21. Padding Required.—To pad a dress form, from one to four rolls of cotton batting are required. The cotton batting does not necessarily have to be the most expensive; the cheaper grades may be used just as well, provided such cotton is smooth enough to go on without becoming rough or lumpy and does not pull apart too readily.
22. Preparing the Form for Padding.—Before the padding of the dress form is begun, the form should receive some attention, so that the work may be accomplished in the simplest possible manner: The skirt part of the form, as a rule, may be easily removed with a screwdriver, and if it can be taken off and put back on without injuring the form this should by all means be done, because the form may then be finished a little neater at the lower edge of the body part. If the dress form has metal caps in the armholes, as is usually the case with stock forms, these caps should be pulled out entirely, using a screwdriver if necessary, so that they will not interfere in any way with the padding.
23. Putting on the Cotton Batting.–The cotton batting is put on the dress form in the following manner: With the back of the dress form toward you, place the end of the cotton well over the left hip and let the bottom of the cotton come to the bottom of the dress form. Hold the cotton carefully so that it will not tear apart, and turn the dress form around until the cotton comes well around to the front; bring it around over the left hip again, and then double it across the back and then well around over the right hip, as at a, Fig. 9. Next, take two pieces of cotton the width of the roll and 12 or 14 in. long, place one over the armhole of each side of the form, bringing the cotton out well over the shoulder, and pin these pieces securely in position to the form, placing the pins 2 or 3 in. apart all the way around each piece, as shown at a, Fig. 10. If the cotton is a little too long, tear or cut off any surplus. Next, take another roll of cotton, and, beginning at the bottom of the back of the form, bring the cotton up over the shoulder; tear it apart at the neck, as shown at a, Fig. 11, so that the neck part of the form may come through the cotton; let the cotton come down to the bottom of the form, as shown; and then trim the length of cotton off across the front.
24. With the dress form thus covered with cotton batting, which has been securely pinned in position, slip on it the tight lining; or dress-form covering, to see whether or not sufficient padding has been used. The lining must be put on carefully so as not to pull the cotton out of place; and while the padding at this stage seems to make the form much larger than the person for whom it is intended, the cotton will pack in close and, as a general rule, there will not be too much. Put the lining on over the front of the form and pull it around each armhole over the cotton; then pull it down in the center front, and pin the waist line together at the center back. Then, with one hand inside to hold the cotton down, pull the lining around toward the center back; also, hold the cotton in place across the shoulders while pulling the lining in position. Next, pin the lining together in several places at the center back. After the lining is in position, feel all over the form to find out where it seems too soft or too hard; that is, to learn where more padding could be used or where some could be taken out. Then remove the lining with extreme care, as the cotton is inclined to stick to it, and proceed to make the necessary changes in the padding.
25. For a lining that appears at all loose over the padding, it may be necessary to put another layer of cotton over the entire dress form. If more padding is needed across the hips and not over the bust, tear off the roll of batting two pieces, each the width of the roll and 12 or 15 in. long, and place one piece over each hip. If more padding is required across the bust, if the shoulders must be raised, or if the back must be rounded out to agree with the figure, place small pieces where they are needed, but in so doing be very careful to use small layers of the cotton and to make each layer a little smaller than the first one used, so as to avoid any possibility of wrinkles creeping in. Proceed in this way until the entire form is built up properly.
As the lining must fit over the padded form without a wrinkle in any place, considerable pains should be taken in putting on the last of the padding to avoid the formation of lumps or ridges. Plenty of pins should be used in padding, and they should be put in so securely that they will not come out or turn and thus be a hindrance after the lining is put on.
26. Next, the armhole pieces should be secuxed to the form, as shown in Fig. 12. Place each piece in place, draw it very close, and pin it every inch or two from the outer edge so that it will stay in position. Then place a piece of cotton over the head of the form and put the cushion top over it, tying it down well around the neck with a piece of string. As a rule, dress forms are large at the neck when compared with the hips and bust; that is, the neck is not in proportion with these parts. Therefore, in padding out the neck, care must be taken not to put on too many thicknesses of padding, especially around the base of the neck.
27. Securing the Lining to the Padded Form.—After all the padding is on the form and the armhole and neck pieces are in position, the tight lining, or form covering, should be put on and secuxed in place. Press the covering again so that there will not be the least sign of a wrinkle; then put it over the padded form very carefully, smoothing and adjusting it so that it will appear as if the padding were poured into the lining, as in molding. It may seem when pulling the lining together at the center back that the covering is too small to cover the padding well; however, by carefully adjusting, pulling, and working the covering over the cotton, it will be made to come together. In order to make the center back meet properly, it may be necessary to have another person stand in front of the form and push the lining around. In any event, pin the edges of the lining together carefully at this time, preparatory to overcasting.
As padding a form is rather trying to the fingers, especially when stretching and pulling on the lining to get it to come together at the back, it may be well to mention here that washing the hands will relax the muscles to some extent and thus renew their strength.
28. After the lining is pinned together the entire length of the back, remove the body of the dress form from the standard and lay it across the lap or on a table, and then with buttonhole twist or coarse linen thread of the same color as the lining itself proceed to overcast the edges together with short, even stitches, taking care that the edges do not overlap in any place and that neither side of the back becomes stretched. If it is found in overcasting that one side of the back works up a little looser than the other, the form should be turned around and the stitches taken from the opposite side. Stitches taken in this way will have a tendency to draw up any extra fulness that might appear in overcasting.
