Readers, I know I was a little vague about French dress forms yesterday -- apologies.
The one pictured above was -- and I believe still is -- for sale on my local Craigslist. The seller is nearby so I went to see it last night: very lovely (Buste Girard is the manufacturer) and the asking price -- $125 -- is not exorbitant. (View listing here.)
The base is sturdy and the form in excellent shape for its age (I don't know how old it is but it's old). However it felt a little wobbly on the (wooden) pole that supports it, and seemed more like a display piece than a functional Size 8 dress form. I passed.
Now perhaps you're wondering why all this recent interest in dress forms. I want to learn draping. I already own a number of draping books (which is odd since I never owned a real dress form before I picked up "Roy" last week).
The books I have lay out the process quite clearly and cover the same topics in pretty much the same way.
I also checked out YouTube, where I found some good videos that explain the basics, including one that links to a series of online classes you can purchase. Anyone familiar with "Tutor Couture"?
I'm determined to learn all I can on my own and then decide when and if I need to work with a teacher.
I know some of you are very pro taking classes and have taken many of them. I'm not against classes per se, it's just not how I learn best. Also, I'd rather pay for a private lesson and know that a) I'll get the teacher's full attention; b) we'll be working at a pace set by me and the teacher; c) all my money will be going to him/her.
Is it more expensive to study privately? I think it depends on who you're studying with and for how long.
Now why do I want to learn to drape?, you might be wondering.
I have successfully drafted a few flat patterns, and for (most) menswear this works well. But I like the idea of working in three dimensions; it seems more flexible and potentially more creative. Let's say I wanted to design a dress that would become a commercial pattern: I could draft it using a standard Size 8 dress form, right?
So that's what I've been thinking about and why I've been busy searching for the dress form(s) of my dreams.
In closing, readers, what do you think about the concept of teaching yourself to drape, perhaps with the aid of an online classes and/or books?
If you have taken classes, what do like most about the live class experience, and what (if anything) doesn't work for you? Anything you couldn't replicate on your own, or in a private lesson?
Finally, any draping resources you've used yourself and recommend?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!