Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Making a toile for Patience.

The toile in progress:

One would think making a simple pinafore would be much easier than creating the dress it's to adorn.  But no.   It's taken me several drafts to fit the bodice, and figure out how the skirts need to hang.

Here's why:

Firstly - these are my inspiration pics, found on the vast internets:

What I want is a puff-sleeve dress, with a high waistband underneath, and a tabard-style pinny that fastens at the sides with ties over the top.   A tabard is meant to go over the head, and fasten at the sides.  With me so far?   Well, the size of Patience's head makes this virtually impossible.... (I will never be cruel to Pru about her huge bonce again.)

So the pinny will need a back opening.  

Which means the sides of the bodice may as well be sewn together, and the ties will be mock-ties.  I'll leave the skirt open at the back too, for ease of putting the pinny on over the dress.

Next, I want the skirts of the pinny to be open at the sides (as you can see in the pics above) so the pretty skirt shows.    One of my pet hates is dirndl skirts - a straight tube gathered at the bodice end.  They don't work very well on a doll's scale IMHO. A dirndl pinafore would likewise have a rectangle-cut skirt piece, gathered at the bodice end.

Usually I cut all my skirts, petticoats, pinafores, etc "A" line to give them a decent shape.

With a skirt that is not joined at the side seams however, one has to get the angle of the sides exactly right, so they hang properly on a doll.  Maybe I'm being obsessive, but I want it to be perfect and right. I sell my patterns and outfits with the slogan "Fits like a dream" so that's important to me and the customer.

Any old hoo,  I've managed to make the perfect bodice, and the skirts are coming along.  I'm glad I made this toile, a practice garment in inexpensive fabrics, rather than trying to attempt it with my expensive Liberty lawn and have it go wrong.  I'm a couple of pinafores in now and it's only beginning to shape up.

Here's the A-line skirt front, pinned to the correct angle, ready for a re-draft of the pattern and another attempt:

The bodice is lovely though, and the mock-ties will look very cute, when they're done.

We're getting there, Patience and I. Don't forget this is not the final fabric, just scraps of practice fabric I found in my stash.

Hopefully, tomorrow I'll be able to make the proper garment in beautiful Liberty Tana Lawn. <3



  1. We're liking it alot here!! I've got five of them looking at me with puppy dog eyes (as only Patience can) hoping they get to be first in line.... they've already informed me I've plenty of Liberty fabric we can use!!! It looks fab -tis a shame that Patience has such a big head but then that's part of her charm!!

    1. I don't mind the big head, in fact I always tend to go for dolls with disproportionately large heads.... even Ell isn't as anatomically correct as a human, lol. Buuuut it does add an extra challenge in any fashion design one tries to do for them.

      I have some very pretty Liberty "Claire Aude" in yellow that I'm going to use. :) Stay tuned!

    2. I like the Claire Aude I think I've got it in a couple of colours- we'll be watching!!


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