Dress Form Love | Obtaining the Right Fit with a Uniquely You Form

At the end of June when i made a list and checked it twice seeing that i expected myself to make 5 full Victorian era costumes/dresses by Halloween for Steam-con and a a couple of Dickens outfits by Thanksgiving i felt a good dress form was necessary.  I had been eyeing a paticular form for a few months and decided it was time!  I ordered a Uniquely You form and on July 2nd she appeared!  The Uniquely You forms are made up of two main parts: the form body and the "over dress".  The form is what it is...which is not my shape or size.  That's where the over dress comes in to work some magic.  The overdress is fit to "you"!  After getting everything out of the box and set (like 5 minutes) i started into the over dress fitting.  After taking a dinner break i read the instructions, handed the man some pins, and set to it.  After about 6 hours that night of pin---sew---pin---sew we stopped in a pretty close place.  The next morning (yea for holiday long weekends!!!)  I was able to tweak a few things and was very happy with the results in about an hour.


After getting the over dress onto the form there is a note in the instructions that since the form is trying so hard to "expand" (silly foam!) that the dress may not be the same size as when on the model.  Well i had already put in a tad bit of ease...i'm not making swim wear here.  After getting her all dressed and taking measurements she was running a 1" or so big through some key areas, mostly in the upper back width.  Off the dress came and three re-do's later she looks and fits pretty darn good!

I have seen a lot of blog posts about these dress forms saying that if you don't have a fitting or seamstress background that these are too much...i completely 100% disagree.  i stood there very patiently while my boyfriend did all of the initial pinning following the directions.  Trust me, he's not a tailor.  He followed the instructions.  They are great instructions.  This is really a two person job: one to stand there and look pretty while the other pins and pins and pins.  I *could* have done this all by myself, but it would have taken for ever as when you bend to put in a pin you are shifting your weight and shape and would have required many more iterations to get the shape correct.  Please do not be intimidated by the "fitting" of the dress form.  No matter how close you get the over dress it will still be hundreds of times closer to YOUR shape then any of the "dial a size" dress forms.

*Fitting the Over Dress Notes*
* Follow the instructions is an understatement.  It notes that if if you are a seamstress, fitting the over dress is different than a regular garment and to follow the instructions, i second that!
* The over dress "was" the correct length for the form, but during the fitting process i removed from length at the back and gave her some extra darts that "shortened" the dress almost 2".
* Keep the same "undergarments" on throughout the *entire fitting process*.  If you change bras this will change the fit as each bra has a specific "cup" shape (especially going from a molded cup to a lace or fabric cup).  This will throw off your fitting and drive you insane.  Once everything is looking good grab those other bras and try them on with the over dress to find a happy medium.
* I opened the lower across front bust dart and added my own lower in the bust area.  This gave the front of the bust a rounder shape.  The additional dart was in the instructions, but removing the upper was not.  I would recommend this for the D Cup + gals to help reduce the pointed front.  (The form could easily fit up to a DDD/F cup based on the foam and extra large seam allowances in the over dress).
* Don't worry about trying to match the side seams front to back.  This nearly drove me crazy as i have no back and it wasn't working.  Instead follow the instructions and pin it where it falls.
* The shoulder seams do not match and the CB neck is too low with an odd shape.  'tis what it 'tis.  I know where the neckline is by looking at the form and will probably in the future add an additional piece of fabric to the back neckline to fill it in or cut out a new over dress with that corrected.  It has not affected the fit as the dress form is nice and flat in the back neck area.
* I shaped the lower back (gave her some rear end), not in the instructions, but helps to see when things are "collapsing" in the back of the garment.  Also makes the zipper a true nightmare to get all the way down while "dressing" her.
* The seams will not match up, you will add darts in crazy places you would never want in a dress...but remember that this is not being worn, this is to fit *your shape*...so pin away.


Once she was finshed i tried a few of my old muslins on her and things looks great!  Also i noticed things i would have changed if i could have had a third person perspective...and some changes i will do differently next time.  I have already put her to good use on a new project as well with the "Doll Dress" that i just started...


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to thank you for offering this. It provided the impetus needed to tackle the cover hanging in my closet. I completely agree about it not being difficult. It actually went very quickly by simply following the instructions.. Thank you! :)

Sexless in the City said...

Thank you. I needed a clear explanation of how this works, and now that you've provided it I feel confident that this is the right choice for me. Bravo!

croixmom said...

I just finally attacked my overdress today. (I purchased my UY form last June.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised how easy the fitting actually went, with my mother's assistance.

Unfortunately, though, the bust is still WAY to busty. (I'm only a slight-A cup, so the bosoms really need to be reigned in.) Also, the armholes are now very gapey - even though it seems the bust is still larger than mine.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

dre_ah said...

Hi croixmom,

You can "cut" away the excess form on the bust using a sharp kitchen knife. I did this at the lower back recently and as long as you go slow and do not take a lot off in each pass it's pretty easy to cut through the form.

carol said...

Can anyone help me. I bought the form and tried to fit it. I gave up. Now I can't find the instructions. What now?

dre_ah said...

I think I came across mine recently ... off to look :)