The unofficial subtitle of this post is “I wish I lived closer to my grandma so I could take pictures in her yard all the time… and so I could see her more often :-p” The temperature is so hot here so most days I cant bare to leave the house in anything but a swingy dress. However when Rae of Made by Rae asked me to be a part of her blog tour celebrating the paper pattern release of the Cleo skirt I just had to oblige. She pretty much hooked me when I saw there was a midi length version and duh…pockets. Read on for all the dirty details! (And I do mean dirty… this project met an untimely end.)
The Cleo skirt pattern is a simple gathered skirt with a flat front waistband. You have two versions to choose from: one in a shorter length with curved pockets and a contrast hem, and one in a midi length with side seam pockets. The Cleo is a super quick sew – which I love. The whole thing came together in probably under two hours including cutting. The back waistband features an elastic band which is great for ease of wear and comfort (aka gives you some give for that post brunch food baby). Plus no sewing in a zipper! Which adds to the ease of this pattern.
When I saw this skirt and was thinking of what fabric I had in my stash to use I immediately thought of this bright floral vintage woven fabric I got when a friend so graciously saw it at a flea market and thought of me. It actually probably wasn’t the best choice for this skirt as it has the texture of linen but is a heavier weight – I think it may have even been an upholstery fabric. As I said – not ideal for a flowy gathered skirt. But I knew I wanted to do something different with the front and I just couldn’t get this print out of my head so I went for it. I think it turned out quite well considering!
About those adjustments, when I saw the Cleo I immediately knew I wanted to change the front gathers to pleats. Since the front waistband is flat and does not need to be stretched, I thought the pleats would elevate the style a little… plus I just love pleats. I more or less eyeballed it. It was a little tricky with the placement as I had the pockets to deal with but I love the way it turned out. As I mentioned before I chose to do a mash up of the two skirt versions. I love the curved pockets and preferred the midi length so I mixed those two. Since I was using this nice sturdy fabric I decided to give the skirt a good thick hem to really help it to pop out at the bottom. To do this I added 3” to the end of the pattern, thinking I would want the skirt a bit longer than pictured. I finished the raw edge with vintage lace hem binding and used my blind stitch machine to stitch the hem. Turns out it is now a bit too long so I will probably be removing about 3”.
As you can see I had to make myself a matching top as well this fabric is just so fun I had to do a two piece set. I used the same pattern that I drafted for my vintage Tap Shorts set (whose shorts no longer exist). I love this simple open back top. I’m thinking of offering it as a free pattern soon! It is a simple cropped tank with a angled open back that buttons closed in the center back. I just think this shape is so fun and flirty. I think two piece sets might be my new favorite thing.
Last but not least.. the Cleo massacre. Okay.. massacre may be a little dramatic. Those of you who follow me on instagram are already aware of the travesty that occurred with my new cleo skirt. I was in my sewing room finishing up the matching top. The skirt was laying on my bed in the bedroom. I *thought* the dog was asleep on the couch. Turns out I had left the bedroom door open. The dog crawled up there to take a nap (he’s not supposed to be on the bed but really loves it up there). I guess napping was boring because when I went into the bedroom he had taken a little nibble out of my skirt! (Disaster pictured below). Mind you this baby had JUST come off the sewing machine! Guys, I was soooooooooooo mad. Luckily its a fairly easy (though time consuming) fix. I think what I plan to do is cut a new back waistband, then completely remove the back skirt piece and flip it upside down. Then when I cut the new hem I will cut off the little nibbles on the back skirt. I wanted to replace the elastic anyway because I didn’t have the right width on hand so I just used 1” and its not quite sturdy enough. Luckily I have plenty of this fabric left. Just need to decide what fun thing I’m going to do with the rest of it!
SKIP TO THE END?
Pattern: Cleo Skirt by Made by Rae
Fabric: vintage upholstery fabric from stash
Notions: 1.25” elastic
Difficulty: very easy!
Adjustments: cut curved pockets with midi length, added 3” to hem depth
Finishes: serged seams
Time: 2 hours
Sew it again? No immediate plans but this is a great staple pattern to have on hand!