Friday, 5 November 2010

Reflections on coats and dress forms

Thank you for all the kind comments about my coat and dressform. It is lovely to receive compliments and commiserations.
I would like to talk a bit more about the dress form, which was a good learning experience, and yes, we will be making another one.
Genevieve is quite useful already. She is greater in circumference than me, but as Tanit-isis points out, that can just be useful wearing ease. I am making a very simple woven shell-type top at the moment that fits her closely to see how much ease I need to allow when using her.
The terrific thing about this form is that her shoulders are just as square as mine, she has my narrow, upright back, her bust level, waist level and hip level are the same as mine, and I can see where I need to adjust for big backsideness, even though Genevieve is lacking in this region :).
I did not expect a tape dummy to match me exactly. T-shirt + 5 layers of tape would be difficult to squash down to my dimensions.
As Sharon mentions, getting a custom made form to one's exact measurement in Australia is not an option. Having someone else tape you for a form commercially would have the same extra circumference issues.
Genevieve cost me less than $AUS 80, from locally available materials. The cheapest adjustable commercial dress form available to me from a regular shop is $249, + shipping.(I did not look too hard on e-bay). I would still need to pad out such a form, which sounds very, very tricky.
There is an excellent description by Kathryn (fzxdoc)of how to pad out a form on this thread at Stitchers' Guild. I am not tempted - yet.


Anonymous said...

Some other random thoughts on making a high-fidelity custom form... you and your husband seem pretty crafty, so what about making a cast of your body. You could use plaster bandages from a medical supply places (expensive but convenient) or just plain ol' burlap & plaster, to get a rigid shell, and then figure out what casting material would work best---look into casting & sculpting supplies for what would be best for you. I know I've seen a few tutorials made this way, with a variety of materials and methods. (Papier mache has been mentioned too). It might not be cheap depending on the materials you use, but I bet it would be better than $200-$300 for a storebought form. (caveat... I still don't have a dress form of ANY kind.)

Anonymous said...

Karen, exactly. Maude doesn't truly match my shape either, but she is still Really Useful. When new, she was nearly perfect. And she's great for getting an idea of how the garment really looks on, for example when choosing whether to rip out all the painstakingly applied hair canvas from one's everlasting coat (no). I imagine Genevieve will perform similarly well. BTW Maude became much MORE useful when I put a fitting shell on her with all the major fitting and necklines marked. Really handy to have a waist seam and bust points to match to for tissue fitting etc. My suggestion is to add twill tape to Genevieve.

lakaribane said...

I'm thinking A LOT about having a tape double made. The first one lacked bust definition (I'm only a B but I want them properly identified, ha!) so I'm going to try again. The weather is cooler now so I might not pass out; came close to that but it was August in the Caribbean so...Oh, yes, my point: IIRC, read somewhere about taping the INSIDE of the form after making 2-3 layers outside. It adds rigidity without girth, apparently.

Faye Lewis said...

I've lost some weight and was surprised to find that my dress form (at it's lowest settings) was now larger than I am. That's a good thing, but creates a problem in fitting. I recently purchased the same dress form in size small and plan on padding her out. I have the fiber fill and batting, but I'm a bit timid about giving it a try.