A Review of The Clio PDF Pattern by George & Ginger Patterns.
The latest release, The Clio, by George & Ginger patterns is something really different - I haven't seen anything out there like this in the pdf pattern arena. The Clio comes with a peplum skirt but works with all of the skirt designs from the Mix-It-Up pattern. The Clio is fully lined with a criss-cross front and waistband. Suggested fabric is a 2-way stable knit with 30% stretch such as ponté or scuba.
I may earn a small commission for purchases made through affiliate links in this post but the opinions expressed here are my own. You will not be charged extra.
I was part of the testing team for The Clio and although the design looks deceptively simple we had to go through many testing phases to get it just right. This cross body fitted design highlighted how different our bodies are when it comes to fitting and how important it is to make a muslin and use the recommended fabric.
It is for this reason that George & Ginger decided to add a 'Level-Up' section to their website for patterns that require extra information such as how to make a muslin and what specific design adjustments to make for a perfect fit.
As usual the pdf also includes:
Layered pieces for tween sizes 12-14 and sizes 0-26
No-trim pdf pages
US letter, A4 and A0 size pages
Instructions on measuring and choosing your size
Shorten/Lengthen adjustment instructions
Grading between sizes instructions
Full chart of finished measurements
Glossary of sewing terms
Fabric tips and tricks
Easy to understand step-by-step instructions
The Clio is drafted for a 9" side waist but has very good instructions on how to adjust the paper pattern for your own measurements. It also suggests that you choose your size by your over bust size. I made my first test Clio with black scuba and didn't have to make any adjustments - it felt very supportive. I did not line in scuba though - I felt this would be too thick and hot - instead I chose some black jersey with a similar stretch. The pattern instructions encourage you to sew the seams with your sewing machine rather than your serger to prevent the seams stretching out of shape. This certainly worked well for me. There is also a guide to remeasure your pieces after sewing so you can check that they haven't stretched out.
The Clio is a bit more time consuming to make than the usual G&G patterns but it is worth taking your time to make a muslin and get a perfect fit. There's quite a lot of gathering to do, which I find a bit tedious and when you sew the gathered sides together you are going through a lot of layers - I had to take it really slow with my machine. The finished construction is nice though - its lined inside with no raw edges on show.
I chose to add a waistband to my first Clio and wear it as a stand alone top. It paired particularly well with a black pencil skirt I already own.
For my second Clio I used fabric which had too much stretch. Even though I used the same pattern size pieces it was loose everywhere and I had to adjust it quite considerably. This really demonstrated the importance of using the recommended fabric.
I attached a circle skirt to my second Clio. This one is still a looser fit than my scuba versions but it is super comfortable.
For my final Clio I wanted to use this amazing cobalt blue scuba that I had picked up from Loris Textiles in Limassol, Cyprus. Bonus - I already had matching shoes!! I love using scuba but it can be warm so I chose to line the bodice with a mesh fabric also from Loris Textiles. I made a muslin with the outer fabric rather than the inner fabric though because my lining was very thin and slinky.
My muslin fitting went well, I didn't feel I needed to make any adjustments. I went ahead and constructed the bodice but after trying it on again I found that the criss-cross would sometimes slip up and expose some under-boob! I realised that the lining I had chosen was almost too slippery, you need something that has a little bit of friction against your skin. I solved this issue, however, by hand stitching the criss-cross to the waistband in a few places.
I chose to attach the half-circle skirt from the Mix-It-Up pattern to the Clio bodice to make a cute dress. I like the half-circle, particularly in scuba, because it hides lumps and bumps and has great structure but doesn't need a lot of fabric. I'd cut out my skirt pieces with my rotary cutter so the edges were neat - meaning I didn't need to hem.
Final Thoughts: This is a pattern to take your time with to get the perfect fit. If you use fabric that has more than 30% stretch you will probably have to make adjustments, perhaps even making a size smaller. Its definitely a statement piece though!