It took me a while to gather all the supplies I needed to finish my dress form.
My aim was to preserve its shape and make it as durable as possible. I soon discovered that wadding was useless in preserving the shape, as it was too soft. Newspaper, however proved to be perfect. It was easy to obtain, could be scrunched up to create bulk and it could also be packed tight to make the form very firm.
Pillows were excellent at preventing the neck from being bent or flattened, and they kept the form upright.
The most difficult problem to resolve was what to use for a stand.
A base and stand from an old standard lamp may have worked, except that I didn't have one and I couldn't think of a way to get one. I searched the net and found instructions on how to build a stand from various hardware supplies, but my husband is not into woodworking and we don't have a workshop.
After a much thought, I decided to make the stand out of PVC pipe. It would be clean, lightweight and easy to do. The biggest problem was finding a five way joiner for the base, but that was sourced, and I was on my way.
I joined two short pieces of PVC to a T and thereby created an internal support under the shoulders. The main pole was then attached to the T making a kind of coat hanger for the stand. I stuffed newspaper all around this support and filled up the body with the scrunched paper making sure that all hollows were filled and made firm. This took me a little while as I also had to make sure the main pole stayed in the middle and that I didn't distort any parts of the body.
I was very pleased when I was finished and checked the bust, waist and hip measurements – they were all correct.
I had one final problem to solve. How to make the base of the form. Initially I thought of using ply wood, as cardboard proved not to be strong enough to support the shape at the hips. I roped my son into cutting out the shape as I knew he had the required tools and know how.
He rang me a couple of days before our arranged 'workshop date' suggesting I used core flue instead of ply wood. This was a brilliant idea. It is strong, clean and best of all – I could cut it myself.
Being able to cut and trim the core flue myself was a real bonus, as my template was not one hundred percent correct. Trimming a little bit here and a little bit there – and the base was ready to be fitted. This is a progress photo. I taped the base all the way around.
And here is the final result.
It has my exact proportions!
It is strong and sturdy!
I couldn't be happier.
Actually, it would be brilliant if I could make a linen cover so I can pin patterns and fabric onto it.
This will be my next challenge in a month or so.
First I have to go on a holiday 🙂