Paper-Tape Dress Form
by David Coffin
Barbara Deckert, a dressmaker from Elkridge, Maryland, and author of Sewing for Plus Sizes, uses a form-making method that I've seen in sewing texts from the 1930s: Brown-paper tape from an office-supply store forms a body mold as well as duct tape does, then hardens into "papier-mâché" to become a pinnable form, which you don't even have to stuff.
Once it hardens completely, the tape double is ultra-light, easily moved and stored, can be pinned into, covered with fabric or a tight T-shirt, marked with narrow ribbon or marker, used on a table or stand, or hung from a hanger. It's probably the easiest and cheapest method of all...so what are you waiting for?
1. The bathroom or kitchen makes a good wrapping zone, since a wet sponge is the best aid to getting the tape properly moistened.
|2. Start wrapping the snugly T-shirted, undergarment-clad wrappee horizontally below the bust, then above the bust.||3. Next, form the neckline and armholes in the shape of a traditional fitting bodice. The "cross-your-heart" method works well in paper, too, as does shortening the tape in the bust area.|
|4. After three or four layers (alternating horizontal/vertical), you can use a hair dryer to speed the drying process.||5. Then (when the tape is hard enough to keep its shape but still soft enough to get out of) cut it up the back through the T-shirt, tape as with the other forms, and reclose by taping over the cut on the quite-stiff form.|
from Threads #75, p.41