Friday, 23 February 2018

Velvet Cleo Dress: A-line Edition

I made my first Tilly and The Buttons Cleo dress towards the end of last year. It's a wildly successful pattern, there a pattern reviews all over the internet, and it is easy to adapt if you want to add length, pocket modifications or change the skirt silhouette. The original pattern has straight sides; the split provides movement in the longer length. I tend to prefer an A-line shape so I gave that a whirl with a velvet Cleo:

This time, I sized down to the size 2 at the waist and hips.  This fits my chest measurement better but it also means the dress needs to go over my head rather than be pulled up over my hips.  Cutting size 2 made for a better fit at my waist and at the back.  The A-line was created by adding an extra 1.5" at the hemline for the front and back pieces and then using a ruler to blend this from the hem to the hips (around the top of the pockets).   I used a cotton velvet(woven and non-stretch) from Eternal Maker, the original colour has sold out but there is this sapphire blue.  I just loved the bright colour and I originally stitched this up in December for my Christmas Day attire.

Here are some of my construction notes:
  • I cut the velvet on a carpeted floor - it stopped it sliding.  It's also easier to cut in a single layer rather than on the fold.  I used a rotary cutter and cutting mat wherever I could; the pattern pieces slide like crazy so chalking around them helps too.
  • I made a simple lining from a shiny poly fabric in my stash.  Cut the same shape as the main dress pieces and cut shorter at the hem.  It does make the dress hang well and stops the velvet sticking to tops and tights. 
  • The front was cut as a single piece to avoid the central seam.
  • I finished the dress opening seam edge with Liberty bias binding
  • For the hem, the A-line adds a little extra fullness at the sides and you can see where I eased that in in the picture above and basted before hemming on the machine.
  • I used a walking foot as velvet tends to creep out of place.
  • Conventional pressing with the iron just flattens the velvet so instead, I hovered the iron using a little steam over the top of areas that needed pressing and then used a wooden tailor's clapper.
  • Patch pockets cut as my previous Cleo.



  1. Cute dress - you look pretty in blue :)

  2. Oh yes that looks pretty cool. I have made two but have lined both so that they don't stick to my tights. Jo x


Thank you for taking the time out to leave your thoughts, I do very much appreciate you stopping by! Blogger is not sending comments through by email at the moment so I'll reply in the comments.