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What is the est way to pad a dressmakers form/dummy?

(19 Posts)
Katymac Mon 18-Apr-16 20:07:28

Both DD & I don't fit 'usual' shapes

So I now have a form about a size down from each of us (well nearly - ones is being delivered this week I hope) & I need to adapt them. DD's is about an 8 as her waist is that (& it adjusts a bit but not to the shape she needs)

Ideally the adaptation will be temporary like a jacket or cover I can put on/take off rather than fixed as I hope to make for other people

Any suggestions? Could it be as simple as stuffing a bra to the right size?

fortifiedwithtea Mon 18-Apr-16 21:12:32

Yes it can be as simple as stuffing a bra smile. Bubble wrap and gaffer tape for any other lumps and bumps.

I've made a lycra cover for my dummy. I have an adjustoform with 12 dials. When its expanded there are gaps but with a cover over the top I have something to pin into all the way round.

Katymac Mon 18-Apr-16 22:01:24

I lycra cover might work - or a cheap tshirt once I have the shape right

Bubblewrap & tape wouldn't work if I want it to be easily removable I guess...

DD's one has the dials but it's the boobs that will be a problem as she is 28FF (I'm 32G) so the ribcage to boob ratio couldn't be right (at least I don't think so )

sewinglady Thu 21-Apr-16 11:03:51

The quickest and easiest way - and it will still take several hours - is to do the following:
1. measure your bust, waist, hips, shoulder seam to your bust point, and the distance from your waistline to your hip line.
2. Find a bra that fits you well and you don't mind sacrificing and put it on the dummy
3. Start measuring! adjust your dummy to as near to your measurements as possible. Stuff the bra with old plastic bags, kapok, shredded fabric etc etc
4. You need some wadding, the white fibre that comes in rolls you put in quilts. For any lumps and bumps (we all have them!) or just to add contours where you need to, cut wadding to shape and attach with double sided sellotape. Continue to measure and adjust. This will all take some time. When you are as near as possible, wrap your dummy in cling film to secure it all.
5. I get my students to buy this or similar.
Put it over the dummy and it covers up your old bra and all the bits you've added. It also gives a smoother shape.
6. Then take some cotton tape or ribbon. The best way to attach it is fabric glue or Prym's wonder tape. Use the tape to mark your waist, hips and bust. Use two more lengths to mark the centre front and centre back.

This method will get you as close as possible with a commercial dummy. It won't be perfect but it will be pretty close. Otherwise you need to look at the couple of methods for a perfect replica.

Hope this is useful!

Katymac Thu 21-Apr-16 15:37:35

That's amazing - but I'd need to buy more dummy's I think

I thought I could make a jacket or top to go over it that I can take off when I wanted to use it for someone else

I may have to have a re think

sewinglady Thu 21-Apr-16 17:24:30

Hi Katymac,
Ah - that's different! I assumed the dummy was for you alone.

In that case there is a great method but it is time consuming.
You need a pattern - a princess seamed top or a top with darts you can lengthen. You're aiming to make a sheath for the dummy that fits it exactly. Make it up in any fabric, plain is easier to mark. Next you do the same for yourself, using the same pattern. You can probably see where I'm headed... now sew the two together at the neck and armholes so the one that fits the dummy lines the one that fits you. Except it will be smaller. Place it on the dummy and pad it out the inside with layers of wadding until the outer one is padded out and not sagging. It should now be exactly your dimensions. You now install a zip at the back so you can remove it from the dummy easily and sew up the bottom.

Hope this is more helpful!

Katymac Thu 21-Apr-16 17:34:12

That is brilliant & I understand your instructions really well too!!

I don't mind messing around a bit to make it work - the smaller dummy is about an 8 I think but I haven't turned all the screws to see how big it will go,

So I think I need a bigger one too for me as I am about a 14

Then hopefully other people will be in between

Katymac Thu 21-Apr-16 17:35:18

I am guessing most of my stuff will be for Size 8-10 but I guess a few might be bigger

Dancewear is tricky because of the stretch

sewinglady Thu 21-Apr-16 17:57:28

Dancewear and swimwear are definitely a bit tricky! But it will still work on your dummy. The thing to remember is that dancewear and swimwear have negative ease; they are actually cut smaller than the person who will be wearing them as they stretch to fit unlike every other garment which is cut larger. You should find that the right size pattern (for a garment intended to be made from lycra) and fitting it on the dummy works fine.

Katymac Thu 21-Apr-16 18:02:22

I'm still learning

I've worked out differences between 2 way & 4 way stretch

But I'm still struggling with altering pattens as I haven't worked out the ratios between cut size & wear size (iyswim)

Katymac Sun 08-May-16 16:53:58

Well I have started padding & I can see why clothes don't fit me very well sad

sewinglady Mon 09-May-16 00:15:32

So can I! From a dressmaker's perspective you need to become a master craftswoman at performing the FBA (full bust adjustment)!

Katymac Mon 09-May-16 09:31:05

The industrial bra isn't going to work as it compresses the dummy so my underbust measurement is wrong 34 & even if my bust measurement is right, 42 things won't hang well

I think I need a padded form, hopefully that won't compress as much

sewinglady Mon 09-May-16 10:24:24

You can either
- remove the cups from the bra and just use those so it doesn't compress the dummy
- pad out the dummy a bit so when compressed the measurement is correct

Also keep in mind that the under bust measurement is really only important to determine cup size. It doesn't matter that much if it is wrong. Focus on: bust, waist, hips, nape to waist, waist to hip measurements.

Katymac Mon 09-May-16 18:26:24

Hmm yes velcro cups might with under a tightish tshirt

I know the underbust measurement isn't that important but the difference between my ribs & my waist is about 7 inches too & then my hips are 40 (so I am 42, 27, 40) - which is mad!!

So many dresses & tops look ridiculous on me & so many don't fit (dresses with hands full at the waist, trousers that never fit not even with a belt)
& now I actually see why

RaisingSteam Tue 17-May-16 23:25:55

It feels very weird but I have done the duct tape dress form thing and it's quite useful if you're a non standard shape. I'm a 32G as well and terribly short waisted. I wore my best bra and spanx and DH did the wrapping over a T shirt. I must get round to making a cover.
It has a long cardboard tube from giftwrap or something in the middle, and we made a stand from an old curtain pole.

Katymac Wed 18-May-16 13:40:11

So is that hollow?

RaisingSteam Wed 18-May-16 17:38:37

Well I stuffed it with the contents of an old pillow but you could use the method described below by sewinglady to make a "jacket" for your dressform; ie inner layer that fits the dressform and pad selectively between the layers. It does need stuffing to hold shape overall.

The other thing I've just done is to start drafting a fitting shell directly from my measurements which will be interesting. isvinterest

Katymac Wed 18-May-16 22:11:13

It's very complicated

I'll have to think about it easily confused

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