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My Twin Dress Forms

Allie | Posted in Fitting on

All –

I am interested in any opinions/experience anyone has had with the dress and pants forms that can be obtained at this website:  www.mytwindressform.com  They will sell you kits for a do-it-yourself project, or for quite a bit more $$$ they will custom make one for you.

I have one of the standard-issue dress forms, which is most certainly not my double or twin!  (A padded bra helped, but her derriere is quite a bit flatter than mine, so I put her in the closet.)  The concept and photos at the above website are pretty convincing, but since the kit for the traditional dress form is almost $200 before shipping, I’d like to know a little more about it before trying it out myself.

I appreciate any input.   Thanks, Allie


  1. Marion6422 | | #1

    Would a padded apron for the rear help?

  2. FitnessNut | | #2

    You may also want to consider the padding sets from Fabulous Fit. They consist of a set of contoured pads designed to flesh out a dressform and make it replicate your body, as well as two stretch knit covers that hold them in place. With the second cover on, you can barely tell it is padded. Now, they aren't cheap, but they are less expensive than the alternative you are considering. Not to mention that they are infinitely variable if your shape changes. I use this system on a professional size 8 mannequin and have used the pads and bodywrap (basically a shaped batting to wrap around the form) to fit clients up to size 18.

    I believe their website is http://www.fabulousfit.com


  3. SkiNsew | | #3

    I also have struggled with the dress form problem.  I finally decided to just take my cheap form and spend time to get it padded as close to the "real me"  as possible.  My thinking was that any form that creates an exact replica of you is good only for the moment.  Any changes in body form due to weight changes or aging will make the form "wrong".  If  you do decide to go for one of the more expensive forms I suggest you consider the ability to make changes for the future.


  4. SewNancy | | #4

    I just made an inexpensive dressform by the duct tape method which Threads gave directions for.  It is pretty good, but the foam filled plaster bandage method is definitely going to be more accurate.   But, it really helps to have a form that imitates your posture and this inexpensive form does do that.


  5. Elisabeth | | #5

    I have an old dressform that I got at a yardsale for $5. She has the same kind of body type as me but is not quite the right size, she's smaller. I plan to one of these days make a padded cover for her. I have a book called "Fitting Your Figure" with Threads articles that describe how to make one using fusible interfacing and cotton batting then draping a muslin cover over that. The three articles are from Threads December 1992, February 1993, and August 1993. The price is certainly right. I wonder if anyone has tried this?

    1. Iris_Colo | | #6

      I have an old display manequin that is smaller than I am.  I put two of my old workout, tank-suit with shorts outfits on her and put the batting in between the two suits to pad her out.  The only real problem is the shoulders but I've managed to wedge some quilt batting under the sleeve straps and it stands out far enough now. 

      Hope you know the kind of workout clothing I'm speaking of.  Think of the male track runners in the Olympics and you've got it.

      1. Elisabeth | | #7

        That is the funniest image! It gave me a good laugh. What a great idea! I know exactly what your are talking about. I have worked in the fitness industry for 18 years and have worn my share of lycra everything so I'm sure I have something suitable around to try out your method with. What kind of batting do you use? I've had my eye out for cotton batting since it wouldn't squish as much as poly, but maybe with a stretchy suit it wouldn't matter.

      2. FitnessNut | | #8

        Imaginative solution! For the shoulders, have you considered doctoring up some shoulder pads to replicate your shape?

  6. Elinor_McD | | #9

    I bought the MyTwin kit 10 years ago (when it was reasonably priced) and with my husband's help, made a copy of myself. It worked GREAT -- until I changed two dress sizes. I liked it so well I went to their website to see about getting another kit and was shocked to see what the current price is. Since I still have the instruction booklet I'm considering simply getting the raw materials on my own (rolls of plaster bandages and the 2-part expanding foam), or I will simply do a better job of padding out my old "mytwin".

    1. SewNancy | | #10

      YOu don't haave to go to the mess of the 2 part foam, you can get it in a can get it in a can at a hardware or lumber yard.  It is a lot easier to use and is pretty cool to use.


      1. carolfresia | | #11

        Nancy, did you have trouble getting that canned foam to fill the form completely? I would be concerned about air bubbles or empty spaces forming as you spray it into the plaster cast.


        1. thirdnorn | | #12

          My dress form is one I made out of duct tape with the directions from a Threads article- she's not the prettiest thing in the world, but all it cost me was $10 for the old-fashioned dressmakers form at the Good Will (it's got a cast iron stand- I'm so lucky!) and a few rolls of duct tape.

          My mom and I had a BALL getting me all wrapped up to make the duct tape shell (she still giggles whenever I mention my 20 minute stint as "Xena- Duct-tape warrior!"). After I hung the shell over the existing form (I bashed off any parts that were bigger than me) and taped it shut and stuffed it with some spare batting, I had the best form ever. Every little glitch of my figure is faithfully shown -gulp!- and the clothes I made with "Mademoiselle C'est' Moi" has fit PERFECTLY.  

