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Message Board > Sewing for Petite Sizes > petite dressform ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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petite dressform
I want a dressform my size!
dvazz
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dvazz
Advanced Beginner
MO USA
Member since 8/15/03
Posts: 411
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Date: 8/18/05 7:48 PM

Hi, everyone. So, when I haven't managed to find time to sew for a while, I start wanting to buy sewing stuff to get some sort of not-actually-sewing sewing fix. Anyone else have this problem?

Anyway: I've decided that I need a dressform! I'm not petite in the tiny sense, but I'm 5'3" and noticed that one of the inexpensive dressforms I was eyeing didn't seem to have any sort of height adjustment at all. Useless! My biggest fitting challenge is always having a narrow waist and big hips and fitting clothes so that the narrow part doesn't hang too low and bunch up on my hips, so it is essential to get that proportion right.

I don't want to do the duct tape double thing because I've started exercising and hope to drop back to pre-baby size (umm, baby is 2 now) one of these days. Anyone out there have a recommendation for an adjustable dressform that works for a 5'3" figure? (Not tiny, not plus, just average-sized and short!)

Thanks!!

------
Dana

drsue
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drsue
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YT USA
Member since 11/11/03
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Date: 8/18/05 8:30 PM

I've got a fabulous fit and I think it would probably work for you too. If I did it again I'd start with a child size basic form and go from there. At 5'3" I think you'll be OK with the smallest women's form. You will adjust it by placing padding in various places. It's hard to explain but it does work. I'm sure they have a web site that explains it.

dvazz
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dvazz
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Date: 8/18/05 9:01 PM

Thanks, drsue! So, I had looked at these but am still confused: the only description I can find of height is that you can adjust the distance from dressform to floor, and adjust otherwise only by the contouring pads. How do you fix the distance from shoulder to waist to hip so that a top hangs properly?

Thanks!

------
Dana

drsue
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drsue
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In reply to dvazz


Date: 8/18/05 11:45 PM

This is kind of hard to describe in words but I'll try. You get a dress form "core" that's made up of a styrofoam type material. It's shaped like a woman's figure but it's much skinnier. You can't really adjust the dimensions of the core form itself. However, you add a ton of padding to it. If your bust is high, for example, you'd add your bust padding above the bust part of the core form. If your hips are high and waist is high you'd just put the padding at the correct distance. In my case because I am so skinny up top I did have to use sandpaper to shave off some of my core. I did also have to do a bit of a mastectomy on the form because of this too. However, I don't think too many other people will have this problem. I didn't have any problem getting the lengthwise distances correct between my waist, bust and hips.

I did explain my smallness to the people there and I wish they'd decided to send me a kid's size form instead of the adult small. Go smaller rather than larger. It's still a bit too large across the back. It's not the easiest thing to sandpaper off, but one of these days I'll get ambitions and finish it - - or I might just order a new one in the kid size. The waist and hips fit perfectly. At 5'3" and not having a boney upper body, you should be fine.

ryan's mom
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ryan's mom
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In reply to dvazz


Date: 8/19/05 3:53 PM

dvazz,

I know you mentioned you don't want to do a duct tape double, but I just took Jean Haas' class and made a DTD. The statement you made about losing the weight was asked in one of her chats or message boards--can't remember which one. But she did respond to that person to do one now, then do one after the weight loss. The bigger one can be used for heavier apparel like coats.

Shamelessly plugging her class...I love my duct tape double and notice figure things going on that I never noticed before. The think I really like about it is that it models my shape--exactly.

------
Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing/Embroidery Combo Machine: Janome MC15000. Sewing Machines: Elna 740, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

My blog: www.phatchickdesigns.blogspot.com

dvazz
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dvazz
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MO USA
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Date: 8/20/05 2:59 PM

drsue...where did you get your dress form? Also, if you don't mind my asking, how much did it cost?

I was hoping to pay a little less than the $277 on the fabulous fit site but maybe if I'm very good this year, Santa Claus will bring me one. Or, if I find a good sale...

Thanks!

Dana

------
Dana

drsue
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drsue
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In reply to dvazz


Date: 8/20/05 3:26 PM

I do believe I bought it off the fabulous fit site. I don't recall the price but the number you quoted sounds about right. I've had my form for about 4 years.

One annoying thing: the base where the pole holding the form to the base which is attached to the wheels isn't all that stable and the form lists sometimes.

Katharine in BXL
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Katharine in BXL
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In reply to ryan's mom


Date: 8/23/05 3:38 AM

Yeah, I'm also a fan of the duct tape double! I love how mine shows my swayback, my armhole length and curve, waist position, shoulder/back neck position, FB, and the correct "pillow" size on my hips. It saves me soooooooooo much time fitting. No purchased mannequin could ever mimic those so perfectly. My DH is going to make me one for our house in Taiwan, where we spend the school year.

Dvazz, the double can be taped up in 90 minutes. It's fast with a blowdryer too. My DH taped me and we both had a laugh. It's so easy to make another one! The whole thing cost me US$17, with tape left over. When I lost weight I didn't feel like making a new one so I cut out dart shapes from the side hips to the armhole to mirror my new measurements, overlapped and re-taped to secure it. Took me 10 minutes. You can also cut the sides and take in the sides just like you would a garment.

I hang mine on a swivel hanger, but have also heard of a Christmas tree stand being used.

I did my brown paper tape form from David Page Coffin's article: Clone Yourself a Fitting Assistant

------
DD Jan 2010, DS Aug 2011: busy!
http://eurasianlocation.wordpress.com/

dvazz
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dvazz
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MO USA
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Posts: 411
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Date: 8/23/05 8:14 AM

Thanks, Ryan's Mom and drsue and Katharine! (Heaven forbid that I should forget to thank anyone! )

I sort of went nuts and ordered a My Double Deluxe. We'll see how it goes...I realize it's contrary to the advice on this thread, but I saw that it fits pants and thought I'd give it a try (pants are really my biggest fitting issue). Also, I am a huge sucker when it comes to free shipping.

It does have an adjustable back waist length, which I didn't see in the cheaper models. I'll review after it arrives and I get to work with it a bit!

Dana

------
Dana

Mikelee

Mikelee
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WA
Member since 6/30/05
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Date: 8/23/05 8:29 AM

I have owned the "My Double" for 15 years and love it. I am 5'3", about 115 pounds and wear size 4. It is easily adjusted when I gain my winter weight. When I use it for fitting pants, I take it off the stand and hang it from a plant hook in the ceiling of my sewing room.

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