I have made Tilly and the Buttons' Cleo pinafore in a canvas print with dungaree buckles and contrasting topstitching.
I have made this pattern before - a good 4-5 years ago probably. It was made up in a burgundy needlecord and the resulting garment looked like the apron worn by Costa baristas - not a good look! 😂
I thought I'd give it another go since I loved the canvas fabric and thought it would be perfect for a pinafore. I made it in a size 4, as that's the size I made all those years ago - then I simply added 1/2 inch on each side seam to allow for 4-5 years of waistline/hip growth. 😄
The changes I made to the pattern were moving the front skirt slit to the back and adding 3 inches of length. I omitted the hip pockets at the front and back but added the breast centre pocket.
It took me 2 hours to cut out as I tried my best to pattern match the front and back peices and the breast centre pocket. The pattern doesn't indicate the cutting and sewing times unlike Tilly's newer releases that do.
It was a fairly simple sew and could be made simpler by cutting the back or front pieces on the fold (whichever side you don't want the slit on). The pattern instructions were easy to follow. The fabric was great to work with, sew and press.
I topstitched with contrasting topstitching thread and used an embroidery needle in my machine (as recommended by Tilly). The eye of an embroidery needle is bigger to allow the thicker topstitching thread to move freely. I used the same blue sew all thread in the bobbin for both normal stitching and topstitching.
I used the dungarees buckles by prym. I would probably source different buckles next time or use buttonholes and buttons instead as I found that the buckles kept unclasping.
I styled the Cleo with my Anthea blouse by Anna Allen in a beige linen (also from Jenny). I'm not totally convinced that the pairing works. Moreover, I'm not totally convinced that I like the Cleo. To be honest, I don't think the style suits me as it's a very loose style and the pinafore resembles an apron at first glance. This opinion is similar to my opinion of my previous version. It may grow on me or I may upcycle it into a skirt instead. Time will tell.
"Despite her reservations, I think that Crystal's pinafore looks gorgeous. However, I think we all recognise the feeling when we make or buy a garment and it just doesn't feel right, despite what others may say! I guess that disappointments like these are often a part of making your own clothes, but they help us learn what really works for us going forwards."
Inspired to make your own version? Here's what you'll need:
Crystal was provided with the materials for her project free of charge and received a gift voucher in recognition of the time spent on her project.