In an age before preprinted patterns, dressmakers would look at the illustration of a gown in a fashion plate or magazine and make a pattern based on the picture. If they were lucky, a fashion doll (not unlike Barbie,for so many of us!) would be available wearing a small representation of the fashionable style, which the seamstress could then study to better understand the construction of the gown. "Draping a Toile" was the term used when the seamstress created a pattern by simply draping and pinning inexpensive fabric to create a sample of the dress, from which the actual gown can be made. A "toile" was simply the mock up of the gown before it was finished. The following pattern should be attempted only by experienced sewers. The illustration shows a blue and white striped silk gown with velvet appliqué. It is possible to make this with the included pattern-- but only after enlarging it (click on the pattern to see it full size, and ready to print) to the size indicated...and "draping a toile". So go ahead-- what are you waiting for? Create a dress the way Jane Austen's would have been made! Visit our online giftshop for costume patterns, ready made dresses and more!