Hack it: Cleolly?

Cleolly? Does that work? Anyway….when the Hack It challenge was first announced I originally thought that I would sit this one out. I do lack imagination when it comes to altering or combining patterns and I like to follow instructions more or less as the designer intended. However, my little subconscious mind was busy working in the background and came up with….


Excuse the terrible rough drawing but it helped me to work out how to go about realising my vision. I’m off on holiday soon and I wanted to take my denim short dungarees with me. However, I can’t find them anywhere and I’ve a horrible feeling I’ve given them away to a charity shop. I decided to to make my own by combining two patterns – the Cleo pinafore by Tilly and the Buttons, and the Holly jumpsuit (playsuit version) by By Hand London. I have made both these patterns this year so the process for each was still fresh in my mind! I also know that they fit. Yay to no fitting!


Obviously I used the top part of the Cleo and the bottom half of the Holly!

I found some blue denim in my stash that was left over from another project. It has a slight stretch to it but not enough stretch to make a pair of skinny jeans. This project was ideal for it! I had to be very careful though, there really wasn’t much fabric left and I had to play a difficult game of sewing Tetris to squeeze everything in. I did have to compromise slightly. I had to cut the bodice front and back on the fold and omit the centre front and centre back seams. I couldn’t even squeeze in the necessary seam allowances! However, they’re not really needed. Facings had to come out of a different fabric.



I found some grey top-stitching thread left over from when I made jeans earlier in the year. I tried extra hard to be neat and tidy and I really enjoyed sewing the top-stitching. I didn’t really bother with visible top-stitching when I made my first Cleo.

I used the Cleo pattern for all the patch pockets including the front bib pocket. Dungarees aren’t dungarees unless they have the front bib pocket. I also stuck a couple of patch pockets on the back.


The back pockets are a bit on the small side but they’re fine! To hack the pattern(s) further I drafted some front slant pockets too. You can’t have too many pockets in dungarees can you? I will know for future that slant pockets need to be deeper than you think! I can’t fit a huge amount in them but you live and learn!

My original plan was to include two zips, one on each side. For that reason I assembled the front and the back separately (rather than assembling the top and the bottom separately). After the nightmare that was installing the first zip I decided to sack that idea and just stick to the one zip! I installed a centred zip in the end. It was fiddly because of the pocket and there was a fair amount of unpicking but I got it to look reasonable.


When I joined front to back there was a certain amount of fudging to be done as the back came up a bit higher than the front. This involved unpicking a fair amount of top-stitching, reshaping and redoing the top-stitching. I think I got away with it though!


I finished with some silver dungaree buckles and some jeans buttons which I had in my stash.


We’re off to the Deershed festival this weekend and these make perfect festival gear. I think today’s weather is a sign of things to come – the forecast is not great! Umbrellas and wellies (and ponchos) are going to be needed!




I’m not likely to make this again but if I were to there would be a few things I’d change. Obviously I’d make the front slant pockets deeper. I’d probably make the back patch pockets bigger too. I would also make the shorts part a bit less fitted. The Holly trousers/jumpsuit are supposed to be fitted at the waist and dungarees don’t need to be. Despite this I’m fairly pleased with my first proper hack. My dungarees are very comfortable to wear and I’m really pleased I managed to eke out a garment from a small bit of fabric that had no other use!


15 thoughts on “Hack it: Cleolly?

  1. Clever! I would never have thought of combining these but your idea really works & yes, it’s really satisfying to use up fabric that you didn’t otherwise have any plans for!


  2. Gotta love some dungarees. So comfortable and easy to wear! Guarantee you have people at the festival coming up and asking where you got them.


    • Thanks very much! At least the weather has improved for the festival. Just as long as I can get the tent up in the dry… 🙂


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