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Jul 2, 2013

Meet the New BF!



Dreams really do come true, readers -- sometimes even the good ones!

Remember how I contacted somebody on Craigslist last week about a Royal body form (aka dress form) and never got a response?  Well there must have been some email issue because the form was posted again this last Sunday.  I responded once more and heard back immediately.

The seller is actually on the Parson's faculty (where he teaches tailoring among other things); the dress form was in a storage unit about a mile from here, so it was an easy pick-up.   When I told the guy I was a home sewist, he laughed like he had never heard the word before so maybe I need to go back to calling myself a sewer.

I paid $80, which for a secondhand Royal is a good price, especially considering how many fewer male forms there are out there, particularly in small sizes.  It's missing the knob on top, but the torso isn't going to levitate off the pole without one (I'm sure I'll find something to put there eventually).  There's a tiny puncture in the linen near the left shoulder, but otherwise the condition is excellent.





As you can see, my apartment is still a bit of a wreck due to the construction project, which should finish up this week so things can return to their normal state of disarray.

My shirts fit the torso beautifully or is it the other way around?  I am happy.



I'm not one to give names to inanimate objects, but if I were to give this guy a name, what do you suggest?



Speaking of torsos, I received a few of my new patterns yesterday, including my very first Jalie:





The Jalies don't come with envelopes -- just a glossy top sheet and the folded pattern sheet wrapped in sealed plastic that isn't really reusable.  The heavy pattern paper is printed on one side and the pattern pieces are all multi-sized.  The instructions are on the same sheet rather than a separate one, so you need to have the whole thing open if you want to follow their directions.





Since this is an underwear pattern, it shouldn't be difficult to trace; we're talking two or three small pattern pieces per garment.   Have you ever sewn a Jalie pattern?  They seem to specialize in things like skating outfits and gymnastics uniforms.



Friends, that's all for today.  I'm not sure what I'll be sewing next; I don't think I'm ready to whip up boxer briefs just yet.

What shall I name my new BF?

Have a great day, everybody!

88 comments:

  1. You are a home SEAMSTER. Sewist is an icky word.

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    1. Sounds too much like teamster...

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    2. Home Sewer - works for me :)

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  2. in light of those patterns, obviously Jacques.

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  3. COOL! That is awesome! So glad this story has such a happy ending! I would name hims something fancy, like Warbucks.

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  4. FYI, you can download the pattern instructions from the Jalie website so you don't have to unfold the pattern while you are sewing.

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    1. Brilliant! I never used the instructions just because they are so inconvenient.

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  5. Hmmm...I wonder if you might be able to include the word "Minion" in your new BF's name? In a way you could say that he does your bidding... ;)

    I've always wondered what Jalie patterns were like to work with - I'm fairly new to sewing (intermediate beginner), but some of these have caught my eye. And yes, I'm not a big fan of the "big 4" pattern hawkers out there already! *lol*

    Oh, not "sewer"...sounds too much like those large pipes transporting, well, you know, under the city streets! Bleah! I've always liked the term "sewista" - like a "fashionista, but different *lol*

    Regards,
    Mugsy

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    Replies
    1. Whenever I hear the word minion, images of Maleficent and her black crow immediately come to my mind......The scene when she crashed Princess Aurora's birthday celebration delivering her curse, while her minion smirked evilly, is all I see! LOL!!

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  6. Looks like a good score. Don't name your form. It's corny (Watch him do it.).

    If it's smaller than you, you might want to try padding it out to fit your measurements.

    Many years ago, I took some courses at Parsons that were open to anyone. (They were not nearly as good as the FIT classes I've taken.)

    Anyway, I asked the teachers what they thought of duct tape forms. They'd never heard of them and asked why anyone would waste the time.

    Everyone I know who sews or teaches in a professional setting thinks only a real form is worth having.

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  7. I think "sewer" sounds like that place underground where rats live. How about "I make ALL my clothes (including jockstraps) and I am a world famous sewing blogger." It's a lot more syllables, but no confusion there.

