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Video: Make Your Own Dress Form, Part 1

Dec 12, 2011

Judith Neukam and Victoria North

Learn how to make your own duct-tape dress form in this excerpt from Teach Yourself to Sew, Season 2. Threads Executive Editor Editor Judith Neukam demonstrates this technique with the help of Assistant Editor Annie O’Connor. The written instructions found in the Teach Yourself to Sew magazine special issue comes to life in this video tutorial. Watch “Make Your Own Dress Form, Part 2” to learn how to finish your fitting assistant and create a stand. If you don’t want to wait to watch the next part of this episode, you can own all of Teach Yourself to Sew, Season 2 on DVD now. Teach Yourself to Sew was created with beginners in mind, but sewers of any level can use these tutorials to brush up on their skills. You can find more excerpts from this series at TeachYourselftoSew.com, or visit our store to purchase seasons 1 & 2 on sale now. This series would make the perfect holiday gift for any new sewer in your life! Click here to order Teach Yourself to Sew, Season 2 on DVD.

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  1. User avater user-2684799 July 17th

    I apologize. I let my frustration get the best of me. Wish there was a delete option on comments. I found part two. It was posted in the same month. It just took me SEVERAL hours to stumble on it.
    Suggestions:
    It would be nice it when part one finished playing, there was a link posted to part 2.
    Give an option to SEARCH the videos so it is possible to find them faster.
    THANK YOU.
    THIS IS A GREAT TUTORIAL!
    P.S. please delete my last posted comment. ;)

  2. User avater user-2684799 July 17th

    The description reads, "Look for "Make Your Own Dress Form: Part 2" coming soon to learn how to finish your fitting assistant and create a stand. If you don't want to wait to watch the next part of this episode, you can own all of Teach Yourself to Sew, Season 2 on DVD now.
    Some observations:
    1. Part 1 was posted December 2011. It's now July 2013.
    2. Obviously "coming soon" means MORE THAN 18 months
    3. Part 2 has already been created because it is on DVD
    4. Posting only part 1 appears to be a ploy to BUY the DVD.
    5. I subscribed to "Threads Insider" so I could view videos such as this. Now I need to buy a DVD to see the rest?
    6. Not an honest way to do business.

  3. alicemae February 7th

    We are still confused about the pipe sizes and kitty liitter. Does the 1 pipe slide into the 1 1/2" pipe to the bottom of the pail? How is the fitting adhered to the bottom of the pail?

  4. NMSue December 15th

    This is a great tutorial. I'm looking forward to Part 2.
    My daughter made her own dress form about a year ago. She went to a second-hand store and purchased an old heavy brass floor lamp which she took apart and used for the stand. It really added a nice design feature!

  5. User avater runwaygal December 15th

    Great tutorial. I have been looking at these DIY dress forms for about a year but the instructions have never been so precise. I have a dial up and down dress form and wonder if anyone has placed there DIY form over their store bought form? I learned the hard way on my dress form to add an inch in all directions to allow for ease wehen fitting. My first suit was beautiful but a size to small when I got done.
    Can't wait to spend time with my mom and see if we can duplicate this process.

  6. vicky_north December 15th

    whatwasithinking: The video seems to be working here on our end. Can you please elaborate about your computer type (PC/Mac) and web browser (Internet Explorer/FireFox/Safari). I would love to help figure out why you are having trouble.

  7. whatwasithinking December 14th

    I would love to watch the video but apparently it is unavailable and has been for a couple of days.

  8. Jessicatyson December 14th

    This is just a great tutorial! I didn't knew about this type DIY can also be done with duct-tape ! Gonna try it soon and let others know about it! Thanks for sharing! affordable dentist

  9. Jessicatyson December 14th

    This is just a great tutorial! I didn't knew about this type DIY can also be done with duct-tape ! Gonna try it soon and let others know about it! Thanks for sharing! affordable dentist

  10. User avater ZBWonderWoman December 13th

    The original method I read specified using paper tape, i.e., the brown and/or tan colored package tape with the pre-glued reverse side. Not thin thread encapsulated sticky tape, but paper tape. Small pieces approximately 4-6 inches in length are applied to the person until the entire torso is covered by 3 separate layers of tape. Only then is it carefully removed. In a previous Threads article, 2 layers of colorful mailing tape were applied to liven up the end product.

    Stuffing can be a bear, but not for the 12-15 friends who have each crafted a personal doppleganger. They're happy and have a number of perfectly fitted garments to prove it.

    I'm eager to view the next video illustrating the method used to craft a stand, then securely mount the dress form!

  11. Theresew December 13th

    Yep, I found the pants form instructions and more here:

    http://dressformdesigning.com/sewingdvds.html

  12. fhack December 13th

    My husband and I tried this and it worked very well. I must warn you though, take a deep breath and ask him to work fast. I found I had difficulty breathing once he got the it wrapped once and he had to wrap me 3x.

    What a wonderful idea though. I would like to find hints on how to stand it up.

  13. SusanGowen December 13th

    A couple of years ago, my husband, who is usually a very handy sort, helped me make a dress mold. We used hints from a few sources, including "Threads", but the product was useless.
    First problem: The duct tape absorbed heat from my body so the glue got soft, and its weight caused the layers to slide down, creating gaps. We applied some vertical and diagonal pieces of tape to counteract that tendency, but apparently not enough.
    As a result of the stretching, there were gaps here and there between strips of duct tape, which we tried to mend with more tape. We used so many layers of tape that clothes which fit me were too small for the dress form.
    Then we tried using the form as a mold by blowing expanding foam insulation into the form, but during the setting process, the foam squeezed out on the edges of our mends. Fortunately the bubbles can be cut off.
    The biggest problem was getting the pole positioned so that it aligned with the form's long axis in tall three dimensions. No matter what we tried, we couldn't accomplish that even at the start of the drying period, let alone throughout the setting period.
    I now have a tilted, lumpy, grotesque dress form that I'll never use.

  14. LucyJane December 13th

    Thank you Thank you Thank you for finally posting this most excelent article. I have refered to it many times in coments. I may be dreaming but I think that I saw online a
    pant form? Why not use it for a man's shape. I used a cheap tourtier lamp base for my form because I am tall. You would have to get inventive if the person is tall rather than a stool. Fabulous for hemming clothes perfectly especially if you use one of those stand marking contraptions that spits out a line of chalk.

  15. Memerewink December 13th

    What a great idea! Another wonderful use of duct tape. I cannot wait to try it. Thanks.

  16. pgwilliams December 13th

    I made this a couple years ago while making a prom dress for my daughter. She was never around for fittings and it worked really well. Later we would dress it up and just have fun with it.

  17. User avater triangles December 13th

    The making of a dress form has certainly come a long way to protect the person being taped. Great instructions, as usual. I can see how this would be a wonderful addition to any sewing room.

  18. User avater yaz11 December 13th

    i have a complete guide from start to finish on how to make your own dress form. http://lulushion.blogspot.com/2011/05/cast-yourself-or-making-of-dress-form.html in 4 parts. Please follow the link under the post for more info. i hope it's helpful :)

  19. DebraBC December 13th

    Thanks. This is so helpful and you taught it very well. I can't wait to try this! Would preparing a form for a man use the same process? I am beginning to make suits for my husband and think it would be a great option for tailoring jackets for him as well. Additionally, are pant forms ever made?

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