Thursday, April 1, 2010

Meet Matilda, My Maternitized Dress Form

Matilda's Maternity Makeover

(Click to enlarge)

You wouldn't know it from anything I've posted here, but I do actually have a dress form, neglected thing that she is. We met on Craigslist in 2005, when she was going under the name "Size Small Dritz My Double." I dubbed her "Matilda" for my favorite Roald Dahl character, and carried her home on the subway in a garbage bag, looking rather like a headless corpse.

A few months ago I even spent an evening "maternitizing" her to match my measurements at the time (PatternReview "review" here, for those of you who are members):

Matilda's Maternity Modification, in ProgressMatilda's Maternity Modification, in Progress

But I still continue to do all my pinning and adjustments and tweaking on myself in the mirror. I think we have trust issues. I've grown quite a bit in the belly and elsewhere since February, and she never REALLY matched my narrow sloping forward-rounded shoulders, or simulated my swayback... And don't tell her I said this, but her bust is a bit on the lumpy side.

Matilda isn't the first dress form in my life, either. Once upon a time (2001), I made a duct tape model. She turned out lumpy, lopsided and overstuffed, but before I could tweak her fit, I suddenly lost 15 pounds due to pneumonia.

Duct Tape me was relegated to my mom's sewing room, where she servers as a proud model for all the baby carriers mom has been sewing for her first grandbaby.

As for Matilda, she just sits quietly in the corner of my living room, modeling my muslins and hanging out my hems, poor girl. Someday I'll find a more accurate way of padding her to match my shape, and maybe even break out that draping instruction book...

Do you have a dress form? How well do you get along and how often do you really hang out? And does he/she match your measurements enough for your liking?


  1. Matilda is lovely. Such a smart name too. I remember reading Matilda cover to cover late into the night when I was maybe 10ish. I love her!

    My only form is a duct tape model of myself. Her name is Tina and my husband built her a really great stand. Sadly, during my pregnancy, all of her weight mysteriously shifted and she's now hunchbacked, flat chested, broad shouldered, with a spare tire which looks nothing like me at all. She always fell off the stand. Currently, she's lounging on top of a mattress in a prone position with a knit top on. I can't quite bring myself to split her open and use the contents to stuff a few's all too creepy. So I do my fitting in the mirror.

  2. I too have a dress form dilemma. I once had a perfect paper tape form, but that was many years and one baby ago, so she got recycled a while back. I've never done the duct tape form, it works great on the little girl but I'm not so sure I can get a good one of myself. And I do have a form -- it was a gift -- but I could never really get it to match me.

    I might do the paper tape form again soon, but I've been thinking of doing a canvas fitting sheel (with no ease) and padding that out over my form. I would have to make some changes in the bust area to get that fitted right though. Maybe someday!

  3. I *still* read Matilda cover to cover whenever I pick it up (and I'll tell you, it might have been a little too long since the last time. I should probably rectify that).

    I don't have a dress form. I've thought several times about trying to do a duct tape or paper tape one, but have never gotten around to it. Of course, I haven't done much garment sewing in a while (except for aprons, which don't really count). But I'm hoping to change that soon!

  4. I love your pregnant Matilda! I totally want a dress form but I haven't yet purchased one. I may ask for one for my 40th bday in June. Or maybe I'm not yet ready.


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