S1. EP8. The Final Toile of Francesca’s Indigo Robe

by | May 22, 2019 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

In this episode, we take one more look at Francesca’s original Indigo Robe pattern and make the adjustments detailed in the fitting session from Episode 7. We shorten the sleeves, widen the cuff, create a cross-over neckline, draft a smaller chevron panel on the back and front (more in proportion with her height) and completely redesign the skirt to create more fullness at the back and sides. We also add 30cm to the back to create a train that falls onto the ground. The overall look is far more dramatic! Once the adjustments have been made we re-sample the Indigo Robe in Calico fabric and see the results in our final fitting.

This video blog provides a basic overview of how these changes have been made to the pattern in Adobe Illustrator. If you want to see a more in depth view of these changes, scroll down to the next video.

What is a Toile or Sample and Why is it Such an Important Step?

A toile or sample is an early version of a finished garment made up in cheap fabric so the design can be tested and perfected before the final garment is constructed.

Making a toile or sample from your initial pattern is an IMPORTANT part of the design process. Constructing a finished garment, without toiling first, could lead to unforeseen issues with either the fit or design proportions of the finished garment. Both episode 7 and 8 detail the process of toiling to perfect the finished design. 

Often Calico material is used to make the initial toile. Calico is a very cheap fabric cost as low as £2.50 per meter. Unwashed, calico is a structural fabric that is slightly stiff and works well for suits, jackets and other structural garments. Washing Calico causes the fibres to soften and shrink, creating a far softer draping fabric that works well for dresses, shirts, and other non structural garments. Calico comes in a range of thicknesses or weights. The weight of calico used to toile depends on what type of garment you wish to create.

Marking with pen or pinning the toile allows you to alter the garment, or record what changes need to be made. This is then transferred to the pattern and a new toile is made with those changes. This process can take multiple toiles depending on how much the garment needs to be changed. 

Toiling can be a good way of discovering how the garment should be constructed or in what order the panels need to be joined to create the finished garment. Your toile will also help you work out and test fastenings, closures  or any other complicated design details. 

Making adjustments to Francesca’s Indigo Robe – Pattern Making tutorial

This video expands on the above video blog and details the process of transforming Francesca’s existing Indigo Robe pattern (created in S1. EP7+) into the FINAL robe pattern/toile. This is not a detailed tutorial about the pattern making process, instead it is more of an overview of how we made the adjustments to her original Indigo Robe pattern. Once we have finalised the robe pattern we will create a full length and in depth tutorial that can be used with your own made to measure PatternLab blocks. 


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