Quantitative Ease

Disclaimer: Prepare yourself for another hideous toile fabric. I call this the silver stretch velvet monstrosity.

Here’s the toile for McCalls M6559 overlaid with a shop bought maxi dress that fits great in the bust and hips but a little loose in the waist. How much ease and with stretch fabric too?! But that excess ease is coupled with the smallest arm hole. The sizing results of Katie’s Big 4 Experiment were remarkably similar to the issues I experience. Experience… that word that if you have it, you feel confident enough to make a few adjustments to the pattern and perhaps wing it without a toile if you’re not too sentimental/bankrupt over your fashion fabric.

M6559 Sizing

I slimmed the originally cut size 12 right down to a size 6 in the hips/bust and off the pattern sizing scale at the waist. Then there’s the construction instructions with this pattern…

The pattern notes recommended folding the neckline over to finish it which resulted in stretched out rubbishness. My final toile followed the armhole line of my shop bought maxi dress… heck I should have just drafted a pattern from that dress instead of purchasing a commercial pattern!


As Katie discusses in her Big 4 Experiment post, it’s down to the experience of the sewer. I lack the confidence to ignore commercial pattern instructions at the toile stage. However, recently I’ve noticed that I’m staring to recognise when I know an alternative technique that will work better for my fashion fabric.

With my ‘ease’ issues out of the way I ploughed on to make a maxi dress that I’ve worn lots this summer and will be revealed in my next post.

4 responses to “Quantitative Ease

  1. Looking forward to seeing you new maxi dress : )

  2. Thanks for putting me onto Katie’s experiment, I learned a lot. I look forward to final product.

  3. I’ve seen it. Looks great!

  4. Progress, progress, progress! I am still iffy for fitting and just get happy when the garment works out sewing-wise.

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