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Topic: Draping/Dress Form Questions (I have no idea what I'm doing)...  (Read 1631 times)
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LoveRetro
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« on: August 29, 2010 01:40:35 PM »

This is Jane, my dress form (in progress):


By a miraculous series of events, she was practically given to me (in a trade for a small tote bag that I made). The lady had removed the padding and cover, because it was getting old and ratty looking. Here's what she looked like when I got her:



She needed to be padded out quite a few inches. So I did, using polyester stuffing, batting, needlepunch, scraps of fleece, and whatever else I could find for free. Tongue It has been a long, experimental, somewhat creepy process. Now I'm at the point where I'm trying to cover her with some white cotton that came from my mom's old country curtains. I'm working from the waist up now, because those proportions are pretty much perfect, while the hips still need some work. I've made two weird dart-type things on each side of the bust to draw in the excess fabric (though the fabric is still wrinkled through there, I'm happy with it). I really didn't know how except from what I saw in a draping video on Youtube once. I even arranged the fabric so that one of the curtains seams now forms the center front line. But now this is my problem:







I've got this awkward excess fabric wrinkling up along the neck and shoulders. I've got the side seams and the shoulder seams pinned down, but I can't figure out how to smooth out this fabric. Plus, I don't know how I'm going to finish it at the top, since the neck has to have the metal rod coming through it, as you can see from that last picture. Although it is a handy place to stick my doughnut pincushion. Grin

So here are my two questions: how do I get rid of the bunched up fabric at the neck (so it'll look nice and smooth like other dress forms), and how do you guys suggest that I finish the top of the neck around the rod? Thanks so much!
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hoxierice
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010 08:24:08 PM »

Ok, here are my suggestions.

First, if you could I would make a sloper/body block that fits you then when you take that and put it on the dress form it will really be you. Because it came off of you.

Second, if you could I would make the "weird dart things" into a princess line to the shoulder (that is what is on real dress forms, it provides a nice line if you want to drape princess lines--like your seam down the center front)

OK so that wasn't your question at all, but you have to have a seam where the neckline of the bodice becomes the neckline of the neck. Again, that is how real dress forms are, You are having weird bunching because you are going from the curve and shape of the neck/shoulders to the curve and shape of the neck. It just won't work without a seam. Like a turtleneck or a shirt collar, it isn't the same piece as the shirt, they are separate pieces with separate curves to go around different parts of the body.

Yes, you did the right thing by pinching out the excess fabric to make the waist darts, your technique just needs refining to get out the excess wrinkling.

On real dress forms the top (where the rod comes out) has a metal cap like thing so the fabric would just end, probably stapled to the top of the neck and the cap covers the raw edge bits. I don't have a suggestion, but that is a real dress form, you can decide how you would accomplish that.

Also, go to the library and find a draping book. It will really help.
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mandodeb
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2010 11:12:44 PM »

I just wanted to tell you that I think what you've done so far is marvelous!
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hoxierice
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010 08:32:00 AM »

Oh, duh about the top. On the dress forms with covers you fit to your body the top neck edge is bound with bias or some binding.
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LoveRetro
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2010 12:09:46 PM »

Okay, thank you so much! Cheesy Making a seam around the base of the neck makes perfect sense now. I've never seen a dress form up close and personal, except for those adjustable ones at Joann's, so your points have helped me a lot.

By the way, I was planning on sewing the entire front cover of the dress form and the entire back, and then sewing the side seams up by hand. Does that sound like the best thing to do? My reasoning was that I could get it fitted more closely and it would be easier for me to add or remove stuffing as necessary.
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"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." -Romans 12:2

My Blog:
missvintagegirl.blogspot.com

My Etsy Shop:
SewTechnicolor.etsy.com
hoxierice
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2010 08:50:33 PM »

Yes, that makes sense, if I am remembering right the fancy dress forms have handstitched (overcast, whipstitch) side seams.
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money2burn
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2010 04:41:15 AM »

Flipping the cover inside out, makes it easier to adjust the cover. 

I used a seperate plain circle with a hole in the middle to go around the post.  Luckily I had the plastic cap to top mine off.

You could probably top yours off with a large decorative knob or wood bead.

See my last photo for reference.
alterning a small dressform to plus size.
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=250311.0
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LoveRetro
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2010 10:15:59 AM »

Thanks so much, guys. I just thought I would follow up and let you all know that I finished my dress form about a month ago. Here's the finished product:





To see more pictures and hear the story about how I did it, visit my blog post:

http://missvintagegirl.blogspot.com/2010/11/adventures-of-jane-or-how-to-recover.html
THIS ROCKS   Logged

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." -Romans 12:2

My Blog:
missvintagegirl.blogspot.com

My Etsy Shop:
SewTechnicolor.etsy.com
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