< U.P. Blog

Step 1: Cutting

We know our readers are clever and many of you are expert sewers and patternmakers, but in case some of you need a little guidance, we thought we’d do a step-by-step instruction manual via our blog so we can all make the dress together!
Preparing your fabric
Our proprietary fabric has been prewashed and shrunk, but if you’d like to wash it again before cutting your pattern, you can do so. We recommend washing in cold water and laying flat or hanging to dry. You can also put it in the dryer on low for a few minutes to start drying. Once the fabric has dried, iron or steam it to get out any folds or wrinkles to get it ready to cut out your pattern pieces.
Cutting out your size
If you’ve opened up your pattern by now, you’ll have noticed that all the sizes are nested one inside the other. This is done to save paper and show the difference in sizes for easier selection. The sizes are not marked on the pattern pieces, but since there are only 6 sizes it’s not too hard to figure out. Just in case, here’s what we’re doing.
First, choose your size, or the closest size to what you need, and count in from the smallest size on the patterns. Sizes are, in order, TEEN-XS-S-M-L-XL. If you want size Small, then cut out the third size in from the smallest size.
Cut it out
Pattern Placement
Once you’ve cut out all your pattern pieces, separate the ones for self fabric (this is the fabric you’ll use for your dress) and facing & pocketing fabric (this is a secondary fabric that should be lighter than the self fabric. There is also one piece for fusible or interfacing (this is for the collar).
Pattern placement will vary depending on the width of the fabric you’re using. The UP organic cotton & silk fabric is 54″ wide and the pattern requires about 1.7 yds for the dress. There is an example of the placement below, but you can place the pieces any way you like providing you keep the arrows marked on the pattern parallel to the sides of the fabric (meaning the clean selvedge edges). If your fabric has a nap (ex. velvet, fake suede) or a design with a right side up then make sure to cut all the pieces in the same direction to avoid shading and upside down graphics.
Pin or trace your pattern pieces onto the fabric and cut carefully around the edges of the pattern. It’s best to cut one layer of fabric at a time to keep the cuts accurate.

Stay tuned for our next post on preparing your cut pieces for sewing. And feel free to comment on this post with any additional suggestions or tips. We want this to be an open forum discussion. Happy cutting!
x.Tara St. James


