DIY Dressform Cover – Part One

Hello! I do hope you’re all keeping warm. Unless you’re in Australia, then keeping cool! As I’m typing this there is snow drifting past the window and actually starting to stick. The small peeps will be beside themselves.

January has been such a busy month. Dance seems to be all encompassing at the moment. We’ve had two major dance competitions this month, with amazing results, and several approaches from very good girls who are looking for a partner. It’s exciting, but will change our lives, I think, as it ups the commitment to Dylan’s dance career, and may even result in travelling for practice sessions at the weekend. We’ll see how it goes.

On the sewing side, I finally got a start on the DIY dressform cover this week. I cannot think how long it is that I’ve been wanting to pad Maud to my shape so I can better use her for fitting purposes. It’s just seemed like too daunting a process and I’ve only ever seen one date for a workshop for this, which I couldn’t go to.

So I was really please when I stumbled upon the Bootstrap Fashion DIY dressform pattern, and decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. I figured that whatever the outcome, Maud would be nearer my shape and therefore still a better fitting aid than she is at the moment!

I thought I’d break this down into 3 posts. This first one will focus on the pattern and sewing up of the cover. The next post will look at how the pattern compares to me when I try the cover on for fitting. And then finally I’ll look at how we did with padding Maud to make her look like me. I say we, because I’ve roped poor Dave in to help me with it. He has a good eye!

So…the pattern! If you’re not familiar with Bootstrap Fashion Patterns, they are an online pattern printing service, where you choose your style, enter your measurements, et voila! A pattern to print at home that should be a pretty good fit. They also have a design portal, too, where you can design your garment and then print your own pattern.

I found the interface to be really simple to use, apart from one little bit on the ‘fit adjustment’ section, where the two instructions seem to merge.

That really had me scratching my head. I’ll see if I got it right when I try on the cover.

I know PDF patterns are divisive, but I really quite like them. I’d rather do a quick and dirty taping job than spend ages trying to corral tissue paper for tracing. Although even that isn’t the worst way to spend your time.

The thing I liked about this pattern is that Yuliya has drafted the tiles so that you don’t have to trim. It’s a joy and saves so much time. Indie pattern companies, please take note!

However, there were a few places where I found lines didn’t quite match up and there was a bit of finangling. Compared to the Blackwood Cardigan pattern, which I’d taped the week before, this wasn’t as precise. I would say though, that I don’t think it’ll make a heap of difference to the fit of the pattern, but when you’re paying $17.00 for a pattern, I think that it’s not unreasonable to expect it to be spot on.

The pattern is well marked with notches, but pay attention, as, rather than having, say, a 3 point notch on one side of the cup and a 1 point on the other, so you can clearly see which way they join together, theres a small 3 point and a big 3 point. Unless you’re really aware of it, then you miss it.

Ask me how I know.

Finally, there is a bit missing in the instructions to tell you that you should sew the bottom front to the top front.

I do realise these are minor quibbles, but if you’re aware it’ll save you some pondering. And again, at a premium price, I’d expect everything to be absolutely right.

Despite this…the pattern comes together nicely when you’re sewing. And even though I’m the slowest of sewers and oft interrupted, this was together in a couple of hours.

This is the cover draped over Maud at her smallest size, and obviously without padding. I nearly wept with laughter at how much it brought to mind the guy collecting girls to make skin suits in Silence of the Lambs. I was mightily glad I went with grey ponte rather than flesh as that might have tipped me over the edge!

I also nearly wept, for different reasons, at how perky Mauds embonpoint is compared to mine (although I’m hoping the padding will stop that area looking quite so catastrophic!)

The $63million question is does it fit. Tune in for our next episode to find out.

9 Responses to DIY Dressform Cover – Part One

  1. Kim says:

    Having a reasonably close fitting dressmakers model is very helpful. As I discovered they do need to be assessed on a fairly regular basis. My every decade or so really doesn’t work!
    Good luck with your Silence of the Lambs suit 😂

    • Evie says:

      I can’t remember the last time I took measurements….shocking I know. The thing I love about the idea of a cover is that if you lose weight, it’s really simple to size down, and because it’s ponte, if you gain weight (which in my case is more likely! 😉 ) then you can pad her and take advantage of the stretch! Win!

  2. Looking forward to following this…although it did make me chuckle!

  3. Tialys says:

    Given the choice, I think I’d rather ferry the kids round to dancing competitions than stand on the side of windy, muddy football fields. Not that I’ve had to do either but, if I did……
    I did have a look at the Bootstrap pattern when you first mentioned it – I’ll be watching with interest. My own Maud isn’t that far off being a mini me but she cannot rival my frontage so she wears one of my bras, padded with cotton wool and then a body sculpting slip with a few bits of interfacing pushed in here and there to mimic flesh. OOer, I’m coming over a bit ‘Buffalo Bill’ now so I think I’ll stop there.

    • Evie says:

      I am eternally grateful that they don’t do outside sports. All my friends kids do rugby, football, netball or hockey. Awful! Summer is trying karate at the moment. Another lovely indoor pastime where I can sit with a cuppa and watch!

      And thank you….Buffalo Bill….my mind couldn’t catch the name! This is a bit of an adventure and I can’t wait till she’s padded and less creepy!

  4. Pingback: DIY Dressform – Part 2 | Pendle Stitches

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