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Conversational Threads

My Twin Dressforms

DeeDee7 | Posted in Fitting on

I am thinking of buying the ‘do it yourself’ version of ‘My Twin Dressforms’ It is half the price of getting one made for you. Does anyone know anything about this? I ordered a back issue of Threads magazine which has an article in it about these dress forms (#95 July 2001) Thanks for any suggestions! 

Replies

  1. MaryAnnG | | #1

    If you decide to order the kit, be sure to order the video and the cutting tool as well.   I heard a "horror" story about a group who decided they could save money by not ordering the scissors.  Once wrapped and set, they couldn't get the plaster off their  first "victim" and had to lay her in the back seat of a car and drive her to the fire house to get her cut out of the cast. 

    Members of my ASG group got together and held two workshops with Lynda this past year.  It was money well spent.  The process is labor intensive and the results are worth the effort.   After seeing all the work that goes into making one of these forms, the cost of having one custom made seems small.

    If you decide to "do it yourself" get someone to help you who will take the process seriously and pay attention to the guidance in the video.   You might even want to practice the casting process on something else first.

    Mary Ann

    Northern VA

    1. DeeDee7 | | #2

      thank you for your input on the Twin Dressforms-I have a twin sister and we will do this together! I amy post some pics of the process!

      1. jewelea | | #3

        I saw your post from October, and I wondered if you made a My Twin Dress form. I purchased their instructional booklet, but ordered the supplies, i.e., plaster bandages, online from another source.  My husband made a cast of my body today, so we have just finished step one.  It seems a little flimsy around the bottom; that is, I'm not sure we got the two halves propped into the correct curvature to dry.  There are enough bandages left to make another one.  I wondered what problems you might have encountered, or how it went in general.   

        1. rekha | | #4

          I wonder whether you will be able to dress the commercial dressform with your twin dressform. I ask because I'm finding fitting the dressform rather cumbersome. I thought if I could make a cast of myself with the plaster bandages I should be able to pop that directly on to the dressform.

          1. jewelea | | #5

            I'm not sure I understand what you mean by putting the cast form over a commercial dress form.  Have you looked on the MyTwin website? http://www.mytwindressforms.com/doit.htm  You end up with a cast form that you use in lieu of a commercial form.  At least, I'm hoping.  We've made the cast, but haven't filled it with the foam yet.  So I can't say how it will turn out.  The process is not for the faint-of-heart.  It is time-consuming and very messy.  However, if it produces a great dressform, it will have been worth it. 

             

          2. TJSEWS | | #6

            Please let me know how you like the resulting dress form once you complete the whole process. 

            I'm thinking about purchasing the My Twin kit as well and would like to know your experience with it.

            Thanks!

          3. liselaure | | #8

            Hello,

            I don't think you can put a cast onto a commercial dressform. It's the inside of the cast and not it's outside which reflects your body shape. The cast outside surface is uneven and very rough - unlike it's inside one - and you cannot pin into the plaster bandages.

            I would rather suggest to make a moulage in light cardboard and to put it onto your dressform.

            Lise-Laure

          4. rekha | | #9

            This sounds like a perfectly practical way of achieving the same end. Thank you

        2. liselaure | | #7

          Hello,

          I bought the kits for the dressform and for the pantsform about 3 years ago and I never regretted it. I already knew I have several asymmetries, such as a fuller hip, but I made new discoveries. For instance, I had never suspected that my body is slightly twisted - my right shoulder is more forward than the left one. By the way, seeing your body in 3 dimensions for the first time is quite an experience.

          At the beginning I had some difficulty in trusting my dressform. I have a very intellectual approach of things and tended to trust patternmaking theory rather than my form when taking decisions about fit, and it always turned out to be the bad choice. I experimented by putting onto my form one of my best-fitting dresses, discovered an area in which it was not fitting very well, then put on the dress myself and had to agree that yes, it was not fitting very well in that area.

          I use my dressform more than my pantsform. I prefer to fine-tune pants fit on myself. I need to walk, to bend, to raise a leg, to sit to see how the fabric moves and how the pants feel. And as the form is hanged, it easily moves when you work on it, which is not very convenient. But I think that if you have a lot of difficulty in pants fitting, the form will help you to pinpoint the problems and it will allow you to try different solutions easily.

          Working on my forms every afternoon, I completed each in about a week. For those who want to try, be extra careful to define the neck and the armholes well when wrapping. Some day I'll have to remove the cover from my dressform and to hollow the arm joints with a file because they were bridged over and as a result my sloper binds when on my form.

          For me, the worst part of the job was removing the plaster bandages from the foam. My mother and my husband applied too many layers in some areas. I found the solution but only when working on the second form. Soak it. Water doesn't damage the foam and this way, when you pull the bandages, it's the plaster and not the gaze that gives.

          Lise-Laure

          Edited 12/20/2005 12:51 am by LiseLaure

          1. TJSEWS | | #10

            Thanks so much for all of your helpful information.  I will get both the pants form and dress form!

          2. jewelea | | #11

            Lisa-Laure, I wish I had read your post earlier.  Yesterday we (my husband and I) poured the foam and then encountered the problem of the cast refusing to come away from the foam.  I thought I had put on more than adequate amount of the releasing agent (what I used was a green wax-like substance that was from the same source as the foam).  I think perhaps the problem was that we had reinforced the cast quite a bit with plaster of paris, which seemed like a good idea at the time.  We sanded and sanded on it, but there are still bandage bits and plaster attached, so I'll try the soaking method.  Yes, that was the worst (most unsuccessful) part.

