Tuesday 29 July 2014

Form-O-Matic Dress Form

The gasping excitement upon opening the mystery box.
Just what every girl needs! a "Form-O-Matic" Dress Form. Sigh.
Not just any Dress Form, this baby has been made from 'Alpha Cellulose material impregnated (no less) with Dupont Neoprene for long life and durability.  another sigh....Someone actually thought this unit up, and manufactured it! 
The 60's &70's are responsible for some amazing product development and combinations (cardboard with neoprene? anyone). The cardboard does feel a bit like neoprene, it's rather lovely actually. In great condition considering it's age and really interesting. A bit space age 'The Jetson's' meets industrial chic.
Love the graphics too.

Ok, the concept is that you use little expanding pins to fasten all the bodice and hip areas of the stand together, which makes a 3D body model which can be set up on the accompanying stand, with tripod feet...brilliant yes?
Even more brilliant is the adjustable part of the story. "the form adjusts to regular and half sizes and many figure variations from 8 to 20 (bust sizes 30" to 41").....So Easy To Use. Even a Beginner can sew Custom-Fitting Clothes the first time.....Reduces and Gains Right Along With You. Can be used in sections or Full Figure.  Strong! Won't easily Crack, Chip or Break. Stores away easily in shelf or drawer.  More versatile than dress forms costing many times more."

My studio, unfortunately, does not 'Reduce and Gain' storage as I desire. So the 'Form-O-Matic' is for sale in my shop!  https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/198021622/vintage-adjustable-dress-form-o-matic
Discovered in the bottom of a cupboard still in its original box. All parts present and correct. 
All the Fronts and Side Fronts
All the Backs and Side Backs

Tuesday 22 July 2014

The Golden Dressmaker

It sounds like a 1950's film title.
Instead it's a 1950's text book for "cutting your own patterns which will save you pounds in cash and hours in time"...sigh, I love this! 1st you will need to work out how to use the obscure tiny ruler that is the key to drafting all the patterns in the book.  It's rare to find the book and the ruler together, yet here they are, having lived 50+ years in my MIL's bookcase.

I confess this kind of 'challenge' is the perfect rainy weekend afternoon for me. Add in a coffee & old movie in the background & it's a happy studio bunny up here in the hills!

But what to make first?  The classic mens BBQ shirts on p128, or the petticoats, which I'm sure will be useful, on page 72  or cocktail frocks p 65.

Not since plotting out 5th scales at uni have little pattern diagrams looked so strange.  While studying pattern drafting we worked our trial pattern designs to 1/5th of full scale . Mostly my fellow students disliked this immensely, it's fiddly and exacting. I found it strangely calming. I love pattern making and am possibly a bit strange this way.  Like nutting out instructions for furniture construction, or indeed, working through the occassional Ikea instruction booklet...this little ruler is perhaps the equivalent of an Ikea allen key!  and the pictures are delightful.  I cannot decide -  to keep the book (300 pages, 275 'illustrated models') or let it go to a new home.  I'm drawn to letting it live on my bookshelf for a while, it's just too much fun!

Enjoy the pics.