A Cleo for a Claire

Good evening!

I have written this post in two stages, which isn’t uncommon for me. As I’m sure is the case for most people, my time is often squeezed and I try and fit little things in as and when I can, even if it means starting and stopping! The interesting thing about this though, is that my mood and general outlook on life has changed vastly between the two periods of my writing. When this has happened previously, I have scrapped my initial draft and started again, but I thought that today I would leave in both parts – it really is extraordinary what a difference a few days can make!

Part One

I’m loving life! I am the happiest person in the world! This is my favourite week of the year and it always has been. The approach to my sister’s birthday and bonfire night with the anticipation and prospects of Christmas round the corner. The sky. The crisp feeling in the air. I want to walk everywhere and swan around in the glorious-looking Mayfair twilight. I want to dress up in sparkly black clothing and go to ballets and piano recitals. Then I want to go home and hunker down with a glass of red wine and read lots of intellectual books and do cryptic crosswords. I’m SO happy and excited! The world is in high definition and my pace of life seems 500 miles per hour!

Part Two

 Today I am full of anxiety. From nowhere. I’ve had a lovely weekend of barn dancing with my oldest and most lovely friends in the world, and relaxing with my parents. So why do I feel like this? I have butterflies in my stomach, I feel on the verge of tears from stress. But no reason to be. Work is fine, home is fine. Why? I’m crushed and drained. I have a black shadow chasing me and holes in the pavement that I’m trying to avoid falling into and never being able to climb out of. It’s weird though, because I can still remember the feeling of a few days ago and I’m desperately trying to tempt myself back into that. I tried a run earlier to force back the endorphins. I have other tactics I will try, too. I won’t let myself fall into this.

 However, I was thinking to myself earlier that I wouldn’t change the 1% of my life that is dark, as 99% of my life is like Part One and I honestly don’t think I could be happier in any part of it. In general life, I feel like the luckiest person alive. It’s something to live with, but it’s a right nuisance when you wish you had finished your blog post during the Part One phase!!

I am writing about my October make today. Yet again (sorry for being a bore) I have made a Cleo dungarees dress. The reason being that last year I made my little sister a velvet dress for her birthday, and she was so appreciative (and selfishly, it made me feel so good) that I decided she is perfect to make something for! She has a slim figure, meaning that clothes hang nicely on her, and I knew she would like and suit a black cord dungaree dress.


As per usual, I was running out of time! The month was drawing to a close and I was about to disappoint myself and my New Year’s Resolution of sewing one thing a month. Therefore, I had to make something that was quick and I knew how to make. What a fabulous make the Cleo dungaree dress from Tilly and the Buttons really is! I had the MOST dreamy Friday night alone making this with a glass of wine and a small tipple of sloe gin! I started at 7pm with cutting out the material and interfacing. Just to give you a picture of the truly uncool life I lead, I was listening to Classic FM at the same time (I then moved on to watching Vera on TV…). Aside from a 20 minute pause for some supper, I didn’t stop at all, and managed to finish the dress entirely, right down to the hemming and pressing, by 10pm! This is such a speedy make and just such an excellent result (no mistakes at all – I think this one is technically perfect). I implore you to give it a go yourself!


My only comment would be that my sister needs to pay me back with a good photo of herself in it! She turned up to her birthday tea with hair akin to a bird’s nest (her trademark hairstyle aged 2 – and clearly still at 25!) and her eyes half closed from tiredness – she got the partying genes! It obviously didn’t help that it is now pitch black by about 5pm which doesn’t bode well for good photography, so I was then relying on her friends to take a suitable photo for me when she got home. I will have to get my camera out another day. However, hopefully she likes it and had a good Birthday Tea at the Ivy Chelsea Garden (I loved it!).

Just a little snap of the tea with my Mama in the peeking through the cakes

Now for me to undertake some R&R. I’ll be sewing myself a treat for my holiday to India at some point during November – look out for it!

Have a happy week, all – it truly is the most magical time of year – and I genuinely feel a bit better having written this post and reminding myself of the joy of last week.



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