Reflective Practice in Pink Polycotton
Dressmakers, do you use a toile? I only learned the word the other day – it’s a kind of dry-run garment that you make to ensure the pattern fits, before you make the garment in fabric that you would be seen dead wearing. This morning I made my toile out of old bed-linen. Dilys (my new dressmaking dummy) looked very fetching in it, apart from the sleeves not being attached. (They were too tight on me, so some re-engineering of the pattern was required! Dilys has no arms – she didn’t need the sleeves anyway.) My intention was simply to ensure that I’ve got Dilys’s measurements right, before launching into my Spring 2015 sewing spree.
Working with Dilys is a new experience for me, but so was my attempt to scale up a dressmaking pattern out of an A4 book. One square = 5 cm, it said.
- Lesson 1: never try to draw your own graph paper then copy it.
- Lesson 2: if you can avoid it, don’t try to scale up a dressmaking pattern
- Lesson 3: As above … especially if there are nine differently coloured lines denoting different sizes!
- Lesson 4: Although, theoretically, enlarging on a photocopier should have been the easy answer, it turned out to be much trickier than it seemed. The first 200% enlargement wasn’t too bad, but working out which bits to enlarge for the second 200% enlargement was going to be complicated – on Friday, I gave up and went to Mandors for proper dressmaking graph paper at lunchtime instead.
Anyway, here we are on a Sunday evening, and the toile-enveloped Dilys stands watching as I get to work on the nice black and white cotton fabric that will become my new dress. There’s only one problem that I can see – it looks spookily like a repeat of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s logo! Now, why didn’t I notice that when I bought it? I wonder if my colleagues will notice when I turn up in it?