I wanted to talk about my dress form. I got her from a woman named Pearl. She was from the Phillipines and did some sewing for me back in the 80s. She was a feisty woman who knew how to put me in my place! She had an extra dress form and gave it to me. It was a size 16 and a lovely old girl. It was about my size, which is good because I always like to make things my size! Size 16 then is about a 14 now.

Anyway, Pearl and I went our separate ways and after awhile when I went back to try to find her I was told she had passed away. I felt very sad that I had not been able to tell her how much her being there had meant to me. I decided to name the dress form Pearl and I think of her every time I use her.

But Pearl had become tattered and as I use her for documenting my clothing I decided to recover her. I painted some cotton muslin a soft grey, which turned out slightly mottled. Though I would have preferred an even surface, I thought in a way that it was more interesting and would create a suitable background for the clothing. It was satisfying to take her apart and drape the pattern from her, hand stitch the back seam up tight, nail in the top and all the nails to secure the waistband. She turned out very well indeed! I think Pearl would be thrilled at the fresh new form that was one of her gifts to me…

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