Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A tale of two dress forms

Last night, Tom and I finally got around to making my new dress form. We created the first one in June 2008; in fact, my inaugural blog posting was about the very event! Here's a pic of my body double and me from that very first post.

Since that time, I lost 50 pounds and the dress form was relegated to the garage because it no longer matched my body. I need an accurate representation of myself, so we went to the dollar store and bought 10 rolls of duct tape. Then I assembled the rest of the supplies: an old T-shirt, three cans of Fresca (served cold), and an old sweatband of my dad's that I somehow ended up with.

I meant to have Tom take pictures as we went along, but it was hard enough just getting me wrapped up. We used the instructions in Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits as our guide. Tom started by wrapping me horizontally and then vertically, and then he shored up the edges and the arms. I had to stand the whole time, which took a little more than an hour. Like the last time, I was so HOT. But not in a good way. ;-)

Tom finally used up all the tape and then carefully cut the dress form off of me starting at the back neck. As planned, he cut through the T-shirt but managed not to cut my bra strap. As soon as I was free, I ran to the bedroom, pulled the sweaty thing off my body, and lolled under the full-blast ceiling fan until I equalized.

This morning, I continued by stuffing the form. I used the polyfill from the original dress form, but because I'd lost 50 pounds, I had some left over. I bagged it up and put it away just in case I gain the weight back. (Been there, done that, hopefully never again.) I inserted a suit hanger at the top, taped it up, and then cut out a swatch from the old dress form to serve as a base for the new one. I slathered it all in tape. Voila! A new dress form is born. Here are the before and after pics. You can see where the weight vacated my premises!

All that done, I could now give my body double a trial run. I pinned the back of my Waltham to the form. Lucky me, it's a perfect fit. I'm delighted.

Besides all this, I've got something else to share with you today. I finished the back of my Spencer sweater last night and blocked it this morning. I haven't tried this on the dress form yet but as soon as it's dry, I certainly will. I made it the same shape as the Waltham except shorter so I'm pretty sure it will look the same. I'm going to cast on for the front tonight.

I'm anxious to get the Spencer done and get back to the Waltham - and the Early Bird, too. And to get some real work for my business done, too. Between tax day, Easter, Passover, and spring break, it's been pretty quiet. But it's time to get back in that saddle again and make some dough.


  1. The new duct form looks fantastic and how wonderful to see that Waltham fits you beautifully. I love The Spencer, the lace is so pretty and that colour is just scrumptious!

  2. Wow, Julie, the new dress form looks fantastic. Seeing your dressform makes me enviously remeember those halcyon days when I had a waistline and had the fortitude to wear a bra that kept the girls properly aligned. You have newly inspired me to call a friend and get one of these made for myself, no matter how terrifying it will be to see my matronly form hanging in the the closet between fittings! The sweaters look gorgeous; the color of the Spencer just shouts "Spring!" Thanks for continuing to be an inspiration. --Ann

  3. The dressform is a great idea! Your boyfriend is a trooper! I'm not sure I could get my husband to wrap me in duck tape, then again..... ;)

  4. What a difference between the 2 forms !
    Way to go, Julie!

    I get a kick out of the cans of Fresca at the ready!!