I have to say that the Cleo dress from Tilly and the Buttons is by far my favorite sewing pattern! This dungaree dress is super trendy now, and not to mention pretty beginner-friendly.
I made my first Cleo dress back in November. I’d seen this beautiful plaid corduroy fabric at Satin Moon Fabrics on Clement Street (which sadly closed in December), and I just had to have it. As can be seen by my Pinterest board, I LOVE plaid, and this fabric made all my plaid dreams come true.
I had a couple bumps in the road with my plaid Cleo. With my first attempt, I had trouble matching the plaid with the front two pieces. So I ended up having to buy more fabric (which thankfully was still in stock) to re-do the front pieces. But…the second attempt wasn’t much better, so I just decided to leave it.
The second thing that gave me trouble was the curved seams on the sides. One side of my dress got a little puckered, but by that point I was too tired to re-do it, so it stayed 🙂 Overall, I think it’s pretty dang cute!
When I first put it on, I wasn’t quite sure I loved how it fit. Because it’s a pullover dress, it fits a little loosely on the sides. But my initial uncertainty may have been partly as a result of staring at it for so long while working on it, because I got over it pretty quickly 🙂 I love this as a winter outfit!
I loved Cleo so much that I just had to make another. I got a lovely mustard yellow corduroy from Britex Fabrics in downtown San Francisco. Sewing this dress went much quicker this time around, except for just one thing: for some reason the needle kept skipping stitches and the stitches were really loose! I couldn’t figure out what it was. I made sure I had a needle for thicker fabric, I adjusted the tension, I re-threaded the machine. I was visiting my family for the holidays, so I used my mom’s machine, so I thought that could be it. Finally, my mom told me she had an even thicker needle. So I tried that, and it worked! I didn’t think that the difference between my lightweight plaid corduroy and medium weight mustard corduroy would make a difference, but turns out it did. Lesson learned 🙂
And finally, I made a third Cleo dress for my friend/co-worker. We worked together to pick out a fabric she liked and figure out her measurements. It was a really fun process, and the color totally suited her. And this time, I had two Cleos under my belt and didn’t hit any bumps along the way 🙂
I could honestly have like 5 more Cleos and still not be tired of them! I also thought about doing a black corduroy Cleo, and perhaps a denim Spring version? 😉 But for now, I’m trying out some new patterns, since there’s so little time to sew all the things I want!