Comments 52

STOP Everything for Cleo!

I couldn’t help myself.  I know I was supposed to be getting on with making blocks, especially stretchy ones, but I just needed a Cleo so badly after seeing them popping all over IG and the blogasphere!

And I had these shoes which I recently purchased, and had nothing to wear with them!  And a Cleo or 2 with opaque tights would be just perfect!


So I whipped it up in an evening (I’d already traced off my size).

The only measurements you need to take into consideration are your hips and waist.  I’m a tilly size 5 on the hips (I like Tilly’s sizes – they make you measure.  As they are sized 1 to 8 you can’t just go with your ‘normal’ size and be lazy.

I would be a size 6 waist, but looking at the finished garment size I knew there should be enough ease in the size 5 for it to fit my waist.

And it did.  Perfect!  No muslin!!  Not even One!  Which is a miracle as I think nothing of having to do 2 or 3.

I started it at 4pm, had a short break to take H to KFC (so I did’t have to cook!) and had it finished by 9:30pm, except for the buttons.  That didn’t include adding any pockets, I’d cut them out but wasn’t sure initially which ones I wanted.

The pattern is for a confident beginner, and Tilly really does hold your hand through every step.  There are just a few things I would recommend which aren’t in the instructions.

Stay stitch all the curves front and back.

Block fuse the fabric before cutting out the facings:

If you’re not too hot as sewing button holes, stitch the straps in place, then stitch the button on top for fancy.  I pinned my straps in place and wore it around the house for an hour or 2 to make sure they were in the right place – and make sure you can get in on and off ok before you do this!!


I used a light weight stretch denim and made the longer version with a slit at the front.  Next time I would add a light weight interfacing to the seam allowance if in a medium wight fabric as the split looks a bit flimsy.

Other than that, I love it so much.  I’ve worn it out shopping with long boots and tights:








And today for the school run and a quick cuppa at cyber moms before I played golf:







I was instructed to do something with my hands.  I don’t think this is what cyber mom had in mind!


Do you have a Cleo in your life yet?  It’s just so comfy, but if really needs pockets. I’m still not sure where to put them.  But I think my next one will have inseams pockets, as I like the unfussy looks.

Oh, before I go, you need to see the inside – I almost want to wear it inside out!





And the buttons…..I love these!  They were reclaimed from on an old skirt from years ago:

Have you thought of making a Cleo, or something similar?  I just had to when i saw how flattering they were on everyone, and I love it even more than anticipated!

This entry was posted in: Dresses


I sew and play golf. I blog about my sewing as I don't think you'd want to read about my golf. It's bad enough watching it on telly! Contact me via email - Thimbers.blog@gmail.com


  1. Your Cleo looks fab, I bet you’ll be like me and end up with another one before the week’s out though, one Cleo is never enough! I’m a Tilly size 5 too, and like you said, her sizing is perfect. I chose to put two patch pockets on both of mine on the front, lower down. I love being able to put my hands in and stash my phone there. I’ve worn mine so much I’m even considering a third one 😄

  2. Wah I love this on you! I have also been lusting after a pinafore dress but I just don’t think I would be able to pull it off any where near as well as you. Looks very stylish.

  3. Looking good! I love the idea of a pinafore dress with practical pockets so I don’t need to carry a bag. Maybe this is the pattern I should try

    • Oh you really should! They’re so comfy to wear, and for me it’s such a change from wearing jeans all the time through the chilly months. 😀

    • Thanks Del! Yes, they’re Clarks, and so comfy. Looking down on them I feel they make my feet look huge, but cyber mom assures me they don’t. 😀

      • I had a very similar pair whilst in Chicago and adored them. (Also thought they made my feet look huge.) Wore them to bits & always got so many compliments. Wonder if they’re available online over here… will have to take a look on the U.S. site.

  4. Don’t hate me – and I seem to be in a minority of one here – but this is definitely not my favourite Tilly pattern although that’s only because I don’t like pinafore dresses.
    I appreciate the style is not aimed at my age range but I’ve never liked them – perhaps it’s because I had to wear one for a school uniform.
    Having said all that, you’ve done a great job – look at all that inside neatness!! – and you obviously love wearing your dress which is all that matters. Enjoy!

