Tilly and the Buttons - Cleo Dungaree Dress

by - 11/13/2016

Tilly and the Buttons - Cleo Dungaree Dress

Okay, okay, I know. I do too many Tilly and the Buttons pattern reviews. But seriously, the designs, the packaging, the simple and clear instructions. I'm powerless to their charms and I'm not sorry.

Sometimes a pattern comes along, very rarely, and you have to stop everything you're doing immediately and sew it up. The new Cleo dungaree dress was exactly that for me, but I also have no idea why! Firstly, it's not particularly vintage inspired and it's the last thing I would think would suit my body shape. But I had to have it!

Here's a peek at the pattern:

Such cute everything!
Whilst I love vintage styles, I'm definitely a lazy 60s style girl in the colder months and save the 1950s for Summer. And luckily a lot of Tilly's patterns lend themselves to a little 60s twist so they fit in to my wardrobe very nicely indeed!

I was worried I would lose my shape in this style. If you've seen some of my other pattern reviews, I have a reasonably hourglass figure. So some styles which don't have a waist often hit my boobs and hang off my chest like a sack - which is reeeally unflattering on my 5"4 frame. So Cleo was an experiment with a new shape for me...

New favourite pattern alert!
As I said before, I just had to stop everything I was doing and sew up a Cleo. I opted for a length between the long and mini options, the front slit, button fastening and with one larger bust pocket.

Luckily I had some black denim in my stash left over from a denim jacket I've been sewing with supplies from Sew Essential (on the blog soon!). You can pick up the gorgeous medium weight denim I used HERE.

I'm also going through a bit of a top-stitching phase, so instead of sticking with black thread for my dungarees, I decided to use baby pink. To make my top-stitching stand out and for an extra professional finish, I used a 3 stitch straight stitch (not sure if this stitch has an actual name but it's basically a regular straight stitch, but each stitch is made up of 3 rows of thread) for all my top-stitching on my new Janome Atelier 5 sewing machine from Weaver Dee (review also coming soon to the blog). I'm obsessed with the stitch and it's a great alternative to buying a top stitch weight thread.

Cleo and Agnes, a match made in sewing heaven!
I found Cleo super simple and a total joy to sew. It's worth mentioning that there is a fault with the front facing of the pattern and if you purchased a pattern with this fault you should have received an email with instructions on how to amend it, or download a new pattern piece. When I spotted the fault, I thought it was something I had done and split the facing piece in half and created a centre seam. Which Tilly later instructed to fix the issue this way too. Otherwise, this pattern was quick, simple and looks super cute.

I wore my new Cleo dungaree dress with my Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top! Made with fabulous nautical jersey from Girl Charlee. Check out the pattern review for my Agnes top HERE. It's such a great basic jersey top pattern to have in your stash. 

Will you be making Cleo?
Sewing Summary:

Notions: 2 buttons

Sewing time: Half a day - need time to concentrate on that top stitching.

Modifications: As above, the facing piece was printed faulty. I also opted for a hem half way between the two options.

Fit: Good! It's a tighter fit on me that some I've seen online because of my figure. I think when I make it again, I'll add a little extra on the hips. But I like the tight fit with the denim fabric. It makes these dungarees feel accidentally sassy!

Difficulty: Easy-peasy! Beginners - get this pattern!

Watch out for: Tidy top-stitching takes extra care and making sure your pockets are central/even.

Make Again?: Yes! I have lilac needle cord and dungaree clips waiting in the wings for my next one!

I see many more Cleo pinafores in my sewing horizon!
Overall, I'm surprisingly happy with my Cleo dungarees! I didn't expect to like this pattern as much as I do or have it fit me as well. I can't wait to make more and would highly recommend it for all sewing abilities.

Like Tilly and the Buttons patterns as much as I do? Check out all my pattern reviews so far for her awesome range HERE. Are you making Cleo? See you at the Instagram party on Saturday 26th November! #SewingCleo

Get the pattern:

Thanks for reading, pinups!

The fabric was supplied to me free of charge by Girl Charlee & Sew Essential. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
This post contains affiliate links.

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  1. Really, really lovely and such neat sewing! You make a dungaree dress look sassy. Love it.

  2. It looks so great on you! Sorry you got one of the early longer front facings, and well for doing the fix. All patterns fixed now :) Love how you've done the topstitching!

    1. Thank you! Such a great pattern, can't wait to make more!

  3. Was not even considering this pattern until I saw your version. Genius!

    1. That's so great to hear! I was on the fence, but I love it!

  4. This is gorgeous! I didn't like the baggy fit from the other pictures I have seen of cleo. But yours is lovely! I think the more fitted skirt does make it look much sassier and appeals to me more!

    1. Thank you! I was worried it would look horrible on me, but I'm really pleased with it!