Back to Business (with bad pictures and some dress form action)

Hello there giant flemish bunnies! January just whipped by didn’t it? That’s a relief. I have found, to my dismay, that the weather in Nashville is more like the weather in Minneapolis than Texas. The Nashvillians of my acquaintance keep telling me that this is unusual. This freakishly cold winter. They claim that it’s normally balmy and sweet this time of year. Sweet like giant flemish bunnies and faries. I personally think they are delusional. Or there’s some sort of citywide conspiracy to trick the northern girl.

So. There’s that.

In other news… thank you all so much for the sweet comments and notes, emails! Life has normalized a bit for me. In the first week of January the paperwork came through and made my single girl status official. Mr. Bug and I have been talking. Not every day, or even every week. But occasional checkins. He’s not happy, but we both understand more. We can trade hound updates, although we’re not friends on Facebook anymore. Ah, this age of technology. Managing relationship updates via Facebook is such an odd, tricky thing, isn’t it?

I’m happy. I like Nashville. I’ve been gathering more fabric, yarn. Reading. And… turns out the thing with the forester man is actually a thing. It was bumpy over Christmas. There was some serious emotional roller coaster action. But we’re building something together. Something very, very nice. We’re sorting through things – he’s in VIrginia and I’m in Tennessee, just about eight hours by car and difficult by plane. We work together and are figuring out how to do that without making everyone feel odd (note to all of you… be very, VERY careful when utilizing any group instant messaging tool…) We’re learning about each other. We are master Skypers and we laugh a lot. It’s a whole new chapter and makes me grin.

And…. the forester lives in a really lovely part of Virginia, so I’ve gotten to visit a few times. For any of ya’ll who follow me on Instagram… you’ve seen the pictures! I’ll post a few a bit later.

But. This is a sewing blog. Let’s talk sewing, shall we?

Look what I got for myself!

01 That’s right, flemish giants. I got tired of sewing and fitting in my underwear and decided to get a dress form. I went with the Dritz ‘My Double’ Full Figure Dress Form. It was $150. I was torn between the ‘Twin Fit‘ and ‘My Double’. I didn’t spend a lot of time researching, but it seemed that the ‘My Double’ has a more ‘mature’ shape. Yeah, that means the girls are low slung… see more on that in a bit.

02 I pulled the whole shebang out and set it on the table. It comes in pieces, isn’t too hard to put together.

03 I was too lazy to charge up my actual camera, so I hope ya’ll enjoy the badly lit iPhone pictures!

The form IS pretty shaky, just like the reviews say. I couldn’t bring myself to spend any more on the form, though. Perhaps I can coax some of my civil engineer colleagues to come over and reinforce the thing.

04 I was PARTICULARLY excited that there was a hem marking implement on the dress form! It’s always such a pain trying to mark a hem on my own!

05 First thing I cranked the sucker out to my measurements. It was a bit wonky looking.

06 OK! Now for the fun stuff everyone!! Side by sides… we love side by sides, don’t we bunnies!

OK – first, let’s do the straight on view. Before the pics…. I have a friend with the EXACT same measurements as me (I’ve sewn for her), but we’re shaped very differently, and it really helped me understand my own shape. My hips are relatively narrow, with a more round tummy. My shoulders are very, very narrow. The smallest part (my waist?) is right below my bust and is a good 3 or 4 inches smaller than where the waistband of my trousers hit. My hips are fuller up high, versus the more ‘classic’ hourglass shape where more inches are lower down…

Let’s see it in action! Here’s the form (pretty much) straight on!

06 The day I put together my form I was wearing a very simple jersey dress. I threw it on the form to see what it looked like dressed up.

08 Here’s the awesomely lit mirror picture of me in the dress.

09 Of course, the dress doesn’t have the benefit of the hand to the waist pose that I had in real life, but I can see that the bust is actually quite low on the dress form, compared to on me. And there’s something off with the distribution of weight on the form. I’ve got more roundess going on that you can even see under the full skirt. And the shoulders on the form are pretty wide, which is going to be a problem with fitted bodices, I think.

Now to the side view – which is CRAZY in how different it looks from the form to the the real life body. First. The form unadorned…

07 There’s actually a bit of shape there, isn’t there? Once the dress goes on, the shape is a bit hidden…

10 And then there’s the dress on me.

11 WHOA!! Amiright? I swear to god, flemish gods… The ‘measurements’ are the same from me to the form! But look at that difference! My booty sticks WAY out, and I was surprised to see that that the the bustline on the form looks more low slung than on me.

Never fear….since I’m OCD, I went ahead and ordered the size XL padding set from Fabulous Fit right off the bat. We all sewists all know how two folks with the same measurements can look completely different. My main reason for getting the dress form is to work through pattern grading, so I want the form to be as much my double as possible.

12 Just LOOK at everything thing I got! And there’s TWO different muslin covers (to make it more finished!) I’m not 100% sure on the difference between the covers – I think one has princess seams, and one has more traditional dressmakers marks.

