Sunday, November 4, 2012

Uniquely Me or Not?

When the time came that I could finally purchase a dressmaker's form, I researched and thought the best for my purposes was the uniquely you.  I just fit the parameters for their largest size.  When it came, I really should have sent it back.  One foot of the stand was not threaded so I couldn't use it properly.  The upper torso was within the size I needed but the lower half was not.  I thought I could work with it and did some padding on the lower half and worked out the sizing for the upper half by fitting the cover.  It never was quite right.  The upper half kept coming out too large and the lower was too small.  I looked and looked to see if anything might work better.  One plus size form by Dritz would fit my measurements, however, I felt I would probably have ended up in a similar circumstance.  Just getting the right girth is not enough, it has to roll where I do and curve as I do.  I did make a duct tape double years ago and didn't like working with it.  Too many problems to go into now.  Here I am a couple years down the road from purchasing my UY, and it mostly has just taken up space in my sewing room.  I looked at fabulous fit's kit and thought about getting it, but felt is was silly to spend that much making something work which cost enough that it ought to have been right from the start.  So I guess so far it had been uniquely not me!

Well today I thought I needed to get a grip on the situation.  Sadly I now am a little larger than a couple years ago, but at least the upper torso is closer to my size.  So I sat down with some high density foam squares and a little polyester stuffing and set about making it work.  I operated on the idea that if a company could make little foam additives for forms, I could make bigger ones.  With scissors and bread knife, I hacked away and made the rolls on my sides, the bumps on my hips and the tummy.  I used a little hot glue to hold things in place and one of my old bras to get the breasts right.  Now it was starting to get closer to my size and shape.  It seems crazy to me that they make these forms in such straight lines.  People, especially women are rarely flat and straight! 

Now I had the under-structure close to size, I made it a little larger than me so that things would compress as the form is originally intended to do, I started reworking the cover.  The upper torso needed only a little adjustment, but I needed to add a wedge into the lower portion.  I did the several bastings, try ons and re-stitching, to get it right and then completed the final stitching just inside the last bast line.  After all the manipulation her hem was a bit raggedy, so I thought I would bind it with bias tape.  The only thing I had wide enough was some left over red blanket binding.  I figured, what the heck, why not perk her up.  So I put a line of red bias tape around her waist for marking purposes and topped her off with a red bow!  I wrestled the cover back on and tugged it in place and Voila!  Margueritte is born!  I feel that any girl who is all about fashion and hangs around mostly only wearing a few ribbons and a bow, must be french! 

So then came the moment of truth, I measured her and we matched, our rolls were similar and when I put my clothes on her, they fit!  Pretty close to the way they do on me!  I found an old stand for a large floor fan and she fits well onto that.  So finally after two years and a lot of thought and work, I have Margueritte-Uniquely Me? Yes!!

Manufacturers please take note:  there are a lot of us out there plus size!  Why on earth can you not make us a dress form?  It really isn't all that difficult is it?  There must be something out there or how do they design for plus size stores?  Also, put some curves on these things, I mean really, most folks, even if not over weight, have tummys and such. 

So now I have a form I can use for initial fitting.  I doubt that it is so close I can fit solely to the form, final fitting will still have to be on me.  I can also adjust her to my height for hemming easily, and since her lower torso now bumps out in front and back as I do, the garment will hang similar to the way it does on me.  I can also get a good idea of how I will look in the completed outfit.  This is important since some looks are really bad in large sizes.

Margueritte will be modeling some completed work in my next couple of posts.

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