Let me start by saying that I am not a skirt person. But the Cleo Skirt Pattern by Made by Rae fulfills a spot in my memade wardrobe I didn’t know was vacant. Comfortable (gotta love an elasticized back waistband!), roomy pockets and super hack-able, I’ve made several Cleo Skirts and they’re a top pick for summertime hanging, hiking, camping, pool visiting and more. Below, I’ll walk you through the basic steps to create the button placket and waist tie I added to this pattern, but the pattern as it comes is also a total winner.
Pattern: Cleo Skirt by Made by Rae
Fabric: Caramel Silk Noil
Modifications: Added front center button placket and drawstring tieI’ve made the Cleo in ikat, in vintage quilting cotton and in a mystery thrifted poly blend, but I knew it would benefit from something a little bit more on the drapey side. I’ve seen a number of Cleos on Instagram made in this lovely caramel shade of silk noil, and I knew that was a club I wanted to join, with a few hacks.
To make the button placket version, you’ll need five or six ½” buttons and a little more interfacing than the pattern calls for. To create the button placket, do not cut the skirt front on the fold. Instead, cut two separate skirt front pieces, adding 1½” to the skirt center front edge. Fuse strips of 1” interfacing to fabric wrong side about ½” from the center edge of each skirt front pattern piece. Press each edge ½” to the fabric wrong side. Press again to the wrong side 1” and stitch along the first fold and along the inner edge. On the left front skirt placket, mark and then stitch 5 or 6 buttonholes, spaced about 4” apart.
Pin the skirt front pieces together, overlapping the plackets. Stitch the skirt front pieces together at the upper edge and treat as one going forward. Assemble the skirt front and back according to the pattern guide sheet.
To create the tie waistband, cut two 2”x30” fabric strips. Press one fabric strip in half with wrong sides together. Open the strip and fold each outer edge to meet in the center. Fold in one short end and press. Stitch along the pressed strip edges. Repeat for the remaining tie. After interfacing the front waistband piece, press the waistband in half with wrong sides together. Mark the seam allowance on the lower wrong edge and mark two buttonholes on the vertical and horizontal center of the waistband piece, spaced 1” apart. Unfold the waistband and stitch the buttonholes. Stitch together the front and back waistbands at the side seams. Stitch the lower waistband edge to the upper skirt edge per the pattern instructions. Insert the waist ties before stitching down the loose edge of the front waistband; stitch to secure the elastic and the waist ties in the same step. Note: the waistband tie is non-functioning, unless you increase the skirt front and waistband enough to be gathered.
As a final step, hem the skirt and install the buttons on the under skirt placket.