Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dress

I have completed a planned project! Yay! And it was one of my Make Nine. Double yay!


Everyone and their dog has made a Cleo dress since it’s been released and I can totally see why. It’s such a simple yet effective pattern. It doesn’t take long to make, it’s easy to make and looks super professional. It also happens to be bang on trend at the moment. I loved it that much that I’m already dreaming up two more in blue and black denim.

I bought one of the kits a few months ago that Tilly was selling on her website. I chose the aubergine needlecord. I just fell in love with the colour! I decided just to topstitch this one in the matching thread but when I make it again I think I will topstitch in a contrasting thread.


It really is a super simple make. Mainly straight sewing. Putting in the buckles was easy as they just push through and look super good. One error I made was, rather than turning the straps through, I folded the seam allowances under and sewed it on the right side. I hate turning things through at the best of times and I thought needlecord would be extra tricky. Unfortunately, I don’t think I folded enough under for the seam allowance so my straps are bunched a bit as they go through the buckle. Still totally wearable though!

The only other slight issue was the hem. I folded up an inch all the way round but when I tried it on, the back seemed to be much higher. To remedy this, I made the hem on the back half an inch but kept an inch at the front and this seems to make it even when I’m wearing it. I’m very glad for matching thread as my hem probably looks awful! Never mind!


I haven’t really got anything else to say other than I made a size 5. My size was between a 4 and 5 so went with the biggest and would have taken it in if needed. The 5 fits well and due to the style of the dress, there are minimal fitting issues anyway.

It’s a fabulous pattern! This is something that has worked out exactly as hoped and is very wearable. I was even more happy when I went in New Look the other day and they had an aubergine corduroy pinafore dress in! I love it when my sewing is successful! This has definitely helped get my sewing mojo back!

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