Sewing, Suomeksi, Tailoring, Tutorials

Padding and updating a dress form

By kk-
padding-a-dress-form

Tiivistelmä suomeksi lopussa…

Dress form is a fundamental tool for a dressmaker. Before I got my dress form about five years ago, I ruined numerous sewing project while trying to get them to fit me. I can honestly say that buying a dress form has saved me a lot of money!

My dress form

My dress form is Adjustoform size XS. After I got it I adjusted it and padded it and it has been working ever since. Unfortunately my body shape has changed in five years. I got frustrated pinning the skirt waists on the dressform to prevent the skirt waist from moving annoyingly when I was trying to get an even hem. So it was time to fatten the girl up!

This was how my dress form looked before starting this project. I used colourful green fleece among other materials to pad it up and never got to cover it properly.

My old padded dress form.

After I took all the padding off the dress form looked like this:

The Adjustoform dress form.

Now you can see the reasons why the padding is a good idea. The dress form has big gaps at several places. The whole dress form looks a bit unaligned, too. That is because part of the neck has slipped from under the top piece. Furthermore, the lower torso doesn’t stay very well within the upper torso, because I have adjusted the length of the back to its uttermost limit. Padding also helps to stick the pins to the dress form. It has a purple fabric surface but it is hard so the pins don’t sink into it.

Adjusting the base for the padding

Sewing the shoulders and the bust shaping.

First thing to do was to put an old bra on my dress from. This allows me to adjust the position of the bust area to the right distance from the shoulders. Also, I do always wear a bra under my clothes so the dress form should my proportions with the bra. I have removed the shoulder straps, though and I pin the bra onto the dress form to keep it in place. (I leave the pins there.)

Only after that I adjust the dress form dials to my approximate size. What this does for the shoulders, though is that it pulls them apart. This was a problem with my old padded dress form since the shoulders were way too wide. I got an idea, though, and got strong thread and I sewed the torso plates together at the shoulders and at the arm stubs. This gave them a nice, more realistic shape. I also sewed the back of the upper torso to the lower torso to keep the overall shape from wobbling so much.

Padding

Then it is time for the padding. I used about 10 mm thick polyester padding. At first, cover some of the bigger holes with strips of cotton and then add a few narrow strips of polyester padding where you feel it is needed. You can see the white strips at centre front and at the side seam in the images below. A bit of padding made a some sort of a bum to my dress form. I also added some padding at the middle of the front of the bra but I used darker left over fleece from the previous padding, so it doesn’t show. Finally, cover the whole dress from in padding and sew it on from the side seams.

At this point it is a good idea to compare the dress form to your shape. Check the measurements and compare the profile of your dress form to you. Use a mirror or ask a friend to take a photo of yourself standing next to your dress form. You can have the same measurements but still differ in shape!

Making the cover

I never got this far the previous time since my padding worked adequately as a cover. However this time I wanted a neater looking dress form.

To make a cover, you need about 1 m of cotton jersey. Cut two pieces that cover the whole front and back of the dress form and start pinning them to the dress form the wrong side up. Start from the middle and keep tightening the jersey until you can manage to make it wrinkle free. Pin the front and back pieces together at the side seams.

Pinning the cover fabric.

Use tailor’s chalk to draw the seams onto the fabric on both sides. If your jersey is as tight as mine, you cannot remove it easily after it has been pinned. I took away pins from one side to remove the jersey. Then I spread the cover out and re-pinned it and adjusted the seams until they looked reasonably straight.

Use a sewing machine or serger to sew the sides and make a fitting. I had to tighten the cover at a few place until it looked good.

If your dress form is similar to mine, you can remove the top plate. Use needle and thread to baste around the top and the bottom and pull the ends to gather the excess fabric.

Now, as we were talking about the top piece, there is a tiny little pin cushion at the top knob. It was glued on but I was able to pry it loose. I covered the purple fabric with black jersey and I glued it back on.

Marking the dress form

Marking the dress form using satin ribbon.

