Thursday, 9 November 2017

Cleo Pinafore Bandwagon


Yep, I've jumped on board the Cleo pinafore bandwagon too. When TATB first released Cleo I liked it, but didn't really think it was my style and perhaps more suited to women in their 20's. Then I saw a million of them on Pinterest and elsewhere online, made and worn by lots of different ages, shapes and sizes of women, and I've loved every single one of them and they look great on everyone. 

Pattern:

I mentioned my Cleo crush to Tilly during a lunch we had together a few weeks before her little boy was born. Afterwards, she generously sent me a copy of the pattern and set of the dunagree clips. No excuse now; this was happening! 

Tilly was right: this is a quick and easy project. I love working with a well-behaved, stable, woven fabric like this pattern is designed for, and I really enjoy some careful, meditative topstitching. I slowed the process down and made life difficult for myself though, because, after a mid-project fitting, I decided it was a bit loose. I took it in about one size at the side seams and continued with the construction. When it was all finished except for the hem, I tried it on again and realised that somehow it was now too small! So I unpicked a lot of my careful topstitching (I had topstitched down the side seams to get them to lay flat), and salvaged as much of the side seams as possible, taking it back out about one size. Gah! 


Because I can never leave well alone, I decided to veer away from the original pattern by drafting an alternative front pocket shape. I had got the idea for these after seeing similar ones on a pinafore in Topshop; they are rectangular patch pockets with a slanted pocket opening. I'm really pleased with them, however I wished I'd stabilised the pocket opening with twill tape as I fear they will stretch out with use. 


Fabric:

I bought this incredible denim (called Super Black!) from Fabric Godmother during a visit to hang out with the Fabric Godmother herself, Josie. It's thick, strong, amazing quality, and VERY black. I pre-washed it using the old tennis-ball-in-the-washing-machine trick. I'll continue to wash it that way going forwards, but I'm pretty sure I could re-dye this pinafore easily if it starts to fade in a way that I'm not in to. 


Thoughts:

I really like the utility vibe of this garment. It's like a mum-uniform; I look ready for a long hard day at the childcare coal face. I'm pleased with the finish, and I'm even happy with the short length that I was initially unsure would look very good on me. However, I've only worn it once in the few weeks since I made it. I think that that's because the denim is still very stiff and I'm not used to wearing garments that don't have any stretch in them these days. I need to force myself to wear it a few times to soften it up and get used to the feel of it. 

What about you? Have you had to force yourself into wearing something you've made? Did you end up loving it?

12 comments:

MrsC (Maryanne) said...

It's lovely, Zoe, I love the black and white thing, it's very "you".
Yup, I've done that too - made things and felt meh about them. And then when I do my seasonal clothing swapover (I don't have much wardrobe space) I rediscover them and fall in love.
Sometimes, absence makes the heart grow fonder!

Zoƫ said...

I love this Zoe, been really tempted to get one of these in the wardrobe too. What on earth is the tennis ball in the washing machine trick?! x

vintagerockchick said...

Great version Zoe - and as for the 'age suitability' - I've got two Cleos and I'm in my 20s x 3!!
I like your 'childcare coal face' I heard a quote the other day that having a toddler is like having a blender - but that you forgot to put the lid on properly! Gill x

Linda said...

It looks great on you Zoe! I'am another in my 20s x 3 (well nearly) who wears a Cleo. In fact, I have my eye on a lovely patterned corduroy in my local sewing shop to make another one!

Fabric Tragic said...

It’s great, very you! Great with the stripes, I’d add some mustard tights!

Beth Holmes said...

i love cleo, i have 5! they are stiff in denim though - my denim one gets worn the least, whereas i’ve worn my needlecord versions to death because they are so comfy :D yours looks great! i love how you’ve styled it

Allison Graden said...

It looks great!!! I think you need a few more LOL!

Allys said...

Tennis ball in the washing machine!?? I haven't made one of these because I was thinking along the lines of "that's just what I would have worn when I was young" but now (thankyou vintagerockchic) I'm thinking "what the heck, make one"

Zoe said...

Thanks for all your comments! The tennis ball is the washing machine trick is just that: putting a tennis ball in the drum of the washing machine whilst pre-washing dark denim. It helps to prevent those white lines you can get, especially if you take the fabric out of the washing machine as soon as the cycle is over.

Steely Seamstress said...

Thanks for enlightening us about the tennis ball thing. I have a pair of black jeans and have discover a slightly "lighter line" down one leg. Will definitely give this tip a go. Love the new style pockets you've added to your Cleo.

Mother of Reinvention said...

What a lovely pinafore. It looks great on and I am sure that it will become a wardrobe staple. It looks very versatile. I will definitely use the tennis ball thing, It sounds like a great idea. Xx

Kirsty said...

Think I've got some jeans that could do with that tennis ball trick! I've been swaying towards Cleo for a while now (It took me long enough to jump onto the Bettine Bandwagon and now I've made two!) Think I may just go for it soon.

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