The Year of the Toile!

Do you practice what you preach?

I know I don’t, with all the best intentions life gets in the way.

If you haven’t guessed already from the title I’m talking about toiles!





an early version of a finished garment made up in cheap material so that the design can be tested and perfected.


 A trouser toile

This is something that any professional dressmaker will look at doing to get the perfect fit.

The advise is to use similar fabric to the final garment, and don't try to make a wearable toile, that isn't what they are for! (listen to your own advise Lizzy)!

For a woven final garment a calico would work or old bedding. For a stretch fabric toile this does need a little more consideration, you need to try and get a stretch with similar weight, it wouldn't suit making a toile in a lightweight jersey for the perfect fit stretch jeans. In our jeans workshop we advise buying an extra metre of the final denim (as long as its not too expensive) and making a pair of shorts tole so that you only need a small amount. 

A toile is something I just never give time to, my first big mistake! I am always and I mean always, rushing projects and I just don’t give the time to this very important part of dressmaking. 

I have several garments that I have made and although I wear them now because I love everything I make, but I do wish some of them fitted slightly better. This is where I should have made a toile.

Get that perfect fit

This is why this year will be the year of the Toile, I would like to revisit some of the patterns I have made that I love but rushed and didn’t quite get the fit right. 

I’d also like to say that I will be making toile for every new pattern I make this year! There I’ve done it, I’ve announced to the world I will be making a toile for EVERY garment I make this year. What do you think, can I keep it up? 

The patterns that spring to mind that I would like to make a toile of

  • The Esme Top from the Lotta Jansdotter Book - I have several of this top but have never really lied the width of the shoulders so the sleeve flutter off my shoulders and it pulls slightly under my arm, but I do like the fit across my bust.
The Esme Top
  • The Pietra trousers by Closet Core in a slight stretch fabric - I have made three pairs of these and have messed up every pair, but I really like the pattern. I need to spend some time working on the length of the rise, adjusting this and getting a really good fit in a stretch rather than woven. 

The Pietra pants toile

New Patterns

  • The Gathered Dress by Avid Seamstress - really like the shape of this dress, I think it could be perfect for my backside, but I do think the length to the waist will need some work. 
The Gathered dress pattern
  • The Harmon Tee by Sew Different - I have seen this top on the fabulous programme the Queens Gambit. Then Sew Different has released a pattern, there hasn't been many reviews apart from a few negative comments just looking at the image on the pattern front so I would really like to make this up and see what it is like. 
The Harmon Tee

And probably a hole heap more as the year progresses. 


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