Cleo Dungarees to end 2016 in style…

The delightful days off between Christmas and New Year are always very special to me. I spend every other day of annual leave thinking I must speed off on holiday somewhere and use it wisely, but these days are like weekend days, and it is fab to spend them at home with family and friends.

However, I seem to have a problem with being able to relax and do nothing! As a consequence, I feel like since the Christmas festivities began, I am still yet to actually just chill out and sit down and read a book / watch tv. It is all of my own making though, so I can’t complain…my first day with no plans I decided I would designate as a sewing day (as well as hosting my parents for supper).

I saw someone wearing a lovely black needlecord dungaree dress at a drinks party I went to last week and decided I had to make myself one. Therefore, 27th December sale shopping meant buying only full priced things…classic me…including 1.2m of a gorgeous red wine coloured needlecord (they didn’t have any black left, but in reality I think this is a better colour anyway). The pattern I purchased as a pdf online – Tilly and the Buttons Cleo.

I honestly cannot recommend this pattern enough, and I think this is the best make I have ever sewn for a number of reasons, including that I did everything very neatly, which is very unlike me (I lack the ‘perfectionist’ gene, it would appear). There are no complicated fastenings or zips and it is definitely a pattern a beginner sewer could manage. In addition, the instructions are very easy and clear. There are very few pieces: a front dress and back dress which you can add optional pockets to – I added a front top pocket as well as two back bum pockets; two straps; and a facing for the front and back dresses. The whole process was done within a day and I am delighted!


The countdown to 2017 has begun. While this year has been ‘annus horribilis’ for many (not to mention the deaths, Brexit, Trump etc), personally it has been lovely and I try to be happy with the little things everyday. I am also proud of the little achievements I have made this year: I have passed the IMC exam, read 20 books(!), started attending yoga weekly and feeling great about that, run the fastest I have ever run before, oh and just had a fab year in London with my lovely friends. We have a bit of a tough time at home due to my father’s dementia, which is only going to get worse, so I try to be as positive as I can be now, though I recognise that my mother bears the brunt of it all and it isn’t at all easy. I hope 2017 is less of a bleak one, particularly for those who have faced losses this year.

I have to say, I am one of those people who likes a New Year’s Resolution…less of a general “must lose weight, gym more, drink less” etc but more of a set of acheivable goals. I have realised (the entirely obvious) point that you only succeed in things if you actually get round to doing them. Therefore, all those little things that I have wanted to do for ages are on my list this year. These include actually going to French lessons to force myself to be better. It will be an initial outlay of a bit of money, but hopefully with positive effects.

I am also setting myself a rather ambitious challenge, which I am concerned I shouldn’t publicise on my blog as then it means I can’t back out, but my aim is to sew 12 things this year. As you may have realised, I have probably managed about a quarter of that this year…it will be a challenge! My reason for doing this is due to something I found on Instagram called #SewMyStyle. The person who set it up is all about sewing to make you appreciate clothes and not ‘fast fashion’, which is entirely what I believe in. I am all about reducing waste where possible.

On this note, I must now enjoy my final hours of 2016 in Lyme Regis before heading back to London for partying! Have a wonderful New Year and all the best for 2017!




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