Cleo Skirt Showcase

You want to start making your own clothes but don't know where to start? Feel overwhelmed?

Maybe you tried a Big 4 Company sewing pattern and felt let down? Deflated? Frustrated? 

Been there  /  done that. 

Enter Cleo.
(and) Ruby.    

 (Clouds parting, sun shining, musical notes wafting through the candy scented air with Pegasus Unicorns flying about....)

Image result for pegasus unicorn flying

These two patterns are my go-to s for a quick, simple, pretty make.

Sometimes a girl wants to throw on some Netflix and have a date with her sewing machine. And Popcorn. And maybe Jon Stewart. :)
Image result for popcorn eating gif

At the end of a couple shows I have a wearable pretty piece, and nothing makes me happier than a completed project that TURNS OUT. One that LOOKS GOOD. 

This is my experience with all of Rae's patterns, but let's just discuss Cleo for today, especially since the printed pattern will be available soon for you non-PDF folks. 

Cleo is makeable (is that a word? I'm making it one...) in quilting cotton, Rayon, Taffeta -though much poofy-er as seen above in blue; cotton lawn, shot cotton, linen, voile, and even discarded quilt tops. 

I haven't tried it yet, but it would probably work in lace, crepe de chine, charmeuse, satin, silk, and almost any other fabric you want to challenge yourself with.

Have a favorite cotton print? Make a Cleo-- you can "tone it down" a little with your top. But then I ask, why would you want to tone anything down? You're only here on this rock for a few short years, live it up! Out loud. Embrace YOU.

I wear mine to work. Here I paired it with a summery blouse and my red clogs. 
Aren't my sunflowers the shizzle?! I fought rabbits all Spring (they won most of the time), so I'm happy about these survivors. 

The elastic waist in back makes it super comfortable, while the flat front waist is flattering. So basically I can pig out on Wheat Thins and cheese and still look presentable. The pockets are a must, since I'm usually carrying my phone, gum, wrappers from my kids' stuff, and rocks Ruby picks up. I'm convinced she's going to be a Geologist. 

At Quilt Con 2017 I met the fabulous Melody Miller of Cotton & Steel.  Girl CRUSH!
(She designed the fabric on my Cleo skirt pictured below.)

I even mow my lawn in a Cleo! Bahaha 
 I put on a tank top and my Birks and get it done.

See my grass stained toes?! Don't look!

Here's my kitty Cleo with tights and a tank. 

This Cleo was a quilt top once, which I ended up not loving so much (I think I was just burned out of making quilts to be honest), so I chopped it up into a Cleo. Fabric by Carrie Bloomston (one of my fave artists).

I try not to worry too much and just make what flows. Usually when I stop thinking about rules something magical happens. This Cleo is probably my favorite, though that's difficult because I do love them all. 

The beauty of simplicity-- I think that's what makes Cleo so great. It's a classic shape, good construction techniques, not too fussy, few pieces to assemble, and is completely adjustable and customize-able without bending your brain.

Fabric by Moda, a few years ago.
Lovely opaque red tights found at Debenham's in England.

Check out these makers of Cleo to get more ideas and inspo:

Just made-- Cleo with hem band added to pattern and cut all at once, then lined with a silky pink coral shade inside because the rayon was a little sheer.  Easy peasy!

I'm teaching my fave MadebyRae patterns in classes this Fall, after I'm back from Africa. (I'll probably be wearing a Cleo there too. Keep up to date on my IG feed if you fancy following the adventure.)

Sign up HERE if you're in the area, it will be super fun!!

Happy Making! 

Get the Cleo PDF here.

I'm enthusiastic AF about Cleo.


  1. All of your Cleo skirts are so fun! I love that you used an unfinished quilt too for one-- what a great idea! I'm also laughing about Wheat Thins and cheese. Elastic back skirts are the best!

  2. Ooh, your Cleo out of the Melody Miller fabric is just fantastic! What a lovely collection of skirts you've made.

  3. Designing your own clothes can be so much fun. Your cleos look cool. Please post details about your classes on the blog. Have fun in Africa.

  4. Hello
    I always wanted to design my own clothes , but it seemed like a very tough job. After reading the post i am positive and i am going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing the post. The pictures look amazing. Keep posting.
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I appreciate every comment, thanks so much for taking the time. It means A LOT to me. :)