Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dressform Saturday!

It was Dressform Saturday today for my Sewing Guild, the Fashion Focus Group! Ten of us got wrapped in packing tape to make customized dress forms exactly matching our figures. It was illuminating to say the least. Let's just say that none of us had seen 3-D representations of our bodies before. Miss Shirely, who headed up the festivities, asked us at the end of the day, "Ladies, did you learn anything today?" And Paula spoke for all of us when she answered, "Yeah. I can no longer be in denial."

We used these instructions by Jan Bones:

And we used paper packing tape that you wet with water. In groups of threes, one person got wrapped while the other two did the wrapping. The good news is that we got faster with each wrapee. The bad news is that the room at the church where we met was freezing. Okay, not freezing. But it was 55 degrees when we showed up this morning.

Here's a shot of my big ole pile of packing tape prior to use:

A sense of honor keeps me from displaying photos of those being wrapped, as well as a healthy dose of self-preservation. And there isn't a chance in hell I'll post any photo of me gettting wrapped! But here you can see the ladies taping the body double together after it had been cut off the wrapee:

Here you can see Audrey (in red) helping out. Audrey, Shirely, and Chris all came in to teach us how to do it and instruct us in the all important wrapping technique.And here is Miss Shirely, who certainly did a fine job getting everyone cut out of their paper tape prisons:

Here is my final dressform when I got it home:

Here's the back. I've never seen the back of myself in 3-D before. I can see there is some sort of weird left hip action going on there:

Last shot since this is all I can stand.
My first thought was, "This isn't the body I had in college." And my second thought was how obvious it was that my body wasn't symmetrical. We always assume that it is. That left hip is up a bit. My right shoulder slopes down a bit. That stomach can't possibly be mine.
Audrey advised us to measure the dressform at the bust, waist and hip, and compare these measurements to our body measurements. I found that the dressform was consistently 1/2 inch larger than my real body, which Audrey assured us we could compensate for when fitting garments to the dressform.
I'm pretty impressed with how this turned out! I plan on reinforcing the dressform, and probably hanging it on a hanger. It is eerie, though. Right now, it is sitting on my kitchen counter and when I went in to make a cup of tea, I did a double take - because there I am! I'm taken aback by encountering my own body as I enter a room. I think I'll have to put clothes on it!
Parting shot: My sewing guild with their clothes on. Thanks to everyone, especially Paula, Nina, and Linda who wrapped me!


Summerset said...

Cool and yet horrifying, too. I'm not sure I'd want to know what my acutal shape is! On the other hand, I can imagine that you'll get betting fitting garments from the whole experience.

sewkalico said...

Cool (and beautiful!) I would love one :-)
I have an African carving of a pregnant bust - also beautiful!

Audrey said...

It took me a while to get used to my dressform shape and size, but now I use it all the time. I have to remember to put clothes on it when my sons have friends over since, I often sew in the dining room and it "hangs' out there. You are going to love having yours to help you fit your vintage patterns.

Gwen Gyldenege said...

I took Jan's Dress Form workshop and successive draping class. Changed my life. I discovered (and blogged about) how making this dressform showed me how really beautiful my body is. Everyone in our class was kind to themselves and all bodies were different. It's so neat to see others making this type of dress form. How do you like using yours?