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Dress Form Sizing & Padding Questions

  • How should I choose the size of my dress form?
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    Always choose the dress form size using the smallest horizontal measurement ranging between your bust and hip line. If your bust, for example, is 34 and your hips are 38, you will need Size 4, as it will match your smallest horizontal measurement. You can always pad up to shape the form.

  • My shoulders are sloping and forward...
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    The soft contoured Shoulder Pads can be rotated forward to give the shoulder of the dress form the altered point at the neckline; matching the forward shoulder line. Be sure to check the pressure point of the forward shoulder by measuring horizontally from the center front to the arms eye right at the point of the shoulder.

  • My bust is very high, low, large...
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    Bust Pads can be positioned to reflect a high bust line by placing the flat edge of the pads toward the shoulder line of the dress form.

    A low bust line can be duplicated by placing the flat edge of the pad toward waist line and with the round position lower on the dress form.

    Since you are building out the horizontal measurements of the dress form, you can also raise or lower the pads on your form for petites to very tall.

    A bustier bust line is duplicated really well by using the Shoulder Pads. All of the pads are interchangeable for varying shapes in every area, but the Shoulder Pads do the trick for a bustier bust line.

    A small bust line is created by using a form with a smaller bust and then padding out the sides with the contoured Side Back Pads. By placing the pads slightly toward the side front, you will "erase" the contour of the perkier bust on the dress form.

    A large bust line can be matched with two Bust Pads made into a circle or a Filler Pad under the bust for a much fuller shape. Measure the vertical bust point either with the tape as a halter around your neck (most accurate) or straight down from the top of the bra strap to the bust point. Measure bust point to bust point for the horizontal measurement.

  • My whole body is asymmetrical...
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    This one is a challenge... but when you see how the dress form matches the curves of the body, you will also see how the curvature of the spine affects the natural flow of the fabric, which causes it to pull, twist or pinch uncomfortably. Allowing for the singularities on your dress form will not only give your clothes a natural silhouette, but everything you create will feel comfortable to wear.

    No bagging, no twisting, no pinching, and no more uneven hemlines cut off-grain!

  • My back is wide...
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    Be sure to choose a dress form that is one size smaller than your bust line. You will be able to build out the back with the Side Back Pads to create a wider body from side to side while matching your full bust measurement on the dress form.

  • My vertical measurements are long or short... (longer torsos or shorter torsos)
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    As you build out the form horizontally, you can easily raise or lower the pads at any area about 2 inches. Just be sure that the waist measurement is smaller than yours, as you will need to "erase" the hourglass of the dress form with the Side Back Pads (placed along the side of the form).

    Longer or shorter torsos can easily be created on any of our forms. The waist tape determines your actual waist height for pants, which can be lowered or raised, when you choose a form that is smaller than your waist measurements. Our Studio Dress Forms were made from real fit models, so the crotch is natural for padding. You will need to raise the shoulders, or place a "Filler Pad" between the legs on the form to create the longer torso.

  • How does the body cover work?
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    Start from the top with regular style forms (without legs) or at the bottom for full forms (with legs). Stretch the body cover down (or up-over) the form to the first area. Reach under the cover and stretch the first pad along the surface of the dress form as you measure and match your new padded shape. Retake the measurement, noticing the pressure point (movement area) where your new shoulder and bust points are. Try something of your own on the form.

  • How can I work on multiple sizes on one dress form... I have no space!
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    For different clients and body shapes, start by shaping the smallest body on your dress form without thinking about the larger shape. Finish with both covers as though you were ready to start creating. Then consider the difference between the two bodies and where you will need to make the changes. Some of the pads could be left over from the first Fitting System, so you can simply buy another cover and create the next body right on top. You will find that even adding a complete Fitting System over an original set can create an entirely different shape and size from the original body.

  • Can I adjust the vertical waist on the Half Leg Form for pants?
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    Yes! You will need to match the vertical waist position on the form to your actual vertical waist position. Measure the rise (front waist to back waist through the legs) and compare it to your own. Mark the waist position of the rise on the form, front and back, and match your horizontal waist shape with the stomach or side back pads. It's important to choose a dress form size that is smaller than you are because when you build the form out with the pads, you can place the waist on the form higher or lower to match your vertical rise at the waist. The torso of the form is softly tapered so it allows for the one to two inch vertical rise adjustment. The hip pads and upper hip pads can be placed at a higher or lower position to create the lower hip line.

