Cleo Skirt

I have been wanting to make garments for a while.

My stumbling block has been fabric.

I haven’t wanted to spend a lot of money on fabric to make something that might go well, might go bad, might be wearable, might not be wearable…you get the idea.

Recently Stefanie at Stefanie Crafts with Wool Paper Fabric posted that she would be making the Cleo Skirt by Made By Rae (check out her blog post here), then I saw the site was having a sale on patterns and I scooped up the Cleo Skirt and the Ruby Shirt.

I’m glad I did.

It took me while to make the skirt as I did it in the small hours that my kids were not home.

I purchased the PDF and printed it out at home, using the directions to lay it out.

I also put some duct tape on the back to give it stability so I can pin through it and reuse that pattern.

I chose to make version B (inset pockets).

On the Made By Rae site, there is a skirt along for this skirt and I found that helpful.


I chose to use inexpensive quilting cotton from Joann’s that I purchased for $1.50/yard.

(one of the reasons I like this pattern is that choices of fabric you can use).

Can I tell you how excited I was/am that I created pockets!


I always wondered if I would be able to make a gather…and I did!

However, I made many mistakes.

First lesson for me, pin something to the cut front and back pieces to designate which is front and which is back.

After I did the front gather I couldn’t find my cut notches to line up my waist band…I know I did them…seriously, where were they???

Ohhhh, the were on the other side of the skirt.

Thats right…my first successful gather that I was so proud of was done on the back instead of the front (insert eye roll here).

So, I ripped it all out and did it again.

Although another way to look at it is I got plenty of practice doing a gather (which is part of the Ruby pattern, so there is your silver lining).

I agree with Stefanie that I on future skirts I will wait to press the waistband.

I followed the designer’s tip of stitching in the ditch on the front and therefore had to pull on my fold a bit and it was tough to get that original crease out.


This is super cute skirt.


Now for the downside.

I did my measurements, compared my measurements to the unfinished and finished garment measurements and chose to make a size 1.

I knew it would  be a little large but it is an elastic waist.

I also know not to be discouraged, that I am anywhere from a M up to 1X in sewing patterns depending on the designer.

I want to lose only 10lbs, so I am not huge.

This skirt makes me look HUGE.

I had to cut the elastic so much shorter and now there is so much material in the back, I look enormous.

I know part of it is the drape of the cotton, but seriously, there is a lot of skirt.

I honestly think I could be a large in this skirt.

In the meantime, I ordered some pretty fabric to make either another cleo or ruby with.

SOoooooooo, I am going to make a muslin of version A so I can really find which size works for me..

Even though I probably won’t wear this particular skirt, I learned so much by making it.

I was so scared to make a garment and now it is done.

My lessons learned:

  • Mark all cut pieces so there is no confusion when sewing
  • Double check all notches are notched and dots are transferred to the fabric
  • Have my seam ripper close at hand and be prepared to use it and not be discourage that I have to use it.
  • GO SLOW (quilting will help with my stitching in the ditch and straight sewing)
  • Have several widths of elastic ready to use (I used the size called for and it is in there pretty tight)
  • Have a fully wound bobbin (I did, just a good tip always)
  • Check out pattern hashtags as it will lead to other people’s posts with tips and tricks and fabric used.
  • Take the time and make a muslin of any pattern I really like and think I’ll use more than once.

Thats it for today!

Have a good week!





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13 thoughts on “Cleo Skirt

  1. Stefanie says:

    Great job; the print is fun. It was hard for me to stitch in the ditch so I think I ended up stitching closely to the edge of the waistband. I’m glad I’m not the only one with that thought about ironing the waistband. I think next time I’ll make sure to really get that initial turning of the raw edge of the waistband . I read somewhere on someone’s post how she had either the back or the front higher so that it would be easier to turn it inwards and cover the seam.


      • Stefanie says:

        I think I may try a size down because the back is adjustable. I’ll measure the pieces to make sure but I think I’ll get a better fit then. I wonder if anyone lined Cleo? I purposely chose a dark color b/c there is no lining.


  2. Sandra Licher says:

    So cute and fresh for summer. Sizes are not standard and they should be. You used your hard earned money on fabric and your time and effort….you’re so diligent it should have turned out perfect….but they all differ in size and measurements and that is just WRONG! Good luck with your muslin. You have more patience than me to do a muslin but you’re smart to do one. I still have yet to do project #1 from Sewing School 101. (love the book btw! thanks for the recommendation). Maybe in July I’ll get to it….June is already looking booked! LOL! Great job on your other WIPs too. I love those blanket colors and was so sad to hear about the sweater too. But you are learning so much! Have a great week!


  3. Becki says:

    I loved the Cleo skirt when I saw it on Stefanie’s blog. I really like the pattern on the fabric you chose for this one. I hope you have success making one that fits well and you like and look forward to seeing it here when you do!


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