This month my project for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network is the Cleo dungaree dress. I have been absolutely loving this style of dress, so much so that I have even actually bought three RTW versions (and I practically never buy dresses). I’m not really able to pull off the dungaree trousers look, but I’ve always had a soft spot for dungaree dresses, they just never seemed to be widely available until recently. I bought Tilly’s Cleo Pattern the very day it came out, but then for various reasons irrelevant to this post I didn’t sew it straight away.

What I love about these dresses is how practical and cosy they are as part of an outfit, not to mention cute! When I first started wearing them, I worried that I basically looked like a five year old. 

But then I got over it. I don’t care! I feel great! I love how you can layer up underneath them with one or more t-shirts (even my Grainline Studio Linden sweatshirt looks good underneath), you can wear thick, cosy tights, warm boots with extra socks for foot warmth, and then throw a big slouchy cardigan over the top. I cut my dress a size bigger than I normally would too, because I like a loose fit and I don’t have to worry about the dress clinging to my tummy!

The fabric choice was of course inspired by one of Tilly’s versions of this dress - I love her pale pink denim version. My fabric is a duskier pink and it’s a Needlecord Fabric. It’s the first time I’ve used corduroy since 2010, so I forgot all about it having a nap; consequently my pockets are all cut the opposite way to the rest of the dress (because I ignored the cutting layout). Whoops! Let’s just say it was a conscious design choice. Hahaha.

I sewed the pattern pretty much straight out of the packet - the only alteration I made was to widen the straps to fit my dungaree clips better. This reduced my seam allowance at the back where the straps attach, but not so much that it was a problem to sew. It seemed to take me quite a while to sew this dress, and I think that’s due to the precision of all the topstitching, and I sewed proper flat fell seams at front, back and sides, instead of Tilly’s mock flat fell seams.

I used a proper topstitching needle and topstitching thread, and the flat fell seams and the pockets are all topstitched with two parallel lines. I would have liked to use a twin needle for this to save time, but my twin needle isn’t a topstitching one, plus I only had one spool of topstitching thread. The one reel was just enough for the project, although I would have liked to topstitch two parallel lines along the straps instead of just one line around the edge. I think I can live with it (first world problems!). Ive included two spools in my materials list, so you will have plenty if you go for the kit!

The jeans buttons were fun to apply, except when I hammered my thumb by accident. Extremely painful but it looks just the same, I feel as though there should be a big bruise there! The dungaree clips are great and feel very secure.

Overall I’m very pleased with my new dress. Thank you to Minerva for sending me the fabric, jeans buttons, dungaree clips, topstitching needles and thread.