On Saturday, Guild Members Fran, Kathleen and I took part in the Making a Body Double Class given by our President, Josée.

The class was very informative, enjoyable and interesting, with something really useful for us sewists at the end, a dress form just like our own bodies!

Josée had a fairly easy and easy to follow set of instructions with garbage bags, packing tape, scissors, exacto knife, Sharpie pens, and weight on end of string (plumb weight). The process was methodical to tape on three layers, with short tape strips for areas with more curvature. The first was to be done slowly to get the shaping right, mostly up and down but sometimes in the direction of curvature. The second crossed that perpendicularly, and the third was back in the same direction as the first, for some strength.

Then came markings of gravity lines, where a weight on a string hangs from the front, back and sides. Contrast that with where you look visually centred, in case you aren’t ideally shaped and/or bent in those areas. This helps you put seams where they look aesthetically pleasing rather than where gravity lines are that pattern lines tend to be built on cause they are designed for more symmetric and uniform bodies than most of us have.

Notches were then put on like zippers (but not so close like real zipper teeth are) so that when we were cut out at the back, we would know how to line up the marks to close and fill the body doubles again. A horizontal line was also made so that we would know how high to properly mount the body double. Good for full length gown or pants gauging as well. We did this, as well as got the body double made, in shoes we normally wore for the same heights and body stature.

Finally, we were cut out of our body shells. We will mount and stuff the body doubles later.

I didn’t have someone to work on so Josée was nice enough to do a full body double for me, and not just the torso like a dress form. I will make use of this making body armour style costumes where arm and leg joint lengths and thicknesses, will be key. They would be next to impossible to measure accurately on my own, and cumbersome to do with others measuring as it would be a trial and error process throughout that would require lots of remeasurement and eyeballing. That person would be there almost the entire time, in other words, but not with my body double! Picture is at the bottom.

Thanks to Josée and classmates for a wonderful, enjoyable and useful class! If Josée ever offers it again, I’m sure I can speak for my classmates that we would highly recommend it!

body double

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