Create a Custom Dress Form
Let yourself go
When finished, but before removing the form, have the “wrappee” bend slightly sideways to reveal her waistline, and mark it (and any other points you want identified) with permanent marker. Mark the final layer carefully with plumb lines at the center front and center back, around the waist, and carefully establish the proper height and posture by marking a line parallel to the floor below the hip level around the form.
Stand and deliver
Cut along the horizontal line at hip level to establish a base line. Trace around the base of the dress form, cut a cardboard or 1/2-inch foam core base to match, and cut a hole in it if you plan to fit a stand pole. A strong wooden hanger placed inside the shell supports the shoulders. Tape the hanger to a PVC pipe or a wooden pole if you plan to make a stand, and tape it inside the form before stuffing it. Otherwise you can use the hanger on a ceiling-hung chain or hook to hang your dress form. Then start stuffing the form by supporting each breast on the inside with a taped or glued-in foam raglan shoulder pad if the bust contour needs the additional support (larger bust shapes tend to cave in over time without support). Stuff and tape over the armholes and neck, and solidly stuff the entire form to support it. Use a fiberfill intended for toys or pillows. Push the foam core base into the bottom of the dress form, and tape it in place. Compare the wrappee’s measurements to the form. If necessary, you can adjust the form by cutting slits to create darts, or by squeezing or padding the form to the new dimension, and retaping.
excerpted from "Get in Form" p. 33, Teach Yourself to Sew
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