Dress Form Fitted

My garment making career started in seventh grade.  The only place I could find clothes that sort of fit was in the Boys Department at JC Penney, because I was a very tall skinny kid.  A lot of years have been spent dreaming of having my very own Dress Form Fitted to my shape.  Then one morning I woke up and thought, “What am I waiting for?”  This article is not about how to fit your dress form (it will include some helpful YouTube video links), but about my adventure and things that I know now that I wish someone had told me before I started.

What to expect –

  • My first consideration was budget.  I would have loved to say I have unlimited funds and could purchase a Professional Dress Form.  In the real world I have a Mid-Range Budget. 
  • Look at reviews to get an idea of what will and will not work for you. 
  • Do Not expect you dress form to come out of the box and be a perfect double for your body.  Every woman is unique.
  • Do some basic measurements of yourself, it will give you a good place to begin.  Bust, Waist, Hips, Hip to Waist, Neck, Back Waist Length and Height from back of Neck to floor.  
Adjustable Dress Form

Selection –

I had narrowed my choices down to two Adjustable Dress forms.  I then compared my measurements to the two dress forms.  I went with the one that my measurements fell into the middle of their size categories.

Waiting for my dress form to arrive was the worst part.  I tried to “Buy Local” but no one carries Dress Forms locally.  She arrived in one box.  Assembly required.

Help!

The thought of trying to measure and adjust everything all by myself was daunting, so I call in reinforcements to help get my Dress Form fitted.  My sister Karen was up to the challenge.  I found two handouts that were helpful with measuring and having a place to write all of those measurement down. Here are some of my thoughts: 

Front Bra & Padding added to Form
Dress Form with Padding

Then it come down to adjusting here and there.  Measure, adjust here and there.  Padding, measure, adjust here and there.  Total time 4 ½ hours and a lot of laughter.  It was really interesting to see my shape in 3D, as opposed to 2D (Flat) in a mirror.

Finished off with Snug T-shirt

We added a snug fitting T-shirt, so I would not get frightened every time I look her way.

My Only Issue –

The only real issue I had with the Dress Form that I purchased was the base. If you look at the very first photo of the Dress Form it has a silver base that was worthless. Flimsy, if you breathed on the Dress Form it would fall over.

Found a great office chair at the Goodwill for $4.99. When I got it home discovered it was in much better condition than the one in my Studio. Swapped them and gave the office chair and Dress Form to my husband Mike (man that makes all things you cannot buy at the store). And this is what I got back.

New Office Chair Base.

A stable rolling base for my Dress Form. She has her dancing shoes on. Works perfect!

Mandarin Collar

Finished my Marbling and have move to making samples of new Patterns. Mandarin Collar is Kwik Sew K4195. This is the Vest Version. Personally I think it is a Sleeveless Top. Went for bright and fun fabrics, Snowed Dyed Fabric, one Yard piece and 1 5/8 Yards of Hand Dyed Forest Green for size Large.

Mandarin Collar Kwik Sew Pattern K4195

I found the Mandarin Collar to be a fairly easy pattern to put together. As I have a new sewing machine there was a bit of a learning curve and just getting used to the machine.

Completed  Mandarin Collar Top
Back View

When I do samples for my booth I try very hard to sew as the pattern is written. But the way the directions had you do the Sleeve Opening, was not to my liking at all. Instead I found my self using hand made Bias Tape (Snow Dyed Fabric) for the finish. I also had five of the Copper and Silver buttons, so five buttons rather then the suggested four.

Close up of Sleeve Bias Band

Loved using my Snowed Dyed fabric for the Contrast.

Snow Dyed Fabric

The Rug that turned into a Bowl

I am lucky enough to live near Bellingham, WA the home of Ragfinery. I was feeling in need of inspiration and something to get me out a creative rut. Signed up for their No-Sew Braided Rug Class. Great class I might add. Once I arrived home and continued working on my rug, I discovered that it really wanted to be a bowl. So here it is. Either way it is a great way to keep fabric/textiles out of the land fills.

I can feel a few more starting to bud in my creative mind. I will keep you posted.

Life is an Experiment

Somewhere along the line I have come to view my life as one big experiment. In my studio if something sits still to long it could end up in a dye bucket. Recently I received a bolt of Tone on Tone Cotton Fabric and I have questions.

What happens if you throw it into a dye bucket? What happens it you use paintstiks on the printed part of the fabric? Will it stick?

I tossed it in with some Pansy Purple Scarves that I was dying and a whole new look appeared. Added some Iridescent Gold Paintstik, that had been cured, heat set, washed and dried.

Wysong T-shirt Quilt Finally!

Several years ago my dear friend Mary asked for assistance with making a T-shirt quilt for her husband Jeff.  The majority of the T-shirts were from Alaska so Mary wanted to use my snow dyed fabric.  We spent the afternoon selecting several yard sized pieces that went well together.
Might I say at this point that Mary is not a quilter and had no idea what she was getting into.  We started by stabilizing the t-shirts and then arranging them for the quilt top.  As we lived four hours apart Mary found help in her area for assembling the quilt top.  She sent me a sample of the color for the drops and I created a custom hand dyed color for the quilt.
Mike & I just made a trip to Montana to visit Mary & Jeff.  While admiring the quilt I noticed that not all of the basting had been removed.  I thought that it was only appropriate that I finish the quilt Mary and I had started.  It turned out beautifully.