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 TWOย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

ย  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.


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).



Look at this happy face ๐Ÿ™‚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.


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…


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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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 ๐Ÿ˜‰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 ๐Ÿ™‚


8.Nearly forgot!!!….Remember to transfer the grain line onto your new pattern pieces ๐Ÿ˜‰

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~

Love at first stitch


Ok, I have a little confession to make….

Lately I am obsessed with Tilly Walnes blog. She started her blog over 7 years ago (so you can see how I can binge read on the train to work hihi), and at the beginning was documenting her newly found love for making her own clothes. She had ups and downs along the way, but stayed focused and enthusiastic and with passing time became a sewing expert.

Her blog was so successful and inspiring that now she is designing and selling her own patterns. Many people who would like to start sewing do not understand a language found on commercial patterns, especially as different pattern companies may use different symbols and markings on their pattern pieces. It can be time consuming and very confusing for someone that is just about to start their sewing journey.

Tilly and The Buttons patterns include clear and easy to follow instructions, that contain pictures of every step to ensure we end up making a beautiful garment.

After spending hours on her blog, I ended up ordering herย  gorgeous book called “Love at first stitch“, which wasย “aย Sunday Timesbestseller, won ‘Best Book’ in the British Sewing Awards 2014, and has been published in nine languages”. This is Tilly’s first ever book and its main focus is to introduce sewing to beginners.

It takes you slowly through the process of sewing simple scarf, and pyjama pants, to slightly more advance project like Delphine skirt.

What caught my attention was Mimi blouse.

When I saw it I fell in love with it right away…. and as mentioned before without thinking I have ordered the book. It only costs ยฃ20 and it comes with 5 printed patterns….

I will try to do all projects, but will start with Mimi first, as I cannot wait!!! I do not have a fabric yet, but I really like how it looks like with piping, so I am thinking about a plain color, to show it off better. Keep an eye on my future posts to see my version of a Mimi.

Monika xxx


This made me feel so special….