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

Tilly and the buttons -Cleo dress pocket hack

Cleo Pinafore

Guess what I have made????

You cannot?…ohhh let me tell you !!!!

I have made not one, but TWO Cleo Dresses from Tilly and The Buttons. WHAT??!!?!? Monika are you crazy??? Nope, just in love with this pattern!!!!

Some weeks ago I told you already how much I adore Tilly’s style, her book “Love at first stitch” is amazing, however I had Cleo pattern for a while now, so I thought it should be easier make before I get my hands dirty with a Mimi blouse….check my previous post if you are lost.

Cleo….hmmmm where do I start???

I admired this dress for a while, watching endless samples that other people made and day dreaming about the time when I will have one in my wardrobe. This time is finally here 🙂

This is the first time, in a very long time, when I DID NOT have to make any pattern adjustments. OK, when I say none, I mean like a major pattern adjustments, I still had to shorten the hem hihih….I am short, remember? I have to shorten everything!

The pattern gives you option between two dress lengths-shorter (knee length) or longer one with a split in the front. Also, there is a selection of different pocket placements in the front and on the back.

  I decided to cut size 6 based on my hip measurement alone. My waist measurement was closer to size 8, however as the pattern around this area is looser I thought ignoring it would be acceptable. And, I was right!

Cleo Dress vol.1

20180212_141634[1]My first Cleo was made from corduroy fabric I had in my stash for a while. I followed the pattern instruction exactly ( as expected Tilly’s pattern offers clear step by step instruction with pictures for easy reference when in doubt), and I did not have any problems. I’ve made the shorter version, which had to shorten further by about 7cm. Other then that, it is straight from the pocket.

20180212_141852[1]I only sewn one pocket, but I took my time to ensure my top-stitching looks nice.

The dress has interfacing all around for a clear finish, which is great. I did not top-stitch it, because it would not be that visible on this fabric, hence only hand stitched it in couple of places to make sure it will not roll out once I am wearing it. It worked pretty well.

20180212_142022[1]

Cleo dress vol.2

I wore my first Cleo to work so many times in the last couple of weeks,and got so many compliments on it, so I HAD to make another version.

This time I wanted to be more adventurous and I hacked the pattern to make pockets that are not top-stitched, but “inside” the dress, similar style that are found inside a trousers.

I have made the same size, but this time I went with a cotton fabric with some floral print, that caught my eye in the fabric shop (it is from Fabric Textiles on Goldhawk Road in London).

 

20180212_113045[1]

Look at this happy face 🙂20180203_200344[1]

It took me a while to figure out how I need to hack the pattern that will give me the desired effect, but it was time well spent. I am absolutely thrilled with the result!!! Cleo vol.2 is also fully lined as Cleo vol.1 keep sticking to my tights when I walk.

Also, I put a snaps here, because I did not have buckles, but I think it works nicely anyway.

20180209_090244[1]

I wore it once already and it is so comfy.

Pattern hack

This post will be a little longer as I have promised on Instagram that I will write a blog on how I have done the pattern for this pocket…keep reading…

20180212_185906[1]

This is how my pattern look like…you can see how many times I was changing my mind…so to make it more clear for you I made it again on a mini version of the pattern.

The following are the steps I took to create this pocket:

1.Copy FRONT dress pattern (I have done without the seam allowance here)-unless you want to ruin your original one – which I am guessing you do not 🙂

20180212_185734[1]

2.Choose a placement of the pocket opening. This is up to you. I put on my first Cleo and marked where I like my pockets to be. The line shape is also your choice. I am thinking to do a curved pocket opening next time 😉20180212_190333[1]

3.Next, draw a shape and size of your new pocket. You can decide how deep it is.20180212_190801[1]4.Take your tracing wheel and TWO sheets of paper-Trace of all new lines, including pocket shape. If you do not have a tracing wheel, just copy the style lines and pocket lines onto a clear paper.20180212_190856[1]

20180212_191033[1]5.Now we will make the top pocket pattern-just draw a lines around the curve of the pocket and its opening. Add seam allowance (orange pen) and markings (purple pen).

 

20180212_1920021-e1518470198940.jpg6.The second pattern is bottom part of the pocket (visible part of the front)-add seam allowance and markings.20180212_1919581.jpg

7.Cut out your pattern pieces – and we are done 🙂

20180212_192214[1]

8.Nearly forgot!!!….Remember to transfer the grain line onto your new pattern pieces 😉

That is it! Not that difficult once you know what to do hihi

Let me know if you need guiding on construction.

~Let’s hack and have fun~