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!

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.

It’s That Time Again

Yes, it is snow dying time again.  We ended up with a couple of inches and that means it is time to snow dye.  I love watching the snow melt and the colors happen.  The above pile of snow received a rainbow of dye colors.

Greens, Blues, and Yellows, I think.  Once they start to melt it can be a challenge to figure out what colors I used.
Ever wondered how Over Dying happens?  I elevate my drip trays about 1 to 1 1/2 inches, using scrap lumber.  I should note that everything gets dye on it, so the scrap lumber now stays in my studio.  Melted snow changes and varies in color, surprises happen.
Fire – Red, Orange, and Yellows are ready for their rinse.
Earthtones ready for their rinse. Grass, twigs or gravel do not affect the color.
Snow Dyed Orange Rainbow
Over Dyed Kingdom Idd
Snow Dyed Purple Fan
You can see more Snow Dyed and Over Dyed pieces on my website.

Not all Reds are the same.

If you have ever asked for help finding the perfect Red, you will know the first thing I will ask you is “Blue or Orange based Red?”  I thought it was time that I explained just what that means.  Above you will see three Reds, Cherry Red, Scarlet and Emotion Red.  All three of the Reds are hand dyed using the same amount of dye, the same fabric and dyed on the same day.  Can you see the change in tone?  Cherry Red has the most Orange tone to it, thus is an Orange based Red.  Scarlet is a deeper Red but still, has that warm Orange undertone and is an Orange based Red.  Emotion Red has a cool undertone, deeper and richer, Blue based Red.

Experiment Continue!

StartIt all starts with PFD fabric, glass marbled, rubber bands and a good movie.

UndoAfter time in the dye buckets, a couple of rinses, the marbled and rubber bands must come out. My hands turn interesting colors, but wears off in a few days.

Navy_TopNavy Blue Rayon Top.

Green_Blue_Three_YardsOne Half of the three yard piece of Blue/Green.

Blue_Green_DetailDetail of Blue/Green

Violet_Turquoise_Three_YardsOne Half of the three yard piece of Violet/Turquoise.

Violet_Turquoise_DetailDetail Violet/Turquoise

Silk_ExperimentSilk Scarf. Silk is a bit of a challenge to work with.