How to Make a Custom Dress Form
Do you wish you had one of these, but don't want to pay for it?
If you want to make your own clothes, a dress form will make the job much easier! If you're designing them yourself or making your own patterns this tool is priceless!!! Although you can buy dress forms in different sizes, you'll pay somewhere around $100 for one, and chances are, you aren't proportioned exactly like the form is. Having a custom dress form that shaped like YOU are allows you to do the fitting on your own clothes. Apparently there's a kit available to make a plaster mold of yourself to make a custom dress form for around $175.
Here's how you can make your
own custom dress form, shaped like YOU are, for around $10...
Saran Wrap OR a tight t-shirt & leggings
Duct tape (I used 2 rolls)
Cotton stuffing (I used 3 16oz packages)
A husband (just remind him you're saving him $175 by doing this!)
OR an unsuspecting girlfriend or family member
First, make a quick
trip to the bathroom! Trust me :)
Next, your assistant will need to wrap you up w/ saran wrap OR you can wear a tight t-shirt & shorts or leggings. Just realize that what ever clothes you're wearing need to be skin tight- extra wrinkles add inches to the finished dress form. Also, whatever clothes you wear will end up being cut off so pick some you're happy to scrap (or use saran wrap). If you don't have a tight t-shirt you can cut a slit in the back of a loose t-shirt, and duct tape it together so it is tight.
Now grab your roll of duct tape and a good sense of humor and start taping! Start by using diagonal strips for the chest area, but don't tape too tight here in order to preserve your shape! Complete the remainder of the first layer with vertical strips.
Next, do a second layer and put the tape on in a different direction than the first layer. Do a tight, horizontal layer around the waist and hips.
Eye ball it, and be sure you're wrapped pretty evenly. You can do a third layer which will make the form a bit stronger.
Put a horizontal piece around the bottom as evenly as you can, to serve as a cutting guide for the base of the mannequin.
Cut around the base, using your horizontal tape as a guideline. Try to keep it parallel to the floor. It's easier to get the bottom even now than it will be once you've cut it off.
Very carefully, cut off the duct tape, from top to bottom, down the back. Aaaaahhhh, take a deep breath and be happy we don't wear corsets anymore!
Now put a piece of tape, sticky side up, underneath one side of the open back, and tape the back together from the inside. This will be a temporary hold while you do the stuffing.
Stuff the inside just enough that it holds its shape (I used 2 of the three bags of stuffing I had at this point). Now compare the mannequin's measurements to yours. This will give you an idea how tightly you should tape the back shut. If the measurements are right on, great! Tape the back up, lining it up perfectly. If her measurements are slightly larger in areas, then slightly overlap the two back sides to compensate when taping her back closed.
Once your mannequin is taped up securely, then finish stuffing her full.
When you're done stuffing, then carefully tape up the openings (arms, neck & base) taking care to preserve their shape.
You should re-measure again, and if she is any bigger than you are, then you can slightly take in certain areas by carefully using some more tight tape.
If you want, you can mount your mannequin on an old lamp stand.
This is a good time to add style lines to your mannequin.