Tara says:
@Marlene We are using yards and inches but these can be converted easily. For the main fabric you will need 1.7 yds (2 mts) of fabric. For pockets and trim you need 0.5 yds/mts of fabric to be safe. All the seam allowances are INCLUDED in the pattern already, they are 3/8" (1 cm) everywhere except the hem, which is 1.5" (3.75 cm) Hope that helps!
2011-02-21 15:02:46
Marlene says:
Hello, I'm french and I don't understand all informations on the pattern. Help me please :) So my first question is : What units are you using?(in France we use meter ...) The second one is : Is the seam allowances included? or we must cut our size, and when we are cutting the fabric, add the seam allowances. Thanks you very much Marlene
2011-02-21 10:35:01
Uniform Project says:
Ellen, you can buy the pattern at our store: https://theuniformproject.com/store
2011-02-15 14:34:05
seelenruhig says:
Great idea to propose the pattern! Please tell me where I can get it!? It would be great to sew it on my own! Thanks for more details! Ellen - from Lake Constance
2011-02-14 19:27:11
Tara says:
@Brenda Thanks for asking this question. Facing yardage depends on the width of the fabric you choose but the average is about .5 yards. This combo fabric can be used for the facing, collar facing and pockets. I hope that helps.
2011-01-25 15:30:24
Brenda says:
Um, having read through your directions above, again but more carefully, I see you recommend a different fabric for the facing pieces. Could you let us know what the yardage requirement is for the facings? Thanks again!
2011-01-23 20:20:13
Uniform Project says:
@Sarah... and everyone else who is working with the pattern. -You'll need about 2 yds of fabric. The pattern only requires 1.7 yds of 54" wide fabric, but it's always better to have a little extra in case you want to add to the length. -9 buttons for the placket, the top one can be bigger and fancier if you like, as it is the only visible button -9 buttons or snaps for the collar. Snaps are a good idea and might be easier to remove the collar in a, well, snap! Hope that helps!
2010-12-13 02:42:25
Sarah says:
So I'm set to get going...almost! The instructions don't offer much by way of a shopping list. How much fabric do I need? How many buttons? Is the collar button-on or snaps? Thanks for the help!
2010-11-27 03:18:58
Tara says:
@christa I use http://www.nearseanaturals.com/ for sustainable fabrics. For this dress you'll want something in a 6-10 oz weight, preferably woven, but a heavy knit might work really well too. @bhoomika We just posted a pattern modification post on the blog. If you want to lower the neckline you just have to cut out the amount you want to lower on the pattern. But keep in mind, if you do this you'll also have to redraw the neck facing. And depending on how low you want the neckline, you may also lose the ability to use the detachable collar... or you'll have to remake the collar as it won't fit properly if you change the neck. Happy sewing!
2010-11-22 03:38:24
streetwhyz says:
Has anyone made this dress yet? Can someone please explain what all those collar pieces are for? thanks.
2010-11-20 15:00:41
Streetwhyz says:
When's e second installment???
2010-11-20 14:51:21
Pamela says:
I just got the pattern. First reaction: yikes. I am a beginner to average sewer - with basic skills. Looking through the pattern pieces my first question was what are all those collar pieces are for. Tab, facing, fuse and then the collar itself. Do I just cut the collar out of the nice fabric. Any advice on the other pieces. I have an idea what facing and fuse are but "tab" - not a clue. Also, when the pattern says cut two do I flip the pattern around to cut the second piece if I'm using one layer. Also what is that binding piece supposed to be cut from. It's not on the layout above. I can see this blog will be helpful. Thanks. P
2010-11-11 17:27:08
bhoomika says:
Got my pattern, bought fabric (am not sure about my choice, but we'll see how it goes!)and getting started w/ muslin making! When do you think you'll post the next step? (note-Id love it if you gave some suggestions on how to change the neckline-lower it a tad, in my case)
2010-11-04 23:59:39
Uniform Project says:
Here is it > feed://theuniformprojectblog.com/feed
2010-11-04 19:09:33
Meredith P says:
An RSS feed for this series would be very helpful. Thanks!
2010-11-03 23:25:43
Deana Deifenbach says:
I received my dress last week and am very excited to get started. I too am considering do a "muslin" dress first in some linen I have had laying around for years. My question is, I was told when I ordered there would be enough fabric to lengthen it, so what I was wondering if you could show how to lengthen the dress when placing the pattern? I know there were many others wanting a longer length, so I think this would help others too.
2010-11-03 22:21:16
Heather says:
Thanks for this! I received my pattern and took a quick look at the instructions and thought "uh oh, this is going to take some extra time/organization." These blog instructions will be hugely helpful!
2010-11-03 20:11:24
Uniform Project says:
That's being covered in our Step 2 blog post in the next couple days! In the meantime, anyone have any suggestions? I'd like to see the dress in tweed myself. -Jessica/wasabipear
2010-11-03 20:05:18
Caroline says:
Great idea! I think I will also make a "muslin" in a wearable fabric. That's what I always use when I make a muslin because I don't like making something that will not be used.
2010-11-03 19:51:47
caralyn says:
Just received my pattern earlier this week! I think I might do a "practice" dress first from a hardy, spare fabric before doing my final!
2010-11-03 19:50:52
Christa says:
Hi. I am still waiting for my pattern; I am wondering if you have suggestions for other types of fabrics we could use? thanks christa
2010-11-03 19:07:14
saffronskye says:
Would love to join in, but still awaiting my pattern.
2010-11-02 07:50:26
Uniform Project says:
I think a muslin is a great idea, maybe even make it in a fabric that you'd like to wear, a spare print laying around perhaps? -Jessica
2010-10-28 23:46:30
Sjh says:
Thank you for this! I just got my pattern today and can't wait to get started. I'll try to keep pace with the posts. one question / suggestion - this is easily the most difficult dress I've ever made, and so I'm considering making a muslin. Anyone else doing that? Is it worth it?
2010-10-28 23:41:40