Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress


I have become a little addicted to the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress, it's  such a simple pattern to make and is so comfortable and versatile to wear.

I purchased the PDF version as I like to have an electronic copy saved and find it easier to download the instructions to my iPad, there are not that many pages to stick together on this pattern either which is a bonus.

For my first version I used heavy weight denim from the remnant basket from Abakan fabrics, it cost about £7! Bargain!

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress

I used "proper" Gutterman topstitch thread for the contrast details, this makes such a difference, however it can be a little troublesome to sew with as it's very thick, just ensure that you use a large enough needle (I used Janome red tip) and when backstitching only do it once as the machine can struggle and get jammed, also take extra care where you have several layers of fabric such as attaching the pocket.

topstitch thread

My second version was made using cotton cord, this started off as white cord with pink topstitch, but I didn't like it so decided to dye it a lovely burgundy type colour, I used Dylon dye and love how it turned out!

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress cord

My third version (told you I was obsessed) is made from beautiful Liberty of London cotton twill, this cost £13 from Abakan fabrics for the required 1.2m and is so lovely to work with, I used brown contrast thread for this version.

Tilly and the Buttons Liberty twill

I used "hammer in" bib and brace sets for the fastenings on each of them, they are so easy to install, no special tools needed and no button holes to sew!  but they do cost about £2.50 per set (although I'm sure you could get them online cheaper).

My fourth version is not yet made, but will be made from this amazing Liberty of London retro cotton twill, I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Liberty of London cotton twill

I love the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo pattern, The instructions are so clear, it doesn't take too long to make up (about 2 hours), doesn't take much fabric (about 1.2m) and is a wardrobe classic!

I didn't need to make any alterations at all to the pattern,however it is quite short (in length) so ensure that you adjust as necessary or make the longer version.

I didn't struggle with any element of the pattern instructions, in fact I didn't really use the instructions after the first version, but did forget to clip the curves on my 3rd version then wondered why it wasn't sitting correctly! I worked it out though in the end! 

Oh, one final tip, I found it most useful to use a bodkin to turn the straps right side out, (no more broken nails, sore fingers or pierced fabric) I will add a separate quick tutorial on how to use a bodkin (as I forgot to take photos).

Yayyyy to the Cleo!

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress