Threads Body Double – Part 4 Finished

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.

15 Responses to Threads Body Double – Part 4 Finished

  1. Gorgeous Things September 6, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    And next up – we’ll pad out mine! :)

  2. sharon September 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    hmm. fusible batting has glue on both sides, use a dry iron. how did you figure that one out, and who hasn’t done that. lol

  3. Laura SJ September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    The pictures make it look pretty accurate. I’ll be interested to see how it works as a fitting tool for you. Hmmm….time for me to start looking for a fitting partner!

  4. K-Line September 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    That bust point thing is a real challenge. I padded my Fabulous Fit dress form to try to mimic my body but it fails in most ways. This is a much smarter system, I just don’t know if I have the fortitude right now :-)

  5. coudremode September 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    Ann and I had a brief discussion on this actually because she’s pretty busty too and it might just be better for busty sewists to be fitted for a new bra when they embark on this project. Buy two: one for the dress form and one for you. KK recommends raglan shoulder pads for the bust like I used but hoesntly I don’t really see that as a feasible option for women C-cup and larger. When we pad Ann’s body double we’ll have more insight to share as to how this process plays out when padding a form for busty women.

  6. coudremode September 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    The instructions actually which I didn’t read clearly and we got resin all over my iron! :)

  7. Nancy Karpen September 7, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Other than the bust point difference, it certainly looks pretty close to your body. I am interested to see how it helps you with fitting.

  8. Pam ~Off The Cuff~ September 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    What a process…but great results!

  9. PVE September 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    Would guess having a “you” will limit the # of muslin needing to be made.
    Applause to you both for going forward with the all. :-)’s

  10. Pat September 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Is it really necessary to do the first fitting shell if you don’t intend to remove the cover? I would only be sewing for me.

  11. coudremode September 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    I suppose it’s possible to steam the batting right onto the form if you were certain that it would never be used for another person. The batting would certainly stick to the linen used on a professional style dress form and it would need to be tested on a form that has flocked or knit finish.

  12. Pat September 10, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    Thanks. My current form is one that was made in a class when I was much younger and thinner!! It has a heavy cotton cover and we were taught to sew twine on for the landmarks that took some time. But I still use it to audition things on, It is very well made and we then went on to draping classes, that was really fun.

  13. Eva September 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    I am petite,small shouldered, long waisted but curvy…(5’0″) and have never found a system that would work for me. This is alot of work but would gladly do it if it actually would work. I am interested to see how this works for you two….

  14. marianne isaacs September 20, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    oh congratulations . It does look like hard work. Also be good insentive to not upsize???!!! I have recently upsized 5 kg and am now working on getting rid of it so I WONT be following yor excellent example ( at least not yet).Well done .

  15. marianne isaacs September 20, 2012 at 6:32 am #

    I showed this to a friend of mine who did her training at the Haute Couture school in Paris many moons ago and then worked at Chanel . Apparently they do this for all their customers who want made to measure ! No wonder its so expensive .

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