Paint Me a Maxi Dress: The Toile

Like a good little seamster, I cut and fit my maxi dress toile this weekend. Based on the measurements on the back of the Vogue V8182 pattern jacket, I chose size 10 and thread traced the appropriate seam lines in black.

I only stitched together the lining pieces since they account for the actual size of the finished bodice.  The main bodice pieces are gathered and stitched to an underlining that’s identical to the lining, a step I thought would be unnecessary for the toile fitting. For the seams I used white thread so as to differentiate those stitches from the thread traces.  For the fitting I went so far as to add a side zipper since I found adding the zipper is crucial to getting the fit right when I was making the Crescent skirt.

I fit the garment on myself, then transferred the pinned toile to my dress form to confirm the needed adjustments. For the real dress I need to take in the shoulder seam and the side seams about a quarter of an inch.  These adjustments will give me enough ease to wiggle but will keep the dress from being too revealing. When I checked these adjustments against the pattern pieces, I discovered that I essentially need a size 8 in the top, not the 10 that I’d cut.

I didn’t cut the skirt pieces, but I did measure from the waist seam to the floor and got a skirt length of 42″. I’ll wait and cut the skirt pieces from the fashion fabric after I make the bodice so that I can remeasure. I will also try to drape and pin the skirt in a rough form before cutting it as well.  Just in case.

Until then, I leave you with the gorgeous fashion fabric so that you can imagine the final maxi dress in all of its painted glory.

I’ve done my best to do a proper toile and fit here. Whatever I’ve done right I owe to Gertie of Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing (I’m taking her online course – more on that later) and Marina at Frabulous Couture. Whatever I’ve done wrong is my own fault.  If you have a different way of making a toile, do share.  Thanks!

13 thoughts on “Paint Me a Maxi Dress: The Toile

  1. wow, that is very neat work–my muslins are hilariously haphazard. And I’m curious about the dress form–I’ve never seen one like that–where did you find it? I have a PGM dress form but it turned out bigger and longer than me in many places so it’s ended up as house decor.

    1. Thanks. I’m trying to use the lessons I’ve learned from other more experienced (and better trained) seamsters on the web.

      The dress form was my Grandmother’s. As was most of my sewing notions. I have no idea where she got it, but you can adjust it in about a million different ways using bolts on the inside. It definitely takes some fiddling to get it right, but I think I have it close. The downside is that it’s not smooth, so draping would be difficult to impossible. I have half a mind to cover it with a thin layer of batting and some fabric to smooth it out. Then I could hopefully apply bolduc tape.

  2. Just stumbled upon your blog. Swooned deeply at the sight of your maxi dress fabric. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

    1. Thanks! I hope to get to this maxi dress this weekend. The fabric really is spectacular. It’s a cotton silk blend that drapes so nicely. Yay!

    1. Yes, a summer of dresses! I hope to make the muslin for Gertie’s class just as soon as I finish this maxi dress. Unfortunately, I’ve maxed my summer budget for fabric with the Lonsdale dress, so I really shouldn’t buy any more fabric or sewing supplies for a bit. Once finished versions of the bombshell dress come out though, I might not be able to resist. What an addicting hobby!

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