September 15, 2013

Altering A Childs Dress Form

How cute would this child's dress form look in a nursery or a little girls room?

When I saw that Barr Display had children's dress forms I could not wait to take one home and play with it!  In case you are wondering:  Yes, basically all I do is play here at The Polka Dot Closet

I started with a child's size 4-6 yr form

I wanted to try transferring rose graphics onto a form, but I will be honest with you, it always makes me a little nervous to "Practice" on expensive dress forms.......But, worked!

I started with a vintage post card that had a rose bouquet on it.  Now, I am not a computer whiz.  I have a Mac with a program called "Pages".  This program allowed me to remove the background behind the flowers and to alter their size.  

After creating a variety of sizes, I linked the rose bouquets together to form a random pattern.

I copied my completed graphic onto Transfer Artist Paper (or TAP) with my ink jet printer.

I then had to trim around the flowers (this took forever), pin them onto the form, and iron them on.  

Now...these people don't know I exist, but, the reason I always choose TAP paper instead of T-shirt transfer paper is that the TAP paper is transparent

So...if I did not trim close enough to the graphics (like the flowers in this project) it's not noticeable once they're ironed on.  Also, you cannot over-iron TAP.  If I go over an exposed graphic that I previously ironed on, it won't melt off.  

I purchased my TAP paper at Jo-Ann online. It costs over $2 a sheet, but worth every penny for a special project. 

The skirt was made from the crinoline of a vintage wedding dress that I hand dyed.  I then ruffled YARDS of the tulle from the dress to make this cute little bottom ruffle.

I used satin from the dress for the the waist band that ties in a bow at the back.

 I finished off the form base and cap with a white crackle finish

I think this would be so cute in a nursery or a little girls room.  Goodness, I can see a little girl playing dress up; dressing her form with the outfit she has picked out to wear to school the next day! Of course, they are great for sewing and hemming clothes. 

I am partnering with Barr Display for the November 2, 2013 Fancy Flea in Plant City Florida.  We will be bringing a few of these child forms to the Flea.  

If you are interest in purchasing a child form that is unaltered or one with roses, you can email me or contact Barr Display 800-222-2702 

Can you guess what I am working on next?  

        I love having a boy. sure would be fun to have a girl.... JUST to dress her and decorate her room!

OK, I have to get back to playing!
Happy Creating!

Partying with


NanaDiana said...

Carol-- I think that is just absolutely gorgeous! I love the idea of the cascading roses and love that it's a child sized form. Beautiful-that should fly out as soon as a buyer sees it! Blessings- xo Diana

Anonymous said...

I agree with Diana, its beautiful, I can't wait to see what comes next!

Maureen Wyatt said...

Love this and what a great idea to have one in a girl's room to put her next day school clothes on!

Phyllis @Around the House said...

I love what you did with the dress form, it is pretty impressive, gosh I put jewelery on mine and I thought I was progressive, I love the way you put the roses and the netting skirt, wow so pretty, I love it...Come on over for a visit, I have some relatives I would like you to meet, I would love to know what you think of them...Phyllis

marda said...

This is so sweet.. something I may have to give a try to for my grand daughter's room.. she's a little fashionista herself.

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

How adorable! You are pretty tech savvy in my book! Love the roses, so feminine. And thanks for the tip on the TAP paper. I've only used regular iron-on paper but that sounds fabulous.

boopnut said...

All I can say is "Wow!" How industrious you are and talented.
Deb W

Tracie Dean said...

I love it!! The roses are so beautiful. Purple would have been nice but no

You are amazing with how you created the graphics in a simple program. I had never heard of TAP until this post. Thank you!!!

Happy Crafting

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Very pretty, Carol! That must have been "fun" cutting out all the flowers. : ) They ironed on really well, too, especially for it not being flat.

I was actually looking at Barr's child size dress forms not too long ago to replace the small wire one I had in my sewing/craft room. I moved the wire one to my booth to model aprons. I kind of miss it being right at my door so I thought one of these child size ones would work. I do think the wire was a better fit for my little craft space because of its openness though.

Debbie said...

I would have loved, loved, loved this in my little girls "big girl" room!! I hope I have granddaughters some day to do stuff like this. This is just precious and so pretty!

Amy Jo said...


Because I am so crazy about roses, I think this is my favorite dress form you have transformed. It looks beautiful!! Possibilities will be endless.

Amy Jo

Betty said...

You have created a work of art. It looks so pretty with the roses on it and the skirt.

Mari said...

This was absolutely gorgeous, I love the roses, it turned out so soft and sweet ;) your one creative Chica ;)


Nanna said...

I understand the need to play in the sewing room lol! the dress form is adorable!

Connie said...

Hi Carol, she is beautiful. I can see you selling several of these. How fun would they be to dress in a dance recital costume, or a vintage dress made my a long ago grandmother.
You're always up to something grand.
I love popping in and visiting.
Have a remarkably fantastic week.
Your blogging sister,Connie:)

Marilyn said...

I need to finish cleaning and sorting all the stuff I brought home from school so I can play. Almost there...should be at it right now, but for me seeing all your playtime activities is a treat. Lovely roses!♥♫

Cynthia said...

This is an adorable and beautiful project. Fantastic job!!


Bente said...

This is absolutely GORGEOUS. What a great job.

Hugs from here

Createology said...

And you play so well dear. This is very sweet and beautiful. Your time and attention to details is what really makes everything you create very special. Fancy Flea Fabulous...

Donna said...

Oh my gosh, this is amazing! The flowers are gorgeous, and I love the tuile skirt and fabric flower embellishment. I can tell you spent alot of time on this beauty, Carol, I just love it!!!!!

Lesley Riley said...