  • How long will it take to put the Fitting System together?
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    Come on guys...this is all about creating!

    It’s about how much time you will save when you are creating your clothes, and how easy and fun it is when everything in your closet is that "go to piece" that you love. Don’t rush this step! It could take a little while or it could take 10 minutes. The more you do it the less time it takes because visually you will start to see and remember what that shape looks like. This is also something that will show up in fitting your clothes because you have seen that curve, the collar slipping back, or the seam pulling, before you ever finish all of those stitches and try it on to see how it feels.

    The difference between "hand-made" and "loving hands, made at home", I swear, is the ripping. Once that dress has seen 3:00 a.m. with ten "pull-a-parts" it’s never, ever the same.

    So follow the steps and shape the body of the dress form.

    Then take an honest look at what you feel most comfortable in and try that piece on the dress form. You can always find a pattern that looks similar to something you love (that you have now worn to shreds) and change the pattern to match the curves of your body; with silhouette and proportion, and start right there.

  • Can I do this...and will it really make a difference? Can I do this by myself?
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    Yep! Your clothes will be your best fitting assistant, even if you don’t have someone nearby to measure (Be sure to measure your upper chest and bust with arms down at your side). Just try something of your own on yourself and then try it on the dress form as you measure and match the fit of each area. Matching your shape on the dress form is so different for fitting clothes. This is where the feel fabulous in your clothes kicks in! When the dress form reflects the shape of your body, (or your fit model’s body) you can see the changes. Forget ripping.

    One can only imagine how many times a great pattern can be tweaked into yet another new design!

  • Specific steps for duplicating your body with the Fitting System
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    How to Duplicate Your Shape on a Regular Form (no legs)

    1. Take your own measurements.
    2. Take the same measurements of the dress form.
    3. Place an article of clothing that fits you well on the dress form, and note the areas where the form (without padding) does not match your body. (If you don't have anything that fits you well...no worries, just duplicate the way that it doesn't fit you well, and your good.)
    4. Stretch the spandex cover over the shoulder and bust area on the dress form, which will be just past the area that you will be working on.
    5. Start by placing the bust pads along the surface of the form, matching your shape and measurements.
    6. Stretch the cover just past the waist area and check the position of the waist, stomach and sides of the form; matching your shape and measurements at each area on the dress form.
    7. Analyze something of your own on your body, and then on the dress form to check the fit. Make any adjustments with the pads at that area.
    8. Stretch the cover down past the hipline and tuck in the Upper Hip, Thigh and back Hip Pads; matching your shape and measurements.
    9. Stretch the cover to the bottom of the form and try something of your own on the form to check the shape. Re-position the pads, if needed and tuck in the shoulder pads, making them straight, rounded forward, or wide to match your own.
    10. Tuck the cover under at the bottom of the form and you you are ready for easy, and fabulous fitting clothes.


    How to Duplicate Your Shape on a Dress Form with Legs (Half Legs or Full Legs)

    1. Take your own measurements. (You can use this handy tutorial to help you with steps 1 & 2).
    2. Take the same measurements of the dress form.
    3. Place an article of clothing that fits you well on the dress form, and note the areas where the form (without padding) does not match your body. (If you don't have anything that fits you well...no worries, just duplicate the way that it doesn't fit you well, and your good.)
    4. Stretch the spandex cover over the back hip and thigh area, as though you were putting a leotard on the dress form. Zip up the cover just past the area that you will be working on.
    5. Start by placing the thigh and back hip pads along the surface of the form, matching your shape and measurements.
    6. Zip the cover just past the waist area and check the position of the "upper hip" on your body. Match the shape and measurement on the form.
    7. Analyze something of your own on your body, and then on the dress form to check the fit. Make any adjustments with the pads at that area.
    8. Zip the cover up past the bust and tuck in the Side Back and Bust Pads, matching your shape and measurements.
    9. Zip the cover to the neckline and try something of your own on the form to check the shape. Re-position the pads, if needed and tuck in the shoulder pads, making them straight, rounded forward, or wide to match your own.
    10. Zip the cover up and you you are ready for fabulous fitting clothes.