Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The 1812 Plaster Cast Dress Form Take Two...

Materials prepped and ready for plastering. I used medical
grade plaster for the first two layers, but regular hobby store
for the last. In the future, I would go with medical grade
for the whole thing. (Ran out and needed some quick!)
After letting my last cast dry out (read about that one here), a terrible thing happened; It spread ever so slightly as it dried and my cut edges did not line up completly (some areas as had as much as 3/4" discrepancy between the edges! eek!) so when I tried to put the two pieces back together they did not make the complete mold I had envisioned for myself.

I should have followed the advice of those who came before and tied my two casts together while still somewhat damp to allow for a matching seam. Oh well... back to step one.

In some ways, I was glad that my first form didn't quite turn out as this allowed me to do a couple of things differently on the second go. First, I was able to wear a shift instead of the tank top that was on hand during my first form. Secondly, I used cling wrap instead of a garment bag.

The cling wrap definitely helped reduce bulk between myself and the plaster while still protecting my clothing. Note to self, not a bad idea to use masking/painter's tape to hold down hard to wrap areas like arms/armpits/neck. No big deal, but would probably help keep everything protected. This took much longer to prep than when we used the bag, but overall I think we achieved a better result. I'd say it was about 30 minutes extra but much less puffage than the garment bag.

Cling wrapping over my shift and
1812 stays. (I made these at a
B&T workshop in 2012.)

It's worth the time and effort to cut the cling wrap in half (the long way down the roll) to do things like the waist and bosom. It's also important to note that while you want the cling wrap to stick to itself and be snug to the body, you want to also be careful not to pull it too tightly or it will squish your squishy bits in a different way than they may normally squish. It should lay nicely close to the body, but not necessarily cling to the body.

Once I was all cling wrapped up, my loving husband and my best friend in the whole world helped to plaster me up. They did quite a fabulous job. We didn't take pictures of the plastering me up this time, as it was just the three of us and once everyone's hands got all messy we left the camera alone!

Once the plaster had dried enough to hold it's shape, but still allow some flex for me to get out, we cut me out... with a dremel. (Check out this post for more info on making your own form. I borrowed a lot of ideas from him!) The first time we used bandage scissors. They worked. But the dremel was oh so better (if a bit nerve wracking, at first.) We got a nice clean cut. The only difficult area was the armpit. We managed to cut enough of one that we finished the cut with scissors and then I slid my arm out of the other "sleeve". We will cut that part off of the body for ease.

I've put some pictures of me in my stays as compared to the outer shell of the mold (remember, the foam will fill the inside of the mold so should end up much closer to my actual shape/size). I think they look pretty close so far, so I'm excited to smooth out the inside, wax it up, and pour foam!

Front view. You can see the mold picked up pretty well on my raised left hip
(right in picture).

I'm fairly pleased with the collarbone detail and ability to see the stay line
along the bust. (Part of that shelf look for which the regency is known.)

Back view. Nothing to compare to here
as I forgot to take a sideways back picture.
But it does look pretty close compared to my
actual body.

All things considered.... I definitely will do this again for 1760's, maybe even for a modern dress form. Worth the time and effort, and I can't wait to start draping on the finished form. I don't think I will make my end of February deadline (as I had to recast the form), but I think I can certainly finish her by the first week of March. =)

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would sincerely love to hear your thoughts on all this, so please feel welcome to comment here :-)