A super simple cleo dungaree dress Tilly and the Buttons. Plus my foolproof formula for painlessly trying trends | Randomly Happy

Cleo dungaree dress (+ my foolproof formula for painlessly trying trends)

A super simple cleo dungaree dress Tilly and the Buttons. Plus my foolproof formula for painlessly trying trends | Randomly Happy

A super simple cleo dungaree dress Tilly and the Buttons. Plus my foolproof formula for painlessly trying trends | Randomly Happy

So this is me now. Dungaree dress. casual tee.

And I’m not even sorry about it.

I’m sure you recognise the pattern – the Cleo dress from Tilly and the Buttons. It’s pretty much been a hit since it released before Christmas. I was pretty on board from the start, but this version by Emily nailed it for me.

One thing I’ve really enjoyed about this make is that it’s not really a trend I would have expected to wear. Half of me thought about ducking out. I mean, am I really that person that can get away with wearing a dungaree dress. Like some kind of cool-dude chick.

Well, I guess I am. ‘Cause here I am wearing it.

So I’m really glad I stuck with this make. I’ve got a great dungaree dress AND it’s really helped me nail down a foolproof formula for trying new trends.

You ready? Here it is:

FAMILIAR COLOUR + SIMPLE PATTERN + EASY FABRIC 

Pick fabric in a familiar colour

It’s hard enough to know how to work new shapes and styles into your wardrobe without having to worry about how to mix colours as well. Let’s just agree to take the stress out of it all by making those trendy makes in a familiar, well-loved colour.

I went with navy because it’s a colour that’s well and truly in my comfort zone. Plus I know it’ll work seamlessly with the other things in my wardrobe. Which means I can get on with wearing it, instead of puzzling out how to make it work.

Choose a relatively simple pattern

Wouldn’t it be gutting to spend days on a make only to find out the style’s not for you? Ouch.

By choosing a relatively simple pattern to start you can dip your toe in the trend without committing hours of your time. Then, if you like it, you can graduate to more complex patterns.

I could have made a full set of dungarees, but that would have taken a lot of commitment. Especially if the whole overall/dungaree tend turned out to be a dud for me.

Luckily, I started with a Cleo which was an easy make. And it turns out I love this look, so you can pretty much bet that a pair of more complex dungarees are on the cards.

Pick an easy fabric

You probably don’t want to try your first make of a totally new style in a fiddly, uncooperative fabric (chiffon, silk – I’m looking at you). That’s just asking for trouble.

The key is quick and easy, right. So think cottons, denim. Anything that is well-behaved and easy to iron.

 

And that’s it. Pretty easy, but you can bet I’m going to follow this formula again soon as I’m hankering after a 70s style blouse and unsure if the style will suit me.

A super simple cleo dungaree dress Tilly and the Buttons. Plus my foolproof formula for painlessly trying trends | Randomly Happy

A super simple cleo dungaree dress Tilly and the Buttons. Plus my foolproof formula for painlessly trying trends | Randomly Happy

A super simple cleo dungaree dress Tilly and the Buttons. Plus my foolproof formula for painlessly trying trends | Randomly Happy

Some points on the make:

  • I made this up in a size 10
  • The fabric is a cotton twill from Fabric Godmother – it looks just like corduroy but isn’t
  • The lines on the fabric actually run diagonally, so I ended up cutting this on bias. I thought cutting on the bias might effect the fit, but it seems to fit great.
  • The dungaree clip/fastenings are from Tilly and the Buttons
  • I cut each pattern piece individually to be sure the lines on the fabric ran in the right direction. It probably would have been quicker to fold two pieces at once, but I’m glad I went with this approach – less margin for error 🙂
  • I top stitched everything in navy. Because my top stitching game is still not 100% 🙂
  • I omitted the top front pocket and instead moved the two hip pockets to the front. Makes more sense for me to put things there (as opposed to up top)
  • I chose not to interface the facing. I thought the fabric was bulky enough and didn’t need any stiffness.
  • The raw edges are all finished on the overlocker with a denim-blue thread

So that’s the deal here. Have you been looking into any makes out of your normal comfort zone lately? Have you got any tips for how to manage that delicate balance between handmade and trendy?

  1. Reply
    Carolina

    Love this dress and suits you so just shows you should never rule a style or trend out. Can I ask 1) how much did it cost you to make and 2) where the pattern can be found. Might give it a go!

    1. Reply
      randomly_happy

      Hi Carolina, thanks for the compliments! I bought the fabric for about £18 (it only needs 1.2 metres or so) and the pattern is from Tilly and the Buttons (there should be a link in the post itself). So all in it cost about £30. Not bad, eh?

  2. Reply
    Lynsey

    This looks great on you, it fits you really well and suits you. I keep toying with this look but I’m worried as my bust can make unfitted things tent out at the front so it’s quite a gamble but I love your formula

    1. Reply
      randomly_happy

      I know what you mean – I’m a bit heavy on top, but found this really wasn’t too much of a problem. Especially if it’s worn nice and slouchy!

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