Sew-Along #2 – Cutting the Toile

11 Nov

You should by now have your toile fabric. If it is creased give it a wee press to make it easier to work with. Find the  selvedge of the fabric. This is a the tightly woven edge of the fabric that stops it fraying off the roll on the shop. Sometimes it has the fabric designers name, sometimes it has some little dots. Either way it looks slightly different from the rest of the fabric! Below is an example of two selvedges, one with writing and one plain.

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When you are folding your fabric in half you fold it right sides together(pattern sides – some fabric don’t have a right or wrong side in which case don’t worry about it) with opposite selvedges coming together. So you should have a folded edge directly across from your two selvedge edges. I am using a curtain for my toile so it has no selvedges – Waste not want not!

On page 175 of The Great British Sewing Bee Book is a layplan or cutting diagram. This is the most economical way to place your pattern pieces but you don’t have to follow it. You MUST however make sure that any instructions on the pattern piece are adhered to such as’ CUT ON FOLD’ and all arrows on each pattern piece are parallel to the selvedge.

sew confident the great british sewing bee


You might have noticed that a few of my cut on fold pieces are not at the very edge. This is because I need to add some extra space onto the back of my pattern. I have completed this pattern before and would like some more room this time so I can wear a few layers underneath. I wouldn’t advise making any adjustments to your at this stage but if you do remember if adapt one piece you will have to adapt other pieces or they will not fit together.

I have flipped some of my pieces over to fit them in better, this is fine an common practise. You don’t have to do the pocket and the cuffs at this stage. You usually do the bare minimum with toiles.

You can weight your pieces down with tins from your kitchen cupboard or pattern weights if you are being fancy. You can then chalk round your pieces and cut them out. If you want to cut corners you can pin your pattern pieces to your fabric and cut round them.

Once all of your pattern pieces have been cut out you need to transfer any marking from the paper pattern to the fabric. This includes notches and little circles. Marks can be made in chalk and notches(little black triangles) can be snipped into the fabric. You have a 1.5cm seam allowance with this pattern do snip in by about 5mm.

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Snip notches

Next up – lets put this bad boy together!


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