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

Little baseball t-shirt -Frankie by Tilly and the Buttons

Today I want to show you my second make from Tilly and the Buttons book “Stretch”. It is a Frankie t-shirt pattern.

Frankie is a simple T with raglan sleeves and curved hem. There are many options and varieties to this pattern so you can make lots of different styles with it. The pattern lines allow you to have hun with color blocking and are perfect if you have leftover of fabric that are to small for bigger projects.

The instructions for this pattern are included in the book and as usual Tilly made it very transparent and easy to follow.

Pattern adjustments

You may know by now (if you follow my blog) that I fall into a size 8 for Tilly and the Buttons patterns, but I always need to adjust them and remove some lenght to accommodate my petite frame. I did not want to trace pattern pieces just to cut them and shorten, so I followed my previous process by tracing size 6 around sleeves, neckline and armhole blending to size 8 at side seams. I had done it couple of times now and it works for me, plus it is much quicker in comparison to cutting at shorten/lengthen lines.

All went well this time as well, hovewer I realized that I have too much ease under my arms so blended to size 7 instead. This gave my more desired fit and overall I am glad I followed my intuition. I still had to decrease the lenght of the bodice by 5 cm, so I cut it off at the hem following the curve. I also straighten the side seams a little to give me more room to breathe.

Fabric choice and pattern construction

I could not resist to play with colors so I chose to make my Frankie using two different fabrics. Specially for this project I purchased cotton ribbed jersey from Minerva Craft in winter white and rose pink colors , because I really like how they looked together. I was not sure which way I will go with my color blocking so I purchased 3 meters in total (2 meters white and 1 meter pink) for £3.99 per meter which is a great price- currently on sale.

It took me about 30 mins to cut out the pattern, which have only four pieces and 1 hour and 15 mins to put it all together. It is the quickest make to date for me I believe. Sewing raglan sleeves is so much easier in comparison with set in sleeves (even on a jersey fabric), and my only dilemma is that I need to learn now how to adjust them for a better fit as the hem sticks out a little bit.

There is not much else I can say about this pattern other than it is a staple and I will make more in the future.

I wore it on my recent trip to Prague and can honestly say that it is very comfortable. Fabic is soft and it holds it’s shape throughout a day. It is breathable and looks great even after being bunched up in a backpack for couple of days.

Final thoughts

Frankie is an absolute must have in your wardrobe if you are looking for a t-shirt pattern that is cosy and will be “in fashion” for yours to come. There are few variations included in the “Stretch” book, which makes this pattern also versatile. I will be making more of them in different colors as next to Agnes top it is a second most wearable top in my closet.

~ maybe I will start play baseball now??? Just kidding hahahaha~

Monika xxx