Dress Form Part 2

After I had finished shaping my body double I found instructions on how to use it in Vogue Patterns issue June/ July 2006. This article is written by Jean Haas who is pictured standing next to a dress form with many lines on it. These lines represents all the places where you should be measured for a perfectly fitting garment. I tried to copy these as best as I could using a permanent marker.

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Many people do not like the silver and somewhat “rough” look of the Duct Tape and cover the whole thing with a stretchy fabric. I decided not to do that, because I thought it would be a lot of work to make it look nice and without folds. That is why I could just paint my lines on. In the magazine it looks like they have used a black narrow tape tacked or glued in place.

The next step is to cut out a basic pattern that you want to use. Leave plenty of paper around your pattern so that you can redraw the lines. I used masking paper to hold the tissue in place. Jean Haas explains every step, but I want to give you the general idea. In the front you anchor the pattern at the bust point and the align the center front. After that you smooth out the paper going up to the shoulder and check if you need to change the shoulder line. You basically copy the lines on your doll onto the pattern paper. I found the whole process easy and was quite surprised how much I had to change.

The first pattern that I used was a commercial pattern for an easy jacket. But I often draft my own patterns. So I pulled out a simple sweater pattern that I had sewn several sweaters with. I realized I had to change the shoulder line and then I had a hard time smoothing out the paper in the back. I noticed that if I added a dart in the back everything behaved.

When I knit Salina I made a gauge swatch and used my tissue pattern to figure out how many stitches to cast on for the front. Then I looked where the narrowest place in the waist is. I found out that at 9″ hight I had to have 1″ worth of stitches less on my needles on every side. I decreased these evenly. I basically tried to knit so that the fabric would fit my tissue pattern. I made sketches for me to see how my pattern was different from the original and wrote down what I had to change. Although it was quite some work I now have a well fitting sweater. Plus I kept my instructions so that I could use these for another sweater.

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