Gathering Threads

Playing Dress Up

Posted by on Jan 17 2011, in Sewing tips

I’ve wanted a dressform for myself for ages. Not that I don’t love Stanley but I want a Claire-sized version. A lot. I am bound and determined to sew more for myself this year but the downside of being a very good sewer is I’m now too fussy to put up with poorly fitting clothes and while my husband can pin pants for shortening (“twern”, he’ll say between a mouthful of pins, kneeling down as I pivot on a dining room chair), the subtle art of pinching out excess fabric wrinkles for a smooth and symmetrical fit eludes him.

I’d thought about doing a ducttape version or getting plaster bandages and pouring a polyurethane version in the mould. (Hubby would LOVE playing with polyeurethane – he’s the guy who built a working potato cannon at the tender age of nine!) But still, where was I going to get the stand? And the hardware? You can order kits but they’re all shipped from American locations and even with the exchange rate, the duty and charges are always exorbitant.

So no dummy, at least not for now, I thought.

Then I was out and about last week, hunting for a couple of used doors at a reclaimed building warehouse (we live in an 125+ year house – modern-made doors just don’t work) and discovered that they also had a half dozen or so *real* dressmakers forms mixed in amongst 30 or so elderly store mannequins. I don’t know where they came from – this is a place with a carousel horse, a stuffed lion (no, really!), and just about everything else under the sun – but I think I’m going to go back and pick one up. They’re all too small, of course, but even for just the stand and assorted paraphenalia, they’re worth it. And if I can get my mom enlisted, I can make a muslin to fit over the padding, something like this.

It’s a win-win-win situation.

How cool would that be?

So at some point this week, when I am kidless, I think I’m going to head down to Mr. Used and buy me a dummy.

Now I just need to think of a name. Any suggestions?