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The honest (brutal) truth

2013 September 11
by elizabeth_admin

Sometimes, the truth hurts.  Case in point: when you pad out your new dress form so that it more closely resembles you.


Looking on the bright side though, at least when I drape now, it will actually fit me in real life.  I’m gonna keep repeating that like a mantra.

I loved all the advice you all gave me on my last post about what model to get.  Thank you so much!  So I bet you’re wondering what I ended up buying.  Well, it turns out I only had one choice with my time constraints and the fact that I needed a dress form that was lightweight and somewhat easy to transport back and forth to my draping class.  Buying a dress form on-line ended up not being an option as it was not likely to arrive before my next class, let alone with time to customize it too.  So, buying whatever they had at Joann’s it was.  The only model that they sell at their brick and mortar stores is the Dritz My Double models.  The Singer 150 dress form is only offered on-line.

I went out first thing this morning, bought it, and then spent the day padding it out.  I didn’t use any fancy padding systems.  I just used my measurements and cotton quilting batting my Mom had on hand.  That’s it.  Simple but time consuming.

Some people pointed out that when you drape, you pin at CF and CB, etc, and the adjustable forms pull apart at CF and CB, making pinning kind of impossible.  So I draped my batting to cover those holes so my form would be pinnable all over.



To accommodate the curves I cut out darts in the batting as I went along.



It took a bit of jiggering back and forth to get the sizing of the base form just right and accommodate the additional width the batting added.  I added an old bra and padded the cups to my size.  Next up was the waist and completely obliterating its shape so that it resembles a straight cylinder.  Ok, almost a straight cylinder.  I also added some padding to the high hip on my back side.  Oh, and let’s not forget the tummy fluff padding I added for a depressing dose of realism.



I tugged a long t-shirt onto the padded out form.  Et voilá, my finished dress form.



And I bet you’re wondering how it compares to me.  Well here’s a side by side.



I haven’t come up with a name for my dress form.  I don’t really name my machines or anything else inanimate, so I don’t know if I will name my dress form or not.  Maybe inspiration will strike later.

So now I think I’m ready for my draping class.  Any constructive comments?  Let me know if I’m forgetting something or should change something up.  I’ve never done this before, so I’m clueless.

Off to do my draping home work now.  Can’t wait for my next class.

17 Responses leave one →
  1. September 11, 2013

    My form is named “Azzurra”, which means “blue” in Italian. Guess what color she is? :p

  2. September 11, 2013

    I think you’ve done a marvelous job. It looks like a real person rather than something in a Bloomingdale’s window display. Excited to hear about the class!

  3. September 11, 2013

    I have two dress forms, one for each daughter since they are totally two different sizes, I have named them after my girls. My daughters think I have lost my mind, but since they have grown up and moved out I am feeling the empty nest syndrome. My dress forms help me deal with that.

  4. September 11, 2013

    It looks great to me too. Did you stitch the batting on or what. I am very interested in the process you used.

  5. September 11, 2013

    Great job Elizabeth! Welcome to the club of those who have padded out their dressform and sighed! It makes a big difference though and I find mine to be quite helpful.

    I am loving your enthusiasm for this class. I am still impressed that it’s free. Score one for San Diego!

  6. Kristin P permalink
    September 12, 2013

    You turned that around so quickly, and it looks like you did a good job– but then you would know best. Don’t let the “padding” process bring you down though, because the clothes you can make now will be customized and flattering to YOU! I hope you find that it’s worth it 🙂

  7. September 12, 2013

    Oh my – I can’t believe how well you did on padding it to accurately fit your shape. Very impressive. I have extra padding, that I have to add back to mine since adding 12-15 pounds to my shape. LOL. Sighhhh. It is hard to take, but your mantra is the truth. We want to use these to have well fitting clothes. Bravo.

  8. September 12, 2013

    Wow, that looks great! Can’t wait to see what you come up with in class 🙂

  9. September 12, 2013

    Nice! Looks like you did a great job of making it look more like you.

  10. September 12, 2013

    You might like her better if you name her – that way, in your mind, she will not be you. I suggest we name her Betsy. Have fun in class, sweets! xoS

  11. September 12, 2013

    You did a great job. My dress form is covered with a short sleeve turtleneck and body suit over it. I also have a bra on it with shoulder pads to fill the cups. I need to pad the rest of it… thanks for the inspiration.

  12. Judi permalink
    September 12, 2013

    You “made it work”…looks great!!!!

  13. September 12, 2013

    Elizabeth-great job! It will be such a help in your class and in the future. I hope you realize that you look marvelous in photos and real life.

    I need to do this padding also, but I don’t know how to pad in the small amount of fluff over my hysterectomy scar, the dent in my right buttock from falling off my horse onto lava rocks, and the generally generous hips. 🙂 I cannot “see” myself in the mirror realistically and my dressform at least has shown me that I have a shape. It might be dented, but it’s a shape!

  14. September 12, 2013

    My dress form is more or less like yours. If do you want to look it

  15. Sufiya permalink
    September 13, 2013

    I finally caved in and bought a new dressform after seeing nary a one available second-hand ANYWHERE…of course, the moment I did THAT, secondhand dressforms started popping up EVERYWHERE!

    I had to pad mine too; I am this weird in-between size: not big enough for “plus-size” but a hair too big for today’s ‘regular” size! I had to crank the dressform out to the max in every direction and then “add the pad” here and there; a plus size form would have been TOO BIG. I have a really LONG torso and back waist measurement: 17 1/2 ” (the average BWM on every pattern is about 16″) Not only that, my waist measurement is higher in front than in back. All this makes for major joy when trying to get the form to “match”. Hubby bought me a “Your personal fit” pattern for X-mas last year, but I haven’t had a chance to make the toile up yet.

  16. Shams permalink
    September 13, 2013

    Elizabeth, that looks great!!! What a great tool.

  17. September 14, 2013

    You will never regret buying this – it is an investment, even if she just ‘wears’ your work in progress while you sew – keeps the pieces off the floor anyway. Mine’s a really old (1960) museum mannequin – rescued from the college sewing dungeon – water damaged, drawn on with felt tip, but se has lived with me for 3 years now and has worn everything I’ve made. We are not the same size at all, so I might try your padding technique. Doris wears a T-shirt too but more for modesty’s sake.

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