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Thread: using a dress form

  1. #1
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    using a dress form

    Hello everyone. This isn't a quilting question but I'm hoping someone may help me. I really would love to start sewing some of my own clothes, especially slacks. Being in my early 60s I find clothes shopping frustrating as they all seem to be for the 20s-30s set. I am considering buying a dress form as my biggest problem is getting patterns to fit and wondered if anyone uses dress forms? If so, are they worth the investment? I'm thinking once I had a pattern to fit me why would I need to use it again. I would appreciate any input any of you may have and thank you, in advance

  2. #2
    dd
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    Super Member dd's Avatar
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    I have a dress form, her name is Nancy, because that is the only time I have ever used it. I made a wedding gown for Nancy and sized it to her. It's still sized to her. I, personally, don't think a dress form is much help for pants. I keep trying them on until I get them to fit the way I want them. Yes, sometimes I'm sewing in my undies. I know, TMI, sorry. Glad I didn't spend the money for one, mine was given to me. These days she just holds my tape measure, and some dust.hehe Good luck, pants aren't always easy to fit.
    Blessed are the quilters, for they are the piecemakers.

  3. #3
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    Forms can be made - but they usually seem to require the need of a helper.

    Anyone you know that you are willing to have see you in a leotard or undies?

    There are some books out that do have some tips for fitting pants.

    If you know - or can figure out - what the problems are - that's a start.

    Also - taking good measurements helps - (no one else needs to know what they are!)

  4. #4
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    I bought a very nice dress form, used it about 18 months, then lost so much weight it couldn't be adjusted for my new size. I gave it to Goodwill and they informed me that they received several every year. That really surprised me. I don't think I got the value out of it considering what it cost. I would suggest you pay a dress maker to make you a muslim pattern custom fit to your size and design and just use that for your sewing. It would be cheaper and easier to use.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cheshirecatquilter's Avatar
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    Threads magazine has very good articles on adjusting patterns to fit your body type and how to make your own dress form. It's a little pricey, but worth the investment.

  6. #6
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    I wouldn't get a dress form myself unless I was sewing upper body garments. Can you find a good clothes catalogue that carries styles and sizes that would work for you? Find one with free or low shipping and a good return policy and see if you can find a pant there that you like.

  7. #7
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    I had a dress form which I never used--the old, old metal link kind. For pants, took apart a pair of good fitting ready made ones and used it for a pattern--just remember to make your seams 5/8 inch because ready made pant seams are usually quite a bit narrower. I have had good luck doing this for many years and have made all of my clothing thru the years--how many garments can you make in 60+ years--wish I had kept a count.

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    Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I was really leaning towards thinking it was a waste of money but needed someone else to say it. I think I'll follow the advice of Gladygirl and Tartan.

  9. #9
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    I bought one and found out unless everything is still where it is suppose to be and hasn't slid its pretty useless. It doesn't get big enough. And isn't shaped like me, things have headed south and because of surgery my waist is actually bigger than my hips. However what I am going to do is make a duct tape body double and use the dressform to hang it. There are many videos on youtube that show you how. One day I want to make patterns just for me to my measurements. Just haven't spent the time to do it. So complicated

    As far as clothing styles go I can't stand what they have in the stores for older women..It seems they send someone out to find the ugliest and worst feeling fabric possible..And I am NOT my grandmother I don't want to wear the same style she did when she was 60 . I can't afford to pay a fortune for clothes so Target and Walmart were pretty much my go to places.. I am now doing some of my own dresses ( cooler in the summer and I don't have to match lol ) Right now I have the start of one on the form. A mans plaid shirt , a small dot skirt , larger dot fabric (black and white) and hot pink trim .. I wonder how it will turn out. ..
    Last edited by damaquilts; 07-10-2012 at 03:52 AM.

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    I recently took a class to make a jacket and what we did is cut out the pattern and then measure my body and depending on if I needed to reduce the size in places or enlarge the area; we wrote down those figures. We then took a product called Do Sew; our teacher gets it on the internet, it's about $6 a roll but you could use any cheap interfacing/stabllizier and we layed our pattern pieces out on the do sew and traced the pattern onto it increasing or degreasing depending on what numbers we wrote down. When that was done I sewed the do sew together with a basting stitch and tried it on to see it that was a good fit. You can then make adjustments as needed. Once you have what you want you take out the basting stitches and use that to cut your fabric with. This also saves the pattern in orginal condition. Remember when buying patterns that even though clothing makers have changed the sizing of clothes, I assume to make egos happy, I use to wear a size 8, then a 6 and now sometimes I wear a 4, but my body hasn't changed that much; believe me. Pattern sizes have not changed so you really do need to check your measurements before buying the pattern and get one close to what you are. Don't go by the fact that you wear a size 6 in all the stores because you'll probably still wear and 8 or better on the pattern. I decided last yr to get back into making clothes as I used to make alot of mine and then just kind of stopped over the yrs. I just got two new jacket patterns and I'll make them out of the do sew first (it's like a template) and then make the one out of my fabric. Keep and eye out for a sewing/quilt expo that is going to different areas right now. I know that it's in Chantilly Va and Hampton Roads Va in October but they have classes for making patterns fit your body. I'm taking them next.
    Judy

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