    • No, I don’t hate you!! Honest opinions are worth more than anything! I never had a pinafore for school so no flashbacks going on for me. But I do feel a bit school uniform ish when I wear it with my flats, not so much with the long boots. 😀

  5. Your cleo looks fab. Those buttons too 😍😍 I think I may have to jump on board this cleo train quickly!! Your top looks fab too. Is this one you’ve made Ali? Xx

  6. I can’t believe I’ve not made a Cleo yet, I’m sure I will eventually as I do love a pinafore/dungaree dress! Yours looks great, although I’d have to have pockets I think. Only you could have ready access to a road crossing lollipop as a blog photo prop!

    • The crossing is near my mums and the lolly pop lady has left it the the garden for ages to save her carrying it there every day. The kids have had some fun with it over the years. Looking forward to seeing your Cleos, they’re so easy to wear, I’ve got mine on now – it’s either on or in the washing machine at the minute 🙂

    • I’d never have thought of making one as I thought they were for younger people than me, but after seeing all the different versions out there I bit the bullet and so glad I did, I love it 🙂

  7. That is really flattering on you, and looks great with winter tights and those shoes. I used to have some dungarees which got absolutely worn to death in my 20’s, which I then passed on to my younger sister who did the same. Not sure I could pull off any bib combo now though, but you clearly can!

  8. Block fusing!!!!?? Geez, I’ve never ever thought of that and what a time saver. Thanks or the tip 🙂 Your serger’s doing a great job.

  9. Fiona M says

    Lovely dress, another wardrobe workhorse, I think 😉
    Also now have serious Log Burner Envy – aaarrrrggggghhhh!

    • I too have log burner envy – it really is lovely, my dads always polishing the glass so it always looks to be burning so brightly too. And yup, it’s definitely a wardrobe workhorse, I’ve just worn it to death since finishing it 🙂

  10. Yeah, it looks great on you and I love those patent shoes – very swish! I’m not sure whether I’ll make one (mutton dressed as lamb??) but I do like it.

        • Oooo, i bet there’s a little bit of something in the stash somewhere! This was squeezed out of 107cm or 144 wide fabric, and that’s for the longer length one, and i cut out all the pockets too. Hope you have lots of sewing time in between your christmas festivities over the holidays 🙂

          • You’re probably right because I have two towers as tall as me of fabric at the min 😬 thank you, I’m hoping for lots of sewing over Christmas as I have all the stuff it’s just the time I’m lacking at the moment! 😊

  11. corrineappleby says

    I agree this dress looks fab on everyone. And I personally think they look good on women of all ages not just on these youngsters! I’m looking forward to making mine after Christmas and hopefully Bethan will join me and make one for herself too. She might think I’m to old though….

    • No she won’t – I think you’re right and they really do flatter everyone, it’s maybe that it’s not quite their style in the first place if they don’t think it will. Looking forward to seeing your 2’s after Christmas. Only 2 sleeps till you break up, bet you can’t wait! 🙂

      • corrineappleby says

        I wish! We don’t finish until Tuesday and we go back a day earlier in January too. Paul’s seriously hacked off (I at least have Mondays off). X

        • That’s pants, H break up on Thursday, but maybe his teachers don’t. Luckily I’m off for Christmas but rota’d nights all over the new year weekend, so no doubt that will be interesting!! 🍷

  12. Just ordered the Cleo – happy birthday to me! Can’t wait to go fabric shopping, I have a pinafore off the rack dress and I’ve worn it to death. Think I might have to dig out my patent shoes too now I’ve seen yours!

    • Happy birthday to you too!! Patent shoes really make it a dressed up sort of casual affair to dig them out indeed!! Happy Sewing 🙂

    • Thanks Rachel!! Hope you’ve broke up now and all ready for the big day. I bet there’s some excited little people in your house 😃

  13. Pingback: Refitting My Favourites after My #SlimmingWorldSuccess | T H I M B E R L I N A

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