Monday, March 31, 2014

torso form

I had been looking for good, full sized torso forms on which to photograph and map out the mechanical logistics of sewing designs. For a whole year, I kept my eyes open. The problem is that to make them easier to dress, they are often mannequin skinny, and to me not proportioned as a real human form. I sort of always had it in the back of my mind to make my own, but where to begin? What measurements SHOULD sh/he be?
    I began by drawing what I thought would be a good average onto a thin piece of plywood board, and cutting it out with a jig-saw.
 By making it in two halves, I figured I could put a hinge down the center, and that would be a great help in dressing and undressing the form. Once I had the two haves, I cut a clean sofa cushion into 2" wide strips and began mapping out the bodyform.
At this stage, I found it important to do some extra intensive research on the layout of the human landscape. I wanted to be as accurate as I could with where the body rose and fell, slopes and angles that govern how the thighs fit into the trunk etc. Using scissors, I found I could do more sculpting by "shaving" the torso here and there.
With that completed, I went about hot gluing the the individual stacks of cushion together, and adding some breast pieces. I knew that once I covered the whole thing in canvas, a lot of the subtler features would disappear, but as long as I had a working form, I'd be happy.
After putting in a few darts in the neck, armpits and crotch area, I tacked the canvas down with a staple gun around the back of each panel, and joined them using two 18" long 1x2's, and hinges. Lastly, I fitted the bottom of my form with two "footie" pieces of wood to help her/him stand up. Ready to dress! I am sure this piece will become a prominent fixture in blog entries to come, and I am glad to report: ~95% recycled materials. All I ended up having to buy was screws and hinges.

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