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Dress form for child

jyang949 | Posted in Fitting on

I am planning to make a dress form of my daughter, who just turned nine.

At first it was going to be the paper-tape form (www.taunton.com/threads/pages/t00002_p5.asp), but I couldn’t find paper wrapping tape in the local stores.

I bought some Rigid Wrap (plaster-impregnated gauze) in order to make a plaster mold of my daughter’s torso. However, I am having second thoughts about this approach after reading these forums–especially Kathleen Moller’s posting about how she fainted after two hours of having her circulation cut off by the shrinking plaster.

Then I realized that this whole project is overkill–my daughter isn’t going to stay the same size for long! Plus, she doesn’t have a figure “problem”; she is just tall and skinny. So while a dress form will be a handy tool, it doesn’t have to be super-precise.

So now my two choices are
(a) making a paper-tape form every six months or so (but is paper tape still made?)
(b) making a cloth shell to fit my mother’s old dress form and altering it as necessary. It’s a 25-year-old Uniquely You dress form, which is foam rubber with a linen shell.




  1. anneelsberry | | #1

    I've never bothered to have a dress form for my daughter, although it might has been nice.  Most traditional children's clothes (I'm a smocker and heirloom sewer) really only depend on the shoulder fitting properly, especially if they have a high yoke.  Now my daughter is 11 and has a bit more of a figure, I make sure to either do a muslin or use 1" seam allowances so I can make adjustments after she's tried it on. 

  2. SkiNsew | | #2

    Have you considered some of the pattern software.  I have Child's Play and Pattern Master Boutique.  They allow you to input the individual's measurements, pick the design elements you want and then spit out a pattern.  The Child's Play also has the whole series of children's sizes preloaded so you do not have to do the measurement thing if you do not want to.  If you do want to consider this, I suggest you call the Wild Ginger people who create and market the software.  I think an eleven year old child is just on the verge of being too big for the Child's Play and depending on her size may very well be able to use the Pattern Master Boutique product.  You would then have the bonus of being able to use it for yourself too.

    The people at Wild Ginger are super nice and can give you excellent advice on which product would meet your needs.


  3. nmog | | #3

    I made a paper dress form in January and wanted it to be sturdier and thicker than we originally made it to be. Of course, I ran out of tape. I purchased some at a small butcher's shop for $4 per roll. I found it worked well. Good Luck!


  4. Imzadi | | #4

    You can get paper tape at a UPS store or in the box packaging/shipping sections of stores.

    How about trying duct tape? It's sturdier than paper. If you cut off a lot of strips and hang them by one end off the side of a table or long counter before applying them, it would go a lot quicker.

    1. kayl | | #5

      Duct tape melts and sags with time. If you'd like to try brown paper

      tape, do a search at froogle.google.com for "gummed paper tape"... 2"x

      600 ft should be findable for about $4. Or consider the adhesive backed

      paper tapes... no water needed -- that's much harder to find.

      Since it's shoulder fit that's really critical for kid's dresses, how

      about just doing a custom shoulder form that you can slip over a hanger?


  5. cyberseamstress | | #6

    I looked on Google and found that AtlantaThread Co has the childs form that I have.

    Its the best $105.00 I ever spent! And Atanta Threads is the best price I've seen.

    It is simpe to set up, simple to adjust and the "perfect" child when it comes to designing and fitting! 

    Newark Dressmaker Supplies doesn't cary the childrens size any longer.

    Hope this helps!



    Edited 1/13/2008 11:12 pm ET by cyberseamstress

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