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

Toile Rosa Shirtdress, Tilly and the Buttons

This is my quick and dirty toile of the Rosa. I’ve not posted my toiles before (mostly because it is rare that I make them!!) but I thought if you’re similar in build to me and have this pattern this might help you out but please forgive the lack of love put into sewing everything about this!!


The Fit

Shirts have always been bane of my RTW shopping experience. I’m size 10, a B cup with broad shouldered and probably broad backed. The buttons around the bust area always gape open, even when I go up a size. I’ve had the popping open of buttons which should only be the privilege of the more well endowed….and this shirt is no exception.

I sewed a size 3 on top grading up to a 4 on the waist and the hips. I have a good fit on the waist. The sleeves, not a 3/4 length on me, finish at an odd place and I’m definitely gonna extend them down as I didn’t like the tab option.

The pictures are of the dress when I fiddled with with bust seam as shown on the tutorial but I need more than the 1.5 seam allowance to get the right fit. If you can see the seams don’t quite go over my nipples like they are supposed to. Also the pulling around the armpits means I need to adjust the armhole. However, I am pleasantly surprised about how well the fit on the shoulders are.



The fabric

I didn’t help myself with the choice of fabric I used, I got this for free at a fabric swap, and it is so thin and shows every rushed seam in all their wrinkly glory. I have no idea what the content is but I think it’s a colour suited to very few.


I’m currently working on making the adjustment for the next version. If anyone has any hints, tips and tricks for getting the fit right I am all ears and would be very grateful!!

Happy sewing,