I am Angela and I love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. All me-made. I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill, and encourage you to repurpose fabrics and clothes I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, You can pass your knowledge on to others. What is there not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . . I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion.

Wednesday 14 August 2019

Setting up a Dress Form or Mannequin

Setting up a Dress Form

An invaluable tool for any dressmaker or Tailor - male or female - is a mannequin which is as close to your own body measurements as possible.
It makes fitting easier, and it gives you the opportunity to try different techniques such as draping.  The cost, depending on which model you purchase equates to a basic sewing machine, so they are not very expensive.

The dress form I have now is the Lady Valet Traditional Dress Form
But there are others including for men and for fitting trousers
Dress Forms from Jaycotts.co.uk

 When you look inside your box you will find the dress form itself, a stand and the feet.

 You will also find a booklet with full instructions on how to put it together and how to adjust the size.

The feet just slot into the base and the metal plate keeps them securely in place.

Just slide the metal pole into the base unit and pit the dress form on top - the diagrams in the instructions explain exactly how, and it takes seconds.

Here is a short video showing how to make the adjustments

The link to the YouTube clip is here if the video does not show. Setting up a dress form

It is possible to adjust the neck size.

It is also possible to adjust the back length by turning the screw on the inside - indicated by the arrow.

You really must take accurate measurements and input them correctly and then check them by measuring the appropriate part of the dress form, otherwise there is little point in owning one.

When measuring the bust it is a good idea to take your bust measurements wearing the type of bra you normally wear. If you wear different degrees of padding then wear your thinnest. I like to actually put a bra on my model to make her more life-like, so the bust measurements on the model reflect this.

I always put a non-wired bra on my dress-form, for a more realistic fit, and if you need to pad any areas out for example the waist or hip then wrap wadding around and secure it with tape - the cover will keep it secure.

I find that one of the best ways to check the fit is to dress the dummy in some close fitting garments.
I have a denim pencil skirt which was perfect and I have a top I wear for dancing which is also very close fitting. An odd combination but for this purpose it is fine.
For the skirt  I want to check that the seams all lie along the centre front, centre back and side seams, which shows that I have adjusted all the dials equally. And I want to ensure that the waist and hips are correct.
Bodies bloat easily ,even just through the course of the day, so the dress form does not totally replace fitting directly onto your body, but it does supplement it very well and it makes it easier to make adjustments and alterations.

For the top, make sure that the bust is not tight, remembering that you may wish to wear a different bra.

Check that the back length is adjusted correctly.

And that's about it really. It's just a question of taking your measurements honestly and transferring them to the dress form. It does take a few minutes to get this right, but it is definitely worth it.

You will then probably wish to add a pretty stretch cover, these are also available at Jaycotts Dress form cover

This is a dress I wear a lot and as it is fairly close fitting it is a great tester

I am thoroughly delighted with my new dress form - which fits like s glove.
Don't forget to contact Jaycotts for all your sewing needs

 01244 394099

This is Jaycotts web site Jaycotts

Thank you for reading this very brief  post .

Additional photos.

I know that some of you have been watching the bears on twitter. Here they are when the box arrived trying to figure out if it was a bomb or if it was somebody in need of heart surgery. The clue is on the box Teddy and Cat!

Much fun was had exploring inside the box.

They are trying to figure out what is wrong with the old one. It's too big Cat!  Dr Teddy is very worried.

Anyway ,enough of you two!