Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Look who's finally got a dress form

I finally broke down and bought a dress form. After months of deliberation, I decided the best one for me would be one of those wire ones that you can mold to the shape of your body. I tried one of the plastic ones they sell at Joann's but it didn't really work out for me. I am very short-waisted, and I'd have had to pay a lot of money for one that has an adjustable back waist length.

So I decided to spend that money on this Dritz My Double adjustable wire dress form from oh, maybe the 1940s or 1950s. I hope that was a good decision. They don't make these anymore.

Behold, the dress form in all it's squinched up glory.

It's got saggy boobs and a crooked back. 

It appears to be a little bit distorted. Nothing made that clearer than when I slipped a dress onto it to photograph for my etsy store. It looks like the dress form has scoliosis.

Stand up straight!

I haven't fitted it to myself yet. I need to find someone to help me do it.* The instruction booklet refers to a fictional lady named Aunt Jane in order to explain how to stretch and pinch and tweak the dress form into her exact double. Later on in the booklet, I think they actually start to refer to the form as Aunt Jane.

*On a side note, my ex came over to help me set it up, and he saw a couple of bras on my dresser and said, "Are those your bras??" I was like, "Uh... Yes?" And then he said, "They look HUGE." Thanks a lot, ex. Thanks a lot. I'm already self-conscious about the size of my boobs and now I feel like I've got big ole mama-looking "features."


There is something I really can't STAND in the sewing community, and that is the naming of dress forms, and even worse, calling one's dress form "her." I can't stand it. I CAN'T STAND IT!! It's on the same level of irritating as people who call their husband "hubby" or who use the phrase "easy-peasy."


That said, it IS kind of fun calling my dress form Aunt Jane, and it helped to keep me from having a fit of rage as I tried to pull that dress over it's head while it wobbled back and forth because it didn't come with the stabilizing rods. "Come ON, Aunt Jane! I NEED YOU TO COOPERATE."

I really like Thread-Headed Snippet's approach to naming dress forms/mannequins. Her "Assless Boobs on a Stick" is pretty famous in the sewing/costuming world, and for good reason. Her entire post on the donated mannequins for her Jehossee exhibit made me laugh till tears came out of my eyes. And I didn't realize this until I was just looking back at that post, but she summed up exactly what I was feeling about calling your dressform by a name to help deal with the frustration of dressing it:

I was met in the Archives by a motley crew of donated* dressforms upon which I was expected to perpetrate my grandeur and awesomeness. As I wrestled with them in turn, I came to understand their quirks and gave them names to ease the process and offer a more focused outlet for my invective. The names were easy to remember because they were generally rooted in the unique psychosis/ deformity of each of the Cranky Ladies. (See what I did there?) They were respectively, "Charcoal Charlie," "Jangles," "Crunky Brewster," "Kevin" and "Assless Boobs On A Stick."

So I may call mine Aunt Jane, from time to time. I may even talk to it and curse it for being difficult or thank it for cooperating. But I will NEVER call it "her." :D

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