5 June 2019

10 Strap Design Ideas for Cleo

10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress

Hands up if you have made a Cleo dungaree dress? Hands up if you if you wear dungaree dresses? Now, hands up if you want make your very own dungaree dress? Yay - you are all with me!

It's Louise here from team Buttons and I am forever searching for the perfect detail to add to my handmade garments. I love the feeling you get when making the same pattern again and again. Feeling confident with the sewing process gives me the freedom to think about adding design details to make my clothes even more special.

The Cleo pinafore + dungaree dress has to be our most iconic pattern. With nearly 6,000 uses of #SewingCleo on Instagram and 10,000 copies sold, there is a lot of love for this pattern! So with that in mind, we thought you might like some inspo for your next Cleo with a focus on the small but mighty strap.

Let me count the ways a Cleo strap could be done, one, two...ten! Here's a bunch of design ideas that will mean you never look at the strap in the same way again - enjoy : )

10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress - plaits
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The first idea is probably my favourite one - why not create plaits for your straps? Before you suggest that this idea is beautiful but totally tricky, I am pleased to tell you we have a video tute for creating this delectable detail! I predict myself putting plaits on everything.

10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress - double buttonhole
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A simple but very effective idea, is to create not one, but two buttonholes on your straps that will make it not only practical (you'd be able to choose how tight you want the straps), but super cute. I love the look of folding your bottom buttonhole up, so that both go through the button - hey presto, it's two looks in one.

10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress - eyelets
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Inspired by Tilly, third on my list is adding an eyelet detail to your dress. You could tie your straps through the eyelet, stitch to your desired length once through the hole,  or loop through and add a popper so it stays firmly in place.

10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress - contrast straps
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Make a statement with your straps by choosing a contrasting colour to your bodice and follow the instructions as usual. It could be a great way to use up some scraps and create a playful pinafore while you're at it! 

I also love the idea of using webbing (traditionally used for straps in bag making) that you can buy in different widths and patterns. Plus they would be durable as they are designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear, it's a win win.

10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress - loops and ties
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I'm loopy over the idea of creating loops to tie extra long straps through on a pinafore dress. Kate, our Office Manager, created a dreamy coral denim Cleo with loop ties that is full of Club Tropicana vibes.

10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress - Kates coral crush Cleo
10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress - Kates coral crush Cleo

Kate stitched her straps on as usual and sewed two narrow tubes that she turned out to become her loops. She then sandwiched the loops between the facing and the bodice (right sides together and stitched from the wrong side as per the instructions, being careful not to catch the loops as she went), and ta da! Two lovely loops when she turned her dress out.

10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress - ruffles
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What can I say... I really, really, really like ruffles! I think this is just about the prettiest detail you could possibly add to your straps. One of our lovely customer, Elsie did just that and we adore it.

10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress - skinny straps
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The noughties skinny strap aka 'the spaghetti strap' is back on trend - hurrah! This is a really cool design detail to add to your Cleo dress that makes it feel really clean and modern. If you are going to give this one a go, you might find our trick for turning narrow loops stops any sweary moments working with fiddly skinny straps.

10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress - buckles
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Have you ever thought about trying a different buckle option to secure your Cleo dress? I am obsessed with these chunky buckles on light blue denim, oh they look so good.

Back to bag hardware... you could use slider buckle for your straps that would keep them fully adjustable, or add a cute ring to your pinafore?

10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress - bows
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If you are a fan of bows, why not add this cutesy detail your straps? You could go for a sophisticated tie strap, creating a functional bow, or make your bows pure decoration. Add one bow to each strap or cover the whole thing in bows - because you can never have too many!

We have a tutorial on making a bow belt that you could use to construct this lovely detail.

10 strap ideas for the Cleo dress - d rings
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Last but by no means least, you could choose a d ring fastening that gives a nod to the utility trend that's so popular at the moment. A great thing about this fastening is it will again be fully adjustable, and could work really well for nursing mamas. I think it would pair really well with a printed canvas fabric.

I hope this has inspired you to get creative with the simple strap. Just writing this has made me feel like I need to whip up ten more Cleo's... but my wardrobe might think otherwise!

Don't forget to tag us when posting your makes on Instagram using #SewingCleo xx