Impact on Miniature Dress Forms in Fashion Designing

Impact on Miniature Dress Forms in Fashion Designing

R.S. Balakumar
Associate Professor
Dept of Fashion Design & Arts
Hindustan University, Chennai, India


Miniature dress forms
The miniature dress form is a proportionally reduced copy of a full-scale dress-form. It is a unique device in the dressmaker’s studio. Now a day’s fashion designers are used to create the typical fashionable draping method with the help of these miniature dress forms, to minimize the excess costliest fabrics.

Some times, this is considered to be the important device that the newly creative draped dress can also be shown to their clients for further approval. Most of the well-known fashion designers are adopting this method in the modern times. It is the essential tool in the fashion design studios, especially where the wedding or evening dresses are made by using the draped method. The practice is necessary to learn how to use the miniature dress forms of skirts and dresses of any difficulty!

miniature dress forms
Fig: Miniature dress forms

Pattern drafting, procedures are the basic necessary to make any type of garments. But the modern trend of creative draped pattern method by using the lighter/cheaper/voile/muslin fabrics is in greater usage. Fashion designers must be well –known about the fabric characters: hardness, elasticity or softness and flexibility.

Only practice helps to understand all fabric properties as for as the fashion designers concern. Constant experience can help to cope with the complexity of the fabric character and fabric study will also clear the doubts. In order to make a full-size pattern of a new fascinating style required a lot of fabric, time, place for cutting and sewing a mock-up.

It is physically hard to make full skirts, draping and folds and create a new shape from a large piece of fabric at 1:1 scale.

So, as to need to step away from the full-size dress-form to view and evaluate the result. This is always easy to understand the correctness of proportions and harmony only from a distance.

The half scale dress-form comes in accessible in such situations. This is the most popular size of the professional dress-forms.

There are two possibilities:

  1. The miniature dress-forms are sold in specialized sewing equipment shops.
  2. There is another possibility that fashion designer can make such a dress-form by self-study method.

Products description of miniature dress forms:

  1. Natural Body Shape
  2. Excellent for student practicing draping design
  3. Handcrafted with a realistic looking rear- view.
  4. Measurement is 1/2 of the regular missy size dress form.
  5. Pinnable dress form.
  6. Covered with 100% linen.
  7. With bump out side seams to enable that feel them when draping with any kind of fabric.
  8. Easily adjust the height by hand
  9. Available size: 1/2 scale of size 6, 1/2 scale of size 8, 1/2 scale of size 10.

So, this is the right time attainment ready to start learning for a successful career in the fashion design. This is possibly have a lot of talent, with love of fashion, and have a fine perception for style. However, these are simply not enough to start the fashion as a career that needs to first learn some basics.

Amongst these, this is needed to learn a few things about the tools, items and accessories that a real fashion designer needs to use. So it is now the right time for you to get some basic knowledge about the dress forms.

First of all, fashion designers must know what a dress form is. Simply said, it is a three-dimensional model of the torso that is used for fitting fashion outfit that is being designed or stitched.

The dress form is outstanding to use when making a piece of clothing, as it helps the  fashion designer put the piece of clothing on the dress form, to perceive the fit and drape of the garment, as it would appear on a real human’s body. Additionally, it also helps make adjustments and alterations to the piece of clothing.

Guide for using the miniature dress forms:
It is essential to know a few things about making a draped pattern from a form. A pattern can be done in two types.

  1. Flat pattern making
  2. Draping

1. Flat pattern making
For making a flat pattern, that required to take a basic flat pattern – also referred to as a sloper/master pattern/basic patterns. It is easy to alter it to the style that required in the flat paper form. This is done through cutting, measuring and taping.

For example, this is to be imagined that necessary to create an A-line skirt. For this, slash the skirt at regular intervals and then pin the pieces apart from the waist to achieve the desired result. Once this is prepared, copy it over to a new paper pattern to get the new pattern. Majority of the fashion designers are adopting this method.

2. Draping
Draping is pattern-making, but on the conflicting to the flat pattern. Designer’s garments are following this method from a longer time. But this is done on the form. It is useful in various pattern making, but it is especially great to use for asymmetry, ruching, cowls, and other design elements that are hard to visualize in flat form.

Choosing the miniature dress forms:
There are various miniature dress forms available in the market, from the cheapest to the most expensive types. There are standard dress forms, as well as adjustable ones.

However, one of the main benchmarks that should considered while choosing miniature dress form is its proportions.

Hence, it is highly suggested that miniature dress form must be closely fits the standard or proportions. To make sure that get it well, first needed to thoroughly measure the proportionate body. This is always padding out the dress form, so it is easily suggested to get one that is either equal or smaller than the measurements. It is especially important to consider the position of your bust apex, and the back neck to waist measurement, since you won’t be able to move the bust or to shorten the torso.

Tools for making miniature dress forms:

  1. Measuring tape
  2. Scissors
  3. Material to pad the form – it could be batting, fleece, or a thick fabric
  4. Cord to mark the lines of your pattern – it should be thick enough so it feels through the fabric
  5. Fabric for draping
  6. Pins
  7. Roll or pattern paper
  8. Pattern transfer paper
  9. Tracing wheel
  10. Dress curves

Basic draping process:
It is needed to pin the fabric to the form and to mark the desired pattern section along the pattern lines that required creating within the prior step. The purpose is to be able to replicate to create as a flat pattern after taking it off the dress form.

miniature dress draping
Fig: Miniature dress draping

This is necessary to dot along the pattern lines, for each piece. Major points, such as the intersection with the waistline, should be lined with a notch. A notch refers to a tick mark that will be clipped upon cutting the pattern. It assists as a way to match up two pattern pieces in the right place.

Once the finished the basing draping, it is the stage to yield off the marked piece from the dress form. Trim all the portions to the desired seam allowance, so always easily sew them into the first draft of the clothing. After doing this, try on the garment, to see how close you got to the desired result. After this first fitting round, can also to start making the required alteration.

For this next step, there are a few things that to be kept in attention:

  1. Make sure the clothing is sitting in the right place, by aligning the curves exactly where they are supposed to be – bust apex, hips, buttocks portion and so on. Observe where the pieces are too big, and pin them to the correct size.
  2. If any wrinkles or pulling appear, it means the pieces get too tight, so needed to pull out the stitches and mark how much it needs to be added to fit properly.

Draft your pattern:
So you prepared all the changes, and now finally happy with the fit. Then, it is about time for you to draft a paper pattern to add it to your assemblage. Take the fabric that chosen for the pattern and lay each pattern piece down in it with a layer of tracing paper face down in between.

Take the tracing wheel and use it to trace around the outside of your pattern piece.

Once finished transferring the pattern, smooth out the lines by drawing around your pattern pieces. Now, can be cut out the pattern parts. It is mentioned to add the seam allowance, prior to cutting out the pattern.

Buy the quality-based miniature dress forms with the right supplies, and a few important things to have in mind, that easily design creativity new pattern garment piece for fashion collection. All this can easily be done with the help of the various types of miniature dress forms.

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  5. Viva Questions and Answers for Fashion Design Students and Professionals

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