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.