One of the goals we have at Beatrice is to inspire personalized creative expression. We accomplish this in a number of ways, like finishing our 3D scan dress forms as beautifully as we can and by making them as true as possible to the person they emulate. Until now, this has been limited to just body shape.
Several months ago, Sophie and I started kicking around the idea of covering our forms with fabric in custom skin tones. Until now, we could never make them available in the way we envisioned because our low volume limited us to only a few batch-dyed fabric colors.
We also receive requests all the time for a draped woven cover, which is traditional for standard dress forms. Currently, we ship our forms with plain knit covers to keep them as affordable as possible. Woven covers always felt out of reach.
Could we solve both problems at once?
One morning in early July, I was enjoying my coffee and perusing email. I came across one of my favorite creative business newsletters from Craft Industry Alliance. Hmmm, applications are open for Spoonflower’s Small Business Grant. Would our cover fabric project be a good fit?
With digitally printed custom fabrics, we could offer a multitude of base tones, as well as create custom colors upon request to accommodate all people. Plus, we could offer a 1” reference grid pattern for garment design and fitting. This could save a bunch of time for our clients and make measuring a snap.
Long story short – we applied and thanks to Spoonflower, now we’re doing it! We’re so excited. Here’s why…
Cool stuff for sewists
By making DIY draped, custom woven covers in their actual skin tones, custom dress form users will not only learn valuable draping skills, but they’ll finally have a dress form that really looks like them in every way.
Perhaps our fabric designs will even inspire sewists to create and print their own Spoonflower cover fabrics, maybe with key reference lines specific to their bodies, their tattoos or other design details that have personal meaning for them. The possibilities are exciting!
If you’re interested in receiving updates about our custom cover project, you can subscribe to our newsletter here.
(Note to future self: read this when things get tough)
Running a business is hard. One of the great things about applying for the Spoonflower Small Business Grant is that you get to revisit why you’re giving up the security of a paycheck – hopefully in exchange for the chance at putting something good into the world. Here’s what I wrote about what inspires my work:
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to understand how things are made. My favorite toys as a young child were paper, tape, scissors, paint, and pencils. As an adult, I graduated to recording music, working with textiles and garment design, and then later designing software for music creators in my job at Apple. There’s something about the act of making that’s key for me in being connected with the world and finding understanding what life might be like in someone else’s shoes.
Throughout my career and personal projects, this has driven me to specialize in designing tools that empower creativity and self-expression. As someone who’s always felt on the outside, especially as a woman in software engineering, I also care deeply about the inclusion of folks who don’t fit the standard.
Beatrice Forms is not just a tool. It’s about finding inspiration from what makes you unique. To unlock your creativity when sewing a handmade wardrobe, you have to reconcile the body image in your mind with who you truly are. Learning to physically “be” with yourself is an amazing journey, and I feel honored to be a part of that with my fellow sewists.
Thanks for taking that journey with us!
And please share what inspires you in the comments 🙂