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Sewing on the Half Scale

Dec 23, 2008
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An Online Extra to Threads #141, pp. 72-73

As the saying goes, good things come in small packages. In Threads issue #141, we interviewed Anne Hand, an artist and associate professor of fashion design at Philadelphia University, who deftly creates intricate mini garments, proving that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Her half-scale work incorporates the finest fabrics and trims, couture stitching and draping techniques—and, at times, a touch of whimsy. Here is a look at more of her work:

Front viewBack viewJacket sleeve detailBeaded trim and sheer godets trim a subtly patterned gown.Front viewBack viewBack bustle detailPale pink fabrics with accents of sky blue are soft as a summer afternoon. Note the ornate lace and fringe trim, and antique button.Front viewBack viewSleeve detailVery narrow bias tubes form curly loops on this layered ensemble, enhancing the Asian flavor of the floral fabrics.Front viewBack viewSleeve detailFine stripes and delicate bias edging outline a geometric design.Front viewBack viewJacket cuff detailCinnebar and salmon fabrics with patterns ranging from small to large fashion two-piece dress that reveals a strong Asian influence.Front viewBack viewJacket sleeve detailThis multi-color extravaganza shows how much can be achieved in a small sapace. Texture, pattern, color, finely sewn details, and silhouette combine in a garment that belies its miniature scale.  

Photos: Sloan Howard

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  1. GlennisFay November 17th

    I just purchase a pants form and I would like to know Where i can purchase dvd's on draping on the dressform.

  2. DiLynn918 November 15th

    Do these clothes fit on the barbie dolls or any other doll sold in the stores? If so, which one would be considered a 1/2 scale mannequin type?

  3. ranju October 28th

    Hi

    Great design and work. Really beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


    I would really like to have a pattern for the clothes also please can you let me know where one can buy 1/2 scale dress form to display the garments made to display design for fashion students?


  4. sewinggirl1962 May 24th

    Thanks for sharing that info will surely save this for future use...

  5. alldressforms May 12th

    pinkiej: thanks so much for the recommendation!

    hondamom1: if you're still looking for a 1:2 half scale dress form I have it right here. That page also displays customer testimonials so you can see their viewpoints on the specific 1/2 dress form I sell.

    http://www.alldressforms.com/all-dress-forms-family-dress-form-female-half-scale-mannequins.html

    LynWesternAustralia - Hi, Lyn! It's good to be link partners! :) Thank you, also, for recommending my site.

    I came across the comments on this article when I was viewing my search logs for this week - May, 2009. Someone had searched for a half scale using 1/2 scale form half and I entered that in google. :)

    Steph

  6. alldressforms May 12th

    pinkiej: thanks so much for the recommendation!

    hondamom1: if you're still looking for a 1:2 half scale dress form I have it right here. That page also displays customer testimonials so you can see their viewpoints on the specific 1/2 dress form I sell.

    http://www.alldressforms.com/all-dress-forms-family-dress-form-female-half-scale-mannequins.html

    LynWesternAustralia - Hi, Lyn! It's good to be link partners! :) Thank you, also, for recommending my site.

    I came across the comments on this article when I was viewing my search logs for this week - May, 2009. Someone had searched for a half scale using 1/2 scale form half and I entered that in google. :)

    Steph

  7. ellenatstitchart February 10th

    I had a small mannequin (with removable arms) when I was a pre-teen or possibly in my early teens (back in the forties) and I loved making clothes for it.
    I think it was marketed as a "toy" for girls, but I don't remember anything else about it. Does anyone know or remember what I'm talking about?

  8. ellenatstitchart February 10th

    I had a small mannequin (with removable arms) when I was a pre-teen or possibly in my early teens (back in the forties) and I loved making clothes for it.
    I think it was marketed as a "toy" for girls, but I don't remember anything else about it. Does anyone know or remember what I'm talking about?

  9. sleeves January 10th

    to Mina C
    I don't think that they "have" to be dolls. I began this as an exploration of design and I do this because it gives me great satisfaction. I don't make them with the idea of marketing them...although I would if asked. I just make them for the personal satisfaction it gives me and for what I can learn as a designer.
    The mannequins at JoAnn's are not true half scale, but there is no reason you couldn't use them if it works for you.
    Best Wishes

  10. MinaC January 9th

    quote-'hondamom1 writes: Can someone please suggest a source for a nice 1/2 scale mannequin?'

    I think I've seen one at JoAnn's. I wasn't sure if it was a pin cushion or what, but it was about quarter scale size, and looked just like a mini dress form.
    If you're up for a challenge, there's a book called Creative Cloth Doll Making by Patti Culea. While it may not sound like it would help, I was thinking just yesterday that the body part, minus the arms, legs and head might make a nice shape for making my own doll dress form. I work with cloth dolls, especially vintage but usually wait until one's finished before working the clothes. I'd use the doll for the mannequin part, but now I'm thinking just the boy, a dowel rod of the right length, and something like a round piece of craft wood for the standard and I could craft my own mini dress form.
    After reading this article I'm wondering if I should just drop the doll part and try working with the fashion instead. That really is where all the excitement in making art dolls is. The whimsical fashion garments that just complete the theme perfectly. Which is also the most detailed part of the doll. I just never thought anyone would be interested in the clothes without the doll.
    This article has definitely given me something to think about :) Two going on three years and I'm still finding something new and exciting in Threads.

  11. sowise December 31st

    Thanks for sharing your amazing work. Currently I am working with expensive fabric, and feel very tight with my designs. Afraid to risk too much due to the costs. Your work has inspired me to change the scale of my work to learn more about the fabrics I am using before jumping in full scale.

  12. sleeves December 30th

    Hi,
    I use a dressrite form but fit it very tightly. I also extended the height of the form; I make the sleeves/body longer to give a better proportion. I understand the comment about it looking a bit clunky;but didn't want the look of a Barbie/fashion doll form which is out of proportion to the human body. Using the half scale is also a useful tool for my sudents to experiment with ideas for projects.
    That said, I am glad there are others who enjoy working in another "scale"

  13. Love_it December 30th

    Thank you for the article and showing us your examples. I keep thinking of ways to make expense and couture items with less cost. This is a great way to make designs affordable.

  14. LynWesternAustralia December 30th

    Here are a few sites
    http://www.alldressforms.com/links/dollcentral.html
    https://www.ameriglobe.net/products/PMP-614A.html
    http://www.dressriteforms.com/halfScale.html
    http://www.displayimporter.com/products/PMP-614.html

    Or..............

    I have patterns for Dress Forms - http://www.lynwaring.com/mfd.htm - The originals include 3 female and 1 male. There are also 2 individual styles available Fluer (female) & Baxter (male). I created these patterns many years ago so that my creation look more stylish. To me, 'half scale' dress forms look a bit 'clunky' - so I created the shape to suit 'my look'! In 2000 I was asked to create a dress form pattern for Barbie - I did and now I have 38 additional dress form patterns for Fashion Dolls. You can check my collection at http://www.lynwaring.com.

    If you are interested I think the patterns for Kaytie or Soozie are the best proportioned dolls!

    Hope this helps!

    Bests, Lyn. Western Australia

  15. pinkiej December 29th

    Here's one. I just googled 1:2 scale manequins

    http://www.alldressforms.com/all-dress-forms-family-dress-form-female-half-scale-mannequins.html

    Hope that helps,

    Akrista

  16. hondamom1 December 29th

    Can someone please suggest a source for a nice 1/2 scale mannequin? Thanks!

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