This weekend I tried making a knock-off top from Jcrew and after hours of hard work went to try it on and realized I had made the armpits way too small. There was no way to salvage it and I decided then and there to spend this weekend making my own dress form.
After following a few different tutorials online however I came up with this…
A dress form with entirely too much junk in her trunk. (The one of the floor is the 2nd try so you can compare, oh and that multi-colored furball is a Sheltie. “Parker” to be exact.)
I think the problem with my first form was from a combination of a few different things…
1) Existing tutorials call for you to wear a long tshirt, this turns out to be a problem though because it adds a lot of bulk to your form.
2) We used several longggg pieces of tape, I basically kept turning while my husband wrapped me in tape. No good. That way makes it close to impossible to get flat lines and you once again add bulk.
3)Overstuffing in the round. Our midsections are actually pretty oblong shaped but when you go to stuff a dress form she’ll fill out in a round shape since she obviously has no bone structure inside to hold the shape.
After some brainstorming here’s the method we found worked best:
2 60yd rolls of duct tape
magazine or newspaper
stuffing (I ripped open 2 ugly throw pillows that were hiding in a guest bedroom)
floor lamp base
For my method we decided we’d get the least bulk if we just wrapped me in cling wrap. Now obviously this will only work if you have someone wrapping you with whom you feel comfortable enough to be in your underwear. If not then try to wear something that clings to your body & that you don’t mind destroying. I also didn’t take pics of this process because, well, I was in my underwear and I don’t think blogger would approve. Can you imagine the people I’d get with pics of a girl in her underwear being wrapped in cling wrap & duct tape?! Ha!
Start by having your helper wrap you from the midthigh up to right under your bustline in cling wrap. Wrap snugly but not so tight as to distort your figure. Then cover your bust, shoulders, back and neck. Once again being careful to not add any additional bulk by pressing down as you go and laying pieces flatly.
Now that you’re wrapped it’s time to start taping. Begin by taping yourself from the bottom up using pieces of tape no longer than around 14″ long. Each one should be laid flat & carefully. Taking your time with the taping will make all the difference with the outcome! Continue wrapping from your thighs up to right under bustline. For the bust start above your breasts, wrap your upper chest, neck, back and shoulders carefully with short pieces. For the actual bust tape one 6″ piece vertically between your breasts, this will help to show the definition between the cups. We made the cups by tearing a piece of tape down the middle so you’re working with thinner strands. Then mold these around each breast…as long as your take your time, use small strips and keep in mind that you’re trying to get a true form of what your bust looks like in a bra you’ll be fine. (Repeat until every part of duct taping is 3 layers thick)
Next you’re going to have your helper mark all of the following areas on you with a contrasting color of tape. Be sure that when you’re marking these “rings” that the back line is the same height as the front line. These will come in handy when you’re working with your form. (Click on image(s) to enlarge it)
Now have them carefully cut you out of the duct tape dress, this should be done in one straight line down the back being careful not to cut any undergarments. (Or skin for that matter)
Next tape the back line back together. We found it easiest to do this from the inside first. Working in 6″ strips stick a piece inside the form and press down on one side, then you can see what you’re doing when you go to press down the other side. You want to make sure you’re sealing her back up evenly! Your contrasting tape rings should help with this. After taping the inside reinforce by placing a strip down the back on the outside.
(see pic of backview at the top of this post)
Next use a small piece of cardboard as a base to seal up the arm & neckholes. Tape over these.
Time to stuff!
I used crunched up balls of magazine pages (newspaper would’ve been even better) to take up most of the space inside the form & then used the foam around that to fill it out and make a smooth finish. After stuffing your lady through the bust you’ll want to stick her on the lamp stand and work the rest of the way by stuffing around the pole first with newspaper and then fluff around that. (If you’d like now would be a good time to make her the same height as you, just keep stuffing or remove stuffing before inserting onto stand until she’s the right height)
Here’s the GENIUS trick my hubby came up with to keep her from filling out too round, cut two pieces of cardboard that are about 2″ wide and the length is going to be the front of your chest. For example from one side of my ribs (just under bust) to the other side if 16″. So each of my cardboard pieces were 2″ by 16″. Cut a line to the center of each piece so they look like this:Next round the corners, insert one into the other & open it up:
Finally you’re going to insert this piece (unopened) into your dress form just under the bustline. Position it horizontally so that it makes a stiff line across the rib space of your dress form, open it up while inside your form and place stuffing in each of the folds to keep it that way. This one piece will make a HUGE difference in keeping your entire dress form more of an oblong shape throughout the midsection and hips. TRUST ME!
Almost done! After you’re done stuffing and are happy with the shape of your form use pieces of cardboard & then tape to seal up the bottom.Done! Whew. Glad that one’s done with and hopefully my mistakes will help you get it right the first time! Duct tape ain’t cheap and Samster has possibly learned a few new choice words from observing mom and this process.
Hope you had a good weekend, tomorrow I’m going to post some pics from my mom’s day out (you’ll never guess what I did!) and then Samster and I are off to Florida for the week! I’ve been stocking up on projects the last few weeks so I’ll have plenty to post while we’re gone.
Talk to you soon!