A dress form facilitates your observation of the fitting and the draping of garments so that you can decide wisely where to bring the changes to get the expected fitting. Considering its growing importance of it in the modern sewing era, today we are here with a detailed write up on how to use a dress form.
The write up takes you to the depth of the correct use of a dress form. Even if you’re a mere beginner, as soon as you are at the end of this guideline, you can make the best use of your dress form. Let’s begin!
How to Use a Dress Form
Pick the right dress form
By mentioning the word ‘right’, we actually are not referring to a model of any specific brand, cost, appearance and material. Instead, what we did mean is the perfection of measurements.
Yes, measurements are the first things that should be your first priority while finalizing your dress form. This is why you should have the updated measurements of your body to match those with the dress form.
After matching the measurements, if you do find that the dress form matches meticulously or a bit smaller, you may have that one.
Now-a-days, there are many adjustable dress forms out in the market, which will cost you a bit more. If you are purchasing one such cool model then you can adjust measurements up to a standard extent.
Have the required supplies
Having a perfectly measured dress form is not enough to observe the fitting and draping of your garments. You must combine the model with the most required tools to have the greatest output.
Here follow those tools for you:
- Measuring tape – make sure that its readings are accurate
- Dress curves
- Scissors – must have razor sharpness to deduct your cutting hassle considerably and to cut without fraying the fabric
- Material to pad the form – it could be anything of the following batting, thick fabric or fleece
- Pattern transfer paper
- Cord – it will be marking the lines of your pattern; it should be sufficiently thick that it feels through the fabric
- Fabric for draping
- Pins – use the best sewing pins, which have all the user-friendly features to deduct fitting hassles significantly
- Tracing wheel
- Roll or pattern paper
Prepare the form
Well, so you have all the supplies in your collection right? Then, it’s time to jump to the preparation of the dress form. This is how you will be accomplishing this step:
- Pad the form sufficiently so that it fits your body accurately. Although padding is a bit time-consuming and to some people it is a disgusting job to do yet you must have patience.
On the other hand, you might have a padded dress form to avoid the afflictions of padding.
- However, we are assuming that you don’t have a padded model and proceeding with that in mind.
- In the subsequent step, you need to mark the lines of your pattern on the padded form.
- Is the pattern you are using symmetrical? Then, you need not to mark the whole dress form rather any one side only.
It’s a bit complicated step that is responsible for the final output thus requires your complete attention.
- First of all, you need to pin the fabric securely to the form. In this step, it is advisable to have assistance if you are a noob in handling a dress form. This will help you ensure a completely accurate fitting.
- Once pinning is done, it is time to mark the pattern section. Mark the pattern along the lines that you have created in the immediate previous section.
- To mark the pattern, we recommend you to use dots along the previously created lines. On the contrary, for each major point you should use a notch (a tick mark) instead of a dot.
Check the fitting
- Do off the marked patterns from the dress form
- Trim all the pieces to the expected seam allowance
- Using a quality sewing machine, sew the pieces to give them a form that will be your first draft.
- Is the form ready? Then, wear that and stand before a mirror to observe the fitting well
Don’t be disheartened if the fitting is not a close call because patternmaking is a repetitive process that tests everyone’s patience. That’s to say you are not alone!
Bring the changes
Now, on the basis of the fitting, you will bring alterations to different parts of the form. But, before you start bringing the changes, there are certain things you should focus on:
- Right placement of the parts secures the first position. That’s to say you must ensure that the clothing is sitting in the right place, by aligning the curves exactly where they are supposed to be – bust apex, hips, bum etc.
- Have sharp eyes to identify the spots where the pieces appear to be excessively big. Pin those to the right size.
- Is there any pulling or wrinkle? Then, it means that the pieces are joined too tightly. In that case, you must unstitch those patterns and mark again to sew maintaining the exact measurements.
Always keep in mind that this is the step where you are supposed to fail repeatedly, which is normal. Against every fault, you should bring the required alterations instead of sulking.
Draft the pattern
If you are finally satisfied with the measurements, the final step follows for you in detail:
- Take the fabric you chose for the pattern
- Lay each pattern piece down in it with a layer of tracing paper, face down in between
- Take the tracing wheel and trace around the outside of the pattern piece. This will transfer the pattern to the fabric
- Smoothen out the lines by drawing around the pattern pieces
- Finally, it’s time to cut out the pattern but before that you should add the seam allowance
You May also Like to know more about How to Draw Sewing Patterns
Is a dress form necessary?
Ans. It is necessary if you want to keep your pattern making ultimately accurate.
Should I get a dress form with arms?
Ans. Usually, arms are not necessary. But, if you do a lot of pattern work or draping, you will find an armed dress form far helpful.
How do I choose a dress form?
Ans. The most important condition is the matching of measurements with your body
Can I make my own dress form?
Ans. Yes, you can but it requires a lot of your patience, strength, time and money. So, it’s better to have a ready-made sewing dress form.
In short, having a dress form and knowing how to use a dress form correctly have become basic necessities to adapt yourself for the modern era of sewing. And, if you go through our write up several times, things will definitely be far easier for you.