She's a Dritz Sew You dress form from Amazon.com. I picked her because:
- Through reviews it seems the Dritz was the best company for inexpensive adjustable dress forms.
- Unlike some other models in this price range, the Sew You has and adjustable torso length. I can keep her at the smallest setting and that seems to work perfect for my 5ft tall but proportional frame.
- This model was less than $100 dollars on Amazon.com where I get free two-day shipping! I know, you often get what you paid for, but I've had her a week and the dials and height adjustments have all stayed put. I figure for a first dress form, that perfect.
So what have I been working on? 3 finished garments and one nearly done! My first piece was a red flannel dress, inspired by one I saw in a pricey boutique in town. I used Butterick 5781, which in retrospect was an odd choice. Just look at that styling? What made me think I could make that chic? And the pattern wasn't even on sale... I paid full price!
And why am I drawn to princess seams? Darts would have been so much easier to alter and fit! This dress was made pre-dress form, so I found it hard to judge the fit until the zipper was in, and at that point it was clear that the bust point was too low and the bust and shoulders were too big. I either needed to I take the whole thing apart and try and redraw the princess seams and take in four inches in the bust and shoulders (which I wouldn't even know where to begin to do that, especially pre-dress form!), or just take in 3 inches at the center back. I went the the latter, giving it kind of a weird racer-back look that show my bra, AND the bust is still too big with low bust points!
The camera shows every wrinkle! Sorry!
Oh well. The positives:
- I loved the flannel. It was east to work with, pleated really well, the dress did end up cozy to wear, and was on sale for $2.50/yard.
- If I wear it with a cardigan it hides the back and bust issues, so I can still wear it an look ok. Wore it to work the other day with a black cardigan and actually got lots of compliments!
- It was a good get-back-into-sewing project because I was able to practice and learn best-practices for many techniques; curved seams, zippers, lining, hem tape, pleats, etc. (Although I learned even more tricks for the lining in my next dress which is even better!)
- The pleats and pockets both came out great! The skirt is one I may use again, but maybe with a bodice with darts.