    I would name him something sturdy (because he looks it): Rock, Cliff, Hudson.

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  8. I was thinking Hector is a good name, but why not Pierre, since he's meant to be your double/stand-in?

    I've never understood the decision for some people to use the made-up term 'sewist' - is it because the word seamstress is feminine and there is no real masculine form for it? (I'm showing my linguist background, huh?) I think home sewer is a fine term, since it's non gender-specific. That and my maiden name supposedly means "the clothes maker" or something similar in Dutch, and that's pretty generic.

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    1. Seamster IS the, slightly obsolete, masculine form. It's the same pattern as waiter/waitress, actor/actress. If the current tinkering linguistic trend was applied evenly women would be calling themselves seamsters!

      I assume your maiden name is either kleermaker or naaister? The first one is equal to 'tailor'. The second s equal to seamstress (the 'st' shows it is feminine). Naaier, on the other hand, could be embarrassingly misinterpreted in the modern era...

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  9. I can never figure out what to call myself either. I think when you say "home sewer/sewist" people automatically think quilts and chair covers.

    Usually I just say "I like to sew my own clothes." Longer, but cuts down on the questions about curtains and chair cushions...

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    1. Yes, and opens up the 'Pandora Box' of doing alterations and repairs! I keep my skills to myself and a few friends who have taken a solemn oath not to tell anyone that I sew!!

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    2. True that about keeping our sewing skills under wraps. This is especially true if you have a child in dance....holy crap, those dancing teachers can find a 101 things for you to alter if they find out you have skill---and then costume parts to reproduce when their supply doesn't have (pants, vests, bow ties) in the color or size they need.

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    3. I call myself a dressmaker. Fair enough since actual dresses are what I most prefer to sew, although when it comes to clients I'm not picky. I used to keep my sewing a closely guarded secret. I came out of the dressmaking closet a couple of years ago, and yes, I have had to do fair amount of alterations and repairs since that time. But I've also gotten to do a LOT of actual dressmaking and props sewing. A fair trade I guess.

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  10. Were that my male form, I'd name him The Dude. Seems fitting ;)

    Also, FYI - you can download a PDF of the instructions on the Jalie website, if you don't want to keep the whole instruction sheet open. It usually covers one sheet, so it's not a big printing commitment, either.

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  11. I think Dexter would be a great name for him! I've made up 2 Jalie patterns now - the famous stretch jeans and a button up blouse/shirt (3130 I think?). I was really, really pleased with both of them. They fitted me perfectly with very minimal adjustments - unlike most of the big 4 patterns. As already mentioned, printing out the PDF is the way to go for the instructions. Good luck with your undies!

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  12. Aw man, I am so jealous you got a real form! Nice work. As you say, it seems to be pretty hard to find used men's forms in the right size. New ones are awful expensive.

    A few years back I bought a kit to cast a form from two part polyurethane foam. It used plaster bandages as the mold. The mold got made and the foam poured in, but I never ended up finishing it. Unfortunately I am probably significantly chubbier now so I'm not sure how much use it would be anyhow.

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    1. Obviously New York City isn't typical, but I've found that most things turn up on Craigslist eventually. Design schools are good places to look as fashion students often buy their own and don't necessarily keep them for long.

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  13. I named my body form "Friend". "Let's get to work, Friend."

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    1. Friendo....when things aren't going well

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    2. I name my form "Amigo".

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  14. OK not sure why I keep showing up as "unknown" when google insists I sign in?? but......

    for the top of the form I'd try either a draw knob or a curtain finial, you might need to drill out the hole in the knob/finial a little to make it fit

    I would not name it but you could go with Roy Alform

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  15. I immediately thought Topol. No I don't know why but as nobody else has suggested it, here goes nothing.

    Jean x

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  16. Pierre. "Ooh la la, Pierre!" Or "Tres magnifique, Pierre."

    I didn't name mine, but she's not nearly as nice as yours.

