Monday, July 9, 2007

Making Your Own Dress Form...

...or trying to, at any rate.

Over the weekend I went to Baltimore to hang out with Cidell. As we are sewists, we were not content just to eat and drink and shop (though we did a fair amount of each). We had a mission: Mission Paper Tape Dress Form. We figured we'd alter a few t-shirts, slap on a little tape, slide together some PVC, and voila! Perfect us-es!

Not quite so easy. Apparently this is an iterative process with quite a learning curve. Right now that curve is bulging out at my double's waist. We're learning so you don't have to.

One thing we did conceptualize and realize to (almost) fruition is the stand. We conceived of a three-way convertible stand/dress form, spent half an hour in the PVC aisle at Home Depot flirting with and mystifying the (very obliging) Home Depot guy. We drew, we measured, we sawed, we glued with foul foul PVC cement, we malleted and in the end our crazy dreams (almost) came true (we are missing a few supplies).

The drawing below shows how the completed stand/dress form works. It can be used either on a tabletop, on a traditional stand, or hanging to fit pants at the hips and waist. I listed the materials needed on this page. (NOTE: Click on the pictures to enlarge.)

This drawing shows the nitty gritty of how to put everything together.

Cidell has put up some details of how to do the taping of the dress form itself, and I'll write more later (I'm worn out from our weekend!), but this will get you started.

Blogger only accepts JPEG and GIF format for pictures, and unfortunately the scanner cut off the edges of the drawings. However, I have also scanned them into PDF form, which looks great, and I will happily email you the PDFs. If I don't already have your email address, leave it in the comments in the form:

janedoe[underscore]sewist at hotmail

If you write it out like this web spiders can't harvest it. If it's a common domain name that I'm going to know ends in dot com, don't include that, just to keep your address safer from harvesters. You can also leave a comment for Cidell, who has set up some sort of fancy commenting system that asks for your email but doesn't publish it and she will send me your info or just send you the PDF (um, I hope you don't mind that I'm committing you to this, Cidell).


dawn said...

Goodness, are you an engineer???

Brooke said...

i would like the instructions, although it may be that they sit on my "good ideas" table for a year or two before i put them to use. :-)
dancingseamstress at cox dot net

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Ha, Dawn, sooo far from an engineer. I'm a lawyer with no 3-D ability whatsoever. I think smoke was coming out of my ears while trying to figure out how all this went.

Brooke, I emailed you. It turns out I cannot edit comments, but if you can edit your own feel free to take out your email address.

Laura said...

I've enjoyed reading about this on your and Cidell's blog - would love the PDFs

ltarwater at yahoo

julia said...

Very cool. Another option for a stand is one that lucked into. I found a smaller-than-me, old and battered dressform at a Goodwill store and got it for a couple of dollars. Then I put my tape double around it, filled in gaps for stability and taped it shut. I gathered a little circle of fabric almost closed, stuffed it with polyfil and glued it to the headless neck for a pincushion. Anyway you get there, you're gonna love having the form!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

What a score, Julia! I actually have a dress form (two!), but the problem is that there is no such thing as a dress form smaller than me, except for a child's form (which I have actually considered buying). My bust is microscopic--30.5 inches and an AA cup on a good day. They just don't make dress forms that small, and my bust is the biggest (ha ha, ironic pun intended) place I have fitting problems.

I have told Cidell that I want to do a lower half double to go over my Acme Junior size form. Her bust is only an inch or two too big, so she will do in a pinch. Her waist and booty are waaaaay too small, however. If I can give her my sway back, belly, and butt she'll be pretty useful to me.

SewPurple said...

I just discovered your blogs and love the dress form stand you ladies came up with. I would love to get the PDF of this as my girlfriend and I are getting ready to do the same thing!

sewpurple at AOL dot com