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Making a dress form

thimbles1260 | Posted in Fitting on

A while back some of you mentioned that you were going to try making the dress form in the August issue of SewNews.  How did it go?


  1. sewcrazy_mn | | #1

    I had a go at a duct tape double, not exactly the one from Sew News, but rather using the general idea from several different sets of instructions. First off, I used a "new" duct tape - multi purpose vinyl from 3M - not a good choice. Too soft. I had my significant other "tape" me. Also not a good choice - we had issues with following instructions (he doesn't read them, and doesn't like to follow mine...). I do have a sort of useable form, good enough to pin fit patterns to, better than nothing, until I can talk a girlfriend into helping make a paper tape double.

    My second go will be with paper tape, and will be done when the temps are below 80 F (27 c for the rest of the world).

    ~Lori in MN

  2. ladysmith | | #2

    Making a dressform that fits is a wonderful project and the articles in the sewing magazines are great inspiration but harder to put into reality than print.  I've made a form with "butcher" tape (paper that you wet then apply).  Standing there while my friend tried to dry me with a hairdryer was entertaining but not too successful.  The giggling room caused the form to be larger than me and therefore not useful!  The new article using the duct tape looks encouraging but I haven't had time to try it yet.

    One of the local department stores was changing all of their manequins and had them up for sale for $10 each.  I bought one...a torso on a stand...and am in the process of sewing a gingham shell from a "personal fit pattern" (all the major pattern companies have one).  I plan on using batting and stuffing to fill the gaps (and there will be many) to fill the shell just as I fill it.  Has anyone else tried this?

    Fitting pants and skirts is really easy now with the help of the Palmer/Pletsch patterns and books and the more I practice the better I get.  What I really need is a form for the top...not just for fit but to enable me to get a bit more creative.  Happy sewing!


    1. WandaJ | | #3

      Just today I raised the question in the General Discussion area (I think) about members' experiences padding an existing dress form.  Please share the results of your experience with the new mannequin as I'm sure some of the techniques would be the same as for padding a dress form that doesn't quite fit the sewist.


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