            To rekha, or anyone else who is going to try it, I would emphasize the part about defining the arms especially.  They never got properly back into shape after removing the cast.  I would think it would be good to put an extra layer of bandage right at the end of the arm cast and be extra careful about slitting it to take off the cast, i.e. slit it as little as possible. 

            I didn't get a chance to look at it today, to really assess it.  I can see some small problems (dent in one bust, a place where the foam didn't flow smoothly onto one back shoulder, etc.), but I hope these won't affect its usability, especially after I've made the cover. I have enough materials to make another cast, but I'd definitely wait for while to try it again.  For one thing, it is extremely messy.

            Also, while I don't want to deprive the MyTwin company of business, I was able to purchase what I needed for the form, basically the bandages and the foam (not included in the kit), by ordering online, for just above $100.  The foam was the most expensive part, and I have lots left over.  I did buy their instructional booklet.

            I've sewn forever, but I've never had a dressform, so I hope I'm as happy with this as you are, Lise-Laure.

             

          3. rekha | | #14

            These are the sort of things sellers should point out or have discussion board for customers so you can  assess whether the product is for you. From what you write I am beginning to have doubts that I shall use the dressform as much as I use the traditional flat pattern measurement method.

          4. judyhouston | | #15

            I made the My Twin about 13 years ago . I've out grown since then but I'll tell you (if its not too late my thoughts)

            a/ I love it.  I did not mark a line around the bottom parallel to the floor during the molding process. I don't know if the instructions suggested it or not. They should. Because the biggest problem I had was with the "posture" which is critical. This solution only came to me as I read these discussions.  I am now considering another.

            b/ at the time I made it I my sewing room lacked good lighting so I also dropped a rod down the length of it--the threaded 3/8" kind made for lamps. I wired it up and to this day it lives on in a taffeta  gown with a fabulous lampshade.......  I'm all for double duty.      

          5. rekha | | #16

            Thank you and more like this would be helpful especially since the current issue of Threads (#123) has also detailed it

          6. TJSEWS | | #12

            How long did you soak the form in order to remove the bandages/plaster from the form.  Was it just enough to get it wet or for 5 minutes? 15 minutes? 

          7. liselaure | | #13

            I am sorry. I don't remember. All that the foam has in common with a sponge are the bubbles. It doesn't absorb water. So I think you can soak it as long as needed, that is until the plaster is thoroughly wet and gives pretty easily when you pull the bandages.

            Lise-Laure

          8. MerryGoose | | #21

            Hi...I am about to make a dressform & wanted to know where you got your kits? I know it was a while ago but do you have any helpful hints for me? I sure would appreciate any help you can give me...thanks sew much...MG

          9. liselaure | | #22

            Hello,

            I ordered my kits from http://www.mytwindressforms.com/. I have just read my previous post again and have only one hint to add: before removing the cast from yourself, have an horizontal "hemline" marked all around - this will help you to put your dressform in the right position later. The kits come with detailed instructional manuals and you can also get videotapes to see the wrapping process.

            Lise-Laure

          10. MerryGoose | | #23

            Thanks sew much for the tip & answering me sew quickly!

            Sew Happy!

        3. woodruff | | #17

          There are a lot of detailed discussions and comparisons of various types of dressforms here:http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/sewingclasses/board.pl?searchphrase=dress%20forms&searchin=title&getsearch=1And here is a long series, with lots of photos, about the My Twin dressform:http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/sewingclasses/board.pl?t=1551&pn=1

          Edited 12/31/2005 5:27 pm by woodruff

          1. jewelea | | #18

            I completed the My Twin dressform last Sunday.  My husband said we got a B+ on the project.  Some of the final problems that kept us from getting an A (besides what I mentioned in earlier posts) were the fact that he managed to obscure the leveling lines on the cast when he slathered on the plaster of paris, and thus he mounted it on the stand tilted slightly forward.  Also in trying to stand very straight and keep my shoulders back, I managed to actually make one lower than it normally is, but was able to fix that with a little padding.  I covered it with cotton/lycra rib knit which I found at JoAnn fabrics (and dyed as close to my skin tone as possible), but I haven't yet put on the ribbons to mark waist, center front, etc.  I've already used it to fit a muslin and realize how extremely helpful having it will be.

            It is disconcerting to confront your own body (unless, perhaps you're a lithe 25-year old).  I immediately put an old muslin on it and felt much better. 

             

        4. DeeDee7 | | #19

          Hey, I have not checked this site for awhile-too busy with Xmas...I did purchase the materials to make the Twin Dressform-enough to do one from above the knee up to my neck. My husband and sister will be doing the plastering. I do not know yet how we will stand it up as it needs to be 'free' to fit pants on it. My husband thinks he can figure something out...I think I will wait for a few more weeks to make it, as it is very rainy/cold here and I do not want to freeze to death in our garage! Thanks for the info!

          1. jewelea | | #20

            Be sure to look at post #18 in this discussion.  There is quite a bit of information on patternreview.com which is listed there.

    2. user-172042 | | #24

      I know that being stuck in a cast would not be funny, but it sure is funny reading about it. I could just picture those women carrying another out to the car and then pulling up to the fire station. What a great story.

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