The information I had read said to buy the form small and pad it up. At its maximum, the form is only a half inch bigger than me (to allow for weight loss or gain) which meant that when it is dialed it up all the way "I" don't look nearly as tight and perky as "she" looked straight out of the box. How like life.
To get the bust proportions correct, I bought her - Millicent - a new bra and some Add A Size bra pads to increase the cup size from a B to a C. This picture gives me the giggles. I hope no one is offended.
It took a bit to get the shoulder to bust point and bust point to bust point measurements correct and then to adjust the circumference again now that the pads had added extra distance. The instructions say to measure side to side across the back and across the front. I already knew that I was broader (2") across the back but I don't often see that in instructions. It means that I will also need to pad the back hips because I am 22 1/2" and the form only goes to 21 1/2". Perhaps with padded panties since these bra pads worked so fabulously.
Today I made her a Little Black Dress from swimsuit material. I started out with a 40" tube and ended up taking it in six inches. Two of my friends also bought forms so I sent them an email to sew a lot smaller. Next time I have the dress off of her, I'll take in the waist darts even more and cut out the slider on the bra strap because it's sticking out. My boys are surprisingly embarrassed by a naked dress form.
The angle of the shoulders on the form is the same as mine AND it was really amazing how when I narrowed the neck and widened the bust, the shoulder width came into line. I wasn't sure the form could accommodate my narrow shoulders but it did. Next, I'm making a sloper with all the key points marked on it and after that, I can get on to "real" sewing. Thanks for letting me share.