Cleo + Josephine

Cleo Skirt

As the weather warms up, I’m excited about this combination of Cleo and Josephine. I’ve noticed that when I design a pattern, it’s often because I have a hole in my wardrobe for a certain type of design. I’m also thinking about how it will work with the other things I’m already wearing, which tend to be previous designs I’ve sewn. I love the idea of being able to create a handmade capsule wardrobe with my patterns, so being able to wear Josephine and Cleo together is so satisfying. My assistant Melissa is modeling them here beautifully.

Cleo Skirt

This version of Josephine is View C of the pattern made up in a lightweight swiss dot, and has proven to be one of my favorite wardrobe basics to make. It has enough interesting details (the pleats, the center slit) to make it a perfect match for a solid fabric, especially one that is a bit sheer like this one. The Cleo Skirt is View A made up with two Robert Kaufman lawns, a print from London Calling, and a Cambridge solid in a color that I think has since been discontinued (lipstick), since I no longer see it on their website, but if you do a quick web search you’ll still find it for sale in some shops as of this writing.
Cleo Skirt

This gives me a chance to further profess my love for lawn as an apparel fabric. This spring there have been so many good collections printed on lawn, and the fact that so many manufacturers, including Robert Kaufman, have been adding great lawn prints and solids lately (such as Friedlander lawn) only makes me more excited. Sleeping Porch by my friend Heather Ross for Wyndham is another favorite. I’ve been sewing with a few of her prints and can’t wait to show you what I’ve made! If you’re wary of sewing garments or scared of “apparel fabrics,” you will love how easy lawn is to work with. Quilters take note. Honestly I think lawn should just replace quilting cotton.

Back to this lovely outfit. Here’s a few shots from the back:

Cleo Skirt

Cleo Skirt

Which sewing patterns do you love to combine together for spring and summer? Do you have any favorites?

Cleo Skirt

Posted in Cleo
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Bird’s Eye View Gemma + Cleo

Bird's Eye View Gemma + Cleo

I’ve always thought the Cleo skirt would look awesome in a border print, so when Jess and I first laid eyes on the “Viewfinder” print from Sarah Watson’s recent collection, Bird’s Eye View for Cloud9 Fabrics, we knew it would be perfect for Cleo. We asked Cloud 9 for a couple of yards which they graciously sent over (thank you, Cloud 9!) and Jess sewed up this awesome cropped Gemma and Cleo skirt combo for herself. My jaw dropped to the floor when I saw these together. It’s just perfect, so chic, and I love the way that Jess cut these so that the Gemma has the larger-scale portion of the print, and the Cleo has the smaller-scale portion with the cactus.

Bird's Eye View Gemma + Cleo

Jess looks ridiculously adorable in this outfit. I’m pretty jealous, not gonna lie.

Bird's Eye View Gemma + Cleo

Bird's Eye View Gemma + Cleo

Bird's Eye View Gemma + Cleo

Sewing details

  • Both skirt and top were cut on the cross grain (that is, the pattern pieces were laid out on the fabric such that the grainline arrows were perpendicular to the selvage rather than parallel as is standard).
  • The solid orange waistband and back detail are made from Cloud9’s Cirrus Solids in the colorway Clementine
  • The armhole and neckline binding was applied using the french method (I wrote a tutorial for that method) without seam allowance added, resulting in a narrower shoulder.

Bird's Eye view Cleo + Gemma

We’ll post a quick how-to showing how to make a cropped Gemma soon — it’s a super fun and easy mod that I think you’ll love!

Posted in Cleo, gemma
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Cleo Skirt Inspiration

I really enjoy cruising around on Pinterest on a Saturday morning with a cup of coffee. Lately, I’ve been collecting some skirt images that have me really excited to sew the Cleo Skirt. Here are 25 skirts from my Lovely Skirts board to give you some ideas and inspiration!

Cleo Skirt Inspiration

I definitely need to find some palm print fabric (1), STAT. I love the two floral prints in flowy rayon and longer length here (2 & 5). Solids are a great skirt option too; I love the pale hues of that pale pink (3) and off white skirt (7), and that bright yellow skirt (6) is so cute with a striped knit tee and belt. That navy skirt (4) is so elegant with heels and a clutch. How about two bright solids for View A of the pattern (8)? And a lovely skirt in bias-cut checks (9).
Inspiration for Cleo

That gingham skirt (10) at the top was the inspiration for my own gingham version of Cleo. Some lovely dark green print mixing happening here (11). More great polka-dotted skirts (13 & 17) and a fantastic floral print (16). How do you feel about electric yellow (14)? I love it! And that color-blocked silk version (15) inspired my Black Silk Cleo.
Cleo Skirt Inspiration

Some more great solid (18,19,20,23), checked (22) and dotted (25) skirts; so cute paired with striped tees or tights! That bright abstract print version (24) with the tucked in shirt, gold accessories, and gorgeous bun is giving me serious style envy. And while the mini-skirt here (21) is definitely shorter than something I would wear personally, I still love the combination of abstract floral print with a striped tee.

