Tilly and the Buttons - Cleo Dungaree Dress - Button-up Pattern Hack!

by - 1/22/2017

Tilly and the Buttons - Cleo Dungaree Dress - Button-up Pattern Hack!

Hi pinups! I'm so excited about this make, I couldn't wait to share it with you, so I bumped it right to the top of my blog post queue! Lets get into it... I recently made a button up skirt and combined with my Pinterest sewing inspiration board and a girl in working in my local H&M, I was inspired to make my own button up dungaree dress, using the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Pinafore & Dungaree dress Sewing Pattern as the base.

This hack is super simple and would be great for beginner sewists looking for a new challenge, who maybe aren't quite ready to sew a shirt yet. The easy button facing is a great skill to nail down as it crops up in lots of shirt/button up styles. It'll also get you practising those button holes!

My Pinterest inspiration!
For my button up Cleo I wanted a knee length, fitted style with two small pockets and fastened with clips instead of buttons. I love the high-street styles with waist seams but I thought I would keep it simple to start. For my version, I wanted it to be pretty figure hugging but not restrictive ('cos hips) so I chose a light-weight, super soft stretch denim fabric, quite different from my previous Cleo. Being a curvy gal, as I said in the pattern review, I was worried I would loose my shape in the dungaree dress, but a smaller size made from stretch fabric works well for me personally.

For the Cleo Dungaree Button-up hack (along with the original pattern & fabric/supplies) you will need:
  • pattern paper
  • tracing tools - scissors, pencil, ruler etc.
  • light/medium weight interfacing & iron
  • 12 buttons

Let's get hacking!
The sewing instructions are the same as in the booklet, just in a slightly different order. 

Step 1: The Pattern:

The original front against the new front pattern piece.
  • Trace out the front body pattern on to pattern paper.
  • At the centre front add 2 inches from top to bottom. This will be your button facing.
  • Add your seam allowance to the new centre front (approx 1.5cm).
  • Add your pattern markings. You can copy these from the original pattern. 
  • Cut out your new front pattern piece!

Step 2: Interfacing the Button Facing:

  • Cut out a piece of iron on interfacing the same as your button facing column on your front pattern.
  • Iron on interfacing to the wrong sides of the fabric, leaving your seam allowance gap at the edge.
  • Press over seam allowance.

Step 3: Sew the Body:
Follow booklet instructions for the following:
  • Sew centre back pieces together.
  • Sew side seams together.
  • Sew dungaree straps as instructed.
  • Attach straps to back piece.

Step 4: Facing:
  • Adjust your front facing pattern piece to match the width of the new front body. Don't cut on the fold, instead cut 2.
  • Sew facing to the dress as instructed.

Step 5: Button Facing:

  • Fold the centre fronts over wrong sides together to create the button facing. 
  • Iron in place.
Step 6: Top Stitching:

  • Top stitch the button facing.
  • Top stitch the rest of the facing.

Step 7: Buttons:
  • Mark out your button holes on the right side (as worn) and sew.
  • Attach buttons.
  • Add dungaree clips.
  • Add pockets if you wish.
  • Hem however you like! (I frayed mine)
Tada! You have now have a super sassy button up dungaree dress!

Worn with my me-mad Gable Top, see HERE.
Sewing Summary:

Fabric: Lightweight Stretch Denim

Sewing time: This would make a great weekend project. I made mine in a day, including the pattern hacking and taking progress photos.

Modifications: See above for my modifications.

Fit: Exactly what I wanted.

Difficulty: Nice and simple.

Watch out for: A tidy front facing and neat top stitching will make all the difference to the final look. Take your time.

Make Again?: Yes!

Tada! An easy-peasy sassy pattern hack!
Overall, I'm so happy with how this pattern hack turned out and I hope your guys love it as much as I do. If you decide to have a go at it or if it inspires you to sew your own button up version of Cleo, I'd love to see, so please tag me @craftypinup on Twitter or Instagram or comment below.

Thanks for reading, pinups!

P.S. If you have any questions about this hack, please ask and I will do my best to reply!

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  1. This looks amazing, thank you for sharing how to do it!

  2. Can't wait to have a go at doing this. Thank you for sharing xx

  3. Really love this! I had fancied doing something similar after making the Turia Dungaree Dress last year, but never quite got round to it. Yours looks fab, and might have just spurred me on to try a similar hack :) x

  4. I love your modifications!! You have inspired me to make a similar version!!!

  5. Love your hack and your tights.