Friday, March 29, 2013

Dress Form (1812 Style)- Part 3: The End... sort of

A little while ago I started the process to create my very own custom made plaster cast dress form.... in my 1812 undergarments.

Let me say... it has been a journey!
Left: sealed mold on old dress form. Right: form upside
down, supported by paint cans and ready to fill.

Last week, I prepped my mold by coating it in Johnson's Paste Wax and a mold release agent. I was using an old display mannequin to mount my new form on on, so I put my plaster mold onto the old form and sealed the sides with plaster strips. I also sealed the neck..

After 30-45 minutes, I tipped everything upside down (supported it by three paint cans) and got ready to pour. 

Whoops! I ran out of foam!
Lo and behold... I got to the end of my foam before I got the bottom of my form. Uhg!  I would have to order more foam. It was a Friday night, of course, so I wouldn't be able to get the foam asap, but I hopped online to the Brick in the Yard store to order some more--in bulk this time. (It got here Wednesday, BTW.) While I was there I picked up some more plaster bandages for my next venture. I was worried that this might make it more difficult to get my form out of the mold later, but c'est la vie!

The shoulder where I started
pulling off plaster bits until
my fingers were sore! 
I got to work last night to finish up. It actually wasn't as bad as I thought... The only really bad part was I think I overdid the plaster bandages on the sides of the cast, because WOW! I could not get those suckers to peel off as nicely as they should have. No worries, though. I just chipped off pieces of the cast as I could. It wasn't stuck to the mold, but that plaster sure was strong!

Foam form- post plaster
 Once all of the plaster came off (and I had a mess of plaster pieces on my floor) I was left with the semi-finished form. I would need to shave off a little bit of the foam to be able to put my undergarments on underneath gowns I am draping (since I was wearing the undergarments for shape when I cast the mold.) I just needed to figure out how much.

I grabbed my regency corset and a knife and went to work slicing away unnecessary bits of foam. At about midnight, I was sore, tired, and beginning to loose hope that I would be able to make this work. Boobs were still too stiff (even with the soft foam) and I couldn't get the gap in the back down to the 2 inches or so I have when I lace...

Please tell me this was not for nothing!!!

At this point, I decided what I needed was some rest and recuperation. I went to bed. I awoke this morning still fretting over what to do with Maybelle (it's official...she has been named...).

I tossed and turned, trying to sleep some more but also thinking about the fate of this form. I finally decided to just get up, go downstairs, and attack her with new vigor.

I came downstairs; I hacked at her rib cage a bit more (the one place that she still was not quite the right size) and fretted over the shape of her bubbies (which still wasn't quite the right shape). Then, I vaguely recalled reading a post about using some sort of bean and pantyhose to make a fake breast for your dress form. Save me bean boobies!!

My lentil filled knee high. AKA Maybelle's new boobies!

I found the original post by American Duchess and off to the grocery store I went. I returned with a ten pack of knee highs, four  bags of lentils, deodorant, extra sharp cheddar cheese, and milk. Don't judge.

When I got home, I put the cheese and milk in the fridge and put some lentils in my knee highs. ( I left the deodorant in the bag, in case you are wondering... I'm going to use that later...)

I hacked off Maybelle's foam assests and gave her new (and natural) replacements! And voila... It worked!

Left: Maybelle   Right: Me.
These bean boobs are pretty cool. You can mush them around in the cup to pad it out like your own do. I did have to play around with how much to fill the knee high but with minimal fuss Maybelle had pretty close replicas of my own endowments.

Left: Maybelle   Right: Me
 This also helped to fix my problem with the back gap not closing enough.

Right now, Maybelle is not very pretty. She has at least two different colors of foam and no cover. I do plan on shaving her down a bit more so that I can apply some batting and a classy cover. I think I am going to leave her beanie boobies free floating rather than integrating them into the form, though - less work that way.

However, while she may not be her prettiest at the moment, she is certainly pretty close to functional. Which means once I check her measurements to mine one last time I can finally start that Regency wardrobe I need so badly for June! Eek!

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