Sunday, March 22, 2015

Uniquely You Dress Form - Surgery!

I have wanted a dress form for a very long time, but the standard form just wouldn't work for me.  My torso is much, much longer than the standard form, and I have a sway back.  After much research and analyzing, I finally decided on a Uniquely You dress form.

I chose this form because it's made of foam.  I can chop off what I don't need and pad out what I do.  The rest is supposed to compress once you put the cover on.  Word of wisdom, that doesn't work well.  As other reviewers have noted, it does not compress the 5" they claim it does.

Because of that, I chose the smallest form they had - a petite size.  Here are the measurements for all sizes.
My measurements are 36, 26, 35.25.  Based on that you'd think the small would have been the obvious choice.  I chose the petite, because I'd rather pad out than cut down.  I just think it's easier.  But that's purely personal preference.  What I didn't know was the back of the neck to the waist measurement.  It's 12.5" on the petite and 15" on the small.  In hindsight, I should have gone with the small just for that reason.  So my first tip to you would be to know that measurement before you order one.  I can fix this, but it'll take a bit more work.

I also want to mention that I took the Craftsy class on customizing a dress form, referred to LaSewista's blog many times, and watched this YouTube video.  All of these were a tremendous help.

My second tip is to take the class, so you know exactly where and what to measure.  I also took Joy Mahon's class Fast Track Fitting (the 2nd one) so I had quite a few other measurements that helped this process too.  You'll want to know your hollow of neck to waist, waist to hip, apex to apex, shoulder to apex, apex to side seam, upper bust, under bust, side waist to hip, back of neck to waist, front waist, and back waist.

Okay, so problem one: torpedo boobs.  A friend of mine thought this looked like Jessica Rabbit, so for now, that's her name.

My first order of business was to take those down a bit.  Based on other reviews, I used scissors in lieu of an electric carving knife.  I basically wanted to round them out.  That is tip number three.  Use scissors where you can.

And here is the after.

After that, I began making demarcations for my waist and apex.  I tied a piece of thin ribbon around the natural waist.  This is my own measurement not the form's.  I measured down where my natural waist would be and tied the ribbon.  Then I used a sharpie and marked all the way around the waist at the ribbon.  I also measured my shoulder to apex and apex to apex and made a mark as well.

You can see that measurement here.
Notice that it's much lower than the form's apex.  I chose not to worry much about that, because I sacrificed one of my own well fitting bras to pad out.  That is tip number four.  Use a well-fitting bra.  It will save you a lot of trouble trying to get the right shape.  That came from Bunny at LaSewista.

Here she is with bra on and padded out.

The next order of business was the waist.  My front waist measures 14 inches but my back waist is only 12.  So while the total circumference is 27" on the form, you need to know where to chop off that extra 1".  For me it was the back waist.  Since I know my sway back is part of that problem, I chose to carve out there.  I basically needed to begin to create a "shelf".  I have my bra pushed up out of the way, because I did use the electric carving knife here and didn't want to cut it.  I kept measuring as I went and remarked as well.

Another view:
Part of the next problem is that my bum sits 4" lower in actuality than on this form, so I have to move the full hip down 4".  My plan is to use the knife to just cut off the whole bum and move it down 4".  I want to get my cover finished and on her before I cut into again.  My markings are accurate, but I may not need to go to all the trouble of cutting off the whole bum.  Maybe I just need to contour more from the waist into the top of the bum and pad out the bottom part.  I wont' know until I get the cover on.

I have the muslin done and it fits perfectly.  I have the fabric cut for the cover and the darts stitched in.  I should have that complete today.

Stay tuned as I go on this journey.  I have no idea how it will turn out, but so far so good.

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope I've encouraged you to start customizing your own form if you haven't already.