New project - Dressmaker Form

My new dressmaker form

Sewing is easier when you can use a patterns right from the envelope. It gets a little harder when alterations are necessary and just discouraging when figure changes are outside the bounds of the average pattern. If you sew for someone else it is easy to see what and where to alter a muslin item and you can mark the alterations with chalk and or pins. But when you sew for yourself alterations are much harder. 

Earlier this year I found several websites and blogs with instructions for making customized dressmaker models.You will need a helper for these and the first try may not turn out like you want. I gave it a try. I even devised a way to make a stand on wheels with pvc pipe, but my attempt with the dress form was not what I would call successful.  Threads version of how to Clone Yourself a Fitting Assistant 

Last month much to my dismay, I discovered my favorite dress shop was closing. After I left the store, I realized they would probably be selling the store fixtures, including the dress models. The next day I went back to the store to see if this was indeed the case and purchased one. There were some on stands and some that just rested on the floor, I figured the ones on stands would be more, but the shopkeeper suggested that I take one on a stand.  My first questions was if they came in several sizes, but they were all the same size.  

I was pretty sure I could pad the model up in such a way that I could get the fit I needed. It has been an idea on a back burner for a couple of weeks. I just about had it figured out. I would make a very tight fitted bodice that fit me and put it on the new dress model, then stuff it to fill in the space between the dress model form and my actual form. If this worked, sewing for myself would be much easier again because I would have the benefit of draping the garments to see where it needed alterations.  

Last weekend I was in my local fabric store, I went specifically to find a special ruler, and look at the magazines. I picked up the July 2012 issue of Threads because there was a beautiful stripe dress with a chevron pattern at the bodice. Inside the magazine there was also a shift dress with a special stripe embellishment down the front and around the back and another dress with embroidered flowers sewn to the bodice. Almost unnoticed, there was an article by Kenneth King, about how to make removable covers for dress forms so that one dress form could fit multiple figures. He has photos and instructions for how to do this and seriously, it is a little bit easier than the idea I had, plus, it will not limit my dress form to just one size. ("When the student is ready the teacher will appear."  - Buddhist Proverb)

July 2012 Threads Cover 
If these four items were not enough to make me just elated that I picked up this copy of Threads, there was also an article about the 1912 Vintage Pattern Testing, so I signed up to do that too.  Now I really need to be working on my dress form!  Happy Sewing.

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