All images via my lovely skirts Pinterest board

Need to sew a skirt right now? You can find the Cleo Skirt pattern in my shop!

Posted in Cleo
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Loominous Cleo Skirt

Loominous Cleo Skirt / made by rae

Loominous Cleo Skirt / made by rae

Another Cleo Skirt for me! This fabric…GAH…just…love. With a black tee and boots, it’s a great outfit for winter (I wear black leggings underneath).

Loominous Cleo Skirt / made by rae

Back view:

Loominous Cleo Skirt / made by rae

Side view:

Loominous Cleo Skirt / made by rae

Loominous Cleo Skirt / made by rae

Fabric: Loominous II by Anna Maria Horner

Pattern: Cleo skirt, Views A + B combined

How to: Cut the View A skirt but use the View B length line at the bottom (I also added 2 more inches to the length for my 5’8″ height). Add pockets and construct as if you were making View A, but omit hem bands and then hem up as if it were View B. I also chose to fold up a smaller hem allowance to make the skirt 3″ longer than the pattern intended.

Loominous Cleo Skirt / made by rae

I think the photo above gives you an idea of how this fabric moves; it’s really light (loosely woven = great drape) and a similar weight and behavior to shot cotton, if you’re familiar with that. Wore this outfit for a date night with Mr Rae last weekend. Woot woot!

Loominous Cleo Skirt / made by rae

You can make your own with the Cleo Skirt pattern, now available in my shop!

Posted in Cleo
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Cleo Skirt in rayon

Rayon cleo skirt

The type of fabric you choose for a sewing project can really transform it. Here’s an example: I made this lovely Cleo Skirt with rayon, and it’s quite different than the gingham one I posted the other day. The gathers stand away from the waistband less, and the rayon fabric (this is a Cotton + Steel rayon, designed by Sarah Watts, that I’ve been hoarding for awhile) drapes and hangs much more closely to the body. If you don’t love the extra volume that a full skirt adds to your waist and hips, using a drapey fabric like rayon is a nice option. Personally I’m pretty banana-shaped (thank you to Deborah for informing me of this additional body shape), I don’t mind the extra volume as it gives me more shape, but I also love how this one skims the body, and the flowy fabric is of course also very silky and comfortable to wear.

Rayon cleo skirt

Rayon cleo skirt

Rayon cleo skirt

Rayon cleo skirt

I think the deep colors in the print make this skirt look more wintery than some of my other skirts. With black tights, a sweater, and boots, it’s perfect for the cold weather.

Rayon cleo skirt

The Cleo Skirt is now available in my shop!! You can see all of the Cleo skirts I’ve made on my Cleo page.

PS. Check out this awesome rayon skirt that Amelia made! Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous?!?

Posted in Cleo
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Liberty Cleo Skirt

Liberty Cleo skirt / made by rae

Every time I make another Cleo skirt I think it’s my favorite. This Cleo is my favorite. It doesn’t hurt that I splurged and bought some Liberty lawn for this one. La la love.

Liberty Cleo Skirt

I love how light and airy lawn is, and I love how the back gathers in this fabric.
Liberty Cleo skirt / made by rae

Liberty Cleo skirt / made by rae

And the front…

Liberty Cleo skirt / made by rae

Liberty Cleo skirt / made by rae

and the side…

Liberty Cleo Skirt

I can’t wait until it’s warm enough for lace-up flats!

This skirt is View b of my Cleo skirt pattern for women, which is now available in my shop! Read more about Cleo and see all the other versions I’ve made over on the Cleo page.

Posted in Cleo
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Cleo Sewing Pattern is HERE!

cleo postcard 800 px
I’m excited to announce that the Cleo sewing pattern is here!

BUY NOW

Cleo is a gathered skirt with just the right amount of fullness. It features a flat front waistband with an elastic back waistband to make it both comfortable to wear and insanely easy to get a great fit. You’ll love Cleo because it’s flattering and comfortable without the the need to fuss with fitted waistbands or zippers.

This pattern comes in nine women’s sizes (XXS-XL and plus sizes 1-3), and includes a full sheet of hints and tips to find just the right fit for you. See the size chart here.

The Cleo sewing pattern includes two views: View A has a curved cutout-style pocket and a contrasting double-folded hem, while View B has hidden inseam pockets and a longer length. In addition, the pattern pieces are arranged to make it easy to mix and match features (view a pockets with view b length, for example).

