Friday, February 17, 2012

Dressform Adventures Part I

This past Christmas, all I wanted was a new dress form. I assured my husband that I would take care of the ordering myself. {Just to be safe, he had a lovely, sparkly present or three under the tree for me. What a great guy!}

I had decided on a Fabulous Fit Dress Form. I called for sizing guidance and with their help, decided on a size 10. If you are not familiar with Fabulous Fit (FF), you start with a smaller form and build it out to match your body using pads and a cover that you also get from FF. I didn't end up ordering it until a couple of days after Christmas, and then it took much longer than I expected to arrive! I contacted the company a couple of times about how long it was taking. I was told it was  'almost ready' twice, a week apart. A third email response told me they were waiting on a part. A woman I spoke with the day it was shipped out was most gracious and apologetic for the wait, and sent an extra cover in a size large in case the XL was too big. I felt the service was always polite and responsive, but would have preferred to be notified of delays. I am happy to report that I feel it was worth the wait, however.  Waiting is the hardest part, right?

When the form did finally arrive, the box was damaged in a couple places and it had been relabeled by the shipping company. My heart sank a little, thinking there would be damage inside. Thankfully, the contents were ok. The heavy base came in a separate box which was undamaged.

Setting her up was a two person job. Primarily that was because a large spring was jammed onto one end on the pole, but it needed to be on the other end. The hubs worked this out for me, thank goodness, because there was no way I was getting it to budge!

The big spring on this end...

..needed to go on this end!
 The {heavy}cast iron stand was easy to assemble, is good and solid, and well designed. It has a pedal which is used to raise or lower the form, which I find to be a well thought out design, and most convenient.  See it in the next picture just below.  The form itself appears to be well made and much like many others I've seen online.  After the tricky spring issue, the rest was easy to assemble, which my husband did and then carried her upstairs.  I am ever so grateful.  Here she is freshly assembled.

 She comes with two quite stretchy covers, a set of pads, and some batting. The under layer cover has only side seams, and the outer layer cover has princess seams and a turtleneck. The pads supplied are a smooth, contoured foam, and are labeled with the body part for which they are intended.

The first layer, before the pads and under layer cover.  [I must confess, I was so excited to get her all padded, that I did not take pictures of the process after the first layer was pinned and trimmed.  Trust me, it isn't hard, it just takes a little patience and a lot of measuring.]

I spent a couple hours padding her out last night. The pads provided were not nearly enough to pad out the size 10 form to mimic my bust or bottom, but I have quite a large bust, all up in front.  The size 10 starting point was to accommodate my narrow back and shoulders.  The waist and hips look good, but I need more contour for the buttocks.  To solve the bust issue, I put a bra on the form over the underlayer that I would never wear but was taking up room in my drawer. It's my size, but came too high at the center gore to be comfortable for me.  For the bra to work on the form, I had to cut down the center gore and fold some fabric in. I pulled out my scrap basket and stuffed the bra with lots of scraps. {So glad I didn't throw those scraps away!}

I measured a bajillion times, every which way to Sunday, thinking surely my girls are not that large. So, I consulted an expert. My husband. He looked at the form and me from every angle, took a few measurements, and confirmed that we did indeed measure up to each other. Sobering, I tell you.

I put one of my tops on her, and the girls looked less intimidating.  I just can't bring myself to post the pic of her without the top on.  It's scary.  ;)

Looking pretty good!

This evening I hope to finish her padding. I have half of a foam pillow from another project that I can pull out and cut to pad the back side. I should have had the foresight to order two pad sets...hindsight is 20/20. Talk about getting all up close and personal with your own body image.  Definitely a good exercise.

Stay tuned for more Dressform Adventures, Part II!

Enjoy your weekend,



  1. Congratulations! She looks AWEsome! I have a vintage form, padded out with FF pads. It's OK, but not "me", because of the inherent & unchangeable aspects of the vintage form, but I think the FF pad system is really quite brilliant.

    This should make your fitting life much easier - congrats again!

    1. Thanks, Jilliy, I am totally loving it. Truth be told, I was nervous about my purchase because it cost a couple of dollars and I so wanted it toworkfor me. I am very happy with it and ready to go have fun with it!

  2. Thanks for your comment and now I have another sewing blog - yay. I would love to have a dress form like this - I can imagine it will help with fitting alot.

  3. oops I meant to write now I have another sewing blog to read !


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