Back Burner Project Moving Ahead

My helper Dot in the muslin 
I have not been sewing for myself much recently, mostly because I have not been happy with the fit. It is hard to get accurate measurements by yourself. I figured that a dress form would make things easier, but when I purchased one on sale I found out it did not even have a way to adjust some measurements - like bustline and waistline heights. So I returned it within just a few hours.

In May I went dress shopping at a favorite store only to discover that they had lost their lease and were closing the store. They had already sold almost everything out to the bare walls and only had just a few items and the store fixtures left. After I left the shop I remebered that I had seen a lot of half maniquins lined up along the walls. They had been turned to face the wall so their backs were all you could see. It occurred to me that I could probably pad this form to match me easier than I could get a custom dressmaker form so I went back to the store and inquired about the store fixtures. Twenty bucks, even if it did not work I had not lost much on the purchase and it almost perfectly matches my daughter as is.

Not long afterwards I found in the July 2012 issue of Threads the article, "Fit for Everyone" by Kenneth D. King. Mr. King described how to make and pad two layers so that the first layer fit the dress form and the second layer fit another person. Here it was, spelled out step by step how to do what I was thinking about doing anyway. Just one problem. I still did not have a way to make accurate measurements. So the project has sat while I worked on other things.

Threads Cover.
I purchased it for this stripes article, the dress form article was a  bonus.
A couple of weeks ago I was wearing a favorite dress; you know the one, that dress in your closet that fits perfectly and makes you look great. It hides figure flaws, and even though it is not the newest item in the closet you get complements everytime you wear it. Yes, that one. Well a co-worker said, "I just love that dress." and of course I said thank you but thought "I wish I had a dozen just like it." and the light finally went on in my head. "Why don't I copy it?" then I could have a dozen or two.

I really don't know why it took me so long to figure this out. I know it fits, I know it is flattering, I know how to knock off a pattern. I won't need measurements. It will be easier to just alter a couple of seams, and it will help me solve several problems.

I will have an accurate set of blocks also known as a sloper. Once I get the alterations completed, I will be able to make a dozen or two of this dress in all the colors that look good on me and the muslin will become the second layer for my customized dress form. I will have a tried and true pattern that I like and a dress form to help accurately fit other patterns.

Original garmet pinned to the tissue paper for tracing.
I copied and cut the pieces this week.  Now to sew the muslin.

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