Coming soon…a new dress form, shaped like me!

Naomi at SpareRoomStyle made a request this morning that got me to seriously thinking.  She asked to see a photo of my 1920s dress on a person.  Up until this request I was mainly using Mary Ann, my size 4 dress form, as the means to get my groove back in terms of sewing and patternmaking.  I have passed from a size 4 a while back and now am between a 4 and a 6.  I prefer my new body shape since it’s much healthier and curvier even though it puts me into that strange place where a woman is one size on top and another on the bottom.  Still it’s so much better than having my bust darts cave in or the skirt hang a bit below the butt.  Clothes look better when a person has a healthy body weight.

I started this blog back in 2013, about 18 months after my Mom passed on.  At that point I had been away from my sewing machine and full-scale pattern drafting for almost 20 years.  To give my Mom the attention she needed and bring in the money to keep the household going I had to let go of many personal hobbies.  So that I didn’t go completely off the deep  end by the loss of my full scale sewing, I took to drafting 1:6 scale patterns for 10 3/4″ dolls and hand sewing the dresses for them.  Since 2013 I’ve gradually gotten my touch and sensibility back.  I had planned to have photos of my size 4 outfits taken on an amateur model so I could have a portfolio.  Although I can fit into the size 4 outfits, my hips and waist measurements are larger than a size 4.  The results is that proportionally the fall of the garment is not so good below the waist.

After thinking about how much even an amateur model and photographer would cost I started looking into how much a custom made dress form would cost.  I have been saving for this next phase and have decided to get the form instead.  I will now be able to draft patterns and fit them on my sized form as well as the size 4.  I do not consider this redundant because it offers me more opportunities to compare the differences between standard and custom sizing in many areas.  Plus, I now get to take an occasional photo of myself when I have completed something I really want.

My next 1930s project will still go forward as planned for a Misses Size 4 since it takes some time for a custom form to be hand made.  Then there will be the making and fitting of a toile for myself.  When my Mom was alive she did all the little things like pinning the back, taking the photos that we later evaluated for fit, helping me with colors and giving me the benefit of her very discerning eye and sensibility.  Having a custom made dress form won’t take her place but what I learned from her can be applied since I can step back and look at my form from a distance.

Wish me luck.  I have an appointment at Andy’s Forms for this Saturday at 10 to get measured and discuss what else my form should have.  I think she should have a butt and an arm.  I seriously think it will help with fitting and draping for future projects.  The estimate for just the form is under $600 which is within what I’ve been saving for.  To me it’s worth the investment.  I don’t need to go away on a fancy vacation.  My happy time off will be sewing, draping and drafting for the new form.  When she arrives we can decide on a name for her.






10 thoughts on “Coming soon…a new dress form, shaped like me!

  1. I’m a bit late seeing this so I’m hoping that your appointment for your measuring went well and the process has been started now.
    Does this mean that you won’t be wearing your gorgeous new dress? Or did I misunderstand?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Norma! You understood correctly. The 1930s dress is made for a smaller woman. The girth of my curvier shape reduces the depth of the flares. As a standard sized dress it will be a lovely piece for my portfolio. Eventually I will be making clothing using my own measurements.

      I had to work things through this way because if I didn’t distance myself from what I was making I’d never break out of the rut I was in creatively for such a long time. I think working this way helped me expand my outlook.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, and the appointment went off very well. The form and the arm came in well under what I had budgeted. I will blog about it next week. Right now I’m working on line drawings of the 1930s dress so everyone can see the lines and details. So much gets lost in the print of the fabric.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good about the appointment. Always worrying when something is being custom made – you never really know what the cost will be.
        It will be exciting when you’re able to make to your own measurements

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly! You understand completely. The reason why this process is taking so long is that there is nobody here to take my measurements or assist with the fittings. I figured until I had enough for the form I might as well make do with what was available and get the sewing and drafting skills back on track.

        I was so pleased with the price of the form. I’m still floating in the clouds about it.

        Liked by 1 person

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