My next step is to ratchet down the measurements all around (especially the hips) and then pad out so it looks more like me. I’m not sure I have enough padding to do what I’d like, but I’ll give it a try! My only realy concern is the width of the shoulders, which I’m not sure I’m going to get to a good starting place, as I have freakishly narrow T-Rex shoulders…

More on that in another post, though! Isn’t it EXCITING?? Once I get the form down, I’ll be working on grading/adjusting Colette’s Chantilly¬†and then sewing up the seven yards of silk I recently obtained…

1604941_695948600436439_1928043214_n Just LOOK at that irridescent silk shiffon and lively silk… mmmmm… shantung? I’m not sure what to call the check print. It’s lighter than dupioni, but similar!

Oh! And before I head to bed…. a few pictures from my trips to Virginia…

The forester has a cozy little apartment in this charming building…

Mountain views from a Sunday drive along Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Nat’l Forest (I think… I didn’t verify that I’m calling the drive OR the park exactly what the rest of the world calls them!)

The completely awesome yarn barn… forester man RESEARCHED where all the yarn and fabric shops near his home were before I got there. Now… that’s a man worth knowing, amiright?

Finally, one of the sweet little streets in the town where forester man lives… seriously, chickens. ALL the little shops and houses in the town look like this! It’s adorable

Lovely, isn’t it?

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11 Comments
  • PendleStitches
    February 7, 2014

    I have a box of those FF pads that has remained unopened for years! So I shall be waiting in anticipation to see how you get on with them and might finally break out the box and pad my dressform (finally).
    PendleStitches recently posted..The Almost Orla MittsMy Profile

  • Karen in VA
    February 4, 2014

    Glad to see you’re doing better…will be interested to see what the dress form looks like once you get her padded..think I’d have to do quite a bit of padding to get one to look like me…

    The forester is only about an hour south of me; I live in Woodstock (Shenandoah Cty)..moved from the DC area this past summer-am definitely enjoying the slower pace of life and it is gorgeous here…..

  • Heather
    February 4, 2014

    I’ve had problems with dress forms having too wide of shoulders too. NARROW-SHOULDERS UNITE! Looking forward to seeing how the FF works out. :)
    Heather recently posted..Baggy Too Loose Cardigan to Cute Semi-Fitted SweaterMy Profile

  • oonaballoona
    February 4, 2014

    ooo i’ve been so interested in those FF pads, i hope you do a show n tell on them. and you look gorg in your dress by the way, iphone or no :)
    oonaballoona recently posted..SQUEEEE PROJECT SEWN! seen through the eyes of iris….My Profile

  • mrsmole
    February 4, 2014

    Be sure to measure your dress form with a measuring tape as the numbers on the wheels are not that accurate and they take in total circumference and as women we have our weight distributed in odd places. The current models of dress forms have dropped the bust lower that models from the 80′s. Happy for you that things are moving along and I’ll follow you in your adventure called life.
    mrsmole recently posted..Down to the WireMy Profile

    • Patty The Snug Bug
      February 4, 2014

      Very good point! Glad you mentioned it!! For those who haven’t used the Dritz style forms – there are 4 dials for each measurement point (i.e. waist – front, back and both sides) There ARE number guides on each dial, but it’s hard to get everything exact! You could have the front set at 40 and the back set at 38, for example…
      Patty The Snug Bug recently posted..Back to Business (with bad pictures and some dress form action)My Profile

  • Corinne
    February 4, 2014

    Glad to see a post from you in my reader and happy that things are settling a bit. That said, the dress form was a rude awakening for me. I bought a twin fit a couple years ago and stuffed it with quilt batting and polyfill, it was lumpier than me but I needed a narrow shoulder form. I then purchased the foam forms you have and now have a much more realistic representation. The first cover for your form is the one that holds the pads in place. It is a snug fit. If You follow the instructions starting at the top and stuff and rearrange it will go easier. I tried to modify the process, there is a couple of hours of my life I will never get back. Think about trying to wrestle one of those cute Belgian bunnies on the run. It is a process to get everything in place but worth it. The second cover with a sort of mock turtle neck is the one with the princess seams and the one that finishes the process. Good Luck!
    Corinne recently posted..By Jove, She Finished It!My Profile

    • Patty The Snug Bug
      February 4, 2014

      Ooooooo! Thank you for the clarification on the covers! I flipped through the book and couldn’t quite figure it out. I’m NOT looking forward to the stuffing part. I figure I’ll strip down to some leggings and a tank, do it in front of a mirror and take plenty of pictures. For some reason, it’s easier to ‘see’ the similarities and differences in photos versus looking in the mirror and then at the form!
      Patty The Snug Bug recently posted..Back to Business (with bad pictures and some dress form action)My Profile

  • Adelle
    February 4, 2014

    I’ve been spying at the fabulous fit website for months now, I want to know how it went! Thanks for the unboxing experience.

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