the straps and still ended up with a generous amount to fold under.

In terms of construction, I decided to cut the front and back pieces on the fold to speed up the stitching process as I didn't plan on contrasting topstitching. My advice if you're doing the same is to make sure you remove the centre seam allowances before you start sewing. I got to the facing stage before realising I hadn't, so I ended up having to cut my back piece down the middle after all. I could have cut another facing piece, but by this time I had interfaced and stitched it all together.



Where I didn't cut corners was the topstitching, and although it's not in a contrasting colour, taking the time to do it gives a really professional finish.

Although Cleo isn't the most flattering thing I've made, I do really like it and hope to make more. I'm annoyed at myself for not making the skirt more A-line like I originally planned to. I got lazy and didn't bother, which was stupid as I'd probably end up living in it if I had. The other thing that annoys me, as with any straight unlined skirt, is that it rides up when I'm wearing tights. I don't know what the solution to this is, so if you have any thoughts do share!

My favourite part of the whole process was definitely hammering in the rivets for the buckles. There was something very therapeutic about it, which totally appealed to my inner violent self! Please tell me I'm not alone in feeling this way...?!?

9 comments:

  1. I've just made exactly the same thing - black babycord Cleo! Love the pairing with your Gable top. I lined my Cleo in anticipation of the tights sticking malarkey. I cut a front and back in lining, assembled lining and fabric up to the point before attaching the facings, then attached the facings treating the fabric and lining as one. It worked a treat. After a day's wear I decided to add french tacks to keep the fabric and lining together at the hem, as I was still getting some 'riding up' after wearing under my big winter coat. Hopefully this will help. I guess you'll have to wear a slip under yours? That's what I do with my first, unlined, Cleo.

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    1. Thanks Kathy! I wish I had lined it...so a slip may come in handy!

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  2. funnily enough I saw something about this on pinterest the other day, it might have been a Grainline Studio pin, it involved sewing a wide band of non-staticky/slippery fabric a bit like a hem facing on the skirt. Am yet to try this myself and can't find the pin now, but I was intrigued by the idea and was planning on trying it on the next make where I couldn't get away with a full slip underneath (I dislike the elastic on a half slip) maybe this is something you can add to your Cleo without having to take too much apart?

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    1. Oooh, thanks for the great idea!!!

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  3. Seconding the idea of wearing a half slip underneath. Much easier than having to line everything!

    I also love hammering in eyelets, press studs and jeans buttons. Sewing is even more fun when it involves raiding the tool kit!

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  4. I'm just about to make Cleo so could cut both sides on the fold without seams. Are you pleased you did that, at least on the front?

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    1. It made a quick make even quicker, that's for sure!

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  5. This is so great Marie! I've been wearing my denim one a lot recently (in fact right now!) but love the idea of a cord one. I don't think this is a bad shape on you at all, it really suits you!

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