Saturday, April 3, 2010

How To Make A New Dress Form Look Vintage, Part 1

Do you adore the clean beige look of vintage and pro dress forms, possibly covet a Wolf, but not the price? Me too.

So instead of this:

Image from Threads

I got this:

Far cry, huh!!

It's even more no-name than the Dritz Double Deluxe, because although it has the same measurements, it came in a box without the Dritz brand name. It was $99 on eBay. I've seen these cheap on craigslist too. But truth be told, this thing is so flimsy, particularly the base, that $70 is probably a maximum value price for it.

But it will serve the purposes needed, which are 1) to display things I want to sell for photographs and 2) serve as a basic dress form for fitting and styling until I upgrade someday.

The thing I can't live with is THAT BLUE. While I love to wear blue, there is no blue in my home decor except for fake robin's eggs on a shelf, because robin's eggs are always blue. No offense to people who like blue, it's just too calming a color for me and I feel dragged down by it. I must be surrounded by reds, oranges and fast 80s dance music. Sort of like visual caffeine to keep me awake and alive through the day.

So what to do about the blue? Cover it with beige fabric!

We all know how to manipulate fabric. You could use a linen woven and sew it with structured seams just like a pro form. Include a zipper in the back to allow you to slip it over the form. My form size will be periodically increasing and decreasing, if it's anything like my real body. A beige knit from EmmaOneSock in my fabric stash will be ideal. It's 20" wide, so it's perfect to sew halves together shaped to fit the form's curves, and I can make one size that could stretch and contract as needed.

I will also decorate it with letters and numbers. That's a project for later this weekend.

Meanwhile, other ways to modify cheapy dress forms ...

If you like the decorative finial on the top of vintage and pro forms, search for wood finials on eBay. You can paint them gold or black and install them on top of a dress form. Some samples from eBay:

My base is very flimsy and keeps tipping over, so I will mount the form on a sturdier cast iron base. As soon as I find the right base. Again, search eBay and your local antique shops for potential solutions. Look for a heavy stable base. For a modern look, think outside the box with an iron microphone stand like this one from eBay seller geartree:

An old table base could be converted for a new job, like this one from eBay seller theantiquewarehouse. Not for this price of $400 though! But you get the idea, look for an antique look in heavy iron:

Also from theantiqueswarehouse, here's a flagpole stand that could be a stable possibility:

More ornate, pretty:

These ideas don't have a pole, but no big deal. Pick up a large wood dowel at Home Depot, cut it to the right length and spray paint it black, and you're ready to go.

For more inspiration for lettering and detail for pinning ribbon markings, check out this old corset form currently on eBay:

There are 7 hours left for its auction and it's already bidded up to $261. Plus $70 shipping. You could easily replicate this look with a modern dress form. Drool on it a little bit for authentic water marks, too! If you have access to a baby, hold him or her up, aim, and you're all set with ample drool.

This website sells jewelry, but I like the dress form:

I hope this has delivered inspiration to dress up your dress form!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you can also get yourself a heavy patio umbrella base (the kind that keep them from blowing off the deck) and a wooden closet pole for the support. Nice and solid.

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