A summer Cleo

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We’ve had a lot of really warm lovely weather recently. So thinking ahead to Me Made May and also potentially much more time spent at home over the next few weeks I needed to broaden my stay at home in the sunshine wardrobe.

Something comfortable for the garden but practical for my daily hour’s walk without resorting to shorts.

I’m also trying to take this opportunity to use stash fabric and material when I can. I think with a little more time on my hands I am able to spend more time matching fabric to pattern instead of making quick compulsive purchases both over the internet and in the shops!

And so my summer Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Pinafore was born.

I’d made this before in a chunky pale pink corduroy for my daughter but thought it lended itself to a summer version for me.

I traced out a size 3 (uk size 10), the shorter version. This was a little smaller than my measurements suggested but I remembered that I took my daughters size 4 in a little.

However, before I added the facing I tried it on and had to let the side seams out about 7mm (up to my overlocked edge) on each side. This was purely to enable me to sit down comfortably without straining the fabric or seams. It also aids getting it over my head as the pattern has no closures!

Its a lovely pattern, straight forward for experienced sewers and perfect for newbies with the usual impeccable instructions we are used to seeing from Tilly.

When I make this one up again I shall perhaps lengthen it by 2 inches but this will mean that I’ll definitely need the front slit of the knee length version as I’ll not be able to stride out comfortably!

Note the time spent on pattern matching! And especially on the pockets which actually has meant that you can hardly see them!

After my experience with my ginger jeans, I loved doing the top stitching, especially using a less contrasting thread this time.

I used mis-matching buttons from my stash to hold the straps although you really can’t tell. I’m glad I went for the buttons instead of holding out and ordering the dungaree buckles. I think it ties in more with the weight of this fabric.

The fabric is a light weight denim, or maybe a heavier weight chambray. It has taken a crease beautifully. I bought it last year from the bins at Abakhan, Mostyn. It was definitely a ‘second’ as these pineapples were yellow before I pre-washed it!

I’ve worn it with a vest as in these pictures and also with a longer sleeve T shirt.

It’s perfectly filled that gap in my wardrobe.

And if the sun goes in, I’m sure I’ll be wearing it loads across the summer.

Love, Lucie xx


  1. Lovely Cleo. If you didn’t want a front slit you could do it at the sides and mitre the corners. Or, as I have done with side slits on one of my versions, curve them shirt tail style.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not keen on pinafores for myself – I’m the wrong shape – but it looks great on you and, yes, white pineapples probably look more elegant than yellow.
    Speaking of yellow, remember I bought the Cheyenne tunic pattern after you made a few – well, when I was shopping in Toulouse with a friend (before the lockdown of course), we went to a fabric shop and I saw the monkey fabric you used in the dusty pink and yellow colourways. I wouldn’t normally have given it a second glance but your version looked so good I decided to buy the yellow – my friend said the dusty pink made my face ‘sink in’ when I held it up to me!!! I then made a Cheyenne with it in the sure and (almost) certain knowledge we would never meet face to face and, even if we did, it would be unlikely we’d both be wearing our monkey tunics at the same time. Even so, I’ve put off blogging about it because I didn’t want you to think I went out of my way to copy you – the fabric just appeared before my eyes in a back street in Toulouse of all places as if it was meant to be.
    As for the pink corduroy Cleo – my daughter made one when the pattern first came out – I think she bought the kit – and then saw almost the same version in Primark. She wasn’t amused.


    1. I love that and I would definitely wear it. I have a bit of an urge to sew and make clothes at the moment and have found myself googling patterns and fabrics, or following more people on instagram who make their own clothes. The problem is most patterns don’t go up to my size (I know Tilly has started making larger sizes) or rather – they probably do but I would definitely need to do the dreaded FBA (in a major way!!)… don’t think my sewing/pattern cutting skills are up to it really.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have you tried Cashmerette patterns? I often come across their patterns and wish they covered smaller sizes too. They also do different cup sized patterns so no alterations needed 🙂


    2. I would love to see your yellow monkey Cheyenne!! I‘ve made direct copies of other’s makes before, it never crosses my mind that it might put people out😂
      My daughter saw the same pink pinafore in Primark and several other shops and thought that actually it gave my make more credence and she was more likely to wear it!
      I’ve never worn a pinafore before in my adult life. I’ve just been inspired by someone else on IG😉
      I don’t sew for her anymore. I’ve no idea if she’ll wear something a dozen times or just the once. The amount of patience, time, and dare I say, skill, that goes into our sewing is wasted on her.

      Liked by 1 person

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