I was asked a few times about the dress shirts that I use on my ventriloquist figures and how I make them fit so well. So here goes.
First of all I purchase size 4 white dress shirts made by “French Toast”. These are dress shirts which are sold by parochial schools for their dress outfits. You can also find them on ebay. They come in white, light blue and yellow and also in button down collar or plain collar. I prefer the plain collar.
The size 4 will fit almost any full size figure but the neck is usually a bit large for the neck of the figure. I remedy that in two different ways. The easy way which I most often use is to make a fold on the back of the neck and then use a stapler to keep the fold in place. This really works well and if you also use a suit coat it is hidden. I have also cut the back of the collar and then removed a section which is usually about a half an inch, and then sew the open section back together. I use a running stitch which is very simple. This is a much cleaner way to go but takes a bit more time and work.
The rear of the shirt I cut down the middle with pinking shears which give you and opening of the cloth without the cloth shredding. If the clothing is not going to be removed I will then staple the shirt in place to the body making sure the front is in the correct place.
Also you may find that the sleeves are a bit long and I remedy this by pulling the sleeve up on the arm so that the cuff is in the correct place on the wrist and then use a rubber band to hold it in place. Once again with the suit coat on the sleeve appears correct. This works great on figures that have shorter arms.
I top it off with the bow tie. Bow ties can be found in the salvation army stores or again on ebay and even can still be purchased in some of the little boy clothing stores.
I hope this has helped anyone dressing their figure.
Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2010 by Dan Willinger
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