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DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

‘Cause you’re never too old for a pinafore dress…

(So excited to be finally blogging this one!)

A couple of months ago I got the opportunity to pattern test the new Tilly and the Buttons pattern – an adorable pinafore dress called Cleo. It was perfect timing when I got that email as literally the day beforehand I was daydreaming about making myself a pinafore dress… Fate was definitely working in my favour!

This is another one of those simple but effective patterns. A really great quick project with a nice end result, you know? The instructions show you how to make a pinafore style button closure and a dungaree buckle style as well as coming in 2 lengths for either a mini or midi version. I, of course, opted for the mini version with pinafore buttons. 

I made mine with a navy blue ponte jersey with a white grid print with gold buttons. 


(The pattern has been changed slightly since I made this one – the straps are a bit wider now as is the front bodice panel and the hems are a little longer than shown.)

I love this dress (despite my rubbish pattern matching – I really tried though!). Mostly because I can actually get it to fit me unlike every single RTW pinafore dress I’ve ever tried on… I’ve got a very short torso so everything is always a little too long in the shops. This is definitely one of the reasons why I love making my own clothes!

I’ve already got plans for a black needlecord version of Cleo next!

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    1. It definitely has a lot more give than denim would – much comfier! A heavier knit would work as well for this pattern. Would be really cosy for winter!

  1. For some reason I think we’re the same height? (5.3 and a half???) did you shorten the pattern? I’m a bit too lazy to toile and I’m afraid I’ll take too much off! Thanks x

    1. I’m 5ft2 so you’re pretty close! I didn’t shorten anything but this was the sample pattern not the finished version. The finished version has been lengthened by 4cm at the hem I believe, so if you’re happy with how the body looks on me, I’d cut it as is and then trim any extra of the hem if you want it shorter.

  2. Love this in that fabric, your adaptation has worked well as the bib fits perfectly- look forward to seeing the needle cord one , fab for winter time

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