Friday, 18 October 2013

Making a toile before cutting into my fabric

The toile for my top. No need to insert both sleeves.

When you are using a new pattern, if you are unsure of the fit, it is a good idea to make a toile first. It saves all that bother of unpicking your good fabric!  

A toile (sometimes called a muslin) is a sample of the garment made up in muslin or another cheap fabric.  White or cream are good so you can mark the toile with a pen if necessary. Muslin is best,  but I had some inexpensive polyester cotton so I used that. 

I made a toile for two reasons:
1. My fabric is limited
2. I wanted to alter the original pattern and insert darts.

I found just enough fabric in my stash to make the two piece outfit I showed on my 10 October blog.  (See diagram below.) I like everything about the pattern except that the top lacks darts.  That would work well with a knitted fabric, but may not look good out of my wool mix tweed.  

Line Art
The original pattern, Vogue 8916
I searched on the web and through my pattern making books and could not find instructions for creating a dart.  (I remembered how to move a dart from my City and Guilds course back in the old 1970s.) Then I experimented with spot and cross paper by tracing the top front and manipulating it.  I just couldn't figure it out.  Finally, I searched through my patterns and came up with the dress pattern shown below and thought I could adapt that quite easily.  It had darts, the sleeve length I wanted and I  even liked the neckline. All I needed to do was fold up the bottom of the pattern to get the right length.

An old McCalls dress pattern, 2301, that I thought would make a good top

Success.  I'm glad I did this. The top is a bit snug and there would be no going back once I cut out my tweed.  I will have to add an inch in total to the bodice, but the darts are perfect as are the sleeves.  I don't like the neckline on me, so I will revert to the original pattern's round one, perhaps tweaking it a bit by making it a little wider and lower. (I may do this on the tole first.) It was a time consuming exercise, but worth the effort. Once I have the right fit, I will use the pattern for this outfit and again for a summer top out of linen or cotton, possibly sleeveless. Who knows, I may even make the dress some time.

No comments:

Post a Comment