Tuesday, 28 March 2017

This is why you make a toile and avoid wasting precious fabric!

My sister is getting married in September and I am planning my outfit now so that I avoid a last minute sewing panic.

But what to make?... A dress or trousers? Or a mixture of the two?

I fell in love with playsuits last summer when I made a couple of Sew La Di Da Vintage's halterneck Margot.

As the wedding is in early autumn I want to have something with sleeves just in case we are not graced with an Indian Summer and to eliminate the need for making a cardigan or jacket.

I used the pattern search tool on The Foldline website and found the Wear Lemonade India jumpsuit. The pattern ticked a lot of my requirements, long sleeves, flattering neckline and the possibility of making it in different fabrics to create different versions. So I bought it.

The pattern arrived, I admired the packaging and then I checked the sizing against my measurements. The hips and waist were ok but a full bust adjustment (FBA) was definitely needed! Not having done one before I put a little plea for help out on instagram and was recommended this Maria Denmark tutorial.

I have some black viscose crepe fabric in mind for the final garment but before I buy it I need to work out if I need more or less than the 4 metres the pattern suggests. To work it out I will make a few toiles (muslins or test garments) in calico. Calico or a cheap fabric of a similar weight to your final fabric choice is great to toile with. It saves you from wasting your precious fabric from any fitting errors that can occur in the test stage.

Toile Time
With the paper pattern adjusted it was time to check if the FBA had worked by making a toile. The pattern was fairly quick to make up and the instructions are easy to follow. Wear Lemonade is a French company and the instructions are in both french and english.

With my toile ready it was time to try it on. I was aware of a few fit issues as I forced my arm backwards into the arm hole and then i realised that I was stuck! First off the bodice was too short (I had forgotten to lengthen it - I usually have to with patterns) and secondly the legs were too tight. My thoughts are if I can adjust these two I can then work out what is going on with the crotch. The only good news is that the FBA seems to be ok.

My biggest problem was getting out of it though, as much as I tried (I felt like I had done a gym workout afterwards) I could not get my arm out. In the end I had to channel my inner incredible hulk and rip the whole of the side seam of the leg and bodice. I couldn’t stop laughing and had to share the photo on instagram because this is why you make a toile!

Test it in cheap fabric, make your adjustments and then only when you are happy with the fit cut into your good fabric!

Follow my making india journey over on instagram @dressmakerssocial