We began our company with the intention of making a new dress form that starts with the right shape: yours! To make it easier to sew for yourself, we wanted to make an accessible dress form that’s exactly you, to make clothes that fit from the beginning instead of needing workarounds and tricks to get your beautiful handmade clothes to fit the way you like. What we’ve learned, however, is that these new forms are also doing something incredible that we had never even considered!
It’s not just a tool
With each form that we deliver, one thing is becoming more and more clear: this is not just a sewing tool. Because each form is a replica of the user’s body, living with a Beatrice every day is the closest anybody has ever been to physically “being” with themselves. This experience is completely new to people. It is not the same as seeing yourself in pictures or in a mirror.
At first, it can be pretty jarring to put your hands around your own waist, touch your shoulders, or drape a dart on “yourself.” I suspect it has something to do with people’s mental image of their body not jiving with what they are physically experiencing with their Beatrice. I know this first-hand because I went through the same thing with mine.
When my form came to live in my sewing room, it was a bit unnerving at first to catch intimate glimpses of myself as I worked. But here’s the kicker: with time, you do end up accepting your body as it is. Completely! Really, what’s to dislike? And when my body changes an hour after eating a burrito or in five years’ time, what will be wrong with that?
One thing that struck me is my form’s presence – instead of fading into the decor, she actively inhabits her space. Because she is the same as my body, I unconsciously treat her with extra respect and notice that others do the same. It seems silly as an adult woman not to know this about myself, but it’s taught me that I belong in the space I am in.
Reclaim your body image
It’s crazy that being around a 3D version of yourself could be so empowering and instructive. When I share this experience with others, it profoundly resonates with pretty much everyone, not just sewists but non-sewists, across genders, and people of all ages. Several people told me it gave them goosebumps.
Many of us have taken on a mental body image that differs greatly from our actual body, an identity mismatch that creates problems. Unfortunately, the way we imagine our bodies should be can severely limit what we believe is possible for ourselves. Time to ditch that mindset and start loving ourselves for who we are today, right now! Who knew that a dress form could help with that?!
Have you ever experienced this body image mismatch that I’m talking about? Would love to hear about it in the comments!