Hello there giant flemish bunnies! January just whipped by didn’t it? That’s a relief. I have found, to my dismay, that the weather in Nashville is more like the weather in Minneapolis than Texas. The Nashvillians of my acquaintance keep telling me that this is unusual. This freakishly cold winter. They claim that it’s normally balmy and sweet this time of year. Sweet like giant flemish bunnies and faries. I personally think they are delusional. Or there’s some sort of citywide conspiracy to trick the northern girl.

So. There’s that.

In other news… thank you all so much for the sweet comments and notes, emails! Life has normalized a bit for me. In the first week of January the paperwork came through and made my single girl status official. I’m happy. I like Nashville. I’ve been gathering more fabric, yarn. Reading.

But. This is a sewing blog. Let’s talk sewing, shall we?

Look what I got for myself!

01That’s right, flemish giants. I got tired of sewing and fitting in my underwear and decided to get a dress form. I went with the Dritz ‘My Double’ Full Figure Dress Form. It was $150. I was torn between the ‘Twin Fit‘ and ‘My Double’. I didn’t spend a lot of time researching, but it seemed that the ‘My Double’ has a more ‘mature’ shape. Yeah, that means the girls are low slung… see more on that in a bit.

02I pulled the whole shebang out and set it on the table. It comes in pieces, isn’t too hard to put together.

03I was too lazy to charge up my actual camera, so I hope ya’ll enjoy the badly lit iPhone pictures!

The form IS pretty shaky, just like the reviews say. I couldn’t bring myself to spend any more on the form, though. Perhaps I can coax some of my civil engineer colleagues to come over and reinforce the thing.

04I was PARTICULARLY excited that there was a hem marking implement on the dress form! It’s always such a pain trying to mark a hem on my own!

05First thing I cranked the sucker out to my measurements. It was a bit wonky looking.

06OK! Now for the fun stuff everyone!! Side by sides… we love side by sides, don’t we bunnies!

OK – first, let’s do the straight on view. Before the pics…. I have a friend with the EXACT same measurements as me (I’ve sewn for her), but we’re shaped very differently, and it really helped me understand my own shape. My hips are relatively narrow, with a more round tummy. My shoulders are very, very narrow. The smallest part (my waist?) is right below my bust and is a good 3 or 4 inches smaller than where the waistband of my trousers hit. My hips are fuller up high, versus the more ‘classic’ hourglass shape where more inches are lower down…

Let’s see it in action! Here’s the form (pretty much) straight on!

06The day I put together my form I was wearing a very simple jersey dress. I threw it on the form to see what it looked like dressed up.

08Here’s the awesomely lit mirror picture of me in the dress.

09Of course, the dress doesn’t have the benefit of the hand to the waist pose that I had in real life, but I can see that the bust is actually quite low on the dress form, compared to on me. And there’s something off with the distribution of weight on the form. I’ve got more roundess going on that you can even see under the full skirt. And the shoulders on the form are pretty wide, which is going to be a problem with fitted bodices, I think.

Now to the side view – which is CRAZY in how different it looks from the form to the the real life body. First. The form unadorned…

07There’s actually a bit of shape there, isn’t there? Once the dress goes on, the shape is a bit hidden…

10And then there’s the dress on me.

11WHOA!! Amiright? I swear to god, flemish gods… The ‘measurements’ are the same from me to the form! But look at that difference! My booty sticks WAY out, and I was surprised to see that that the the bustline on the form looks more low slung than on me.

Never fear….since I’m OCD, I went ahead and ordered the size XL padding set from Fabulous Fit right off the bat. We all sewists all know how two folks with the same measurements can look completely different. My main reason for getting the dress form is to work through pattern grading, so I want the form to be as much my double as possible.

12Just LOOK at everything thing I got! And there’s TWO different muslin covers (to make it more finished!) I’m not 100% sure on the difference between the covers – I think one has princess seams, and one has more traditional dressmakers marks.

My next step is to ratchet down the measurements all around (especially the hips) and then pad out so it looks more like me. I’m not sure I have enough padding to do what I’d like, but I’ll give it a try! My only realy concern is the width of the shoulders, which I’m not sure I’m going to get to a good starting place, as I have freakishly narrow T-Rex shoulders…

More on that in another post, though! Isn’t it EXCITING?? Once I get the form down, I’ll be working on grading/adjusting Colette’s Chantilly and then sewing up the seven yards of silk I recently obtained…

1604941_695948600436439_1928043214_nJust LOOK at that irridescent silk shiffon and lively silk… mmmmm… shantung? I’m not sure what to call the check print. It’s lighter than dupioni, but similar!

See Part II here



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