Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Improved Dress Form

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I mentioned in a previous entry that I'd outline what I'd done to improve my dress form. I took the time to do a couple of tweaks and shoot a picture today:


Meet Honoria Glossop, if you haven't done so previously. She's a vintage dress form I picked up some years ago. Knowing now what I didn't know then, I probably wouldn't have bought the dress form. Of course, if I'd done even a little research and saved my bucks for a different dress form, I wouldn't have been happy with it. 

The reason for getting a dress form at the time was that it was much less expensive than a mannequin for displaying cloaks. Chris had posed for a couple of pictures, but eBay ethics demanded I post the actual cloak I had for sale every time, so that was asking a lot of him. I was in an antique mall one day and spotted the dress form for a really good price. Problem solved.

I named her Honoria Glossop partly because she doesn't fit the form of a conventional woman (the frame was distorted from years of use and possibly abuse) and she's obstinate. Every time I'd set her up for a particular size, she'd tilt, she'd shrink (some of the wingnuts in the framework didn't set very well), and she'd just be difficult. Hence the name.

She was fine for photographing cloaks and other clothing and doing the occasional hem, but she looked nothing like me. It's not her fault. I've never been of what one would call "proper" proportions. And Honoria isn't because of her structural problems. I decided to do something about it. Last winter when we were snowed in I slapped an old swimsuit over the frame and padded it out with batting. It didn't work very well. 

Last week I decided to try something different. I put an old bra that fit in the cups (but the chest band had shrunk terribly) on Honroia. I used some twill tape to extend the band. Since the cups fit, that was the most important part. I stuffed those with loose batting and then wrapped some fleece from the remnant table around the waste and the shoulder area to pad out the form. I put a T-shirt style nightgown from the dollar store over that, and it worked. At least until I moved it.

Today I pulled the modifications off, got out some tools, and tightened down all of the screws and wingnuts. Once I was convinced the frame was in place, I then went back and added padding to measure.

It's pretty darned close. And only cost me a couple of bucks for the fleece. We'll see if this holds up!

Tags: Pictures

Filed under: Sewing   Pictures         


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