This is the third and final section on making your own DIY dress form!
What you need for this is a couple of yards of quilt padding, which you can get at most craft stores, and a couple of yards of a very stretchy and elastic knit fabric. (This is usually called 4 way stretch and has spandex or lycra or elastic or whatever you call it built into it. It's what you would make a skin-tight body suit out of. The padding is going to make the surface of the form smooth under the cover, and will also give your form a really nice slightly squishy surface, like a real body. I know you may be worried about the padding adding too much bulk, but comparing measurements to my body it didn't seem to add a very significant amount. If this is very important to you, you can always shave a bit of your form down in crucial areas before adding the padding. The stretchy cover also really helps to hold in the puffiness of the padding.
*First, I covered the whole form in a single layer of the quilt padding. I used strait pins to slightly stretch pieces of padding over sections of the form making sure to piece it so that the cups were contoured perfectly. I cut the pieces so there was no overlapping at the edges.
*I used a heavy duty thread to whipstitch the padding pieces together just so the edges meet up nicely. Remember to make sure you are stretching the padding a little bit.
*To make sure the foam didn't completely obliterate the shaping of the collar bones, I used the curved needle to tack down the padding to the foam just underneath the collar bones. (Click on pictures to view full size for extra detail.)
Next step is to create a pattern for the stretchy cover. To do this, I marked my seam lines on the form with yarn held down with strait pins. You will need to mark:
-Princess Stylelines front and back
-Waistline (I chose to use a higher, empire waist rather than the natural waistline because it's more flattering on my form. Whatever waistline you want to use is fine.)
This is a pathetic drawing of the seams you need to mark:
One all seams are marked with yarn, you will start copying each section to your stretch knit by draping and tracing one piece at a time. Pay attention to the grainline and make sure you stretch each piece a little bit to be sure the fit will be snug.
Here are all my pattern pieces traced with seam allowance:
Next, cut all of your pattern pieces so you have 2 of each- one for each side.
Sew your pieces together! Here is the torso section of my dress form cover on the foam form. I sewed all the seams except for the crotch seam so I could slip it over the top of the form. Then I hand stitched the crotch seam with whip stitches, which was not too difficult because I made the seam towards the front of the body, and the fabric is stretchy enough that you can pull it forwards enough to sew pretty easily. I think I may have used a curved needle for this.
I used strait pins to define the fit under the bust (they're just stuck strait in):
I followed the same steps for covering the legs with padding and the cover. (Although I think for the leg covers I might have used measurements to draft up a pattern since I couldn't access the inseam on the form.) I slipped the sewn leg covers over the legs and then hand stitched them to the torso with whip stitches around the leg lines. I also defined the belly button with strait pins, which might make this a little more creepily realistic, but I think is helpful for plotting waistlines. And here is the finished product!!!
Complete with butt definition using the same strait pin technique as used on the under-bust:
Feel free to contact me through my facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/katastrophicdesign, with questions or posting pictures of your own fabulous dress forms! In the mean time, you may also check out my clothing label through my website, http://katastrophicclothing.com/
GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (You're going to need it! JK. Sort of.) <3>3>