GLORIOUS CLEO

With the autumn weather creeping up fast, and with so much vlog, blog and Instagram chatter about winter wardrobe planning I started to think about what might be missing from my own wardrobe. I love winter clothes; layering up and snuggling down! Mostly because I’m always cold, but also at least in part because I feel more comfortable covered up, the more clothes the better! Sewing my own clothes has most definitely helped me to feel more confident about myself, and so I was excited to start thinking about winter sewing plans that didn’t involve shapeless oversized jumpers.

There’s a lot of love in the shops for pinafores this season - some nice chunky corduroy or denim in those warm autumnal colours, and I’ve seen so many lovely ‘me made’ versions on Instagram too. The pinafore is an ideal garment for the colder weather as it can easily be layered up without losing the style and shape, even with a chunky cardigan over! Since I’m almost always found in jeans I figured it would be a nice project to push me into trying new outfits. It was time to pattern hunt!

The first pattern that caught my eye was the Ivy pinafore by Jennifer Lauren handmade. This pattern has been about for a few years, but I’ve only seen a couple of makers examples; I like the cute neckline, and that the pattern has two variations (slim fit and A line), however the fabric requirements seem quite excessive! This is on my list of future projects for sure, but I wasn’t sure it was quite what I was looking for yet.   

I also looked at the York pinafore by Helen’s Closet, since there are so many pattern hacks available to make it your own – but I decided the shape of this pattern didn’t look like it would be flattering on my short pear shape.

The obvious pattern was the Cleo pinafore by Tilly and the Buttons. So many people have made this pinafore, it’s very easy to be inspired (and it goes so well with the Pink Coat Club badges!)! Tilly’s pattern size 4 is a spot-on match for my measurements so I figured it was meant to be!

After a bit of outfit planning to make sure it would fit in with my existing wardrobe (it does!), I started with a wearable toile. Since I’m a little on the short side I decided to make the mini version (thinking it wouldn’t actually be mini on me) which only took 1m of 1.47m wide cotton drill from Fabricland. I used some scrap vintage floral fabric (left over from my Datura) for the lining and bought these beautiful magenta buttons to finish it off.

I really enjoyed sewing this Cleo. It’s a lovely pattern to put together, nothing too fiddly and it doesn’t take long to sew but the results are satisfying!  The little finishing touches really make this pattern – the top stitching on the centre seams and around the front pocket – and I can really see how much my sewing has improved these last few months. I didn’t make any pattern adjustments as this garment only really needs to fit around the hip area; the position of the buttons, and therefore the length of the straps, is worked out at the end while trying on – but I can see the merit of using the adjustable metal dungaree fastenings.

Despite my height, the mini is still fairly short, and I would probably add 5cm to the length next time to make hemming a little easier, but since this is a wearable toile I’m not disappointed! I’m just waiting for the cold weather to arrive, so I can break out the woolly tights and boots!

K