Sunday, 30 March 2014

Toile fitting part 3

Now that the extra seam strips of fabric have been attached to the various pieces, the toile could then have another fitting on ‘Gertie’ my tailors dummy.

Before I started working on the toiles Mr Gertie gave me a hand to measure my ‘vital statistics’ so I could then transfer the figures onto my tailors dummy.

Using an up-to-date bra I filled it with lots of toy stuffing to replicate my rather large bust then secured wadding around the waist and tum to represent my spare tyres... 

 Having roughly pinned the toile together beforehand I was then able to reposition them so it fitted better on ‘Gertie’.


Once I was happy with the fit I marked the pin lines with tailors chalk so I could tack the seams ready for another fitting on ‘Gertie’.

I added the collar this time, as having altered the front of the toile I needed to see how that looked.

As you can see by the way the collar is folding, it needs to be reshaped. I also noticed that the left front side (if you’re looking straight at it) wasn’t sitting on the bust compared to the right side. This puzzled me as I measured both front sides and they were about the same size, so I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t fitting right.

I tried the toile on myself just in case ‘Gertie’s bust’ wasn’t sitting straight. The results, however, were still the same.

I asked Mr Gertie if he could take a look (a fresh pair of eyes and all that) and he suggested that there appeared to be too fabric in the front pleat panel. If I made that panel smaller just on the left side then hopefully that will bring the left bust up.

I bet May and Patrick don’t have this much trouble !!!!!

Have a great week.


Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

March's bake of the month

Oops - I nearly forget about March’s bake of the month. Where has the time gone !!!!!


This month it’s chocolate biscuits.I found this recipe in ‘Cookie Magic’ by Kate Shirazi. If you love cookies and biscuits then get yourself this little book as it’s got some fabulous recipes in it.

Anyway, these are really quick and easy to make so if you get a fancy for chocolate biscuits but there’s none in the house, you can make these in no time at all.

Oh, I haven’t told you the best bit. They simply melt in your mouth.....

Chocolate biscuits 

  • 4 ½ oz/126g margarine (or butter but you prefer), softened
  • 2oz/50g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2oz/50g cornflour
  • 1oz/25g cocoa powder
  • 4oz/100g plain flour
  • 4oz/100g dark or milk chocolate

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190º c/Gas Mk 5. Fan oven 170ºc.
  • Grease or line two baking trays (I used Lakeland non-stick liners but greaseproof paper/ baking parchment would be fine).
  • Beat the margarine/butter in large bowl until very soft then add all the other ingredients except the chocolate.
  • Mix together with your hands until a dough is formed. Take small balls of the dough then place them on the lined baking sheet, flattening them slightly. You should get approx 15 biscuits out of the dough.
  • Bake for about 10-12 minutes then leave them to cool for a minute on the baking trays before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Put the chocolate in a bowl then heat in the microwave until the chocolate has melted. You can also melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water – just make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
  • Once the chocolate has melted drizzle it over the biscuits then leave – if you dare – until the chocolate had set.
Gertie xx

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Toile fitting part 2

After establishing what needs to be altered on my toiles I deconstructed them ready to add the extra pieces on the seams.

Thankfully the seams had only been tacked in so they came out really easy. I only machine stitch the seams once I’m happy with the fit.

As I don’t know how much extra I need to increase the seams by I over estimated the amount required – in this case two inches – so I know I won’t forget the seam allowance. Once bitten, twice shy....

Normally when you stitch two bits of fabric together it’s rights sides together etc. Not this time. I need to be able to transfer the measurements from the toile directly to the paper pattern so I laid the add-on bits under the main pieces then zigzag stitch them in place.

It’s not pretty to look at, what with all the raggy bits, but as it's a test garment, it doesn't matter.

The next step will be to pin the toiles onto ‘Gertie’ my tailor’s dummy so I can fit the seams.

Have a great week.


Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Toile fitting part 1

Having finished the boring task of cutting out the paper patterns for two dresses I'm making for our cruise in June, I made a start on the toiles.

As I don't have a perfect figure, a toile, or test garment, is a must as there's always things on the pattern that need altering. Sometimes the changes can be straight forward like taking in the seams or more complicated like re-working a bodice.

Dressmaking books tell you to use either muslin or calico fabric to make your toile. I don't. I find calico too stiff to work with and muslin too expensive so I use sheeting instead. Not only is it extra wide but it's also cheap.

For these toiles I'm using sheeting that came from a king size duvet cover - Dunelm Mill had a sale on so I got it for £5....

What's the verdict on this toile? The side seams need to be let out a little; the back seam needs to be taken in (I have a very small back); the front needs lifting as it's sitting too low and the bust seams need to be made bigger (I've got big boobs....).

 And the verdict on this one? The side seams and the seam across the bum needs to be let out; again, the back needs to be taken in; the front is too low (even for me and I don't mind showing a bit of cleavage !!!); the sleeves are too big and I'd like the length to be a little longer.

Other than that, they're perfect......

Have a great week.


Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Sunday, 2 March 2014

And the winner is.....

Many thanks to everyone who voted for their favourite dress in last Sunday's post. The results are in and I can now reveal the top three.

In third place:

In second place:

And in first place:

Off to buy the patterns (the joy of internet shopping.....) and then the real fun begins, choosing the fabric !!!!!

Have a great week.


Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.