OMG, guys. My teacher Sharon helped me make over my dress form to my exact proportions and measurements, and here she is! Isn't she pretty? (If you're curious, she was named Veronica as a complement to my sewing machine Betty. Betty has since been replaced . . . by Betty II.)
Let me just tell you from the get-go: this process is not easy or quick and you need an experienced draper and fitter to do it this way. Sharon worked tirelessly all day (without lunch! Goodness, how did I not feed this poor woman?!) In short form: Sharon draped a princess-seam sloper on my body in muslin, fit it, cut it out in twill, fit it again, stuffed the shell with poly batting on the form, checked the measurements and proportions, and then sewed it up the back seam. Whew!
Here's what my form looked like when we started (rather pathetic, eh?):
It's Fabulous Fit, and I could never get it to my exact measurements. I tried padding it out with strips of needlepunch, but that was fairly hopeless.
Look how skinny! She was basically just a glorified clothes hanger. No butt or belly! Fabulous Fit does come with pads, but they are rather bulky and I found they made my form too lumpy.
Here's the improved tush:
I'm especially pleased with the bust. I think it looks quite natural and similar to me.
She has princess lines, just like a professional dress form for draping. And isn't she pretty? I had this floral twill in my stash from Gorgeous Fabrics. I was planning on making a full skirt with it, but it turned out it was the perfect fabric for the cover, and I gladly sacrificed it. I can enjoy it every day now!
Sharon had to tug and pull it to get the back together. It's stuffed to the gills to provide a firm pinning surface.
Here it is mid-stuffing:
Henry was entranced by the whole thing. He just adores Sharon. He especially likes her hair: she has long dreadlocks, and Henry thinks it's fun to grab one in his mouth and try to walk away with it. Sharon has the patience of a saint with this game!
Anyway, back to Veronica. I've already had a fantastic experience with fitting on her. Remember that halter top that I was bemoaning how to work out a bra with? (I wrote about it in this post.) Well, I put the muslin on Veronica and saw the bust problems immediately. It wasn't the lack of a bra but the fit that had it looking terrible. It clearly did not resemble the shape of my bust at all. It needed a horizontal tuck across (an SBA of sorts). I pinned out the tuck on Veronica and then tried it on myself, and voila! Fit problem solved. The bust fit was so nice that I don't actually need a bra with it, especially since it's a casual beachwear top. (Yeah, I go braless with little tops in the summer sometimes. One of the benefits of being small-busted!)
I am so excited to start draping on Veronica now. I'm going to start with doing a basic bodice and skirt block and then move on to more exciting stuff like French Darts.
I can't recommend Sharon's service here enough. I thought I was going to need to buy a whole new dress form, but aside from wobbling issues, this one is practically perfect now. Here's her website if you're interested!