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 peg bag pattern + sewing tutorial

Hi sewing friends! Today is a very exciting day for me because I am bringing to you a new sewing project with my very first PDF pattern. A while ago I made this lovely peg basket/bag while trying out a free motion embroidery on my sewing machine and though it would be nice to share the pattern with you. It took some time to create it as I had never done a digital pattern before, but here it is if you are interested. Be kind, because it is not perfect, but nevertheless I am happy to share it with you. I had taken few photos during the sewing process to give you a little guidance in case you are new to sewing or just like to follow an instruction.

Peg Bag pattern PDF

What you need:

Main and lining fabric 70 x 40 cm

Interfacing / felt / batting (or similar) 70 x 40 cm

Bias binding 2 meters

Velcro tape 6 cm


Sewing tutorial

Depending on fabric of your choice and how rigid you would like your bag to be you need to either interface the main fabric with same fusible interfacing or you can insert a felt or batting between the main fabric and the lining ad stitch it all together in a desired way. You can see my attempt at free motion embroidery looks a bit silly up close, but it also gives my bag some character.

TIP: it is easier to quilt through all layers of fabric in smaller chunks. I placed the individual pattern piece and roughly marked it on the fabric, next step is to embroider it following by cutting out each pattern piece on the end. This way you make sure that all pieces are nice and neat and the pattern does not shrink in case the fabric shift a bit.

Edge bind the top of front and back pieces.

Gather the front bag panel to match the width between notches on the side panel.

Facing wrong sides together pin front to the side panel using notches placement as a guideline.

Stitch it in place using 1 cm seam allowance starting and ending 1 cm at the ends.

Clip the side panel as close to the end of a stitch line (this helps with sewing around the corners).

Continue pinning the side panel around the front and stitch it together.

Bias bind together raw edge starting at one end of the side panel and ending on the other side.

Follow the same procedure (except gathering) for the back bag piece, pinning all around and stitching in place using 1 cm seam allowance.

Remember to clip it at the corners.

Bind the edge with bias tape as before.

Lastly finish of the short ends of side panel using bias binding. Attach binding onto one side, fold inwards both ends of bias tape, fold the tape over the raw edge, pin it and top stitch throughout all layers.


Cut Velcro into 3 cm wide strips and stitch it to both ends of side panel.


Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. Let me know if you planning to make this bag . I had fun drafting this pattern and may do more in the future 🙂

~Happy sewing!~

Monika xxx