Dungaree Dresses and Cosmic Cleos

Along with what seems like most of the UK, I have fallen under the spell of dungarees, and more specifically dungaree dresses. There are so many of them in the shops at the moment, with some particularly lovely examples in Fat Face.

On first site of the Cleo dungaree pattern by Tilly and the Buttons, I wasn’t actually convinced that it would look right on me, as it is quite loose around the waist, so I decided to try a pattern hack first of all, before I bought the Cleo pattern.

I chose the Moss mini skirt by Grainline Studios and drafted the bib pattern myself. I used the most stunning claret Robert Kaufman needlecord from Sewn and got to work.

I pretty much made the skirt as per the moss pattern, but I moved the zip closure from the front and created a lapped zipper to the right hand side.

I lined the pockets using a pretty contrast floral fabric, that despite no one else being able to see it, makes me really pleased! I just love hidden details like that.

While constructing the waistband, I inserted the front and back bib sections in between the waistband and facing pieces to create a cohesive dress, rather than the bibs looking like they had been stuck on separately.

Following on from making jeans in the past, any excuse to use a hammer in the sewing room makes me extremely happy! I bought dungaree clips and buttons from Sewn and had great fun hammering the buttons in!

I’m really pleased with the overall look, I do think that it is a tad on the short side, so I am only comfortable wearing it with very thick tights and do spend a lot of time pulling the hem down!

Following the success of this, I then decided to give the Cleo pattern a go, after seeing some more examples on Instagram on more petite girls.

For my first attempt, I chose an indigo stretch denim from Fabricland. As it was quite a thick fabric, and for a bit of detail, I decided to cut the facings out of a blue polka dot cotton from my stash.

I opted for the shorter version, with large front pocket.

When it came to the topstitching, I decided it was ‘go big or go home’ so I chose a classic mustard topstitching thread from Gutterman. This meant I had to be super-precise as any wobbles would be glaringly obvious. I must have done alright though as my Dad informed me that I was “good at straight lines”!

The pattern is really quick and simple to make. As usual, Tilly’s instructions are very clear and easy to follow and I think I made it in 2 hours, including cutting out time.

Despite my initial reservations, I am so happy with how it turned out and it is now one of my go to dresses, over tights, jumpers and boots for the cold weather.

I recently bought some adorable star print dark grey/navy fine needlecord from my myfabrics.co.uk and decided it would make a perfect second Cleo.

As it was thinner than the denim, I just used the same fabric for the facings this time but I decided to add a bit of interest by making the front pocket in a plain navy needlecord from my stash that was fortuitously pretty much the same colour as the main fabric.

I also had some slightly sparkly Gutterman topstitching thread that was a perfect match of the two colours. While it is not as visible as the denim/mustard combo, I am really pleased to know it is there and it has led to me naming this dress my Cosmic Cleo!

So, that is three down of my  2017 Make Nine ReSEWlutions and we are only at the middle of January!

1 thought on “Dungaree Dresses and Cosmic Cleos

  1. […] second Cleo dress was dubbed the Cosmic Cleo due to the stars on the needlecord fabric and the sparkly topstitching thread. It’s such a great […]

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