Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Introducing Mavis, the Dress Form Mannequin

A while ago I mentioned making a dress form out of duct tape. My intrepid friend Dianne and I found instructions on the web, and set forth to help each other in our quest for a more precise replication of our figures, to aid us in sewing things that actually fit us. The result was much hilarity, and, in the end, dress forms for each of us. (Does this count as creating a graven image or idol of some kind? I mean, she is silver...)

Here's a full shot of "Mavis," as she has been christened. Her job is to help keep me from screwing up the vintage patterns I'm going to start sewing in expensive fabrics.

Here's my - I mean her - bottom after she's been stuffed with pillow stuffing and rags, and had a piece of cardboard fitted across the opening:

Below, an arm, abbreviated. I wish now I had wrapped my arms to the elbow so that I could fit sleeves better. Oh, well, maybe next time.

Mavis has an old wooden hanger inside her, and originally I was supposed to have build some kind of base and pole assembly upon which to rest the cross bar of the hanger. Didn't happen. She sits in my "guest chair" in the sewing studio instead.

Below, Mavis in action, helping me figure out that I totally messed up the bodice on this dress I was "freehanding," and that the best solution was to cut off the bodice and make a skirt. I started it without her, and I should have waited until after I made her to make the dress.

Mavis also has 2 tattoos, but you have to get to know her better before she'll show them to you...


  1. GREAT job! And I have always loved the name Mavis, ever since reading "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret!" Mavis will make your dressmaking *so* much easier. :) Happy Sewing!

  2. Thanks, Miss Amelina! I am really looking forward to her helping me make things that FIT!!! I remember Mavis from "Are You There God..." too, and it was also a joke nickname we had for my mom, so I just had to use it!


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