Monday, September 29, 2008

Cloning: Is It Ethical?

Yes, I cloned myself.

It took about two hours of work in total, involved my sister, secrecy and a short fainting spell. But I did it. And yes, it is an ugly question I had to ask myself - should I have done it?

I stare at the result and I think, it is a little scary. It brings to mind all sorts of size issues. But, I could just... simply... put it out of my mind.

It all began when I got the stitching fever. It's something I get every now and then, and a little after you will see me wearing a pair of trousers that actually fit - because I made it myself!

And when I get the stitching fever, I start dreaming. And lusting after....


But they are hugely expensive, and since I am only a seasonal home-sewer, I cannot justify spending so much on something I might not use to its full potential.

Then I found a URL detailing making your own dress form. And I was stunned by a bright idea.

I decided that paper tape was the better option when I went looking for duct tape and found I could only get about two metres for about RM5 per. Whereas paper tape (boxing tape that you need to wet to activate the glue) was around RM2 for a huge roll of what looked like twenty metres. So I chose paper tape. Unfortunately, and I learned the hard way, it was only an inch wide, which meant longer standing time and lots mire winding around the body.

Panini and I got really excited and went straight home to do this. I got into my leggings and gym top and she wrapped me in plastic cling wrap. She started from mid-thigh and wound the tape up to my hip, after which we tore strips to begin following my body contours. As you go, you need to wet the strips with a sponge. When she got to my waist and up every movement I made (including breathing) would loosen the strips around my ribs.

It was about this time when I started thinking, if I were claustrophobic, this would be a very uncomfortable experience. I could feel the blood pooling in my feet, and the tight casing around my hips and waist were very constricting.

See how nice the this strips look over the wide expanse of viewage?

About half an hour later, we went to get a hairdryer to speed up the process but I felt so faint I had to ask her to cut me out of the form before it was dry.

Then I lay on the bed for five minutes while the world spun around.

The dress form pretty much held its form but the cling wrap inside was holding moisture. When I pulled at it it distorted the soft shape. Eventually we gave up on hairdrying it and decided to go out looking for styro blocks to stuff it with. And guess what? I found two and four-inch wide paper tape for less than RM10 altogether. If I had found that sooner, maybe I could have lasted standing for more than an hour earlier that afternoon.

When I came back, the form had dried but the cut ends down the back had curled inwards. I had a huge stuffing job to do and it involved reshaping it.

In the end I decided on using all my collected plastic bags as stuffing. You really need to stuff it with something that is shapeable, so I ended up ditching the idea of styro blocks. Then I used the new wider tape I had found to go over the form one more time and seal up the cut at the back. That took a lot of moulding and holding together and re-forming what looked like my shape.

I also mounted it on a spare metal pole I had in the back room and secured it with more paper tape. Seems to take the weight well.

After that I went over again with the thicker tape to smooth out the contours and make it look more presentable. And now, it is staning in the room, propped up against the wall. I need to mount it on a platform, hopefully with wheels.

Now that I have my own dress form, I am not sure where to start (I am untrained except for about ten lessons at home economics in school). AND I am still a bit sceptical about my clone. I think I need to try it out once to see if the fit really works. Or I could always clone again. What's the harm in that?



Anonymous said...

OOoooOooh, cool! what about papier mache stuffing? Wouldn't that be a lil easier? But looks like you already got it up fine. Wow! ^_^

pye:rudz said...

selamat hari raya aidilfitri
maaf zahir batin

shamaine said...

that is awesome! i'm a bit claustrophobic i don't know how well i'd do...but i'm interested....

happy sewing!!

mamasan said...

do you mean dried papier mache? like, balls of it? that would make sense. if it was still wet i think it would affect the form.

I have seen other people on the net stuff if with netting, but i think you would need tonnes of it if your form is as big as mine!


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