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Practising Rag Doll Patterns - Toiles


Every once in a while, as impatient and creative types, we do get into a pickle and cut and sew our gorgeous fabric in a flurry of excitement!

What is a Toile?

However, to avoid costly mishaps (or, creative alternatives as I call them!) it is sometimes best to practise an unfamiliar pattern using a less expensive fabric.

In dressmaking terms, this is called a toile.

A toile is a replica garment in a similar, cheaper material (usually calico) used to check how the item will fit and how it will look in your best fabric.

Tissue Fitting

Sometimes, pattern can be 'tissue fitted'.  Tissue fitting is where you put the paper pattern pieces together as the finished item.  

Why should I make a Toile first?

Making a toile has several advantages:

  • You don't experiment or make a mistake on the real fabric.
  • You can adapt the pattern where is does not fit well to suit your measurements.
  • You can judge the hang of the material.
  • You can try out new sewing techniques and master them before making an error.

What fabric should I use to make a toile?

... Anything cheap!  Calico, poly cotton or an old pillowcase or recycled old garment will all be fine for making a toile for Dolly.  I like to try and find some material that has the same weight, drape and finish (and to see if the material is a pain to work with!).

I recommend making toiles of your rag doll patterns. Remembering that some of Dolly's clothes need to be popped on to her feet first, use an inexpensive material to have a trial run.

If you'd like to join us in making your own Rag Doll, take a look at our educational monthly sewing subscription box where each month, I deliver all the items needed to make a new outfit for Dolly and walk you through step-by-step.

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