Tilly and the Buttons: Cleo dress

Cleo dress

Hello and welcome to she loves to make, a diary of my creative pursuits! I enjoy sewing, some knitting – mostly small projects as my speed is lacking in that particular area, as well as some card-making and the occasional jewellery make. As an avid follower of the Great British Sewing Bee I have coveted Tilly and the Buttons patterns for some time. This is my first TatB make, the Cleo dress. I have sewn beginner patterns in the past, including a cotton shift dress and two skirts, so this was not my first excursion into dressmaking. However, having found it tricky to start when decoding patterns I found this an easy, and straightforward to sew. The most challenging part being taking in the side seams to fit my shape – the denim fabric I used was incredibly thick to adjust when doubled at the sides – and turning the straps inside out.

Happily my mum, a very equipped sewer was able to provide the tool to help with sewing thick denim – behold the jean-a-ma-jig. This little gizmo sits under the presser foot to give a seamless sew onto your straps or thicker seams. I still found it tricky in some areas, but I would account this to using a very heavy option of heavyweight denims available. The fabric was purchased from Hobbycraft a few years ago, and I have been awaiting the project which best suited it.

I will be making another Cleo, having purchased the aubergine needlecord kit from the TatB shop. Be warned though, the clasps on the buckles that come with the kit can be prone to snapping, which occurred when I used them with heavyweight fabric. I purchased two sets of stronger clasps at a nearby haberdashery for £2.50 a set. I am sure that I will be wearing this dress often, as it is so versatile and is a great way to open my blog.

Please feel free to share your comments on making Cleo below!

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