Ann and I got together recently to pad out my body double, which is the final step. The whole process went pretty quickly and we learned a few things that Kenneth king’s article doesn’t really mention:
- Fusible batting has glue on both sides so use a dry iron, no steam
- A silk organza press cloth is a must and expect to use almost a yard of it because the glue will build up and you’ll need at least three fresh pieces. Cut a piece of organza that can wrap around the dress form and use it to hold down the batting during fusing.
- Raglan shoulder pads were used for boob padding and a few catch stitches secured them to the inner cover
- One twin size pack of batting was plenty for a size 10 form and a size 14 me. We used about 2/3’s of the package.
- Kenneth’s calipers made from two right angles are useful mostly to measure and pad out the bust. We really didn’t need it for the lower body, there Ann just eyeballed it by having me put the shell on a few times, she’d look at me, pad out the form, look at me again, repeat etc. It’s more of an intuitive process than a mathematical process.
- My dress form is a size 10 and notice the upper bodice does not really have much padding. Both Ann and I suspect the dress form Kenneth used is at least 2 sizes smaller than the woman he used as a model because the photo of the final padded form shows quite a bit more padding on the upper body than we had to use for my double. When it was time to pad the bust this actually presented a problem that we didn’t quite solve because my bust point is higher (and narrower) than the dress form and we could not quite pad out the bust to really mimic my shape. This issue is also evident at the waist because as you can see the front waist from the side view is not really level with the ground. A size 6 dress form probably would be easier to pad out to more closely mimic my frame. SO – if you are in the market for a dress form and considering giving this project a try go down at least one size and maybe even two if you have a petite frame and this holds true for plus size petites as well.
- We used raglan shoulder pads to fill out the boobs and catch stitched them to the inner layer to keep them from shifting while the batting was being fused on top of them.
- Also added a single shoulder pad to the left shoulder, which on me is the higher one due to scoliosis.
- After the final padding I steamed the cover onto the batting to make it nice and smooth.
- The very final step is to hand stich the two layers together. That’s not really something I need to do right now. I can use the body double as is, it’s necessary only if I need to remove it entirely from my dress form so I bet I’ll just do that final step that when I need to.
- We both agreed that it would be pretty hard for one person to do this project alone. At the very least another person needs to help fit the shell although the padding could probably be by one person. I think I spent at least 40 hours on this start to finish.
Total time spent padding the form was about 2.5 hours which is great and gave us plenty of time to head over to Legal Seafood for a glass of wine and raw oysters! This was a really time consuming project but also very a satisfying and the end result is well worth the effort.