    Love CL.

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  17. In "I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith the sisters have a dress form in the corner of their room. They name her Miss Blossom and imagine that she is a kindly barmaid and their confidant.

    I try not to name inanimate objects except for my remote control - Frank (Zapper) but rather like "Bunny" for your dress form as he is made in the image of Lappin.

    Hugs
    G
    x

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    1. I named my 78 year old Singer 99k Suzanne after the friend who gave her to me! I was like a 6 year old at Christmas when I got that machine!

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  18. Why not sewologist, to rhyme with zoologist?

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  19. Great find Peter!

    I think you could call your new dressform "Roy" (as in short for Royal Form).

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  20. Hi peter. Im alif from malaysia. Just wondering how to become a person like u since i have same interest and hobby as u. Please give me some advise as a amature in this field. I also love vintage sewing machine. Really love your work!!

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    Replies
    1. Alif,

      I'm not Peter, but I can give some advice. The best teacher is experience, so just dive in and try the patterns that interest you (within reason). Don't work with expensive fabrics for a few months, in case a given project doesn't turn out. But do work with inexpensive fabrics you like-there will be no joy in a project of you're using crappy, ugly fabric that you hate. Invest in some mid-range tools-again, don't go expensive, but don't settle for crappy cheap tools, because they will make you hate the work.
      Finally, do lots of reading-there is tons of great advice on all these blogs, and always feel free to ask questions!

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  21. You need to get inspired by the names of great duos - or great movies. Boris and Natasha, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Dr Frankenstein and Igor, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Thin Man...

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    1. You know, I was going to suggest Clyde, but I really like The Thin Man!

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  22. George.

    I have no idea why; it just popped into my head.

    The Jalie patterns are consistently well reviewed on Pattern Review (with the exception of the waterfall cardigan, so Cathy needs to cross that off of her list for you).

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  23. I haven't sewn a Jalie pattern (yet) but I have bought one and I can tell you you can download and print the instructions from their site (even for patterns you don't own, if you just want to check them out) so you have a normal size bit of paper instead of the massive sheet.
    Nice form. Basil. No reason.

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  24. Pierre-Michel? Thenh he can be either of you depending on who you are sewing for. Or Mikael Petrovich. :)

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  25. I haven't read any other suggestions yet. I vote for Norman after the American designer, Norman Norell. I have a book called American Fashion by Sarah Tomerlin Lee (Sarah Lee!) and he is one of the chapters.

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  26. I think you should name him after that swoony movie star you love so much who I can't think of right now. You know the blond guy, damn I can't even think of a movie he is in, but I can see his face. Well you know who I mean.

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  27. Little Peter? Mini Me? On a serious note I second Jamie's. It's classy.

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  28. Confession here... I cut the instructions out of the sheet and store them separately so that they're easier to refer to, should I need to do that. But then, I'm the sewer who thinks that the first instruction to follow on *anything* is to take the instructions, throw them over your shoulder, and ignore them! If you want a bag for the pattern, Peter, my advice is to buy bread bags from the grocery store to store it in. That and a little scotch tape works really well.

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  29. Lagerfeld because he's wearing black and white and has a high collar and touches of metal.
    A.

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  30. Are those bleeding hearts on the window sill?

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    1. I think they're mini orchids of some sort.

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  31. Don - because that's what he does, dons your wonderful creations!

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  32. Pearce.

    You are going to stick pins in him after all.

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  33. He looks like a Frank to me.

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  34. I would call him Roy. (Then I would probably stick him full of pins because, now that I think of it, I don't like the Roy in my life very much. lol)

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  35. The second picture where the shirt is open made me think of the name, Wayne. Goodman. Wayne Goodman-shirt model at your service. Have no idea why I thought of that name as I know no one with it.

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    Replies
    1. Don't name him Wayne- too many famous serial killers with Wayne in their name and you don't want the dressform coming to life Chucky style.

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  36. What a deal! How lucky can you get.

