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A newbie that needs information

sewingwhiz | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi all,
I have just joined this discussion and look forward to the discussions. I will proably be a lurker more than a writer as my life seems to be full.
I am a “mature” person with changing body shape. I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I am not desparate about that.
I recently returned from a textile study trip to France. While there I purchased 2 lengths of beautiful wool challis and want to make a skirt taking advantage of the wonderful pattern that will offer a challenge.

Several years ago (I think–mind is fuzzy) Threads ran an article about drafting a skirt pattern using body measurements. I have several years of the magazines and have looked in indexes for this article. I can not find it. Can anyone offer suggestions for the article?

It is cool and crisp here in Washington State and I just finished making potato leek soup. Lunch may be early today.
Thanks for any help you can offer.


  1. ShannonG4d | | #1

    The article is in issue #69, page 42.


    1. sewingwhiz | | #2

      Sincere thanks.
      That is the one I remember! I am off to the drawing board.

  2. fearyenot | | #3

    Hi sewingwhiz:

    I hope this helps you, too.  I used Threads, October/November 2004 (pgs. 47-50) issue to make a hip mold for pants I'm making and it's made all the difference in the world as far as fit!  I began the quest for perfect pants using my measurements, lots of brown paper, rulers, etc. Finding my right and left front are not identical besides my right and left back, I stumbled across the hip mold looking for something else. The author suggests using 100% cotton rib tubing.  I found using a men's 100%cotton rib T-shirt worked well for the mold considering it was easily found at local stores. Check the men's department if you decide to do this.  I paid about $7 for a 3-pack.

    If you don't have the issue, please let me know.  I'd be happy to share the information with you!


    1. sewingwhiz | | #4

      Dear Anne
      Thank you for your response.I have pulled that issue of Threads and will read it thoroughly. I tried a similar method from a previous article (Threads #75) where you used duct tape to make a dress form. It sounded good, but the results were not satisfactory. I probably wiggled too much as the tape was being applied.
      I think this article describing taping the hip to waistline should be more useful. Another Threads article-within the past 3 months-describes using duct tape to take off the pattern from a ready to wear.

      By the time I am done, I will be the duct tape queen of duct-tape forms and pattern copy from ready to wear. Will I have a skirt that I can wear? The saga continues.

      1. ixs | | #5

        We made duct tape dress forms at a Sewing Guild meeting once.  I don't know how useful they were, but I laughed until I had tears rolling down my cheeks, and when the duct tape was cut off, the forms looked pretty funny, but seemed to take each person's individual shape. 

      2. fearyenot | | #6

        Hi again Sally:

        I should mention a bit of difficulty I experienced with the hip mold although it looks as if you didn't experience any physical discomfort having made a duct tape dress form.   My mom was my wrapper, and there reached a point when I was certain I was going to faint and ended up kneeling on the floor with my head against the wall as my mom applied the paper pinstriping along the center and side seams and then quickly cut me out of it.  I'm not sure if running a fan or having a cold washcloth at hand would have helped prevent the feeling of faintness.  I would have much rather have laughed until tears streamed down my face as the other reader wrote in.

        Keep us posted as you persevere!



        1. mygaley | | #7

          A recent magazine article (I thought it was threads) talked about making a dress form with paper tape, which as I understand it is the preglued tape that you use when hanging wallboard.   Here in the south, masking tape quickly gets sticky.  This same item talked about filling your mold with gorilla foam, which would NOT be suitable, but maybe these clues will help you google it.

          Beauty pageant contestants are taught to always eat something and to not stand with their knees rigid to keep from fainting.  It's good advice for brides, too.

          1. fearyenot | | #9


            I made the paper dress form earlier this year and the same thing happened--feeling faint but not as severe as when using the duct tape.  I think it has something to do with the heat that's trapped between the tape and the body and the body's need to cool down besides the energy it takes to cool down!  I'd like to make another one next year which may be too soon.  No one likes to faint or come close to it.

            I thought about having a fan blow on me the next time and make sure I shift my weight as you mentioned.

            The best to you on your sewing endeavors,


  3. chopchop | | #8

    Hi, I'm about to take a trip to buy fabric in Paris. Any suggestions?

    1. sewingwhiz | | #10

      I just returned from France and saw wonderful historic fabric, but also saw some pretty nice new fabric.If you are going to Paris, try the Montmartre district. There is a wondrful fabric district similar to the garment district in New York. Prices are generally good in a wide range of prices and quality. I did buy some fabric, but didn't have enough room in my bag for wom silk I saw and wanted. Good restaurants nearby. We could smell the onion soup (we all throught we could anyhow) and that was lunch with some wonderful French bread. The French know how to bake bread and serve an incredible cup of good tasting coffee. Starbucks is good, but you have a difficult time finding a Starbucks in France. Believe me the French coffee superior. The sidewalk cafes are safe and fun.
      Enjoy your trip. I had never been to Europe and loved the South of France and Paris as well.

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