Breaking the Pattern – Utu Pinafore

In the last few years, I’ve become a fan of pinafore dresses. The York by Helen’s Closet showed me how good they are for work wear. The items underneath can be easily layered depending on the season. So far I’ve tried several different pinafore patterns- the York, Dani and now the Utu.


I’ve made three versions of the York – a navy denim one, a black cotton one and a hounds-tooth one as blogged here. I recently tried the Dani from Seamwork patterns (see image below).

I liked the pattern on other people but not on me. I found the front too low, the skirt too short and I couldn’t figure out how to line the bodice. I know where I went wrong with lining the bodice. I could make the pattern again but it wasn’t resonating with me.

The Utu pinafore is from the book ‘Breaking the Pattern.’ I’d been wanting to make this garment for a while but hadn’t come across fabric with the right structure. In a recent fabric sale, I came across the outer fabric. It’s is a structured polyester which I lined with a rayon Bemberg.


Button placement as per the pattern.

I measured my size and made size 6. It ended up being too small for the designed button placement. I improvised, placing the buttons down the center front instead. I love garments with structure this one has lots with multiple darts and lining.

The garment came together quite quickly overall. The part I got stuck on, and had to unpick several times, was in attaching the lining to the outer at sleeves. Despite watching this video by Named several times I still couldn’t figure out where I was going wrong. Thankfully I came across this video by Angela Wolf which helped me to understand the process. I suspect this video would have helped me line my Dani pinafore as well!


I have worn my Utu a lot since I made it. It looks great paired with Zadie wrap tops, blouses, Maya tops and T-shirts. The first day I wore this pinafore to work my colleagues said I looked FLASH! Like I worked in a bank.


I recommend this pattern for any work-wear wardrobe!

Happy sewing

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