When the back is overcasted up to the top of the collar, pull the upper edge of the collar up and work the cushion top down tight and smooth, at the same time pinning the top edge of the collar and the cushion together. Next, pull the armhole edges out, stretch them over the armhole pieces, and pin them even. Then replace the pins around both armholes and the neck with overcasting stitches, making them the same as in stitching the center back.
29. After completing the overcasting, begin at the center back and pull the lining down as tight as possible, bringing it under the bottom edge of the form; then, while another person holds the lining in this position, tack the material to the bottom edge of the form, using ordinary tacks and a tack hammer. Turn the form a trifle, pull the lining down again, and tack this part in place. Continue in this way until all the lining is tacked in position at the bottom, placing tacks not more than 2 in. apart all the way around the bottom of the body part of the form.
If the skirt part of the dress form cannot be removed, it will be necessary to slash the bottom part of the lining about every 2 in. and then slip the bottom of the lining under the skirt portion and tack it in position.
If the skirt form was removed before the lining was put on, it should now be put back in the position that it occupied at first. In doing this, an awl or a steel stiletto may have to be used to punch holes through the lining, in order that the screws may be reinserted into their respective places.
30. Making the Arms for the Dress Form.—Attention should next be directed to the dress-form arms, the upper side of one of which is shown in Fig. 13 (a) and the under side in (b). Begin by tracing the sleeves along the pin lines that were made in the fitting; trim the seams off to within 2 in. of the pin lines; reverse the seams; and then baste the right sides together, so that the seams will come on the inside of the sleeve. Next, stitch just outside of the basting, beginning at the armhole and stitching downwards for both seams of the sleeve. Then clip each inside sleeve seam 2 in. above and 2 in. below the elbow, so that each sleeve will not appear drawn when it is turned, and press the seams. In pressing, care should be taken not to press creases in the sleeve and to keep the iron directly over each seam.
31. With the sleeves in this condition, measure the lower edge of each sleeve lining, which should be 2 in. larger than the wrist itself, and then cut two pieces of cardboard, each to fit in the wrist end of each sleeve, making them as near the shape of the wrist as possible and of the exact size of the sleeve opening. Next, place each piece of cardboard thus cut out on the wrong side of a piece of the lining material, cut the material away to within 2 in. of the cardboard, and then turn the edge of the material over the cardboard, securing it in place with glue. The glue should be spread all around the outside edge of the cardboard, but care should be taken not to get any on the face of it, as the glue may show through the material and thus spoil its appearance. If it is not convenient to use glue, the edges may be held together with thread, as shown in Fig. 14; or, if desired, both glue and thread may be used.
Next, as shown in Fig. 14 (a), insert each covered cardboard into the wrist end of each sleeve and pin it in place. Then replace the pins with overcasting stitches made with buttonhole twist, keeping the stitches very close together so that the cardboard will be held in correct position, as shown in (b).
32. Next, turn each sleeve right side out, and proceed to pad, or fill, them. If any scraps of cotton are left from padding out the form, they may be torn into bits and utilized in filling; if there are no scraps, other cotton must be employed. Pad each sleeve by inserting a small handful of the cotton at a time, pushing it down into the sleeve and up close against the end, and packing it firmly in place. Do not try to put too much padding in at a time; rather, follow the plan just mentioned until nearly the entire sleeve is filled out and it assumes a smooth, even outline. If the outside of the sleeve appears to be rough or shows ridges as the work progresses, smooth them out very carefully by putting the hand inside the sleeve and then working the padding down until all irregularities are done away with. When the top of the sleeve is reached, do not pack the cotton in too tight, for it is necessary at this part to have the packing a trifle loose.
If ground cork, such as that used to pack grapes, is obtainable, the sleeves may be filled with it. In such a case, each sleeve should be filled with the cotton padding up to about 4 in. above the wrist, then enough of the cork should be put in to fill the sleeve up to the lower end of the armhole, and for the rest of the sleeve cotton should be used. Some persons prefer ground cork to cotton batting for stuffing the sleeves, as it gives a more pliable arm; also, an arm so filled has more weight than one padded entirely with cotton.
Next, as a finish for the upper part of each sleeve, cut a piece of paper to fit exactly in the sleeve opening at the top, and with this paper as a pattern cut out two pieces of the lining material, allowing a seam's width all the way around the pattern. Then trace around the pattern, turn the seam edge over at the traced line, and baste all the way around. Finally, overcast one oval piece to the top of each sleeve, so that the finished sleeves will appear as shown in Fig. 13 (b).
33. With each sleeve finished in the manner just explained, place a straight eye opposite each shoulder seam of the covered form at the top of the armhole, and then two eyes on each side of it, spacing them 1½ in. apart; also, across the top of each arm, place hooks as shown in Fig. 13 (b) to correspond with the eyes on the shoulders of the covered form. The hooks and eyes permit the arms to be hooked to the form when necessary, and to be removed when they are not in use. If the arms are very large, seven hooks and eyes, instead of five, may have to be used to hold the sleeves in correct position and to balance them properly.