Close-Fit Duct-Tape Dress Form
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by David Coffin
from Threads #75, p. 39
Leah Crain, a dressmaker and costumer from Cincinnati, OH, has another take on the duct-tape version of form making. You can find her complete directions, including stand ideas, photos, plus comments and questions from other sewers, on the Internet (www.leanna.com). Leah’s forms look remarkably like their prior “inmates.”
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Leah Crain’s duct-tape forms are close matches of the originals. Like duct-tape dress form #1, this one uses three layers of tape.
Here are the highlights: You’ll start with a similarly underclad wrappee, but Leah suggests cutting off one sleeve from a second T-shirt and basting it onto the first to form a neck cover. Start wrapping under the bust, snugly, then proceed to a “cross-your-heart” taping that goes from one shoulder under the opposite breast then around to the back, to define the bust area. You’ll use three layers of tape, with the second arranged vertically, but wrap more snugly than for Joyce’s method, and extend the wrapping around the upper arms and onto the neck, always keeping the bust contours well defined. Mark the final layer carefully with plumb lines at center front and center back, around the waist, and carefully establish the proper height and posture by marking the same distance from the floor to the hip level on four sides, then cut the tape shell up the back as usual.
A strong wooden hanger placed inside before stuffing is the start of either a hanging form or a simple stand. For a stand, use a piece of PVC piping or a cardboard tube long enough that you can cut it to your height when the form is ready to set onto its base (you can use a Christmas-tree stand on the outside of the tube, or a microphone stand inside the tube). Tape the hanger to the tube and put it inside the form before stuffing it, then start stuffing by supporting each breast with a glued-in foam raglan shoulder pad if the bust contour needs the additional support (larger bust shapes may tend to cave in over time). Tape the opening at center back closed as you complete the stuffing, then use the hip markings to help arrange the form on the tube to match the wrapper’s posture.
Start under the bust. Wrap the midriff snugly, then do a cross-your-heart taping to define the bust area.
Cut a cardboard base using dimensions from the wrappee, and cut a hole in it so it can slip up the tube, then tape it in place. Stuff and tape over the ends of the sleeves and neck where you want them to end, then compare measurements from wrappee to form. You can adjust the form by cutting slits to form darts, squeezing the form to the new dimension, and retaping.
A sturdy wooden hanger set into the top of a PVC or cardboard tube gives support to the shoulders.
Stuff the finished form with polyester batting. A sturdy wooden hanger set into the top of a PVC or cardboard tube gives support to the shoulders.
Finish with a cardboard base. Cut the base to the same dimensions as the wrappee, and tape it in place.
More dress forms: