Tilly and the Buttons – Cleo Pinafore pocket hack – sewing tutorial

Hi sewing friends!

Last year I had shared with you a tutorial on how I hacked a Cleo pinafore dress pattern to make a slanted pockets. Today I will show you a detailed instruction of how to sew it up. I had couple requests on how to construct it and thought it would be a perfect time to make another Cleo dress…..but hey, who needs an excuse!

If you are not familiar with how to alter the pattern, you can find that tutorial post here.

Sewing tutorial

Cut out all pattern pieces and copy all suggested markings on front pieces, top pocket pieces and pocket bag pieces.

Interface or staystitch the pocket opening on front pattern piece to stop the pocket from stretching out of shape during use.

(Optional) For better result I find it easier to mark a seam line at the pocket corner.

With right sides together place pocket bag along the longer pocket opening edge making sure that dotted mark matches the marked corner and pin in place.

Starting at the dot sew it together.

Fold the seam allowance towards the pocket bag and pin it to keep it out of the way for the next step.

With right sides together place the top pocket piece at the shorter pocket opening edge and pin it in place.

It is best to turn the fabric over to the other side to clearly see the marked sharp corner and exact place where the first stitch line ends. Starting at that point stitch the short edges together.

Next, carefully clip the corner as close as possible to the stitching line.

Turn the pocket bag towards the wrong side and press the seam.

Repeat the step for top pocket piece.

(This is how it should look like from the right side).

If you prefer not to top-stitch the pocket you may skip next few steps.

To top-stitch the pocket opening fold the top pocket pieces out of the way. Leaving long thread tails start to top-stitch as close as possible from the pocket corner. Only back stitch at the side seam.

On the wrong side pull both thread tails and securely tie them up together.

Instead of cutting tread tails short, thread it through the needle and insert it between both fabric layers. Only then snip the ends. By doing this it is less likely that the thread will unravel in the future.

Place the top pocket piece and the pocket bag right sides together and pin it in place.

Starting at the end of a second ( shorter) stitch line machine the pocket bags together.

Overclock or zigzag the seam allowance around the entire pocket bag.

Pin and baste the pocket bag at the side seam.

To top-stitch the other edge of the pocket start at the beginning of the first top-stitching line and sew around the corner. It is easier to first draw a line. Remember to leave a long thread tail and secure it in place as before.

Give it a final press and your pockets are done!

Now follow the rest of the pattern instruction to finish sewing your garment.

Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and find it useful!

See you next time!!!

Monika xxx

Nemesia dress by Glasshouse Patterns- pattern testing

Hello sewing friends!

You might have seen recently that lovely Tanja from Glasshouse Patterns realised yet another gorgeous pattern. This time it is for a knit dress with so many variations it makes my head spin.

The pattern


Nemesia dress comes with a flattering below the knee A-line skirt, with pleats at the front and the back. It features 3 sleeve lengths: full lenght, 3/4 and short. This can be further personalized by finishing either with a cute tie cuff or a cuff with a slit. This pattern also comes with an option of a crew or a V style neckline. Every option can be mixed and matched together creating different dress with each variation. Och, and let’s don’t forget the most important detail of this dress! It has big pockets!!!

For my tester version I decided to make a version 6 : dress with a crew neckline and short sleeves with a slit cuffs.

Fabric choice

A little while ago I had purchased two meters of this lovely red and white stripes viscose jersey from myfabrics.co.uk for £7.45 a meter and thought it would work really well with this pattern, although the pattern reccomend to use medium to heavy weight stretchy fabrics. My viscose jersey is more on a lighter side of a spectrum, which gives my dress more drape and movement. It turned out pretty good, but I would not wear it this time of year in London. It is more a spring/ summer type of dress.

As always, if you play around with a pattern layout you can manage to save on fabric. For my version the pattern suggests 2.5 meters of fabric, but I made it without any problem out of 2 meters. This is easily done if the width of a fabric is more than 140 cm as per instruction.

Pattern adjustments

Like with most patterns I had previously tested, there is no surprise that I had to make some adjustments to this pattern or tweak it in some way to achieve a better fit and/or correct some drafting errors. I cut out size 8 as per my body measurements, which is the standard size I use for Glasshouse Patterns and made the dress.

During this testing phase I had shorten a shoulder seam by 4 cm, because it came out way too long and looking at the line drawing of the pattern it was not correct. Next, I lowered an angle of the shoulder seam by 2 cm at the and dropped the armhole curve by the same amount. After comparing measurements of both, the sleeve cup and armcycle I decided to use sleeve one size smaller.

After basting the bodice pieces together I also decided to sew the side seam using size 7 lines because there was a little bit too much ease. Any excess fabric I had in the skirt I transfered into slightly bigger pleats.

Tanja had taken all feedback from the testing team and the final version was updated accordingly. The shoulder seam for bigger sizes has decreased in length and the armcycle redrafted. Sleeve were made tighter, the skirt pattern piece has been lengthened and back pleats made bigger. On top of that she added extra photos and improved the instruction booklet to make the assembly process even more easy.

Sewing the pattern

It is a easy and relatively quick pattern to sew. I made my dress within 3 hours, but as always matching stripes extended the time. I had no problems during the sewing process and as always the pattern instruction are very clear and simple to follow.

Nemesia dress pattern is designed for beginners in mind so there is nothing too complicated. The neckline has a facing instead of binding, which may surprise some people.

Final thoughts

Although I really love this pattern, and am planning to make more winter friendly version with long sleeves I need to be honest here and tell you the truth. Be careful about your fabric choice! Pockets on this dress are big, and the weight of them distort a hang of the dress significantly. That is why I wear mine with a belt, to keep the waistline at the waist. I was considering making pockets smaller to reduce the weight, but I love their size and didn’t think that it would make much of a difference at this time.

Are you loving this new pattern?

See you next time!

Monika xxx