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user-157707 | Posted in The Archives on

Help I want to make a custom dress form.    I know that THREADS had an article using ductape.    I have the past 7 years of mags.   Which issue had the instructions?  Does any one remember.

Thank you    Terry Mikol


  1. AndreaSews | | #1

    The most recent one I've seen was Threads #75, pp. 37-41.   The article is readily available online, including pictures and examples:  http://www.taunton.com/threads/pages/t00002.asp

    1. user-157707 | | #2

      Thank you Andrea

      I just spent the past five hours going through my collection of old Threads.   Needless to say, I would see an article and read it.   At that rate I would spend the next entire week looking for those directions.   

      My friend and I want to do this this coming weekend.  

      My friiends tell me about discussion chats and I never went on one before.  Now I know why they are hooked.  I am not hooked

      Thank you again


    2. greeneyes21 | | #3

      I just went to the site you mentioned. I think that's a great idea. Never thought about doing that before. Thanks.

  2. user-160393 | | #4

    Three years ago, I sewed my daughter-in-law's wedding dress.  Since she is only 4'9" tall, she presented quite a challenge in fitting.  I went on-line to look for dress forms and found nothing to help me with a ready made and the cost was prohibitive.  Then I stumbled onto the Duct Tape Double.  You can purchase the instructions for $10 by downloading, $15 for a CD by snail mail or spend $29 (postage included with that)for a printed and bound manual. You can also wing it and figure it out by reading the general-but not detailed- instructions.  It's a bit of work and takes awhile but, my daughter-in-law's dress turned out beautifully!  Address is http://www.leanna.com/DuctTapeDouble.  Make sure you read the Taping Tales.  Informative and funny!

    1. user-157707 | | #5

      Iam so glad that you were able to make your daughter's form and the dress came out well.    My girl friend and I are going to take a day and make our doubles.

      Anything for a girls day out


      1. mygaley | | #7

        Dear Terry, you haven't mentioned where you live, but here in the gulf south I can't imagine a day dry enough to do that kind of project with duct tape or a storage area dry enough to keep it from "melting" into a soggy, sticky mess.  Just go and find some garden implement or tool that has been taped and you will see what your result will be.  I suggest you go with the paper tape method; after all, papier mache' items have lasted years.  

        Also question to everyone??? I have noticed complaints of tiring while the "wrapping" was going on.  Do you think it would be possible to cut the incomplete form up the back, remove it, take a nap, and then take up where you started?  After all, you will still have plenty of materials and the "Body" and I don't think it would dry or lose its shape in that short amount of time.  Just would like to know what others think.  Galey

        1. user-157707 | | #9

          Hello Galey

          I live in just south of Cleveland Ohio.   Moisture is not much of a problem in my home.  Also I like that Paper idea.   Luna also mentioned it.   I am going to bring it up with my friends and see what way they want to go.

          I have visited in your area, wow sometimes the humity was unbearable.


  3. Luna Things | | #6

    Hi, Terry!  I have inexpensively fashioned my very own customized personal dressform.  With a friend's assistance, here's how we did it:  I wore t-shirt that hung down to my low hip line.  We laid down plastic on the floor to protect it from dripping water and glue.  We used brown paper tape, which is normally used to seal boxes, cut into about 12-15 inches in length.  We used a damp sponge from a bowl of water to activate the glue. We began by framing the bust, shoulders and neck, then filled in the rest all the way down to the lower hip line.  It pretty much works like paper mache.  We laid about 2 to 3 layers of tape for sturdiness.  We used a blow dryer to accelerate some of the drying process before we removed the cast.  With a pair of heavy duty utility scissors, she then cut up the center of my back, from the hip to neck.  We then taped the cut line closed and let it dry over night, being careful to position the cast to maintain it's original shape.  After completely dry, I inserted a metal clothes hanger and stuffed it with newspaper, then closed the neck hole, arm holes and bottom of the dressform with more paper tape.  (You can use packing foam for a more lightweight dressform.)  I place the dressform on my table when working on tops and hang it on an over-the-door hook when working on skirts.  You can add an arm and a leg to your dressform by starting with a long sleeved t-shirt and a pair of leggings, so that you can fit pants.  I've marked waist and bust lines, bust points, etc. with a marker.  You can make a shell out of muslin to cover your dressform for a smooth and pinnable surface.  It took very little time and very little money to construct a dressform worth a lot more.  Don't forget to start off with your best fitting undergarments for that perfect fit! 