          I would recommend to anyone that they save their money and do either the duct tape or foam mold form for themselves.

          1. Alexandra | | #14

            Note: dispite my forum name, I am female.

            I made a form 20 odd years ago with paper packing tape.  You put a tube of thin cotton knit on your body, a fexible metal strip along your spine from neck to bottom (this is to get you released) and then someone (DH) wets the short cuts of tape (it's glued on one side) and applies this all over your body making you essentially a paper mache piece.  It helps to have more than one person applying the tape because it goes faster, but I only had DH.  As the tape dries it shrinks some, and as I was standing for some time as my fastidious DH papered me.  I started to feel clastraphobic and then started to faint!  We waddled me to the bed and flopped my down to recover but had to cut me out right away.  This is where the metal strip comes in, he uses an exacto knife to cut through the paper casting down my back, pressing against the metal and hopefully not going off course and slitting me open.  More fainting at the thoughts of this.  Upshot, I got cut free without mishap and have a lovely replica of my beautiful, svelte self which DH built a base for.  I haven't been, nor will ever be that size again and have recently been contemplating how to puff her out to be off use to me again.  May have to revisit the Threads articles on making manniquins.

          2. SewNancy | | #15

            I did the duct tape form, and  have done it 3 times now as I have lost a lot of weight.  It is not perfect, but you don't have to wait for it to dry..  But if you did the paper tape type again I would suggest you get bandage scissors.  I don't  find the form perfect, but it is definitely cheap, especially since I reused the stuffing.  But it does really show all figure faults and posture well.  It really helps with fitting a paper pattern and doing the back of clothing.


          3. Scooter1 | | #16

            I had SO much fun reading your post. Thanks

          4. carobanano | | #17

            I have a duct tape form of myself.....unfortunately, it isn't too accurate. It's difficult to strike the balance between wrapping styles: not too tight so you don't distort the figure, but not too loose so that it ends up too big. I was on the too loose side, unfortunately!

          5. SewNancy | | #18

            Having done both too large and too small it is easier to add padding to the smaller one and add another layer of tape.  Also, can slit with a knife and use tape to pull it in where it is too big.


          6. donasews | | #19

            Thanks for giving me a good laugh. I have wanted to do the duct tape 'thing'

            for a long time now, so it's good to find out that it really works. But I think I'll have my one of my daughters help me. My DH is not very good a such things.Let you know how it comes out

        2. SewNancy | | #13

          I have not used it on dress form .  I have used it only outdoors when installing waterfalls on ponds.


      2. jyang949 | | #20

        About the spray-on foam: What do I ask for at the store? Do you remember the brand name, too?


        1. SewNancy | | #21

          It is called foam sealant and it is not really spray on.  It is like an aerosol shaving soap  that expnds as you press on the nozzle.  Usually comes with a narrow tube to attach to the nozzle so that you can get into crevices.  Cool stuff.  Really expands alot.  People use it to seal leaks in walls.  A Home Depot or a Lowes should have it or a large hardware store.


          1. upholsteress | | #22

            Thank you all for your input. In Oct/Nov of 2004 Thread had a article on making a pants pattern from duct tape.

            I have a dress form, but it does not have the right bulges. I am going to try to make a dress form of my body to put over my dress form to get an accurate fit. My friend is visiting from NY so she is going to tape me up. I'll let you know the outcome

          2. Roznos | | #24

            I, too, have dress form that I love using, unfortunately my curves don't completely match the the dress form!  I have found that padding my dress in the areas where I have more padding helps me to get a better fit for the garments I'm sewing.  I use quilt batting for this padding.  It surely isn't the best solution - having a custom dress form would be; however, for me that is cost prohibitive.  I learn this trick from a Textile Musuem designer who built dress forms for textile exhibits.  After she padded the dress form she even covered the dress form with a flesh covered knit fabric.  Good luck with building your form.  I love using my dress form - I wonder how I sewed all those years without one!

  7. MaryAnn | | #23

    Allie,  I've done the mytwin pant form and couldn't begin to tell you what a help it's been.  While the cost seems high, it is a very labor intensive process to have one made (either doing it yourself or having it custom done).  I did mine during a workshop held when a few friends got together and brought Lynda to VA to work with us.  We split the costs of her airfare, she stayed with one of us, and then we all paid for whichever form we were doing. 

    I tried to help someone with the duct tape double once, and it worked for a while, but lost it's shape over time.  I've seen others with the brown paper tape doubles and it seemed to hold it's shape better.  With either version, you need patience. 

    The real sticking point, no matter which version of custom form making you employ, is the ability to keep an open mind and recognize the form you get may not be the form you want---i.e., it's going to reflect your body not the body you want to have!


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