|Vera, my body double|
I have recently splurged and bought a new dress form or dressmaker's dummy. There has been lots of research undertaken over several months for a replacement of my fully adjustable Project Runway dress form that broke a while ago. Although it had been a much appreciated gift from my husband, I could never get it to mimic my shape. By the time the waist had been expanded to match my waist measurement, the hips were all distorted and weirdly shaped. It was too light weight and unstable and broke during a simple outfit change.
After reading several favourable reviews, I settled on the The Shop Company Dress Form with collapsible shoulders located in the USA. I chose a size 12 which was smaller than my measurements, as it is not adjustable, it has to be padded out to resemble my shape. You can add, but you cannot take away. I also ordered The Fabulous Fit System which was also available from The Shop Company at a heavily discounted rate when purchased with a dress form.
|The Shop Company Dress Form|
This has been a very extravagant and expensive purchase...(it can be dangerous to be left home alone for hours on end over the Christmas break, with internet access and a credit card at your disposal), but one I have not regretted, thankfully.
There were a few anxious weeks while I waited for delivery. There was a hold up with The Fabulous Fit System, which held up the whole order. Once shipped by My US it arrived on my doorstep within 4 days...can't complain about that. The shock was when I checked my credit card account and realised that I forgot to factor in the current terrible exchange rate. Although the actual cost of the dress form was very reasonable, the addition of the freight to My US and then the freight on to Australia, the cost was blown right out with the adjustment for the exchange rate. I'm a little embarrassed to say that this new dress form cost me just over $1000 Australian dollars delivered to my door.
Once it arrived I couldn't wait to get started on padding it out to resemble myself. However, this was quite a confronting process and you have to be brutally honest with yourself. I did get a good laugh from Anne of Pretty Grievances reading her post on The Fabulous Fit System. I did end up using a bra to hold the bust in the right position, in conjunction with the Fabulous Fit System padding as well as some wadding around the waistline. I am still working on the hip/thigh area as it's not quite right yet. I didn't use all the pieces from the padding system, but the ones I did use worked out great.
|Vera...other side view|
I have been wanting to make Vogue 1179 for a while now, but have been unable to find the pattern which is now OOP.
|Vogue 1179 line drawing.|
I was particularly impressed with Sue's recent version. After studying the line drawings, and Googling every version of Vogue 1179 ever made, I decided to wing it and draft my own pattern. I didn't really know what I was doing and I probably did it all wrong ...but this is what I did.
|Rough pattern cut and spread to create pleats|
|Vera at work|
|My knock off of Vogue 1179|
|My knock off of Vogue 1179|
|Closer view of the cowl and front pleats|
I have not regretted buying my new dress form. It has been a very useful addition to my sewing room, and I am really impressed with it's quality. I decided to name her Vera after my maternal grandmother, who was a talented sewer and made all her own clothes back in the day. I only remember her wearing dresses, always with stockings and when I hugged her she felt as hard as a rock (due to the corset she wore underneath). I'm sure she only ever had one dress pattern as all her dresses were very similar shapes with only small variations in neckline shapes, sleeve lengths and fabric types. Vera will now always remind me of happy memories of my Grandma.