Notebook of a Beginner Sewist, Sewing, Skirt

Notebook of a Beginner Sewist 3: Cleo Skirt

Good morning. How’re you this Sunday? My allergies have calmed down somewhat as I’m a bit Sneezy Dwarf right now. I had waken up past midnight and the pollen was ragin’ war. I got up three times, washing out my eyes and nose with cold water a few times, but then I had to break down and take a Claritin. When it kicked in, I was able to finally fall asleep. Therefore, I woke up groggy this morning and dragged myself up to hydrate and make breakfast.

Despite that, I’m excited to show you a sewing FO today! Are you ready? I spent most of Saturday finishing it up.


Side Note: Sometimes if I put in a single picture, it may appear small to you and you are unable to click on it to enlarge it. I am finding out with this WP theme that creating a Gallery will enable you to click on the photos, giving you a bigger view.


Cleo – Made by RAE

She had a sale on printed patterns so I snatched one up. With her patterns, one has to trace your size as the pattern papers are double-sided. I used freezer paper, tracing on the white side. In the future, I think I would buy a PDF version and have it printed out at a copy shop.



  • Kona Quilt Cotton Fabric 44″ Solids, Dark Violet & Lilac

It was difficult to capture the skirt’s true colors outside no matter what time it was in the afternoon. The main skirt is darker than in these two photos so I’ve included the swatch from the Joann website to show you.

What I Learned

How pockets work

  • This version of Cleo I had made is the shorter one. Being a beginner, I thought I had missed something in the pattern and had to cut out two more pieces of the pocket. I had panicked because I didn’t know if I had enough fabric left, but I was able to squeeze out another set. However, I was totally mo-ded because the original pocket pieces folded up.

A Different of Kind of Waistband Construction

  • What made this pattern appealing to my eyes before I had bought it was that it has a flat front, but an elastic back. I didn’t want to make a skirt with a full, elastic waistband. I wanted the look to be more tailored but comfortable.

How’d It Come Out

It came out a little big in the waist. + It is generous in the hips.

Trying to learn from my past mistake when first making my flannel pants, I looked at the finished measurements and chose the medium. At the time my waist was 31 and ½ inches. Accordingly, I chose a size medium to trace and cut out.

However, I happened to measure myself recently and found out the elliptical was doin’ its job as I’ve lost an inch off of my waist! I was thus in-between a size small and a medium, but I decided to continue on with the medium to see how it would come out.

For Next Time

I wouldn’t press the waistband in half so soon after sewing the front and back pieces together.

  1. When I was finally putting together the waistband toward the end, I had creases from folding it in different places horizontally and they didn’t really iron out afterwards.

I would try making a medium, front waistband + a medium, skirt front with a small, back waistband + a small, back skirt.


  1. The reason why is since in this first try the back part of the waistband is elastic, I feel it isn’t tight enough.
  2. I also feel the fabric is bulky and scrunched up too much there. It’s making the top part of the elastic fold over. I won’t need to adjust the fit so much if I used a smaller size in back.

To Recommend or Not Recommend

Yes! This pattern is a great one for beginners. There are illustrations and clear directions. I was Google’ing around and Rae actually had a Cleo Skirtalong last year on her blog so you can see how it’s made. Those posts were definitely helpful.

Okay, now that I am done with this post, I have a birthday card to make which is the main agenda for the day besides laundry. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and TTYS.

25 thoughts on “Notebook of a Beginner Sewist 3: Cleo Skirt”

  1. I love it! I am in-between sizes too and have opted to go with the larger due to the finished measurements. I plan on sewing mine on Thursday when I’m kid free for a bit. Thanks for the tips 🙂


    1. Please be verbal about how it was sewing with that fabric you picked out. I’ve been pinning other Cleo’s for inspiration in terms of mixing prints and solids and those who used different fabrics.


  2. Very cute skirt!!!!

    Sorry about the allergies! You really have them. My husband used to have them horribly. But neither of us have much, these days. Just enough to feel a little icky. Not horrible. :-))))))


  3. This skirt is super cute, Stefanie! It looks very comfy. I find myself gravitating towards t-shirt dresses in the summer time; however this looks to be a good option that could be dressed up or down.


    1. Thank you. Yes, there is a range of fabric one can use to make this pattern, some with more drape and lighter in weight. I plan to make more. Waiting for that Memorial Day sale at Joann as I have two zipper pouches to make and at least another skirt + I’d like another pair of flannel pants and I told my little sister I’d make her one.


    1. Thank you, Patty; you are the best. Yes, I’ll be making quite a few; there are so many fabric choices. I’ve added a section to my Beginner Sewing board – Cleo inspiration – as some sewists have make the skirt in gingham, in a Robert Kaufman linen blend, and prints.


      1. You can toss a cute plain and simple tee with it and have a perfect outfit for anything. Yoga shorts underneath and you can wear it anywhere. That was my teacher trick on the playground…yoga shorts under dresses!


  4. Hi Stefanie! This skirt looks amazing! I love skirts with pockets!
    I haven’t tried printable patterns before but it’s something I’m interested in 🙂


    1. So does that mean you’ve been drafting your own patterns? I buy the usual craft store ones like Butterwick, Simplicity, and McCall’s. I also like independent designers because they usually show what the garment looks like on an actual human and since there are many testers and fans, I get to see how the garment looks on different body types.

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      1. Lol I’ve mostly been following Youtube videos and making “patterns” by tracing my own clothes. However I do find that following a professionally-made pattern creates much better results!
        So far I have some patterns from Simplicity and McCaul’s as well. There are also some indie patterns from Etsy that I really want to try 🙂 I agree that it’s so helpful to see how the finished project looks like on different body types!
        I do find that if I follow the size charts on the pattern, I end up with a garment that is super huge on me, then I have to reduce the size lol. Do you have this experience as well? Or maybe it is just the one pattern I last tried?


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