It is useful if your dress form has some basic markings such as the centre front and back and the waist, bust and hip lines. I used to pin some yarn on my previous dress form and that didn’t work very well. This time I was determined to do things properly, so I bought some narrow satin ribbon that I pinned at those aforementioned strategic places.

I am not sure what the exact stitch I used is called. Basically it was running stitch, but I kept the stitch length very short at the right side so that it didn’t really show. At the bottom I ditched the narrow ribbon and used about 3 cm wide satin ribbon instead.

The finished dress form

Here is the finished dress form from the side:

padding_dressform-15

The cute little pin cushion:

The top pin cushion.

And the whole pretty thing:

The finished dress form.

I couldn’t resist tying the rest of the black satin ribbon to decorate the neck!

I hope this new dress form serves me well and can’t wait to be able to use it for my next sewing projects!

Thank you for visiting my blog and please subscribe! And please tell me what you think about the new look of my blog! Happy sewing!

 

Katja

 

Tiivistelmä suomeksi:

Sovitusnukke on yksi tärkeimmistä ompelun työvälineistä. Ennen sen hankkimista pilasin useita ompeluprojekteja yrittäessäni saada niitä istumaan päälle. Olen varma, että sovitusnukke on kalliista hankintahinnastaan huolimatta säästänyt minulta ison kasan rahaa.

Sovitusnukkeni on Adjustoform kokoa XS. Se on ollut minulla viitisen vuotta ja jo alun alkujaan toppasin sen saadakseni sen lähemmäksi omia mittojani. Valitettavasti vain viidessä vuodessa mittani ovat muuttuneet ja oli aika päivittää nukkea.

Purettuani vanhat toppaukset aloitin pukemalla nuken päälle vanhat rintaliivit, jonka kupit toppasin istumaan nuken päällä napakasti. Kiinnitin liivit paikalleen muutamilla nuppineuloilla, jotka saivat jäädä paikoilleen myöhempien kerrosten alle. Sitten vasta säädin nuken omiin mittoihini. Rintaliivi-viritelmän ajatuksena on säätää rinnankorkeus kohdalleen ja toisaalta saada nukke näyttämään muodoiltaan siltä, että sillä olisi liivit päällä – käytänhän joka tapauksessa itsekin liivejä kaikkien vaatteideni alla.

Harsin nuken olat yhteen, jotta olkapäät olisivat realistisemman muotoiset ja lisäsin myös vahvistavia tikkejä pitämään torson ylä- ja alaosan yhdessä – olin nimittäin joutunut säätämään selän pituuden aivan ääriasentoonsa.

Neulasin isoimpien aukkojen ylle hieman puuvillakangassuikaleita ja sitten aloin topata nukelle muotoja. Viimeiseksi päällystin koko nuken levyvanulla.

Päällisen tein trikoosta, jonka kiristin tiukasti nuken ylle, jotta pääsin eroon kaikista rypyistä. Merkitsin ja saumuroin sivusaumat, puin päällisen nukelle ja kuroin kankaan ylä- ja alareunastaan siististi neulan ja langan avulla. Irrottamalla nuken kaulalevyn sain yläreunan kankaan piiloon. Kaulanupissa olevan neulatyynyn päälystin samalla trikoolla kuin mitä käytin nuken päällisessä.

Viimeiseksi merkitsin nukkeen strategiset mitat satiininauhalla, jonka ompelin pienin näkymättömin pistoin harsimalla paikalleen. Lopusta satiininauhasta entistä koreampi nukke sai rusetin kaulaan.

The finished, padded dress form.

Kiitos käynnistä blogissani ja liity blogini tilaajalistalle saadaksesi ilmoitukset seuraavista postauksista heti niiden ilmestyttyä. Hauskoja ompeluhetkiä!

 

Katja

2 Comments

  1. Georgia S

    I love what you have done here! I was quite determined to give mine up but I might give it one more try and do what you did! Thanks for sharing!

    11 . Oct . 2017
    • kk

      Great that it was useful. I really recommend this. You’ll get much better dress form this way than anything you can buy.

      11 . Oct . 2017

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