Posted in My Makes, Sewing

Tilly & the Buttons, Cleo; ribbed for your pleasure

New Things
– Corduroy
– Dungaree Clips

What Went Well
– Hammering Technique

What I need to work on
– Cutting out
– Working with Corduroy
– Top Stitching

What I have learned
– Corduroy is not easy to cut out and work with AND it makes a mess
– How to hammer no sew buttons

Changes to make when I make another
– Go down a pattern size
– Don’t kid yourself, if you want a short skirt, just cut the pattern for a short skirt
– Try another material or a different corduroy
– Be sure I have improved sufficiently before attempting a make this pattern with contrast top stitching.

Kit £39.00 (but fabric, thread and dungaree clips from Kit not used, only pattern. 
Fabric £12 (£6 per metre & over 0.5m left over)
Dungaree Clips £2.40
Thread £nil (from existing supplies)
Total I’ve spent  £53.40
(Relative spend, excluding un-used kit, would be: Pattern £12.50, Fabric £12 Dungaree Clips £2.40 Total £26.90)


Cleo pinafore & dungaree dress - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

I think November 2016 was all about the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo and after seeing lots of lovely makes I decided that I wanted one.  Rather than just buying a pattern I ordered the kit which comes with material and notions.  At the time most colours were out of stock so I went for the cream needlecord but I also really wanted one in a darker colour cleo so purchased 2m of dark red cord and decided to make one in that colour first.

Everyone seems to be making the short version but worried it would be too short so I decided to be a little different and go for the longer one but without the slit in the front and to shorten it when I finished making it to the length I wanted.  Either I will be able to walk in it or not.

The pattern looked fairly straightforward and the descriptions were clear with lots of photos (just like the Bettine).  I’m really appreciating the Tilly & The Buttons patterns good colour pics and descriptions that give me confidence in sewing by myself.  I also just love the thick white paper the pattern is printed on.  I feel spoiled by by it when compared to brown tissue paper.  

My biggest ongoing challenge is cutting out.  I know that seems really silly and that cutting out should be simple but I have really poor cutting out skills.  I struggle getting everything lined up and struggle keeping it that way to cut.
I had thought that the clear lines on cord would mean I had no issues with grain lines, and whilst on the smaller pieces like pockets that was the case on the large front and back pieces as well as the long thin straps I found it really tricky and wasn’t happy with what I did.  I didn’t get on well with scissors or my rotary cutter.  In the end this make was one that I cut out mostly with scissors but that only made it nearly possible and not easy.

I started out folding my material in half selvage to selvage but couldn’t keep it from going just slightly off.   I was checking by running a nail along the first ditch in the cord and found no matter what minor adjustments I made it wouldn’t run the whole length of the fabric in position.  (After washing my fabric (wow lots of colour came out on that wash) I did spend quite some time ironing, with the grain, not sure if I undid that by leaving the fabric loosely folded for a couple of days after.).

I ended up cutting single layer at a time as I was having so much trouble just keeping my pieces lined up and cutting along one line, it was a battle from start to finish and in the end not as accurate as I would like.

Sewing up the centre seams was the first part of the make.  My imperfect cutting made this a worry and although not quite vertical the strips of the ribbing came out fairly even.  I wasn’t convinced by the fold over of the raw edges but went ahead with it having trimmed down one side with my overlocker as the fabric frays easily.  I think I may have completed the fold overs incorrectly though as I did them on the inside.

I found the pockets really tricky to line up so much so that after attaching the top front pocket (for the second time plus re sewing a bit as my pocket seemed saggy at the opening ) I have decided to not bother with the back pockets.

Once the pocket was done things really sped up for me as I had already turn my straps so they went on, the sides sewed up and then my facing went on fairly quickly and problem free.

I have the recommended buckles from my kit but had also purchased  separately some braces clips.  I liked the dark bronze colour of these clips and thought they better suited the red corduroy.    

Image result for mc hammer
STOP Hammer Time

I had to hammer the button parts, which was actually quite fun and took only seconds.  I was more bemused by how to attach the clips, and am not sure whether I have threaded them correctly but they are holding their place and that is the main thing.





Then I was done.  I like the overall effect, but am glad I didn’t go for contrast thread as this wasn’t the neatest sewing job, which I think can  been seen up close on the front pocket.  I’ve been wearing it nonetheless, and wearing it out in public.  I think I would like to make another but as I finished my make before the summer with the weather relatively warm it hasn’t been a priority, November probably is the right time for this project, but now November has come round as I’m in the middle of some more difficult makes I’m not sure when I will find the time to try again with my cream needlecord.



In the above 2 pictures I was giving a talk about Slow Fashion (& the ethical & environmental problems with fast fashion) at a High Wycombe Skeptics in the Pub open mike night.   


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s