Week 2: The Toile

My dear readers, this weekend I have once again been felled by the ‘flu. This year has just been awful for ‘flu hasn’t it? I am still feeling quite poorly however; I was so sad to have missed today’s post I am propped up in bed, watching QI (always guaranteed to cheer oneself up!) and typing weakly whilst Fella makes me tea!!

I have decided that this week on Pattern Month will take a slightly different schedule to last week so I am treating you to this little snippet in preparation to the Fitting the Toile post which will be posted on Friday. This is in response to the wonderful comments on my Interview with Alexandra of IN-HOUSE Patterns. Quite a few people has requested information so I am going to link this post with my class and present lots of lovely photographs of fitting in action!

So, in preparation of Fitting the Toile you will need to make some adjustments to the Basic Block, cut the Toile out from Calico and sew it up.

The Basic Block is just that- Basic! Winifred has given you shaping however; it is the information needed and not the style so the first thing you will need to do to your basic block is cut out the Front and Back, then move that ugly ass dart to a more attractive location!

Now, we could all release our inner fashion designer and do something flashy like split the Dart into three, or move it some place fancy BUT we still haven’t tested this Basic Bodice Block out, so we don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves. The tried and tested way is to move the Dart to create a basic Princess Seam.

This will no doubt be familiar to many, as this is where many high street retailers put shaping. It looks nice on about everyone, is easy to construct and provides accurate shaping effectively. If you wish to place shaping any place else, it is advisable to wait until after you have made up your Toile then put all of those design elements in to your Working Pattern. What we are aiming for is a Basic Bodice Block which fits well, and will provide the starting blocks for future designs.

20130909_131448 20130909_131651

Firstly, you will need to cut the Basic Block out then draw in a curved seam from the Bust Point and in to the Armhole. Remember to use your French Curves or Patternmaster to assist but it is more than acceptable to do this by eye as well.

 20130909_131751 20130909_131828 20130909_131901

Next, cut along this new line all the way to the Bust Point, then cut along the left hand line of the Dart. Move the paper across so that the left hand line of the Dart lies over the right hand line as illustrated and Sellotape down. Fold any excess paper back and Sellotape as well.

There, that was your first Pattern adjustment! Wasn’t so hard was it? But wait… I’m not letting you off that easy!!

In order to sew your Toile up you will need to fold you Calico in half- Selvedge to Selvedge- line up the Grainlines, place the Back of the Basic Block on the fold as illustrated and pin both on to the Calico.

20130909_132951 20130909_132916

Next you will need to draw on your Seam Allowance. I always use 1cm however; as long as you ensure the same Seam Allowance is used continuously throughout, you are free to choose whatever Seam Allowance you desire! It’s your Pattern! Of course, if you have a Patternmaster to hand you can use this to draw on you Seam Allowance. I have illustrated below an alternative as well.


Measure out your chosen Seam Allowance, and mark either side (a). Continue around the Basic Bodice Block (b), then join the dots (c). Simple, right?

20130909_132928 20130909_133159

To sew your Toile up you will need to form a Dart on each side of the Basic Bodice Front, and sew the Shoulder Seams and Side Seams using your Seam Allowance.

Later this week I shall be talking about fitting your Toile, and transferring that fitting to your Basic Block in preparation of making your Working Pattern. You will need to start thinking about what Pattern you would like to design. If you are having some trouble deciding what you would like to make, I have found the best way is to find something lovely that you can’t afford! My class will be designing Tops and Shirts to keep it simple however; the skies the limit!

Well, I’m off to watch The News Room (which is excellent), drink tea and sleep! As ever I truly welcome your comments, don’t forget to hop, skip and jump over to Pattern Making Musings and leave a comment to be entered in to the hat to win an IN-HOUSE Pattern. If you are just joining us read all about Pattern Making Month here. You can also join Laura After Midnight on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Happy patterning!

11 thoughts on “Week 2: The Toile

  1. Thank you for posting this- it was a very interesting read. I am just learning about pattern making so it’s very timely. Hope you feel better soon- the weather has well and truly turned to autumn now, it seems…

    1. Yes, I am hoping I have inoculated myself by having ‘flu this early! Glad you found the post interesting, be sure and have a read of Pattern Making Musings with Alexandra of IN-HOUSE Patterns and leave a comment to be in with a chance of winning! xxx

  2. so pattern month is over, by a few years lol but i stumbled across your blog in my quest to lean as much as i can about drafting patterns i have a toddler and of course she will be my test subject. ive been off of work for a few weeks on bed-rest with my second baby on the way andbeing stuck at home i’ve read so much from all over the internet to learn every possible thing i can about making my own patterns i taught myself how to sew a few years back and i love it, but i want to take it a step further and design something myself, your blog has been one of the easiest to understand and most helpful that i’ve come across!, so i’ve shared your page with a few sewing groups i am a part of.
    thanks 🙂

    1. This means SO much to me, you can’t believe!! Pattern Cutting is a subject I am fascinated with, and I try to encourage everyone to play about with their patterns so I’m pleased you are learning!! Winifred Aldrich does a Childrens’ pattern Book too if you really want to test on your little’uns!! It’s fantastic, highly recommended!! I’m trying to write more posts on the subject so watch this space!! 🙂 xxx Thank you!! xxx

Leave a Reply to Merje Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *