Dress Form Unboxing + Mini-Review

I bought a professional dress form!!! I got it from The Shop Company:

Here she is. My new dressform!
Also, those pictures on the right wall were drawn by my students when I used to teach English in France. 😉

I absolutely love it. It’s fantastic quality, at the fraction of the cost of a Wolf or PGM Form. I bought the dress form because I want to branch out into making outerwear garments – dresses, skirts, blouses (maybe even pants!).

The dress form arrived in four basic parts: the heavy iron base, the wheels, the pole, and the body. There was a strange debris that came out of the pole, which I had to vacuum off the floor and clean off my pants afterwards. It smelled like sawdust but also slightly chemical.

There are instructions on how to put the dress form together, but they’re not very detailed. It reminded me of putting together IKEA furniture with my dad. Blunt, “common-sense” directions with basic images and few descriptions.

Putting together this dress form was a two-person job. First I assembled the wheels to the iron base with my sister’s help. The wheels with the brakes had to be forcefully banged in. Everything else was a breeze – sticking the pole onto the base, and placing the “body” on top.

I’m so excited about the pieces I’ll be able to create with this dress form!Having a dress form is key to designing custom-made pieces. Say you’re making a dress. After you sketch out on paper how you want your dress to look, you pin style lines onto the dress form:

Then, you drape & pin muslin fabric onto the dressform to see how the fabric flows, and understand how you will have to sew the garment in your real fashion fabric. At this point, you may decide you want to change the style lines you had in your head. You can see here that I decided to eliminate the lace overlay and make this a strapless gown:

Once you’re happy with your drape, you can create a paper pattern. You can use this pattern as a guide to cut out your fashion fabric:

It’s quite a process, but one I rather enjoy. 🙂 I like how methodical it all is. It’s fun to do each step, and see them all unfold into your beautiful vision at the end.

Cocktail dress I’ve been working on since July

I’m looking forward to creating new pieces on my dress form – both for myself and others. I’ve sketched a couple of dresses and a skirt. I’m planning on making myself two new dresses for the fall/winter season. I’d like to incorporate silk linings and hand-sewn embroidery & beading. I will share everything on the blog, and I may even make a YouTube video!

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