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

Free PDF notebook cover pattern + sewing tutorial

Hi sewing friends, do you ever look for an easy and fun project to sew beyond making your own clothes? I certainly do !!! I like to expand my crafty skills and knowledge whenever possible. Lately it is by making my own PDF patterns, so it is no surprise that I am bringing to you my newest design!

Since beginning of this year I keep a sewing diary, where I write all my sewing makes so I have a quick reference in case I am unsure about something or I just want to see what I made so far. Using this journal everyday I started to notice some wear and tear on its outside cover and decided that I need to protect it somehow. This gave me an idea to design and try fun and colorful casing….and why not include some pockets….they are great not only on clothes! The pattern size is drafted so it loosely fits A5 notebook, but you can always scale it up or down if you need a different size.

     To complete this project you will need:

  • Notebook cover PDF pattern
  • 100 / 55 cm fabric of your choice
  • zipper – 23 cm
  • bias binding – 100 cm
  • fusible interfacing (optional)

Sewing tutorial

Cut out all the pattern pieces from your fabric, you can be creative here and use different fabric for outside panel or make your pockets in different colors…the choice is yours! I used the same fabric for all pieces except for one front notebook cover piece, because it is an internal/ lining panel, so it is the least visible.

Depending on the fabric of your choice and/or desired stability of the finished cover you may want to interface all or some of the pattern pieces. I recommend fusing at least both sleeves and 1 x front piece.

 

First, bind the top edges of short and tall pocket pieces, next place the short pocket on top of the tall pocket and stitch two straight lines as indicated on the pattern for a pen slots.

Place zip tabs at each end with right side facing the zipper and stitch it together.

Flip zip tabs and top stitch it in place. Trim the tabs to the width of the zipper.

Place the zipper at the straight edge of zip pocket (A) right sides together and sew it along the length about 4 mm away from zipper teeth. You may need to open and close the zipper as you sew to ensure a straight line. Flip the zipper and top stitch close to the stitch line. Repeat the same process for zip pocket (B).

Take the zipper pocket and place it on top of the sleeve piece with wrong sides together. repeat for the other side. Take tall-short pockets and place it on top of the sleeve with wrong sides together. Sew around the four edges within 1 cm seam allowance to hold it together.

 

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Using bias binding finish off the straight edges on both sleeve pieces.

Take one of the front cover pieces ( internal/ lining piece) and place both sleeve pockets on top ( right sides facing upward for all pattern pieces). Sew around the edges to hold it together within 1 cm seam allowance.

Next, with right sides together place the remaining front notebook cover piece and sew it together  with 1cm seam allowance leaving about 10 cm opening.

Finally, turn the notebook cover inside out and hand stitch to close the opening.

Final step. Enjoy your new notebook cover!

I hope this little project brings you joy and remember you can always customize it if you want. I plan to omit sewing pockets and make simple cover for my cooking book and scaling it down for my passport. There are so many other ways you can use this pattern….let me know what you think and if you ever made or are planning to make a similar project.

See you next time,

Monika xxx