Pinafore dresses are everywhere at the moment! I’ve made a couple already from Marilla Walker’s fabulous Roberts Collection pattern and for a few weeks have been seeing many different interpretations of the new Cleo Pinafore by Tilly and the Buttons.
On my last-but-one trip to The Shuttle, a favourite local fabric shop, I bought a metre of beautiful midnight blue stretch needlecord, and decided to give the pattern a try, so I purchased the pdf version.
I found it easy to print and put together, and found that, true to Tilly’s reputation, the instructions are exceptionally clear and easy to follow (though as an experienced stitcher, I read them through fairly quickly and referred back to them as and when I needed to). I cut a size 4 (UK 12) based on the waist measurements; the fit is loose – which is necessary as there are no side fastenings – but I will most likely take it in a little at the sides as it is a little too wide.
I have made the mini version; the only significant change I made to the pattern was to cut the front piece on the fold, thereby avoiding a centre front seam. I opened out the fabric, with the pile running downwards, and folded both selvedges in towards the centre, which allowed me (just) to fit the strap pattern in between and so to use just 1m of 150cm wide fabric, with only a few small pieces left over. This would not have been possible with a larger size as the pattern pieces took the whole width of the fabric.
I’ve been wearing my dress for the last couple of days with t-shirts and cosy tights and have found it really comfortable and practical. I’m considering adding a lining as it clings a little to tights or leggings, and if I do, will write up the method. It should be straightforward, as only two pattern pieces will be needed. Next up will be some smaller versions – a good test of my pattern grading skills – for my daughters, in brightly coloured needlecord.
To see some of the many beautiful versions that have been sewn, why not take a look at #sewingcleo on Instagram?