The hideous fabric toile cry for help…

Simplicity 2360 is my first dress pattern, selected because it seems relatively simple for a beginner make (no zips!) and some beautiful creations have been blogged about by the online sewing community. My top three for this pattern are:

1. Green Apple’s variation for Autumn
2. A Coloured Sugar Party Dress by Boo Dogg and Me (she also made a cute linen one with sleeves)
3. Sew Bold  (who has a new blog home at Staying Steyn) executed a fantastic pattern adaptation to make a summer top

All I had to do was decide which hideous polyester (think the old-style polyester, static, cheap, non-breathable and that’s before you see the print!) was getting the Simplicity 2360 toile treatment…

destined for toiles

Overall making the toile was easy, I understood every instruction that came with the pattern and I could see how the dress was going to come together (so no pattern revelations like I experienced with the facing for my practise New Look 6483). The fit around the bust  and body is as good as can be expected for an over-the-head-dress with elasticated waist. I am now sure that I do not suit large bold patterns or see-through fabric, but it really brings out the colour my dummy’s complexion, don’t you think?!


I’m going to add a little length to the bodice pieces as the waistline is slightly too high on me but I can take a couple of inches off the skirt which is too long. I will also omit the pockets which ruin the line of the skirt.

And my cry for help? Well I have a few problems that I’m hoping some more experienced sewers can offer me some guidance on:

pointy sleeve

The sleeves on my toile stick out at an odd angle. Could this be because the hem on the sleeve makes it too stiff to drape? The fabric will not hold any crease or shape no matter how much I press it. Despite this, I can’t get rid of the crease down the centre of the skirt and the sleeve isn’t floppy at all.

bias binding fail

The bias binding on my Berry Sorbetto was easy… or maybe  just beginners luck because on this dress it has led to an unsightly sticking up affair. Did I do something wrong? Or is this just the result of not being able to press the bias tape away from neckline? Would attaching the bias binding as a facing resolve this issue?

And finally, I have a silk-cotton blend for my fashion fabric so any tips on working with this type of fabric?



6 responses to “The hideous fabric toile cry for help…

  1. I’m glad you like mine! I found the binding instructions for the neckline to be not great – V-necks are tricky! You might want to try cutting your binding a little shorter and stretching it as you sew – if you don’t stretch bias, you get the standing up effect.

    Silk-cotton is easy to use, just be sure to use a medium heat setting on the iron. It won’t take heat as high as plain cotton.

  2. I do, I really like it.
    Thank you for the tips on binding and silk blend fabric.

  3. The binding was hard to apply due to the v-neck – you could round out the neckline if you’re really worried? Silk-cotton is a dream – but use a sharp needle as you would with silk and use lots of pins – it can slip around more than cotton. And thanks for the compliment!

  4. I would do a single fold binding as a facing – so much simpler in my opinion.

  5. Hi, You are doing a wonderful job. I hope some of these help….. if the sleeve edges have a binding it may be too stiff for the fabric so maybe try a very thin rolled hem instead (do this on some scrap first to see what you think). Another thought for the sleeves, did the patterns want them cut on the diagonal? Usually this will help soften sleeves and allow them to drape better which may help with this fabric. Did you cut your bias binding for the neckline on the bias? Otherwise it will stick out too much. For the ironing problem, use a scrap and try pressing it between two wet pressing cloths to see if the lines come out otherwise google to see if anyone has suggestions for this type of fabric. But whatever you do PLEASE test it on a scrap and not your lovely new creation!

  6. Hi, Thank-you for your very helpful tips. This post was just a toile (muslin) so I didn’t worry too much about the crease but if I have a fashion fabric with the same problem in the future I’ll be sure to try your recommendation.
    You can see my make of this dress here
    all of the above problems were resolved.

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