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Debi_Jean | Posted in The Archives on

I will be purchasing a dressform in the near future. Would some of you share information as to what features you like, don’t like, must have, and things to look out for. Thank you very much.


  1. Janice_E_Averill | | #1

    Any form you buy wil not match your individual shape unless you have it custom made for you. Your best strategy if this is not an opption would be to buy a used form close to your size, but not bigger than you. Then make a muslin sloper, have someone do some alterations until it fits perfectly with no ease. Then pad the form with many layers of thin batting to fill it out. Next cover it with a copy of your muslin sloper. Save the original for future figure checks, in case your size changes. There are a few articles about making a personal sloper/muslin in some very old threads editions. Check the index. Good luck!

    1. Brenda_Nix | | #2

      *Hi. I am looking for information about making your own body double using duct tape. The web site you suggest in your gatherings archive keeps coming back with an error message and I am unable to log onto it. The web site is http://www.leanna.com. Did you ever print an article describing how to use the duct tape to make your own body double? And if you did which issue is it in?

      1. Ginna | | #3

        *Brenda -Someone noted elsewhere that they got to Leanna's site by using:http://www.leanna.ccI haven't tried it but it's worth a try.Also there was an article awhile back in Threads that discussed 3 different types of body double mannequins. The two I remember were the Duct Tape Double and the Brown Paper Tape Double. I don't remember what the 3rd was. The article was not heavy on detail. I did a Brown Paper Tape double. We found that the stips about 1 to 2 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches long worked well vertically after we got horizontal strips done. We used much smalled pieces (1" X 2") around the very curvy areas like the bust. We started with a band around the body under the bust and one around the waist. (Tape the waist snuggly. Mine wasn't and it took more effort to tighten it after we got beyond there.) Work between the waist and hips first because as you go up it can become difficult to breathe. Criss cross some long thin strips between the bust (to lift and separate) going over the shoulder.HTH. Ginna

        1. Linda_Edwards | | #4

          *I bought a kit to make a dress form from a type of paper tape.The instructions, were to start at the top and work down. (that's asimple version of course). We started this, and after about twenty minutes was encased. Because of being taped up, my breathing was restricted and I took quite a 'turn'. I actually collapsed before my husband who was doing the taping took me seriously. He then cut the tape of me quick smart. It was quite a frightening experience and one I would not recomend at all. There must be a better way.

          1. Rita_Scanlan_ | | #5

            *The Threads article "Clone Yourself a Fitting Assistant" appeared in Issue 75, pp. 37-41. It is currently on the Web site (but may be taken down at some point) under the Fit & Fabric category, then "click for more Fit & Fabric." Good luck!**Rita

          2. Ginna | | #6

            *Some sewing buddies and I made brown paper tape dress forms. We first wrapped at the waist and under the bust. Next we wrapped from the waist down. When that was complete we wrapped from the waist up to the shoulders doing the front first and finishing with the back. Not one of us had any breathing problems - probably because we wrapped the top last.

          3. Michelle_Allison | | #7

            *Hi there...I just wanted to say that I have made a duct-tape body double/dress form using the freebie instructions on http://www.leanna.com/DuctTapeDouble/textA.htmlIt came out pretty well...the measurements are very similar (though my bust got a little smashed in the process...but I managed to fix it mostly.) I am planning to use my dressform to make slopers now, since I have been completely frustrated in all my sewing attempts so far, because none of them have fit right. I would suggest anyone considering shelling out the big bucks for a mannequin or dress from to at least try the duct tape thing. It will be much closer to your actual shape than any dress form you could buy, and it's not very expensive (I spent about $50 Canadian and it took one afternoon/evening to do it.)You can use the freebie instructions (which I did) or purchase the more detailed ones from the site above (the detailed instructions include pics.)Good luck and happy fitting!

          4. Gaelen_G | | #8

            *I will definitely go for the duct-tape double next time around. I found that the dressmaker's models you can buy just aren't accurate enough. I got one that adjusts out to different bust, waist, back length, and hip measurements, something I thought would make it very accurate. But it wasn't accurate enough... for example, the form has very small breasts, so when I adjusted it out for my bust size the model ended up with a big wide barrel chest with two tiny boobs sitting on top of it. I ended up adjusting it smaller and putting an old, stuffed bra on it! :) The truth is, if you really want it to look exactly like you, enough to fit clothes on it, you need to make it yourself.

          5. Gwen_Frazier | | #9

            *Fabulous Fit has an pretty good dress form if you are willing to pay the price. You can match body shapes utilizing the extra pieces they provide. Their website is in the magazine. Good luck!

          6. lin_hendrix | | #10

            *Hi Debi Jean, You should try searching the archives on this topic. There has been loads and loads of stuff posted about dress forms.--lin

          7. L_Hutch | | #11

            *I just finished doing the brown paper tape form twice...no breathing problems...it does not need to be that tight. The finished forms are very accurate...within an inch at bust and hips, but we could not get the waist to cinch in as tight. The first one came out 5" bigger than me, that's why we did a second one.On the second, I put a leather belt on and cinched it up after each layer of tape. Even at that, the waist is about 2" bigger than I am...still good enough for my purposes.I found the article on the Threads web page very instructive, then I also found good instructions in the book Sewing for Plus Sizes and the author included a source for the paper tape which is hard to find. It needs to be the old fashioned brown paper tape you must wet with water. It dries like papier mache...nice and hard, requires no stuffing at all, and is very light in weight. It took about 3/4 of a 600 ft roll to tape me. I ordered 4 rolls for a delivered cost of $26. I am very pleased with my 2 "Xena Warrior Princess" forms. :-)

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