This is Lilly straight out of the box.
Lilly is a dress display mannequin, as opposed to a dressmaker’s form. She has a nice jersey cover over a molded, hard foam body. She has removable arms that can be posed. Her measurements are B34-W25-H35.
LIES. She has CRAZY boobs, and a weird square waist about 26″ around.
The original idea with Lilly is that I could stuff some cotton batting around her waist to help achieve my waist circumference, but also length. This didn’t work at all.
Lilly’s problem is that she’s just too busty. She’s a 34″ yeah, but not at all like MY 34″. She also had some funny square-ish-ness to her waist. As you can see, the stays don’t work on her.
Solution to Lilly’s problems? A dress form masectomy.
These are actually more common than it may seem, and often happens to Uniquely You dress forms. In Lilly’s case, I was able to pull down the jersey cover and saw away her body with a sheetrock knife. A large bastard file and some rough-grit sandpaper helped smooth things out.
Here’s Lilly in her new shape. I actually hacked off more of her chest after this photo, because my plan was to add the cotton batting over the waist and the chest, to make both areas squishable.
Other alterations to Lilly’s bod – I brought the back in a bit to mimic my swaybackedness, and I narrowed the waist considerably, down to 23″, to allow the stays to cinch in and achieve the correct waist.
Lilly doesn’t look female at all anymore, in her naked form. Here she is with the batting wrapped around her middle and over her chest. The jersey cover has been pulled back up and reattached at the top, with the arm sockets screwed back into place.
At this point you may think I’m crazy, but just wait…
What a difference it makes, though. Lilly looks great in corsets of all periods now, and she not only has the right measurements – B33″-W26.5″ – but the bust and waist are in the correct places.
I can now drape and fit things with confidence, knowing they won’t come out short-waisted, as is always the case. One caveat about Lilly, though, is that she is purely for historical costuming, because she always has to wear underpinnings. Oh darn.
And finally Lilly is dressed. This is me playing with the pose-able arms, and they are a delight. The existence of shoulder caps makes a HUGE difference. I can’t wait to correctly fit shoulder width and sleeve heads with Lilly’s help.
This method will work for ANY mannequin form made out of high density “carvable” foam. This is a hard foam that is very lightweight – the mannequins on this page are made from this foam, and finished with a nice jersey covering. The prices are great, as well of the variety of arms, no arms, legs, miniature and plus sizes.