Brooding & Plotting

I know I know. I said  I was going  to stop fiddling with the Moulage. But I can’t help it. Especially not with the ladies at Artisan Square egging me on! 😉 So I’ve been experimenting with different ‘sway back’ type adjustments and different grain placements post bending the grainline in places with those ‘sway back’ type adjustments. And I’ll be tweaking the fit to get those vertical ‘balance lines’, well, vertical.

By the way, thanks for all your compliments. If you can get yourself someone patient to help with measurements I highly recommend Mr. King’s Moulage CD book. If you’re hopeless at drafting you can try Fashion Incubator’s saran wrap method instead. I haven’t tried this method but it sounds interesting & relatively quick. The only thing though is you don’t get additional instruction on how to turn the resulting skin-tight pattern into a sloper for further block development.

In the meanwhile, I’ve also been trying to print and have bound more of Mr. King’s Ecole Guerre-Lavigne series CD books. It’s not easy in the UK. There aren’t the ubiquitous & affordable Kinko’s & other chain print & copy shops that you find in NYC. My printer didn’t help by running out of ink.

And just for variety, I’ve also been redoing my croquis after being inspired by the ladies at Artisan Square. And planning a replacement dress form. Big Bertha (my Duct Tape Double) has broke her leg. And she’s a bit lumpen after all these years. So here’s the plan…


What do you think? Overkill? Well, after Big Bertha broke her leg I’ve been paranoid about making the stand as sturdy as possible and keeping the dress form as light as possible. Big Bertha weighs a not so slight 4kg / 8lb. And her leg was a jointed coat rack, not solid piece of wood. So she started tilting over, even worse than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

None of the cheap sturdy stand options I’ve googled were cheap by any means in the UK. (You Americans have it soooo good!)

As for the dress form, I was inspired by an article I found in my Threads Archive DVD about the Wolf Forms production process. Turns out they’re made from cardboard Papier Mâché using heavy plaster molds and the final thickness of the Papier Mâché is 3/4″- 1″. No wonder they can be hollow rather than stuffed. They’re made about 1/2″ smaller than final measurement, then padded on the outside with cotton batting, then cotton knit, then finally Irish linen. The article isn’t on Threads public website, but there is a page with some photos. There’s also a How It’s Made TV segment about these Wolf forms on YouTube which is quite fascinating. It doesn’t cover all the details mentioned in the Threads article. But it does show how the collapsible shoulder works / is made!

0 comments on “Brooding & Plotting

  1. Sufiya says:

    I don’t know how your stand works, but i just replaced the flimsy cheap stand on my dress form with the wheeled bottom of an office chair that I picked out of someone’s garbage and disassembled. Now I can wheel my dressform around instead of having to carry it everywhere! You might be able to replace the centre “leg” with a wooden dowel of equal thickness, purchasable at any building supply store (I would think! But I don’t know if it’s different in the UK)) But of course, every dress form is different! Mine simply drops down over the centre post, so replacing it would be easy-peasy, though no longer adjustable up and down. But I don’t bother with that feature, so its no problem. It’s easy to free up the chair assembly, for anyone interested in replacing their base there’s a small metal clip right at the bottom that holds the whole assembly of wheel base and centre post together; all you have to do is unsnap that clip with a screwdriver and lift out the chair, and replace it with the dressform!

    • I haven’t actually made the stand yet. I was just planning it to work out how much it might cost me. 🙂

      Agree the swivel base of an office chair might be an option. I did consider that. But I wasn’t lucky enough to find a free one. And buying a second hand one would cost a bit. Also, the Ikea swivel chair I currently use seem to have a quite complicated structure. I wonder if all swivel chairs are as easy to disassemble as the one you have.

      Wooden dowel here in the UK doesn’t seem to come in thick enough size. At least not at my local DIY store. Though being solid, maybe even a smaller diameter one might be stronger than a hollow PVC pipe. So that might be an option for my new stand. Not an option though for my old DIY dress form, which has a cardboard tube center that is like way wider than even the PVC pipes.

      As for height adjustment, agree it seems a bit pointless unless you’re using the same dress form for people of different height. More useful for the manufacturers than for us – they can mass produce one product to fit lots of people of different height, and sell this as a ‘feature’! 😉

  2. I need to so do this. But I’m just not scientifically minded enough to actually WANT to do this, although I know it will save me time and trouble in the long run. Funny about my DTD – I never finished her off properly, and she’s developed a hunchback, so I’m back to square one in the dress form department. Keep posting, ‘cuz I’m following this process very very closely – even reading through all the links in your posts!

    • It can be so tedious to perfect that fit, especially by oneself. So you have my full sympathy. I get spurts of enthusiasm for this so-called ‘scientific’ approach. And usually it’ll sound great in theory – you test hypothesis 1, 2, & 3 and you’ll get a tidy conclusion at the end. Of course it hardly ever go as smoothly as that. At the moment I’m experiment hell with indeterminable conclusions! }:-)

      And sorry to hear your DTD’s hunchback. Has it been sunbathing too much? 😉

      • No. My DTD just didn’t get stuffed quickly enough. However, DH has remedied the problem and she’ll be good for a couple of years, I hope!

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