Monday, December 10, 2012

A Bonus and a Challenge

I had a market yesterday at Sussex Neighbourhood House. I've done several markets recently--since doing the Make Craft Your Business course. I still have lots to learn and decisions to make about where I want to go with my textile art. Being out and about with my work is one of the best aspects of a market for me. I love to interact with people about my craft and to see how they respond to my work.
Yesterday's market brought an unexpected bonus. I came home with this dress manequin.
I've been wanting a manequin for a couple of reasons. If I'm going to sell my work online, I need a way of photographing it in context. A live model would be ideal. A dummy is the next best thing. As I discovered while trying to snap this pic, even finding a suitable spot in my house without too much background clutter is a challenge. And I'd like this to tone in with the other display props I've been making for myself. So at the very least I'm thinking I'll cover it with calico.
Then there's a question of body image and reality. That's a much bigger challenge--in more ways than one. One of the reasons this manequin was on offer is that she's quite a small size. I measured the waist and bust when I got home. I don't think I've ever been that size as an adult--never!
An obvious use for a dress manequin is to assist in dressmaking. But that's no use unless the manequin's shape and my body shape bear some resemblance to each other. Even if I'm only going to use it for display purposes, I don't want to fall into the trap of portraying an impossible body as an ideal. So the reality of this slim form is going to have to be fleshed out somehow.
I don't have a plan yet, but I have some ideas. I'm thinking of bubble wrap as a first layer. That will keep it light. Then maybe a some quilt wadding offcuts and some old clothes to give me a layer that's good for taking pins. I'll finish it off with a stitched calico shell. Hopefully that will give me a neat finish. I don't have any markets for the next month or two, so I guess I just found myself a challenge to keep me busy. 

Edited to add:
I've just found this tutorial and am adding it here for future reference. It sounds as though the critical issue is that the dress form should be smaller than me. So I'm off to a good start.

1 comment:

Dee said...

Padding her out is a great idea. That sounds a bit more friendly than the alternative of making a life size mannequin. There are some tutes on making a mannequin but they require being wrapped in tape all over the torso and then cutting it off.