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The importance of making a toile (twarrrl)

 Recent research on dressmaking reminded me of the importance of getting things right before working with your (potentially expensive) fabric. Making a toile may seem like an unnecessary task to some, but for a pattern you’ve not yet tested, it’s well worth spending the time.

 Our Crafty Kittens Club has embarked on group toile making lessons, and although we were off to a shaky start, we’re now dedicated to producing some frocks that will not only be super easy, but will also look gorgeous (dahhlings). Our entrepreneur Gen-Y member decided to take a cheeky short cut and have some produced in Thailand…until she discovered they were $80 a pop….back to the machine for her, with a little more focus!

 I thought I’d share a little tip about facing a v-neck here – frustratingly, none of the books on dressmaking that I own include any instructions for a v-neck, possibly because there may be a few different techniques. This may not be best way, but it’s easy and it works! Excuse the dodgy iphone pics, I was hoping instagram would provide a nice warm vintage effect, however cool and instructional don’t always work well together…

How to sew a v-neck facing:

step 1 – pin the facing to the dress with right sides together. Mark the centre of the V with a pin.

step 2 – using the edge of the presser foot as a guide, stitch all the way from one shoulder seam to the pin at the centre of the V. Remove the pin, lift the presser foot and pivot your fabric around so that the other edge is now lined up with the presser foot (essentially just turning a corner). Stitch all the way to the other shoulder seam.

step 3 – At the centre of your beautifully stitched V, carefully snip the fabric – don’t stitch through your seam here! You want to get as close to those stitches without cutting through them.

step 4 – turn the facing over to the wrong side of the dress, press it flat and hey presto! one nice sharp V.

Sometimes the V might look a little too gaping and “hello ladies”, and an alteration will need to be made…but that’s lesson for another time…

Update: I’ve added a v-neck dress project from my book…hope this helps!

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