I am often asked what dress form I recommend for fitting garments?
Here is my answer:
No man can duplicate what God made! Use your own body for fitting.
Use a dress form to display a garment in your sewing room, but that's it!
Your body is unique! Unless you can make a complete body mold and mount it so that it duplicates your posture, a dress form cannot produce your fit accurately.
Some of you may have a body mold, but did you put it on a pole? Is that how you stand?
Do you have perfect posture, standing up with a steel rod up your back? Of course not!
- Do you know of a dress form that has one breast larger than the other like most of you do?
- How about one hip larger or higher than the other or one shoulder lower than the other?
- How about a curvature of the spine or forward shoulders or forward neck?
- What about a tilted waistline with a pot belly and a flat rear or heavy front thighs or saddlebag thighs?
Fabric hangs on grain. If it doesn't, it wrinkles somewhere. It has got to hang on grain on you to be wrinkle free. It's that simple! So, you must determine where you need more or less fabric to make that happen. It just makes sense!
How do you do that?
You need to know where your natural body vertical lines are so the lengthwise grain is perpindicular to the floor.
Where should YOUR center front, center back, right and left side seams go?
Maybe your centers are off to the right or left. Mine is.
These sections around your body are probably not equal. You need to know exactly what each section needs.
You can not use the standard measuring techniques that you always have like measuring around your total body and dividing that by four to get your right and left front and right and left back.
That doesn't work on most bodies, especially we senior citizens. Things shift over the years.
You need to know how much you tilt in order to keep the horizontal grain parallel to the floor.
When you wear a garment, it either hangs from your shoulders or from your waist. It is critical that you know how much your body tilts at these hanging points to have the fabric hang on grain on your body.
The horizontal lines that must be parallel to the floor are the hipline for the bottom half and the yoke line for the upper half of the body.
See my article in the July 2006 issue of Sew News where I wrote about fitting the senior figure. You can request a copy if you don't have it.
Your waist line could tilt any which way and your shoulders could also be uneven with one lower than the other.
How do you adjust a dress form for that? I'd much rather deal with the real body.
The garment industry makes balanced garments to look good on a hanger, but what happens when you hang it on your uneven body?
You finally realize that you need uneven clothing in order to hang straight on you. At least, that's what I learned about my body.
If you suffer from fitting frustration like I did for so many years, I urge you to take a look at my brand new fitting method, "Common Sense Fitting Method For Hard-To-Fit Sewing Folks Who Want Great Fitting Skirts and Pants"
This downloadable fitting course is a great start to understand the principles of how to determine what you need and where you need it. Fit the best dress form for you - your body! It just makes sense!
To Your Sewing Success,
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