Fitting Thoughts

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I’ve received several questions about specific fitting problems that really can’t be answered without a personal consultation, and of course that’s “virtually” impossible at the moment. However, I would like to make one recommendation to those of you with fitting concerns.

It’s much easier to fit yourself if you can actually see how the garment looks on your body, all around. A three-way mirror is helpful, and a fitting buddy is a big help in determining fit issues. But, an even better solution is to have a dress form. Yes, custom forms are expensive, and many don’t adjust with the changes that aging and gravity bring us. But bring out that innate DIY spirit and make your own.

It’s easy to make your own dress form with duct tape from the home improvement store. (I, of course, am recommending Home Depot since my dear husband works there. They also sell duct tape in colors, so if you’ve ever wanted to be that “lady in red” you can be.)

Making your own form does require a sewing buddy, but most of us have at least one person we trust to see us in our undies without being judgemental. They can help you, and in turn you can help them make one as well. Take a vow of secrecy to the rolls and lumps you’ll both witness in the process.

To purchase step-by-step instructions to make your own dress form, check out This downloadable booklet is well illustrated, offers a bit of humor (after all it is a novel process compared to most of our sewing activities), and it gives you a complete supply list so you’re not left standing in the middle of the process while your buddy runs to the store.

If you’re a member of a sewing guild chapter, making your own dress form is a great activity either for a neighborhood group meeting or for the entire membership. Follow it up with a speaker who can address basic fit problems for the group.

I think it’s fun to dress up the form when you’re not using it for fitting. Add a seasonal costume, a hat, ribbons, an old college sweatshirt or perhaps a provocative bustier. It’s your chance for an alter-ego and it’ll make you smile when you spy it in your sewing room.