Sunday, February 5, 2012

Meet Betty...

Betty Nuggs

Betty came to live with me about 2 years ago when Claire bought her for me for Christmas and has been a great help to me ever since. Betty is a Singer 151 Dress Form and I love her very much but being a plus size model she isn't much help when I am sewing for some of my slimmer friends.....ok for Sara who seems to get most of the adult clothing made by me.
I was talking to my friends over at Miss Succulent  who are marvellous at finding all kinds of wonderful things when they told me they had found a present for me, they weren't sure if it was any use to me but thought of me when they saw it and grabbed it for me....

 Ok, so this old Autoset Diana Dress Form has seen better days but I knew I could do something with it so home she came and I pondered for a few days before I set off for some jersey to recover her in today. I found some nice purple jersey on sale and I can never pass by purple anything without at least having a second look and at $3 a metre I bought it and came home to start the Herculean task ahead of me

 I removed all the screws and detached the old faded fabric which coughed out copious amounts of red dust, the remnants of the foam that originally covered the form and although dusty it was in pretty good nick. Removing the top from the bottom made life much easier and the cleaning began

  I used some bamboo batting from previous quilting projects to cover the form in place of foam and glued it on. I had originally tried a plastic glue but it wasn't working very well so I switched to my usual spray on glue which made things really easy and much less fiddly, Don't get me wrong it was still very fiddly but a spay covers more area than a little dab here and there  and made it much more secure. I held everything in place with bulldog clips until it dried

 When it was covered in the batting I then used the existing fabric to cut a pattern our of the new fabric and put it in place.
I glued the edges back and used the bulldog clips again to make sure everything stayed where it was supposed to and slowly recovered each panel 

 The main thing was to make sure the fabric stayed tight and hugged into all the places it was supposed to. I wouldn't want to try this with a thinner jersey as it would just warp and not do a very good job, the fabric I used was quite thick yet rather stretchy which served my purposes perfectly.
By this point my hands were covered in glue and bamboo batting but I was feeling pretty good about the progress being made.

As I couldn't wait for the bottom to be finished before I stared reassembling I (with the help of Tom) reattached the bust to the stand and moved on to the hips and bottom and every time I wanted to stop I would look up and it was enough to keep me going

I covered the bottom in exactly the same way, first covering it in bamboo batting then in fabric keeping everything tight and smooth.

 And I am VERY happy with the result. All up it took me nearly 6 hours to pull apart, clean, cover in bamboo, cover in fabric and finally to reassemble.... PHEW!
I now have a nice, seemingly new dress form for the cost of some jersey and thanks to some very considerate friends. Would I ever want to do this again? HELL NO!! But I am very glad to have done it  and I am sure she will be great friends with Betty..... Oh! Whats her name you ask? Why, Wilma of course!

Together at last

1 comment:

  1. OMG so awesome!!! I'm so very impressed!! Well done, all that work has paid off nicely and I continue to be amazed at what you come up with (because I'm a little slow, eh) - loved the play by play in photos, too! :-)