Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Project - Dress Form

My dress form is one of those items that gets a lot of use, I would say it gets a right beating actually. And of course it is starting to show.......but rather then opt for a newbie I think giving it a revamp is the way to go (time for another quick project)!

I've seen the most stunning covered dress forms all over the Internet .....like these:-
which are so lovely - you could definitely get inspired, but most likely find you don't have time to make something so detailed. Well I'm going for a 'whip up' version so  - no excuses :)

Lets get started, heres a pic of my dress form normally,  mines a very basic standard dress form:-

And here is my first new cover made in black:-

And in the making:-
First I striped it back to the base (Ive taken the foam layer off only because I intend on moving my stuffing around according to the body proportions I want), I'm adding an old bra to increase the bust size (again it's something I'm doing for the proportions I want - you don't necessarily  need to do this you could just make a cover to throw over your dress form as is).

**Drafting alternative**
A very easy way to do this instead of drafting a flat paper pattern is turn an old stretch t-shirt inside out and then use pins to follow the shape of the form on both sides

Basic Pattern:-
I took a few basic measurements from my dress form - shoulder, bust, waist, hip and the measurements between in length (it's good to make the over all length a few inches longer so you can tuck it under at the bottom). A basic sloper pattern could be a good base to start from if your not sure what your doing. I  have to half all the measurements I've taken for around the body as I am making the flat pattern in two pieces front and back the seams at the side.

 Since we are using stretch fabric your finished size needs to be 5-6 inches smaller across (or 3" smaller either side) so that it stretches tightly over the form. My half  bust measurement is 17" across and my shell finishes at 12" across (make sure your fabric is moderately to very stretchy).

Notice the soft rounding at the shoulders and waist, try and keep you shaping gentle.....because it's stretch fabric it's better if everything is soft. You will also need a neck and top (the stopper circle at the neck hole). *The neck length just like the body needs a little extra so it can be tucked into the neck hole of the dress form.

Top - use a circle large enough to tie up under the stopper, a rubber band is  suitable to keep it in place (it will be hidden inside the neck anyway).

 I sew my necks on first, then put my fronts and backs together. 

Now  try the cover on the dress form inside out so you can pin in any areas that aren't looking right once you've stretched it on. After the sides are sewn up and you are happy with the fit, it's a good idea to make a wee channel/hem for elastic or cord to be threaded into (this means you can tighten the fabric around the pole or bottom of the dress form like on a sleeping bag). Put it all together again.......placing the neck top in and fastening the bottom neatly.

And just like that you have a new cover for your tired dress form!!

PS In case your curious my first black dress form cover is cotton and the second is printed stretch tulle (mesh).

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