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Cleo Pinafore, Tilly and the buttons


From Instagram I knew Cleo was a popular pattern but being at the Knitting and Stitching show a few weeks ago made me realise just how popular Tilly and the Buttons, Cleo Pinafore was. Me and Gabby had ours on…and so did every other person at the show! There was a small army of Cleo wearers!!


So long overdue and probably a little redundant, here's my review 😀

The Pattern

The Cleo by Tilly and the Buttons and if you have Instagram you would have probably seen a lot of these already!

It's a simple, quick sew and so SO comfortable to wear. This was my first make of the year and my sewjo had turned to dust. This Cleo took me three days (I've read it take people a few hours) and this sew was purely to fall back in love with sewing again…and it did just the trick. Slowly, with many tea breaks and Netflix on, this pattern came together easily with not much thinking.

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The Fit

This is the second Cleo I've sewn and I sewed a straight size 3….which really i shouldn't. I should have gone between size 3 and 4 at the hips (I'm a pear) but I really like the fit to be tighter at the hips and think it is really flattering. The pattern has enough ease so going for the smaller size doesn't make it uncomfortable. However, it is a bit of a squeeze getting it over my bum….and if I put on any weight it might not fit….but that's the gamble I'm willing to take!!!


I shortened the pattern by 4 inches….I do like a short skirt! After I finished I thought that it might be a little too indecent with the split at the front but I think it's fine and I don't feel self conscious.

And not really a change…more of a mistake, I put the dungaree buttons on the wrong place *facepalm* I put them on the marking for the pocket!…Hope it's not too obvious but D:


The Fabric

This was some of the fabric I bought back from my trip to Uganda. You have to buy fabric in 6 yard pieces so you might be familiar with it as I gave some to Gabby, I knew she would love the fabric and I love it also, she made a gorgeous skirt. African wax print is glorious to work with. Easy to cut, work with and sew AND the most amazing colours….AND cheap!!! This fabric cost me about the same amount it costs in London £12 for 6 yards. Not sure why I didn't work with this stuff when I was a beginner….I went with even cheaper, slippery stuff that left me with unwearable monstrosities and made sewing much harder than it needed to be.


I made no attempt to pattern match. The only place I did bother was on the pockets and even then the pattern is ever so slightly off because I didn't hand baste it down. I also didn't overlock the edges. I just used pinking shears and it's holding up great…This was a very chilled out sew!

I will add African wax print is so stiff! Having the split at the front with this fabric is very useful..I take big strides :p

If you're interested you can have a look at some of the other fabric I bought back from Uganda in this vlog I did…There are some beauties :p

Happy Sewing

Megan xxxx

Megan valero

About Megan

eco sustainable natural fabric and exclusive print for the fashion and dressmaking industry wholesale supplier.

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10 thoughts on “Cleo Pinafore, Tilly and the buttons

  1. Fiona says:

    Brixton is great for African wax prints but I find you get about 10 stalls all selling the same thing! Tooting market can be good too, more Indian fabrics but A LOT of range and relatively cheap

  2. megsewing says:

    Thank you!! I really enjoy stalking the hashtag on instagram to see what other people have done 🙂 and ahaha I think I’m gonna be living in it in summer 🙂

  3. megsewing says:

    Thank you!! Pinafores are everywhere at the moment!! It’s hard not to be tempted. Redraws goes a great review on her fitting it
    Try looking at different shaped pinafore too Jennifer Lauren’s one is amazing xx

  4. megsewing says:

    Thank you! Just heard yellow is psychologically supposed to make you feel happy 🙂 and gonna ear this loads in spring!! can’t wait to wear it with not tights…hopefully! xx

  5. megsewing says:

    Sorry it took me so long to reply but you have been on my mind!! I get my African wax print in Shepherds Bush Market, next to Goldhawk Road but they don’t have the biggest selection. Gabby told me Brixton had an amazing selection, although I’ve not been there myself. We are arranging a trip over the summer, shall I let you know and we can go as a group? x

  6. Your Cleo is so fun and joyful. Perfect for the start of spring!

  7. Lynsey says:

    Awesome dress, love the fabric!! I’m so tempted by this pattern, so many amazing versions but not sure it will suit my shape. Yours looks fab on.

  8. The print is fabulous and is perfect for such a fun dress. There really are so many versions of this dress out there -it’s always fun seeing how people have adjusted the pattern to suit them and what fabric they’ve used. Enjoy wearing it as often as you can!

  9. Highball Emy says:

    I asked you lots about this on Instagram and even ordered some wax print specifically for my own African-inspired Cleo, so yay , thank you for the idea! I wondered where you buy your wax prints in London? I moved here recently and I even live in an area with lots of West Africans (Croydon), and yet I’m not sure where to go to buy these fabrics in person…

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