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  37. Since he is a Royal form, he should have a "kingly" name, Henry, Edward, William, Richard, etc. Only fitting...

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  38. Jeeves.......that's perfect ! Love it!!

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  39. Let me also add Jacques and Mr. Peabody!! Lol!

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  40. In the costume shops, we call all our ladies "Judy"-I think it's some sort of convention. So, we tend to call our gents "Mr. Judy", "Jerry", "Jordie" or sometimes "Joshie" after a local actor we're particularly fond of.

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    1. I really like "Jaques" as well. Think I'll add that to our repertoire of names. :)

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  41. Excellent form. You HAVE to name it. Mine are Pauline, Loraine and ....actually the little one doesn't have a name come to think of it. It helps when you are referring to the form such as, "can you grab my measuring tape draped over Pauline over there." It just keeps things interesting. Now...to name that junior form.

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  42. My suggestion is 'Handsome'. Thing is- if you don't give him a formal name he'll end up with a nickname- which is how my form became 'Foam Girl'. With a bit of foresight I could have been a lot more creative. -Jeanne in MN

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  43. Fred or Gene (inspirational - perfect form!)

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  44. Sewist? How about Custom Clothier, after all you live in one of the fashion capitols of the world.
    Congrats on the great purchase. You could call him Don Draper.
    On another note--have you seen this video? Kind of cheesey.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nZW8nrmKYkE

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  45. You are, most definitely, a custom clothier!

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  46. I think you could easily call yourself a tailor. You are a tailor, and since people seem to think all tailors are men (what's with this gender assignment of non-gender based words?), it would lead to less discussion. As to what to name your new BF, I have no doubt that you will come up with the best name of anyone! Please let us know what you name him.

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  47. "Sewist" is indeed modern e-gobbledygook, which brands you as an amateur as few other things could ever do. But congrats on the dressform, it'll never be the same for your sewisting :-). Mine gave me a 3-d perspective on my body that I had never fully managed before. And of course you have to give it a name, after all it's your alter ego..

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  48. For a title, I'd use clothier or "seamster" (rhymes with teamster.) For the beautiful draping form, I would be tempted to call him "Don Torso"-- sounds Spanish, but it is a torso who dons your pre-finished clothes.

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  49. I was thinking "Ken", but then someone above posted the words "only fitting" and I thought you could call him Only.
    I've made a few Jalie patterns, but the most useful one I have (since I enjoy making superhero costumes for cosplay purposes) is the one with the tights, 3027. I've colour blocked them (the upper part of the thigh in sheer flesh coloured lycra, then the lower part (from mid thigh down) in colour to make it look like I'm wearing thigh-high boots, and I've made green ones to match my Deanna Troi dress (the pattern says words to the effect of "here's the dress pattern, buy matching tights" when anyone who knows anything about Star Trek (TNG) knows she wears a unitard with a skirt attached at the hip, and the colour is so hard to match that it'd be near impossible to buy matching tights anyway! /end rant.)
    I've also got some nice compliments on Jalie 3024, not a dancewear pattern at all, and very easy to put together.

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  50. NO, NO, NO!!!! You are not a conduit for waste (sewer)!

    Name him Pierre!

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  51. I'd call him "Slim" or "Lurch"

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  52. Mannie R Quinn [I have a date with Mannie tonight!] Taken from mannequin. I call my form Mannie and by the way, I never stick him with pins! I have a flannel bow tie filled with emory sand for Mannie to wear. Sometimes he sits at my desk with a hat on his "neck" and people think I'm at home working! I love Mannie.. maybe too much?! But.. boys will be boys!

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  53. I love Jalie and probably have 20-30 of their patterns. They fit so well! We did a Jeans Sew Along a few years back and many people used that pattern.

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  54. You are so lucky to find a good used one and I know you will love having the form.

    Sewist does seem kind of weird but I've been using it anyway. Sewer seems even weirder. Seamster does sound too much like teamster.

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