Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Friend, the Dress Form

I spent the entire day today working on my body duplicate. I think I came pretty close. As you will see from the first muslin, there is much room to subtract before I have a skin tight duplicate, picture of which I will spare you and myself, although those jeans don't leave much to the imagination. 


This is made from Vogue's Muslin pattern, Vogue 1004. This is a sloper to be used to check fit on your Vogue patterns. In my case it was made without any ease in order to duplicate my body. If I went by the pattern measurements I would have taken a size 12. But I have never worn a twelve pattern in my life. I used a size eight. The interesting thing is the skirt part of my dummy fit perfectly out of the envelope in that size eight. The top was made much smaller to accomodate a narrow ribcage and shoulders. So the eight was just fine for me. If you use this pattern for a dummy get it two sizes smaller than the measurements suggest unless you have broad back issues or such.

You can see above it is large at the start which it should be if it is a sloper. The interesting thing is that once I started substracting fabric the shoulders and waist ended up exactly where they needed to be. I like that I ended up with one shoulder lower than the other, a true copy of my asymmetry, which you can see even in the above pic.

The process? I began by cutting out the size 8 exactly as it was on the pattern, not doing any of my usual changes. I used big stitches, the easier to rip out and I added a zipper up the back. First I tucked out vertical adjustments. Then I tucked out the horizontal ones as in an FBA. I had to move the "bust box" down a tad and I made a dart at the center front, between my two apexes. By the time it was all tucked and pinned in the strangest fashion, making the thing look plastered on me, I took it off. Then I rotated those tucks into darts and cut  princess seams on the front and back to accommodate some of the rotation.  My plan was to first make the bodice and then do the skirt separately. Once all stitched up, separately, I would try them on to find the final waistline and do any further tweaking, at last that is the plan for now.

I took the thing off and cut off all seam allowances.  Just to back track, before I started sewing,  all horizontal balance lines and straight of grain lines were marked in.  OK, back to cutting off the SAs. I then traced everything to oaktag, added back the seam allowances, cut my toile ( get it?) and started sewing.
I have been sewing all day. I had a decision to make before starting full bore on this project. Did I want to make it in good ole muslin or how about something a litte prettier? I found a home dec toile at JA's and thought it would be perfect and pretty. I cut it all out and other than the side seams, which I am leaving undone to get the zipper in, the bodice is complete. I will finish the skirt tomorrow and hopefully start stuffing this babe. I am in mortal fear of what this will really look like. So far, no surprises, as my hips really are much wider than my upper bone structure. But will it be one of those dress forms that will have a piece of fabric thrown on it all the time so I don't have to face what I look like? We shall see........Bunny


16 comments:

  1. Love the fabric you picked Bunny. I've wanted to do this for a long time.

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    1. Thanks, Faye. Just made sense to use a toile for a toile and the colors will be great in my cave.

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  2. Thanks for the post. I think I want to do this, but I I need one for winter (not running as much) and summer (many miles of running).

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    1. I am the same. Once I start gardening in the spring it goes down and I probably will need a summer version. But now that I have all the pieces I think I can whip one up easily enough and just take it all in a bit more. Winter bod, summer bod.....

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  3. What dress form did you use?

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    1. Jann, I am starting with my 25 year old form which I think is a Twin Fit but I am not sure. The height and length are adjustable so no problem there. It is pretty close but not realistic, if that makes sense. In other words I can dial it to my measurements but I am not shaped the way it comes out.

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    2. I bought a Twin Fit from Hancocks last year. I did a so-so fit and cover last year after I got it, but just last month decided to make it look better. I have stretched the dials, but still have to shape the padding better. It is so much nicer to sew with a form.

      Thanks for posting your efforts. I do love your cover and plan to take full advantage of your inspiration

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  4. I think that fabric will mean your dress form will seem like (another) classy lady in your sewing room. I'm wondering how you manage to pin the changes on yourself so well. Or do you have a helper? Elle

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  5. Bunny...are you doing the fitting all by yourself, or are you working with a partner? I would like to give this a try, but don't really have anyone to work with. If you are going solo, any advice? Also...you are petite, correct? (shorter than average)...How does this work with the body length of your dress form?
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. First, I have the smallest dress form I could find at the time. I think it was called Petite/Small and it dials down pretty small but we'll see when I get it all pinned on.

      Laura and Elle, I have done this by myself with hubby's picture taking help, a full length mirror, and lots of patience to repeatedly take this bodice off and on. The skirt section fit just right from the get go. In other words, it was very tight, (wink).

      I think how I will do all this will be more evident in the next couple of posts.

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  6. What an elegant lady your form is becoming. Does she have a name? If not, now is the time!

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    1. I'll take any suggestions. Maybe Tilly for Toile? We'll see.

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  7. Love the fabric you chose for the final version, so much nicer than a plain muslin!

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  8. I know you must get sick of me telling you how much you AMAZE me, Bunny! This seems like an incredible amount of work, but it is your attention to finite detail that makes you able to do such things & do them well.

    My suggestion for a name, because of the French toile, is "Mon Petit Lapin"...or My Little Rabbit/Bunny. Or just "Lapin". You ARE very little, ya' know.

    Warm Hugs,
    Rett

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  9. Thank you for making this process so clear and doable. I remember making this exact pattern back in 1980 in a class of 8 other women...it sure did give you a perspective on the variations of women's bodies! Looking forward to more progress and love your choice of fabric!

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  10. Oh! I love that you decided on a pretty toile for the final form! I think it would make me like looking at her if it was me.

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