So you have finally purchased your first dress form. You’ll soon discover how wonderful and easy it is to sew when you have a dress form. It helps you get a more enjoyable sewing experience, and achieve amazing results, which look professional. You can keep it next to your sewing machine, ironing board, or anywhere you consider it could be helpful.
When you make garments, a dress form is essential, and there are many ways that you can use it. Whether you are a beginner or a professional dressmaker your new dress form is ready to begin your new assistant. Here we will present you some of the ways you can use it.
A dress form can become very useful when you need to make adjustments to your garments. Before you begin adjusting the model to specific measurements, you should increase the body by loosening all the adjusters evenly. When you make the adjustments, you are recommended to work from the hip level adjusters, upwards. This enables releasing any tension on the body, so it will be easier for you to make subsequent adjustments. During this process, you will also get to familiarize yourself with the operating manner of the adjusters of your dress form.
To make the necessary adjustments, you need to first identify the system on your dress form, so you can make the accurate adjustments for the measurements at bust, waist, and hips. For example, there are dress forms with a dial system or with a wheel system. On a dress form with a dial system, you need to choose the dial you want to set, keep the form steady with one hand, and use the other hand to squeeze the adjuster together. If you want to increase the measurement, turn clockwise until the indicator points to the desired measurement on the outer ring. To lock it in place, release it. If your dress form has a wheel system, then you need to make adjustments by turning the wheels downwards to increase the size and upwards to reduce it.
After you finish making all the necessary adjustments, use a tape measure to check their accuracy.
Taking your measurements
To create a garment that looks professional and helps you get a fashionable image, you need to get the proper fit and to be very careful when you create the garment. It is essential to have an accurate set of body measurements. You need to adjust the garment to be completely fit your body. You may need to ask someone to help you check and record your basic body measurements. To get the most accurate measurements, you need to pull the tape snugly, but not too tightly, around the fullest part of the body area that you measure.
Here we are going to show you how to take the measurements.
Other useful measurements that you may need when you make garment include:
To get accurate measurements, it is required that you only wear your usual underwear when you take your body measurements.
Pad where it is required
Dress forms are designed to accommodate as many adjustments needs as possible. Although some are adjustable, there are situations when additional padding is required in order to get the necessary measurement in a specific area of the body. So if you can’t get the required measurements by simply adjusting the size of your dress form, then you need to use padding to achieve the required measurement. You can use various materials for the padding:
Choose and prepare your pattern
When you want to make a dress, you should buy the pattern size that fits your bust measurement because it is easier to adjust the waist and hip measurements, than to adjust the bust line. In the case of skirts, trousers or pants, you should buy a pattern that fits your hip measurement because it is easier to alter the waist size than the hip.
After you choose the pattern pieces that you need, iron each one using a warm iron, to make each piece flat and to remove any possible fold lines.
To prepare your pattern, you need to read the instructions, then check each piece by pinning onto the adjusted dress form. Personalize your pattern to your body, by making any necessary alterations.
It is now the moment to identify pattern guides, such as dots and lines, notches, pleads, pockets, buttons and others alike. Pay attention when you make up your new garments, as you don’t want to get them fit too tightly. Decide on the finished length of your garment before you purchase the fabric.
When you purchase the fabric, you need to pay attention to its care instructions and make a note for your future reference.
To check the way the fabric hangs in both directions, you need to drape it over your dress form.
Before you use the fabric, press it to remove any creases and folds. Check for any imperfections, so you can avoid them when you cut around your pattern pieces.
Lay out the fabric and pin on the pattern pieces. Before starting to cut, make sure everything is correctly positioned.
Creating your garment
Once you finish cutting out your pattern and fabric pieces, you can begin sewing. Check the fit of your garment as you sew, by constantly using your dress form during this process.
Pin together the main body of your garment and position it onto your dress form. Make any necessary alterations. You will go through various stages of assembly. To make your work easier, you are recommended to store the garment pieces in position on the dress form to ensure they remain crease free and tidy, so you can continue the work when the time comes for it.
You will discover that your dress form is truly helpful if you need to check that collars and lapels sit properly, sleeves hang correctly, and the pockets are positioned in the right place.
Take up the hem
You can choose between the two types of hem markers: pins and chalk. Each of these types has its individual method of operation. We help you make your choice, by showing you how each of these two types is operated.
When you get to lining a garment, you will once again find your dress form helpful. You need to follow the instructions on your pattern to cut, assemble and sew the lining and turn it inside out. Place it on the dress form over the garment that you need to line. Make sure it is correctly positioned and pin and tack carefully. Remove the garment from the form, with the lining attached, and turn to the right side out, then place it on the form. This allows you to check that the lining is not pulling anywhere and that it is not visible at hemline, cuffs, and neck. Once you finish checking it, turn the garment inside out and carefully hand sew the lining to it.
General garment care
After you finish your garment, you can put it on your dress form to see how it looks with jewelry, scarves, belts and other accessories that you think you may want to use with it. This allows you to see how various designs and colors work together.
You can use your dress form like a valet, to get your outfit and accessories ready for a special event.
Your dress form can be also useful to perform your day to day care of your garment. Place a garment on it and brush, sponge, steam or press it.
If you have garments of a particular interest, such as a wedding dress or a delicate heirloom garment, then you can use your dress form to display it.