Cleo Skirt views A&B

A note about length
I intentionally designed Cleo for a shorter person than me (I’m 5’8) so that someone who is 5’5 or 5’6 could sew this skirt without having to make length adjustments. In addition, we tested Cleo with testers of varying heights (5’1-5’9), and included a page in the instructions that clearly explains how to lengthen and shorten the skirt pattern; you’ll find it’s incredibly easy to do. I encourage you to play around with length — one of my favorite Cleo skirts is a maxi version I made years ago.

Skill level: intermediate
Whether you are a confident beginner or an experienced sewist, I think you’ll find that Cleo is an easy and satisfying sewing project. Here are the skills used in the pattern:

  • gathering
  • sewing straight and curved seams
  • sewing an elastic waistband
  • hemming

Cleo is currently available as a digital sewing pattern in my shop. Your download link will include print-at-home pattern pieces as well as copy shop files (in both A0 and US formats), just like the rest of my women’s digital patterns!

I’ve put together a Cleo page where you can find all of the blog posts and resources related to this pattern, plus all the charts for sizes, finished measurements, and yardage.

BUY NOW

I’d love to see what you make with this pattern! Please use the hashtags #cleoskirt#madebyrae, or #raemademedoit on Instagram and Twitter to share your photos, or post pictures of your finished skirts to the Rae Made Me Do It pool in Flickr and see what others have made! I also have a Made by Rae group on Facebook now, so if you’d like to be a part of the sewing community there, please request to join!

Posted in Cleo
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Gingham Cleo Skirt

Gingham Cleo skirt

Another Cleo Skirt today! This is View B of the pattern, which features the longer length and inseam pockets, sewn up in a lovely Carolina 1″ gingham. This skirt (like my last Cleo posted) was also inspired by an image on Pinterest; this one…I’m excited at how closely inspiration met reality in this skirt!

Gingham Cleo skirt

Carolina gingham is a quilting weight fabric, so it’s heavier than something like lawn or rayon, and it doesn’t have much drape. You can see how this plays out in the way that the skirt stands out from the body, especially in the back, which you can see in the photo below. I’ll be honest: in this fabric I don’t super duper love it in the back, but that’s easily solved with the addition of a cute cardigan, or wearing it with a tee untucked in the back.

Gingham Cleo skirt

Gingham Cleo skirt

I’ve been trying for the past two years (and for the most part, successfully) to photograph everything I sew on a hanger against a white wall. I keep all of these shots in a “Made” folder in Photos labeled by year. Throughout each year I can look back at everything I’ve sewn. It’s fun to see the finished projects for each year all in one place!

Gingham Cleo skirt

I think this gingham version will be lovely for summer walks and playground jaunts with Hugo; I’m very glad I had the good sense to include a longer version of the pattern for this very reason. Spring will be here sooner than you think!

Get your Cleo Skirt pattern now!

Posted in Cleo
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Cleo Yardage and Fabric Recommendations

Cleo - View Card - 800px (1)

The Cleo Skirt pattern is coming soon HERE!

Cleo has a flat front waistband with elastic in the back (no zippers or closures!), and two views with different lengths, hem finishes, and pocket styles. Here are a few posts where I’ve shared versions of this sweet skirt:
Cleo Skirt is coming soon!
Green Striped Cleo Skirt
Flying Cranes Skirt

There are some peeks under the hashtag #cleoskirt on Instagram too.

If you’re eager to gather your supplies in preparation for the pattern release, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Woven fabric (see yardage chart below for amounts)
  • 1/8 yard lightweight fusible interfacing
  • 1.25″-wide elastic (see chart below for lengths)
  • Coordinating thread

Recommended fabrics
I recommend light to medium weight fabrics such as lawn, voile, double gauze, poplin, shirting, baby wale corduroy, sateen, silk, quilting cotton, linen, or cotton-linen blends for the Cleo skirt. The thickness of your fabric and the degree of drape will determine how the skirt will fit, so keep that in mind. I’ve made versions of this skirt out of quilting cotton, a loosely woven lightweight cotton (Loominous — HIGHLY recommend), lawn, Carolina gingham, Cirrus solids, and rayon challis, just to name a few of the types of fabric I’ve tried, and I found that fabric choice completely transforms this pattern. Flowy fabrics with a high amount of drape turn this skirt into something more elegant and body skimming, while thicker fabrics with less drape create a skirt that feels more full and stands away from the body more. So think about what look you are going for when you choose your fabric! I can’t wait to show you all of the versions I’ve sewn. I think you’ll find that Cleo makes a great blank template for creating many different kinds of skirts.

Cleo Yardage Chart

Extended sizes for Cleo!
I’m happy to say that Cleo (following the lead of my most recent two women’s patterns, Gemma and Isla) will also be available in our extended size range. Here’s the size chart:

Womens Size Chart - in cm - 9 sizes -792 - no logo

 

Posted in Cleo
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