Valient Viewers of Braver Homes and Gardens

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Making Friends Fat

Everyone has that one friend that has the ideal figure...the friend that's always skinny, always looks good, with the perfectly proportioned body.  We love that friend for who she is, of course.  And we get a lot of good out of being friends with her. 

But secretly we hate her, don't we?  I have a skinny friend.  Her name is Grace.  Doesn't her perfect figure make you sick? 

Yea, Grace is my dressmaker model.  I always wanted one but they are pri-cee!  By dumb luck, I was just bumming around one day and stumbled upon a thrift store and she just happened to be in the window at $40.  She's not too shabby....but she is definately way too skinny. 

I use her a lot for sewing and of course, things look great on her skinny self.  All the items on the floor behind her are HER clothes, 'cuz Lord knows they wouldn't fit me.  Some friend, hey? 

Well, I can't get too mad at her.  The thing about sewing is, it forces you to admit your natural shape.  It is absolutely frustrating to spend all day sewing something only to put it on and have it fit poorly. 

It's madness to try and use a model that's skinnier than you...or doesn't have your shape issues (swayback, dowager's hump, saddlebags, whatever).  So, to make clothes that fit, you need a model that's shaped like you.  I decided it's high time to fatten up my friend.  I used this awesome and easy tutorial from Threads magazine.  And my equally awesome sister, Caroline, helped me out. 

You basically put on an old shirt then have your helper wrap you up in duct tape all around your curves and other issues.  Honestly is required - no sucking in your tummy, padding your bra, or standing funny to hide your true shape. 

After spending about an hour getting high on duct tape fumes in my bathroom, this is what we ended up with:

See what I mean - no lying about your true shape. 

But the form is cool.  The shirt and tape combo gives it stability, yet is flexible.  I'm scuking in my tummy below, and you can see that I can poke into it.  This is great because you can push into a real person....therefore, I need to be able to push into Grace's new shape. 

Once you're all taped up, your partner slices you out of it with a cut down the back, leaving the form ready to slip out of.

And there's the new Grace.  Laying on my sewing table like a dead slug, which is identical to how I look after The Conductor and I eat dinner.  Sadly, this is the body shape that comes when the one you love loves to eat as much as you do.  ~Sigh~   

I was so pleased with how this turned out that I asked my sister to tape my upper arm which, next to my bust and belly, is probably the third toughest part of my body to fit properly.  If you make a model of your arm or thighs, you should either squeeze your arm muscles as you're taped or sit down for your leg - you want the model to reflect your shape at it's widest so your clothes have enough ease in the fit. 

Once you're sliced out of it, drape the new form over your model.  Make sure you tape over all of gaps in the original model.    Shove batting or fiberfill inside to pad any areas that don't lay exactly on the old model. 
Because you sliced out of the back, it's easy to line up the original cut and tape it closed.  And there's your new friend. 

I am SO SO SO thrilled with Grace's new look.  So thanks to my sister for inhaling duct tape fumes with me.  Can you even tell which one's Grace and which one is me?  

1 comment:

Caroline said...

It was an interesting project. Glad it was worth all the brain cells we killed.