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Two Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dresses

January 24, 2017

Greetings.  This month for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network I have made a pink corduroy Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress.  If you want to read more about it and/or see more photos, you can do so on Minerva’s page here.  I bought the pattern and interfacing myself and Minerva provided everything else.  I love the pattern and I love the dress!

My January Minerva Make - Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress in pink needlecord

My January Minerva Make – Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress in pink needlecord, worn with White Stuff tights, Doc Marten shoes, Primark t-shirt.

Before I made the pink version, however, I made a red one, which is equally awesome!  I used a fabric called ‘Gaberchino’ which is a combination of gabardine and chino fabric, so it’s medium/heavyweight hard-wearing fabric.

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress

I got the jeans buttons and dungaree fasteners from Abakhan in Manchester.  It was the first time I had ever used jeans buttons and they needed a surprising amount of hammering!

Hammer and awl

Hammer and awl

The dungaree fasteners are ok, although the straps are that bit too narrow for them I think, which is why, when I made my pink corduroy version, I widened the straps to match the clips.

Early morning no make up selfie

Early morning no make up selfie – I was just so excited when I put it on for the first time!

I used a twin needle and regular thread to topstitch my red Cleo dress.  I didn’t use a triple stitch or anything, just a normal stitch with a slightly longer length for some subtle topstitching.  Using the twin needle was great – I set it up on my old Elna machine so that I didn’t keep having to switch needles.

Left: my main machine Centre: overlocker Right: machine set up with twin needle

Left: my main machine
Centre: overlocker
Right: machine set up with twin needle

I didn’t make any alterations to the red dress, but I did cut a size bigger than normal as I prefer a looser fit in these dresses.  I first wore the dress for a weekend away in West Yorkshire; the photos are taken on Scar Top on our way to Haworth.  It was very, very cold!

Nautical vibes on a hill far away from the sea

Nautical vibes on a snowy hill far away from the sea

During our visit, in a shop where I crouched down to look at something on a low shelf, I heard a rip of stitching and later discovered one of the straps had almost pulled out at the back!  I have since resewn it and reinforced it, and when I made my pink version, I made sure to triple stitch it, twice!!

Red dungaree dress FTW

Red dungaree dress FTW

What I love about these dresses is how practical and cosy they are as part of an outfit, not to mention cute!  When I first started wearing them, I worried that I basically looked like a five year old.  But then I got over it.  I don’t care!  I feel great!  I love how you can layer up underneath them with one or more t-shirts (even my Grainline Studio Linden sweatshirt looks good underneath), you can wear thick, cosy tights, warm boots with extra socks for foot warmth, and then throw a big slouchy cardigan over the top (which I did right after these photos!).

Warming up with a coffee in Haworth :-)

Warming up with a coffee in Haworth 🙂

I may have to make myself at least one more version – I’ve got some lovely navy blue fabric that would look great with contrasting topstitching!

Tilly Buttons Cleo - winner!

Tilly Buttons Cleo – winner!

  1. January 24, 2017 12:29 pm

    These are lovely! And you certainly don’t look like a 5 year old haha. This is one of the only Tilly patterns I haven’t made for fear of looking like a child/shapeless but your versions are beginning to convince me otherwise. Plus needlecord is just lovely for winter weather!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      January 24, 2017 12:54 pm

      Ooh yes give it a go. I think they’re actually quite flattering to the body. And the needlecord is lovely 😊

  2. PsychicKathleen permalink
    January 24, 2017 5:09 pm

    I love your Cleos! I do think it’s honestly young for me 🙂 (I’m 62) but they suit you to a Tee and are certainly not too young for you! I made one similar for myself in 1972 when I was 18 out of a wide whale purple corduroy and everyone asked me where I bought it they loved it so much. I wore it a lot with black leotards and a black turtle neck.

    • Delores permalink
      January 25, 2017 5:35 am

      You look so great! This is an adorable pattern and I’ve been thinking about making one for myself. And as a reply to PsychicKathleen, I’m 66 and I would wear this in a heartbeat. I dare you!

      • tabathatweedie permalink*
        January 25, 2017 12:59 pm

        Do it! Make one! 😁

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      January 25, 2017 12:57 pm

      You’re not too old, wear what you love! The 70s one sounds fab!! 💜

  3. January 25, 2017 3:02 am

    Very cute! I would wear this and I’m 69, I would just make it a little longer.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      January 25, 2017 12:58 pm

      Glad to hear that you would wear it too! I think it would suit most people to be honest!

  4. January 25, 2017 12:45 pm

    Both are lovely, but I really like the red. If you make the straps wider do you have to alter the back pattern piece/ Will it still fit?

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      January 25, 2017 1:01 pm

      I didn’t alter the back pattern piece because I forgot! I ended up with maybe 1/4″ seam allowance each side but that was enough to sew it securely. After sewing even with a 5/8″ seam allowance you end up trimming it down anyway!

  5. January 25, 2017 3:38 pm

    I love them both! 2 gorgeous dresses

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