    1. user-157707 | | #8

      Hello Luna

      What a great idea making a form out of paper mache'.    I am planning on having a girls afternoon to make these forms.   Maybe we will try that.   I wonder if these forms, paper or tape, could be filled with that foam insulation that I put around my water facet outside.    It swells, hardens and is light weight.   HMM something to experiment with.

      Have a great day


      1. Luna Things | | #10

        Hi, Terry!

        I have actually read somewhere that you can use insulation foam to fill up the cast. 

        I just can't imagine going without my paper-tape dressform.  I don't get much help with my personal sewing projects and have always achieved a great fit everytime.

        I have a friend who is quite good with carpentry and I've designed a stand for my dressform.  He owes me a favor, so I'm hoping he's willing to take the project on. 

        Good luck with your project and I would really be interested to know how it all worked out with you, whichever way you decide to go.

        Have a great day!


        1. nmog | | #11

          I am in the midst of cresting a dressform for myself, and I have had no end of problems. I had my mom and sis wrap me with wet plaster bandages. I guess they weren't dry enough when I was cut out of them because the mold flattened as I was taking it home. I used newspaper to 'reform' it overnight, but I doubt that it was still accurate.
          I then used more bandages to fill in the gaps that had been made in the original. I had been wearing white undies, and so the white bandages made it look like there was a lot more covered than actually was!An artist friend, who specializes in plaster, said that using Vaseline inside the plaster form would help any foam insullation to not stick. She also said that the body form 'mold' could be used again,a s the vaseline would have no ill effect. The vaseline, however, made my dry form pliable. The foam that I bought at Home Depot (recommended for big holes) stuck anyway, and when it was expanding, left 3 inch craters in the foam form.I bought some 2 part polyurethane foam to mix and use, but to be honest I am not sure if it is worth the effort. I am tempted to cut my losses and just buy a Uniquely You form. My plaster form is now pliable because of the Vaseline, and it is warped because it wasn't dry enough when we removed it.I've made a butcher paper form before, but thought I would try for a pinnable end result. I've spent almost $120 on the foam and plaster, with a bad result. I hope that everyone else has much more success! Oh, if only I'd spent the money on fabric....Nicole

          1. user-163194 | | #12

            I also used the plaster cast method - with no success - but now 5 years later have purchased the Dritz deluxe.  It does not accomodate the sway-back that is the result of short-waistedness, but I can padd out the form for that part.  Since I am losing weight, I welcome the adjustability.

            The biggest problem is that stores here in SC do not stock the forms.  To see one you have to order it and at the least pay the postage whether you keep it or not.  It is a common problem for retailers whose corporate philosophy is to keep costs down for the sake of the stockholder.  In my case it turned out to be worth the risk.

            Now if only I could teach her how to make the bed and pick up around here...

        2. user-157707 | | #14

          It is good to have good friends and I am glad that you have someone like that.   I helped make the form on my friend and it came out good for a first try   Thank you to all who gave me the help with the ideas and suggestions


      2. Teaf5 | | #13

        Be very careful with that foam insulation; I read some hysterical posts in another forum about people having tried that to fill dress forms only to have it burst out all over and destroy the form as well as the surrounding carpeted floor! A much more manageable material would be polyester quilt batting; it's light and doesn't have that "ever expanding gooey mess" quality.

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