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The October look- Preparations

October 21, 2018


Bonjour to all!


This blog will unfold in the following manner. In the first post (the one you're reading right now) I will describe the project throughout the fabrics, patterns and fitting of toiles. Then in the following posts I will focus on a specific technical point with each of the garments and elaborate them further. Finally I will conclude with a post that will show you the finished look.


Before we get started I wish to point out that this is a completely new venture for me therefore I'm in a so called testing mode. My goal is to put together a journal with useful information about sewing that would be clear and easy to implement. Therefore any feedback and suggestions are warmly welcomed. 


I'm happy to share with you my first blog post. This will serve as an extension to my Instagram account. The reason why I decided to start a blog was in order to be able to describe my sewing projects in more detail for those of you who might be interested. Besides that it is finally my favourite season (in terms of garment styles) and a great moment to work on some pieces for my wardrobe. 




On the photo above you'll see the fabrics that I chose for this look.


  • a dark blue denim with a shiny finish

  • a blue denim with a colourful flower bouquet motif

  • a beige cotton gabardine

  • a red and white sheer silk muslin with a rose pattern




Until now I've been mainly drafting or draping all of the patterns myself which I find quite time consuming considering that in most of the cases I'm making a toile before cutting any final fabric. Therefore in order to gain some time I decided to vary the source of my patterns depending on the pieces that I was making. 



  • The shirt- Burda Style pattern 6460 size 38


  • The vest- Modes & Travaux, October 2012 N. 1343, size 38FR. This was a pattern for a dress that I transformed into a vest by adding a vent and shoulder pads. 




Toile fitting


 When starting working on a new garment I often make a toile that I fit on myself by pinning. This is not always an easy task especially if you wish to fit the parts that are on the back. Either you can ask someone to help you or you can work by looking in a mirror or with photos (taking photos of your back view is a great way to learn about your posture as well). With time you'll get used to working with your body and will recognise each bump and hollow which will enable you to estimate the correction values.  


Making a toile is a great way to get the fit and the proportions right. When I'm working on entire looks I prepare a toile for each of the garments and fit them together. This way I'm able to see directly the overall picture and whether my garments look good as a whole. After all this step turns your garment ideas into tangible pieces even though you're not yet working with the final fabrics. 


To get an even better idea of your final fit it is preferable to choose the thickness of your toile (thin, medium or thick) corresponding with your final fabric which is not the case for my shirt here. I used a medium cotton toile for this entire look and therefore the shirt looks a lot stiffer than it should. This can be misleading and hence create fitting errors.


Here are the corrections that I applied to my toiles during  the fitting:


  • The skirt- I added 4cm on the hip line and redraw the shape of the cutout seams on the front and on the back


  • The shirt- Sleeve bottoms 1cm shorter. Cuffs 4cm tighter. Sleeve 2cm tighter. Waistline 4cm tighter.


  • The vest- I was quite happy with the overall fit. I simply added shoulder pads and a vent.

I find it important to not get too carried away with fitting because the more corrections you make the stronger they will affect each other and you might end up creating new problems while fixing the existing ones. Remember that your final garment should be comfortable. 


Finally once all of my garments were fitted I applied the corrections to my patterns and proceeded with the making. Next time I will focus on the skirt and will show you how I formed the pleats by hand so stay tuned! :)





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