Welcome to Day 1 of the Cleo Skirt Sewalong!
Today we’ll get everything ready for cutting, including prepping your fabric, measuring and choosing a size, and tracing your pattern pieces!
Wash, dry, and press your fabric
Be sure to wash, dry, and press your fabric before you start! The rule of thumb is to wash, dry, and press it the same way you intend to after it’s worn. Exceptions to this would be fabrics which are dry clean only or synthetic fibers that might melt under the iron, so be careful!
Measure and choose your size
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to take your measurements! For Cleo, you’ll need your hip and waist measurement.
Read more: How to take body measurements
Once you’ve taken your measurements, select your size from the size chart using your waist measurement:
Since Cleo has so much extra room in the hip, you’ll want to use your waist as a starting point. If your hip puts you in a larger size than your waist does, just double check the finished measurements for your original size to make sure you’ll still have plenty of room (you’ll want at least 4″ ease, but my guess is that unless you are extremely pear-shaped, you won’t get close to this).
If your hip puts you in a smaller size than your waist and you choose based on your waist, you’ll probably end up with a fuller skirt than you need, so I would recommend sizing down to the size your hip measurement puts you into instead. Remember, the Cleo waistband is elastic in back, so you’ll most likely still have plenty of room. If you’re more than two sizes smaller in your hip than in your waist, choose one of the sizes in between.
When in doubt, size down
I’m discovering that this is true for both of the bottom separate patterns (Cleo, Luna) I’ve designed, and it’s probably because I’m bottom-heavy, size-wise. You’re better off sizing down than sizing up on Cleo because it’s a very roomy pattern, especially if your fabric isn’t lightweight. A few people on our showcase tour sized down for their second version of Cleo after making their first one and deciding they wanted less fullness, and that’s great! The awesome adjustability of the waistband means that you can do this if you want a look that’s a bit less full without any fit issues.
Print and assemble your pattern
If you haven’t already printed your pattern, go ahead and do that now. If you’ve sent your Cleo pattern to a copy shop to be printed or have purchased a print copy of the pattern, you can skip this step.
Once your pattern is printed, carefully check the scale of your pattern. There are marks on the side of each print margin, so place a ruler next to the marks and make sure it’s exactly 10″ long by 7.5″ wide. If it’s not, go back and print a test page until you are sure you have it full size. Then assemble your pattern.
Read more: How to Print and Assemble a PDF pattern
Trace your pattern pieces
Now it’s time to trace your pattern. If you’re using the print pattern, this is absolutely essential because the pattern pieces are printed on both sides of the pattern sheet. Even when I’m using a print-at-home PDF pattern, I always trace my pattern so I won’t have to print it out again! Using the size you’ve selected based on your measurements, trace each of the pieces you need using tracing paper. Read more: How to trace a pattern.
For View A, you’ll need to trace the front and back skirt, front and back waistband, front and back hem band, and the View A pocket pattern pieces.
For View B, you’ll need to trace the front and back skirt, front and back waistband, and View B pocket piece.
Once you’ve got the pattern traced, you’re ready for Day 2!