Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dressform, Part Three and Getting There!

What you see here is the completed cover but totally unpadded. That will happen shortly but I thought I would share a few construction points first.
The cover is princess seamed, something I had to makeup myself on Vogue's muslin pattern. I would suggest using a princess seamed  sheath dress pattern as an easier way to start this project. Hindsight it  twenty twenty, you know!

The question of how I did this alone has been brought up. I didn't. Hubby was indispensable, particularly in helping to find my waist. When the bodice was complete I sewed the zipper in the center back seam. It extended a good nine inches beyond the bodice waist. I would deal with that later. Then I put on a black elastic cord tied around my waist and wore it while I finished up the skirt section. When the skirt was done, still with the bodice and elastic on, I had DH mark where the black cord was every two inches with a red frixion pen. This would come out once ironed. He got it spot on, bless his heart. You can see his wonderful work in the next photo.  That's the elastic cord on the right and the zipper bottom is hiding underneath.


Once my waistline was established I pressed under the waistline seam allowance 5/8ths of an inch all around the skirt section.
Then the fold of the skirt waistband was matched up with his marks. I topstitched the skirt in place. It was a perfect fit so I knew he got the waistband right! Yahoo! After topstitching I also zigzagged the same seamline for a bit of insurance. This is ravelly fabric and the zipper and waistline got extra protection. 


Then I found the end zipper stop and marked the seamline. I stitched the skirt closed from there down. Now I could install the final leg of the zipper.
  Double stick Wonder Tape was really helpful here. Now the zipper was complete and I could give it a fitting on the form. That is what you see in the first two pictures.

I have wide hips and they cut back in at my thighs. My dress form wasn't long enough to accommodate this change in shape and I felt it was important. Let's say if I wanted to make a pencil skirt, this shape would matter. Plus I had to figure out how to end the bottom of the cover. It couldn't just hang there. I wanted a longer dress form. DH came up with the idea of some heavy corrugated cardboard and duct tape. He helped me wrap a ring of the cardboard around the bottom of the form to get the right length. This would be impossible without two people. Once I got it on, paying particular attention that the bottom edge was parallel to the floor, I cut darts in the cardboard ring. I cut slits almost to the bottom edge and starting duct taping everything tight as could be. Now what you see is pretty nasty but it will be filled out with batting so I am not worried. And, I've got my longer length. Now I can run a drawstring in the bottom of the form and pull it up snug and tie it off once it is all padded.

 Cross your fingers for the next phase.....Bunny

25 comments:

  1. Wow, this was a real undertaking, but it looks fantastic. I love that you used such a pretty fabric for it, as it still be a pretty accessory in the sewing room... even when she's naked!

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  2. It has been quite labor intense, Kristine, but I think definitely worth it and so much more workable than that duct tape dummy that collapse out to a weird shape that looked nothing like this one.

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  3. This is a seriously interesting project. I want to follow up on this cause my dressform is sort of useless.

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  4. This will be a valuable tool. I LOVE the fabric you're using for it.

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  5. I too love the fabric, and if I remember rightly it goes with the colour theme for your sewing room (B&W right?).

    I too am following with interest, however after all this hard work, I hope you don't intend putting on or losing any weight (not that you need to on either count) otherwise, does that mean doing it all again. Did I read in your other posts that you intend doing a summer (slimmer) and winter (heavier) version?

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    1. Yes, the fabric will look great in the sewing room scheme. I have already used some of the toile to cover my sleeve board.

      At this point I have all the pattern pieces for a new cover so it would be much less work than the initial form. Since this post I have padded it all out and it is a matter of layers so I could just peel back a layer or two. Wish it was that simple in real life.

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  6. Bunny, did you tie the black elastic next to your skin or the over the finished bodice?

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    1. It was over the completed bodice but I let it ride to where it wanted to be as I went up and down stairs, etc. I was prepared to add an extra piece of fabric into the waistline if it slithered down to my exposed skin.

      I was more worried about my neighbors showing up as I did all the off and ons as they were due for a visit. Hubby spotted for me.

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  7. This is a lot of work! I love the toile fabric that you chose. So pretty. I'd be afraid to try this. My weight fluctuates too much to make it worth the effort for me, lol.

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  8. Gotta love DHs for the help they give us! Yours sounds much like mine - loves to solve a problem with a practical solution, and willing to mark a hem or some other such thing when called upon. Yay for helpful partners in the house!

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    1. Yup, he's a keeper.

      Just want to add that it got all stuffed this afternoon and really really looks like me which I am very happy about. I gave it my little maturity tummy and my bootyiesque backside. Can't wait to show the completed project. I just have the "fine finishing" to do on it now.Thanks for all the encouragement, everyone. You can do this. It's a bit intense and it is probably more fun to actually sew a garment but is well worth the effort.

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  9. This project is on my "to do" list. Will be checking back with you to see the finished project. I have a Connie Crawford book that outlines almost exactly what you did. :)

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  10. Bunny, this is fascinating, and you are a very clever sewista! I will be looking forward to see how you manage to pad the toile so that it remains smooth and not lumpy. May I ask what undergarments you wore to fit the toile? I'd imagine they could really affect the fit, particularly the bra, whether padded, underwire, etc.

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    1. There is a certain bra style that I prefer so I buy them in multiples. I sacrificed on to the form as you can see above. I had to fill the bra with padding to keep it from caving in. I also made sure I wore this same bra for the fitting. That and some undies and a big robe to keep up with the on and offs.There is a little secret to getting the form smooth and I will show that in the next post.

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  11. Thanks Bunny for all the extra info. You have just about convinced me to give it a try with a little help from DH & DD. However, with all the trying on and taking off it might have to wait til the weather warms up...our old house is quite drafty.
    Csn't wait to see what the finished lady looks like.
    Laura
    PS Have you seen fabulous dollmaking by Mimi Kirchner (http://www.etsy.com/listing/113413455/blond-tattooed-lady-doll)She makes tatooed ladies (and gentlemen) from toile fabric. Your form reminds me of these ladies!

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    1. Those dolls are positively darling. Thanks for the link, Laura.

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  12. How beautiful 'YOU' look in toile! LOL This has turned out to be a wonderful project & I'm following along with great interest.

    "peel off a layer" Yes, I wish it were THAT easy, in real life! ;-)

    Good job, Bunny!! ~clap~clap~

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  13. what a pretty toile fabric for your dressform!
    love it.

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  14. For those of us with no dress form at all, what brand/type do you recommend? I can't wait to see the next installment to see how/where you added padding to get the perfect shape.

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    1. For some reason my reply has disappeared, Angela. I haven't experienced any dressform other than this one so really don't have the chops to recommend one. In a perfect world I would own a Wolf form in my own measurements. But next would be anything sturdy, pinnable, and to my exact measurements. Duct tape dummy didn't last for me and sort of lost it's mimic of my shape after a while. So this inexpensive form, rebuilt to my specs, is absolutely fine for me. Plus it has been fun putting it together. It's a lot more fun sewing than sticking duct tape together.

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  15. I have been following your blog for a couple years as I sew and I used to live in northeast New York state. I really have enjoyed reading about your current project, your body double; the results are elegant. Good job, Bunny!

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  16. I've missed the posts on your progress. I'm excited to see how it turns out. Knowing you, it will be perfect :)

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