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Dress Form Instructions

Wynella_Goss | Posted in The Archives on

Does anyone have a set of instructions or information on making a dress form for myself?


  1. Betty_Kershner | | #1

    http://www.leanna.com/ has the instructions for the duct tape dress form.

    1. Tanusa_ | | #2

      *Threads has a good article on this. It gives more than one method for making a form yourself. It's under the "fit and fabric" section. Here's the exact address... http://www.taunton.com/th/features/fitandfabric/clone/1.htmgood luck!

      1. Ghillie_C | | #3

        *I made a duct tape dress form according to the Threads article. Here in the UK nothing is sold under the name 'duct tape' but after conferring with American friends I bought some rolls of 'Elephant Tape' which looked pretty similar.I know every woman hates the sight of her own double, but when she was finished Nellie the Elephant Woman looked truly terrible and was much too fat to wear any of my existing clothes. With her gray wrinkled skin and sagging breasts she looked like an awful warning of what might happen to me in ten years time if I was not careful. I nearly assassinated her, but as luck would have it, I was booked on a fitting course around that time. I made a copy of my newly acquired personal block ('sloper' I think is the same term) from an old sheet and then Nellie underwent extensive surgery including tummy tucks, breast enhancement and coathanger insertion. I aimed to slim her down a bit too small and then covered her with a layer of thin quilters' batting to give her better skin tone and something to stick pins in.Now she wears an old bra, a pair of modified underpants to keep her stuffing in, and the sheet dress. She is still a little on the plump side, but serving a useful purpose.I hope this helps someone!

        1. TJ | | #4

          *Well it made me laugh! My "fabulous fit" dress form likes to play dress-up and has a much more adventurous approach to wardrobe than I do. Of course, she doesn't go out much....TJ

          1. kdean | | #5

            *TJdid you have to add padding to the fabulous fit form....I still do not feel that I have mine to the right point. I have to redo it for the third time and any input from your success would be great. For ...Wynella....Check out the Threads books and one of them has several articles on creating your own form. I think that it is Fit and Fabric but could be wrong.

          2. TJ | | #6

            *The Fab. Fit dress form comes with a set of pads of various sizes and shapes, and instructions on how/where to put them to match your own shape. I also added some padding (layers of thin batting) here and there to make it all come out to match my measurements. This was easier than I thought; took about 2 hours to make a form that does, in fact, look a lot like my own peculiar body. Clothes seem to fit "her" about the same as they do me, which is the real test! Is your form a Fabulous Fit form or something else? I would think that you could add layers here and there to customize fit on just about any dress form.

          3. Arndt | | #7

            *I have been toying with the idea of creating a "duct tape" form of myself but am getting plenty of giggles from sewing buddies. In my mind there are a number of possible design errors in the instructions I have seen to date. I have seen suggestions that t-shirts or turtlenecks be used as the "base" for the form. It seems to me that even if these were long enough to cover hips, either choice would be too bulky. In my mind the right way to approach this is to find one of those horrible tight fitting lycra dresses at the local thrift store. Next, it is important to wear normal underwear - the only way to keep from having sagging body parts (I'm at that age).However, I need some help pursuring another idea before I give in to the duct tape. In December of 1992, Threads Magazine published an article titled "PADDING A DRESS FORM". I am looking for a copy of this article. The old fashioned dress forms with dials and butterfly nuts were harder to fit, but lasted a lot longer and could were easily changed as the body changed (again I'm at that stage of life.) Any help in getting my hands on this article would be greatly appreciated.

          4. Martha_McKeon | | #8

            *Arndt - that article, which is a four-part series is reprinted in one of the Taunton Press books - the fitting one, I believe. I got it out of my local library. I padded my dress form using these instructions, and was very pleased with it. You can stick pins in it easily, which I understand is a problem with the duct tape

          5. Ghillie_C | | #9

            *I agree about the T-shirts adding bulk where not required. I was wrapped in cling film before taping. Made the process even sillier but worked OK.

          6. Kathlene_Moller | | #11

            *Kathlene Moller - 04:16am Nov 6, 1999 ESTWest Australia. Dressmaking, Quilting, Patchwork, Textile ArtAt last I've found the source! I Hope?! A few years ago I picked up a "threads" book of collected articles on fit, and tried to pursue the plaster bandage cast of the torso idea. I couldn't contact the supplier listed, so nutted it out (sort of) for myself. Living in Meekatharra (midwestern Australia, 12 hr drive from Perth, 2 hr from nearest fabric shop) I became resouceful, substituting as best I could. Dental plaster (discarded, water had dripped in and there were lumps) with loosely woven calico made an alternative to ready made plater cast bandages a la broken leg The flying doctor post wouldn't let me buy any, they need them! Dressed in the best fitting bra (made myself so they DO fit) and knickers, my husband and a friend wrapped me first in plastic cling film, then plaster and calico bandages gradually, all over. Unfortunately (a learning experience) Plaster shrinks slightly as it dries, they did my neck too soon. I fainted after 2 hr standing so still on that hot summer afternoon.Wet plaster just squished! A friend who was editor of the local paper had called by during the process. She left clutching her sides and crying. The next attempt to "Get me Plastered" was 9am on a cooler day. Much better results! Didn't shave underarms though. Plaster is HEAVY. ouch {:o)Tinsnips was all that would cut through the plaster. They cut knickers and skin as well in a few places. After lots of (expensive) false leads, mine supplies: two part expanding foam in the cavity gave me a pinnable dummy, a stand set in it at the same slightly crooked angle as I stand (spirit level marked the plaster before taken off me).Covered in pink ribbing, there was the solution to my personal dressmaking problem and Josephine was made. UNFORTUNATELY the foam is compressible on impact, and two house moves later,she's not as useful as she was. I want to make another one the same way. It really is accurate, even brastrap line indents were findable on the moulded dummy. Very useful for location of eg shoulder point. The article on line (taunton.com/th/features/fitandfabric/clone/1.htm)is a continuation from the original article I was sparked off by. None of their methods can stand pins being repeatedly jabbed straight in (duct tape that gums scissors will certainly gum pins, Paprer tape, if I could find it, would soon wear at frequently pinned spots eg shoulder points) My nose is fussy, and the foam I used wasn't a problem (except for compressibility on impact. I'll just need to make the next one "fall over proof" I guess!) Please give me a contact I can talk to about methods. I'd be glad of even ! dressmaking friend to help here, but the dummy is really marvelous, (when it isn't wrecked) I share David Page Coffin's enthusiasm. Kathlene Moller, Moora Western Australia

          7. Ghillie_C | | #10

            *I agree about the T-shirts adding bulk where not required. I was wrapped in cling film before taping. Made the process even sillier but worked OK.

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