Monday, November 23, 2009

Cheap Date - Padding A Dress Form I

Ruby is here! She is a Dritz My Double Deluxe. I'm happy she's here, but I am greatly disappointed in her quality! She arrived broken, but she's workable with tape. The dials are amazingly cheap! They are 100% plastic and snap easily. The tape will do to hold her at my current size, but I fear any future adjustments. I've asked the seller to send me another form and she's agreed.

I spent the first fitting session trying to use tape to compensate for the broken dials.

Yesterday, I padded her out. I had to laugh at myself. I never stuffed my bra when I was younger and it shows! I had the hardest time making even breasts! Still not sure they are shaped like mine, but the bra is full.

What I noticed is that although the form was adjusted properly, the form wasn't padded enough in the back, shoulders, etc. The bra's band and straps were perfect on me, but too loose on the form. I added batting and fiberfill to help the fit. I used pins where necessary to anchor the padding.

There is one thing about the bust that worries me: the tops of the bra cups aren't flush with the form. That's why I added a full layer of padding around the top of the form. My hope is that when the cover arrives, it will be tight enough to smooth and squish as necessary.

The top is damn near perfect. What really helped (in the absence of a sloper) was a knit top. I tried it on me, then the form and tweaked the form until it mimicked my fit.

Now for the hard part. I needed a form to help me fit my lower half. I have around a 32" waist and 48" hips. Of course with the hips come the butt. I wouldn't trade my shape for the world (okay I would trade for Serena Williams'); it's just so hard to fit. It's even hard to to translate to a form.

In the above pics, the butt was uneven. What helped me immensely later was a
mirror. For some reason, it was so much easier to see where I needed to adjust the padding.

Now for the finer points: make sure you tape the large open spaces in your form. I tried to use fiberfll, but it just fell inside the form. For the smaller spaces, I used batting. Instead of cutting individual strips, I covered the whole form. When pulled tight, that batting helped me shape the padding I used for the hips and butt.

Next, I worked on the right hip. I thought the left one was fine, but you'll see that mistake in the next post.

Let's review. Here's what you'll need to make your dress form look like you:

  • Polyester batting
  • Fiberfill
  • Packing tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins*
  • Bra
  • Full length mirror
  • Sloper or clothing you can use for comparison
  • Dress form cover (I'll update the post once mine arrives.)

*For areas where I knew I would be doing a lot of adjusting, I used pins with pearlized heads. They are a lot easier to pull out than the others. Once I was really sure, I replaced the pearlized pin with a long satin pin. In areas where I didn't think it would matter, I left the orginal pin in place.

UPDATE:  Shave hours off this project by using foam pads! I got a new Ruby and used the Fabulous Fit Dress Form System


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I'm very happy you posted this. :-)
fascine (PR)

Laura said...

Thanks for those pics! I've got that same butt shape and it is so hard to sew for myself. I'm going to try to pad out my dressmaker dummy now. That ski-jump back spine into buttocks is very hard to fit. It'll be much easier to pin fabric onto a dummy that looks just like me.

Again, thanks!!!

Laura in Arkansas

Laura said...

Thanks! I've got the same butt shape and soon my dressmaker dummy will have a ski-jump buttock profile just like me!!