Trouser Block – Fitting Toile

Trouser Block – Fitting Toile

So often I’m asked how I make my fitting toile’s for Trouser Blocks, so I’d thought I’d put together a short post with some detail.  Many of the points are small but essential for a good #FirstFitting. You can access a download of my Trouser Block here.  I’ve also uploaded a worksheet that covers the detail for the first stage of fitting the trouser block.  The PDF worksheet includes detail instructions and technical diagrams to take you through every step of the process.
I’d also like to cover some of my student questions regarding toile making:
  1. Yes, within reason, I always use calico for first samples or making my toile.  It’s a light fabric that reveals all fitting faults and represents the stability of all woven fabrics.
  2. No you don’t have to pre-wash calico before using.  The toile is a momentary item in your block development process and it’s usefulness ends once the fitting faults have been transferred back to your pattern.  They usually end up in the bin.
  3. Yes, the toile needs to be as accurate as possible, all the way from tracing the new block pattern, to adding seam allowances, to cutting, sewing and finally pressing the toile.  (Confession: in this respect I’m a millimetre nerd.  😉 )
Please, please press your garment as you sew and not only at the end.  For all sewing this is the golden rule.  A garment pressed as sewn will always look more professional than a garment only pressed at the end of the sewing.  This is particularly important for all joins in fabric at darts and seams.
There is often much discussion around the correct order of construction for trousers.  In my experience I use two different methods for tailored and casual trousers.  for tailored trousers I sew the inseam (inside leg seam) first then the crotch curve.  For casual trousers I sew the crotch seams first then the inseam.
Although I’ve not included a zip opening in these instructions it’s ideal when making toiles to use zips to ensure an accurate fitting.  You’ll get by with pinning the garment up for the fitting.  So much depends on time and convenience.
Please note when fitting trouser toiles that the leg is left clean and straight and not fitted to knee or ankle measurements.  You’ll use the hang of the side seam to establish whether the trouser is balanced.
There’s so much more to the fitting of the trouser and I’ll do my best to share a few of my fitting tutorials.  In the meantime I’ve uploaded some detailed instructions for the first stage of fitting changes for trouser blocks and added a second worksheet to finalise the fitting of your trouser block.

Let me know if you have any questions about your trouser toile.  I’m always happy to help. 🙂

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Anita McAdam
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