Thanks for posting this project, Carol, AND for sending an email about it to C&T. Now we all know that you exist and are so glad to discover you! Thanks for all the good words and recommendations for TAP Transfer Artist Paper.

Kathy said...

I adore the idea of a child's dress form for a little girl to dress up!! Yours turned out beautiful. I am curious how you could iron it. Did you use a craft iron?

Nancy said...

Carol, this is over the top the Gorgeous!! One of our Spare Bedrooms in the New House is the "Princess Room" (my Granddaughters room when they come to visit/spend the night) I can see making some space for this in the future!! How did you Iron this on though?

Huggs, Nancy

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

This is so beautiful! Great job, worth all the work! Or should I say "play!" I love it!

Maybe you will have a granddaughter someday!

Thanks for sharing.


Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

That little dress form turned out so beautiful! If you ever get a granddaughter I don't think she will be spoiled at all! LOL It is not fair that you have all the talent! Nancy

❁Velma ~Down Our Country Road❁ said...

I think the dress form turned to to be really adorable. Great job!!

Ginger Knox said...

That is absolutely gorgeous! Love the roses, you are amazing. I wish I lived close so I could go to the flea!

Melodee said...

yikes, gorgeous as always!!

Shabby chic Sandy said...

That turned out so cute--I have been itching to decorate a nursery and someday I want to for my future Grandchildren. That would look so cute in a baby girl nursery!

Ros Crawford said...

Carol this is gorgeous!!! Beautifully done!

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Can I come over and play at your house? She's fabulous and you are just so darn clever!!

fixitfaerie said...

Carol- the dress form turned out so cute. My daughter would have liked that in her room when she was little.
Thanks for sharing. Paula

Jane said...

You did such a wonderful job altering the dress form, it is stunning!! I'm going to be in Orlando the last week of October for a sales meeting. I wish I had time to meet but you know how crazy those meetings are!!


So so cute ! I understand when you say yards and yards, to one of my Venetian dress, once I hand sewed 40 meters of lace ! this year I made some progresses : I'm learning (by my own)) to "play" with a sewing machine...

xoxo from PARIS (sigh fall is here...)


Curtains in My Tree said...

you did a marvelous job dear
love it

Teresa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teresa said...

Glad you said it so I didn't have to... what you really do is play around.

Creating the beauty it must have been forming in your brain since you were a child.

There's a part on the brain for creativity, did you know? It isn't one of those things that just happen to be there... well, in your case it's always on the move, it seems - creating, imagining, creating...

Yes, it's perfect for a girl's room. Charming Beauty in a Nursery.

Inviting dreams of charming princes, castles and wonderfully creative Queen-Mammas like you.

Well done! Moms living close to you could take their daughters to classes with you to teach them about real beauty and enchantement. I would.
(I imagine my girl would even be abble to convince you to add a tasteful pink skull among the roses ;) and have a blast).

This post reminds me that rhyme:

" Sugar and spice
And everything nice,

That's what little girls are made of."

Had they known you - back on the 19th century - and decoupage roses and satin would have to rhyme too.


Creations by Marie Antoinette and Edie Marie said...

Just love your blog and love everything you make. I will be coming back .Your child's dress form is a work of art. I bet it never ever looked so beautiful and it would be a gorgeous addition to any child's room.
May God Bless,
Marie Antoinette

DJAjewels said...

She is absolutely beautiful Carol! As usual an awesome project and tutorial!

Creations by Marie Antoinette and Edie Marie said...

What a fabulous dress form! I adore dress forms and this child's form is awesome. You have transformed it into a treasure piece! I've got to take a look at Barr Display to see what all they have. Your previous post on the hand displays was sooo great! Loved your finished product.

Thank you so much for your kind comment and stopping to visit us!!
I'm anxious to transform my sewing
mach drawers. So many projects so little time! LOL

Blessings, Edie Marie

sissie said...

I swear Carol you never cease to amaze me with your creativity. I love, love this sweet little mannequin. And yes, a little girl would love this too.


NanaDiana said...

Carol- I am just popping in and mentioning this (which if I have done so before please ignore/forgive me) When you leave a comment on my blog did you know that you are a No Reply blogger? I can't respond to your messages as much as I would like to....anyway, I got your comment and will answer it in the next couple of days on my blog. xo Diana
ps. Hubby is a chaplain at one of the hospitals here. (yep- I am a preacher's wife- I know-I know-hard to believe-even HE can't believe it)

hopeandjoyhome said...

Lovely as usual Carol! I have been busy and missed a couple have been busy too..adore those hands! Good luck at your show and congrats on your new partner! Julia

Rhissanna said...

Oh, Carol!I know how much work there is in adding that bottom ruffle of tulle, so I am in awe of your attention to detail. I didn't know the TAP paper was transparent! That explains why it's so popular. And the linked roses make a very pretty design; until you explained it, I didn't even notice it was a repeat of the same pattern.
Thank you so much for coming over to my blog and making such sweet comments. Your support means a lot.

Trisha said...

Carol, the child's form is absolutely beautiful. Have a Blessed day.

Vintage Crab Jewelry said...

Very cute! My daughter would have loved that in her room when she was a kid.

Little Miss Maggie said...

Pink roses are my favorite and those are gorgeous. I wish I had a Mac so I could use that program. FYI, since you order you TAP on the internet anyway, it's a little cheaper at Amazon. I usually order the 25 sheets and this last time I ordered 100 sheets and since I got free shipping it was 1.38 a sheet. If you use it a lot like I do it's worth it. I already used half my order. Anyway, back to my comment. I love your dress form and can just picture it in a child's room just like you said. This dress form is right up there with my favorites that you have done.