Ute – lost in translation

ute8I made my first Ute dress by Schnittchen Patterns  some time ago (circa 2016) and was asked by several people for a how to. The pattern is drafted beautifully however the instructions are a little lost in translation. I’ve written up a sketchy step-by-step tutorial for those of the English speaking persuasion with some pictures of a toile I made last week.

Be sure to read through first as the photo’s don’t exactly match the text. It was a bit of test and learn along the way.

And for more of the original pictures see here.ute15

First, prep your pattern pieces and cut your fabric. I went with a straight 40 without any adjustments and cut straight into the PDF. For reference I’m an Australian 12 – 14 but was more of a 12 when the above pictures were taken. If working directly from the PDF I highly recommend highlighting the markings for your darts and pleats. I used Merchant and Mills linen for in OxBlood for my first Ute. The toile is made up in a combination of linen (cut terribly off grain to my eternal shame) and cotton.Small Ute toile 1Iron on fusible interfacing onto one set of the shoulder straps (front and back), and one of the front and back waistband in a light to medium interfacing.

Transfer all markings for the pleats/darts and their direction onto your fabric. I used a frixon pen which comes off using heat to show the pleat marks, direction and length. Make sure you test on a scrap first because it disappears of some fabrics better than others. On a side note the frixon pen marks can also come back should you choose to put your fabric in the freezer or be exposed to cold weather.Small Ute toile 2Fold the top edge of the front bodice over 1cm and press. Fold it over a second time at 1cm and press again. Top stitch just shy  (close to the fold line) of the 1cm to catch the fabric. Repeat for the back bodice piece.

Pin the front outer shoulder straps (those that are interfaced) to the front bodice piece, right sides facing. Make sure you leave 1cm at the top as shown as this will be caught later when enclosing the facing. Sew at 1cm seam allowance and press the seam allowance into the shoulder strap, leaving left side open at zip mark.Small Ute toile 5Small Ute toile 6Pin the back outer shoulder straps (those that are interfaced) to the back bodice piece, right sides facing. Make sure you leave 1cm SA at the top as this will be caught later when enclosing the facing. Sew at 1cm seam allowance and press the seam allowance into the shoulder strap.Small Ute toile 7Small Ute toile 8

Sew the a front shoulder strap to the back shoulder strap on both shoulders so that the front and back bodice pieces form one piece.

Small Ute toile 9Sew the (seperate) inner front shoulder strap to the back shoulder strap and press open shoulder seam.

Pin the inner facing to the outside seam of the front bodice/shoulder straps/back bodice and stitch at 1cm SA. Trim back 2/3 and under-stitch.Small Ute toile 10Small Ute toile 12Press a 1cm SA for the inside front bodice/shoulder strap/back bodice and pin. Slip stitch the inner seam from front bodice, across the shoulder seam and down the back bodice. I’ve forgotten to leave the side seam open on the LHS for the zip here, so just imagine. You can see where I’ve unpicked in a later pic. Small Ute toile 13

You should now have a lovely bodice piece that looks something like this (with some SA on the LHS for the zip on the front bodice piece):Small Ute toile 14Small Ute toile 15

Mark the pleats and directions on both the front and back skirt pieces. Stitch down the length indicated on each knife pleat, and then make box pleat using fabric available at the centre front and centre back. You should end up with 6 knife pleats on either side of the box pleat (front and back). Press and baste pleats into place. Overlock side seams of skirt.Small Ute toile 16Small Ute toile 17Small Ute toile 18

Attach the lower waistband edge to the upper skirt edge for both front and back. Stitch at 1cm SA.Small Ute toile 19

Sandwich the lower edge front bodice between the upper waistband (attached to the skirt) and inner upper waistband. Stitch at 1cm, leaving 1cm at edge. This will be caught when sewing the side seam. Complete the same for back bodice.

Stitch the RHS of the dress from the hem line up to the top edge of the waistband. Hand stitch inner side seam of waistband. Fold over and hand stitch down back bodice side as pinned. Note that I had to unpick 1cm SA to allow me to fold the fabric down neatly. Small Ute toile 21On LHS of dress, stitch from the hem line up to the zipper marker. I inserted the zipper by hand using the tutorial from Sewaholic. I found this the easiest way to get the side seams to match. Otherwise baste your zip in before setting it in permanently. (Note on the finished dress my zip is on the RHS….)Small Ute Toile 25

Finish the inside of the dress by pressing the lower waist seam allowance up 1 cm and slip stitching it to the upper skirt.Small Ute toile 22Make 2 button loops on RHS front bodice. I used the tutorial by Tessuti to create these. Stitch on two buttons in corresponding markings on back RHS bodice piece.Small Ute toile 26

I added 2 buttons to match on the LHS.Small Ute toile 24

Turn the hem up and stitch.Small Ute Toile 27Small Ute Toile 28

Small Ute toile 29

Find you most lovely lingerie to provide side bewb coverage and you are ready to discover the streets of Berlin.

I hope you find this somewhat useful. If you have any questions, pop over to my instagram feed @magdalenesmuse and send me a message.

Hopefully this will give some guidance into making the Ute dress. After making a toile again, I think I’m ready to make another linen Ute for summer.


Photos by Pips and Bruce

Pattern by Schnittchen Patterns

Fabric is Oxblood linen from Merchant and Mills