HOW TO PAD A DRESS FORM
An easy and inexpensive way
First, we will need some polyester batting also sometimes called synthepone. If you don’t know what it is, here’s some info.
It is often used for quilting so quilting supplies stores should be the first place to look for it.
It is pretty inexpensive usually so this padding technique will allow us to save some money compared to the price of most ready-to-use padding systems.
Now we need to cut a few circles out of the batting. Circles are the most universal shape to use but sometimes I also use other shapes like ellipses.
The size and the amount of the shapes we need to cut depends on the area we are about to pad.
The only way to decide on that is to experiment a little. I promise you that after padding one area of your dress form you will have a pretty good understanding on how much batting you need.
Let’s start by cutting out a few circles that vary in diameter slightly. Use this picture as a rough reference and a starting point.
Now we will start pinning our circles to the area that we want to pad. Make sure you’re using pins with either glass or metal heads (not plastic) cause we will apply heat later on and we don’t want them to melt.
Start by pinning the bigger circles first.
And now onto some magic.
We will use the iron or the steamer. The heat and the steam will make the batting denser and will help it to hold its shape.
Think of the iron as of a sculptors tool — use it shape the batting the desired way.
Add another layer of batting on top of the previous one. Keep on adding layers and don’t forget to iron/steam every layer until you’ll reach the desired measurements.
Check the measurements in between layers after ironing/steaming to make sure you’re on the right path.
Once you’ll reach the desired parameters, start unpinning the batting from the dress form.
Don’t worry, the layers won’t fall apart because the heat kinda “glues” them together.
Once unpinned the “pad” can be trimmed a little. It’s not a mandatory step but I like to do that to make my pads look more aesthetically pleasing.
Et voila! Here you have it — a nice a personalized pad to change your dress forms parameters slightly when needed. Attach it with pins when needed and remove it just as easily.
I like how you can really make the most precise changes and how these pads do not create a “step” where they “connect” to the dress form.
Batting holds pins pretty well and tolerates heat and steam almost as good as the polyurethane itself so you won’t be limited in using your dress form in any way.
Also, if you want you can add a separate cover made from any elastic fabric (it’s easy to DIY one) on top of the pads to make the dress form look and feel good.