Do you make pristine toiles (muslins in the US)? I don’t! I used to buy calico for my practice makes but I now figure, Why bother? I have lots of scrap fabric that needs to be used up. As long as my practice make uses fabric with similair qualities to the fashion fabric I’ll eventually use, I’ll cut up mens’ shirts, tablecloths, anything. The above is a charity shop cotton that, sadly, won’t quite lose that futzy smell. Shame, because I think that print is pretty adorable, don’t you?
I’ll use whatever thread is in the machine. As you can see, I don’t worry about a right and wrong side of fabric! Some of the construction techniques will be pretty basic. I will, however, always baste in a zip. To me, this feels like such a crucial part of the fitting process. And when you’re fitting yourself alone, you kinda need something to do up – can’t rely on pinning your dress between your own shoulder blades.
I’ll often only toile the bodice of a dress – the skirt sections usually require less fitting, for my figure at least. When I climb into my toile, I always have pins to hand for tweaks and adjustments…
So, why bother to make a toile? Well, as one Facebook friend (hello, Rehannon!) commented recently, our bodies are so uniquely 3D. If you can make a pattern straight out of the packet, with no fitting issues, you’re lucky. Though – ssshhhh – don’t tell anyone: sometimes I wing a loose-fitting make without practising first.
Do you have any toile tips? Anything you always do – or don’t! – do?