Duct Tape Dress Form Part 2

Supplied Needed and the Stand

I have talked about duct tape and stuffing and on to the rest of the supplies needed.

Duct tape sticks to your skin! You will need to cover your body. Some use trash bags and others use T-Shirts. I prefer to use a Turtleneck and find nice ones at the thrift stores. If using a t-shirt, you cut the sleeves off and use around your neck… I don’t like to do this because taping the sleeve to the neck of a t-shirt in my opinion just doesn’t hold up as well if placing on a stand. The sleeve represents the turtleneck.

You will need at least one T-Shirt if taping to the hip and 2 if taping down to the mid thigh.

As you tape the fabric of the T-Shirt pulls up so the shirt you are wearing bunches up and is now around your hip.

You will cut the shirt off under the arms so that it becomes a skirt, just place it over the bottom of the other shirt and keep taping. Again purchase your shirts from the thrift store, rip off your husband’s favorite shirt that you can’t stand any more but don’t spend a lot of money as it will be cut and hidden under the tape. If you look in the men’s section, you can find new shirts for about $1.00.

So far you need, duct tape, stuffing, at least 2 T-shirts..3 if you are going to make it longer then hip level.. or 1 Turtleneck and 1-2 T-Shirts.

Now the Stand….

Decide if you want to make a double that sits on the table, no stand or if you are going to make a stand. The advantage of sitting on a table is you don’t have the added expense of a stand and the disadvantage is it makes it hard to fit longer dresses or blouses.

To keep the double stand straight whether it sits on a table on on a stand, you need a ‘t’ structure inside. This is made from a vertical cardboard tube, PVC, a mic stand or ?. You will need the cross piece of the ‘t’. The shoulders rest on this part and you will need shoulder pads or tape stuffing the it so it is padded. I have used pants hangers so the hanger fit inside the double. It can’t be wider then you are. I have cut 2” pvc and cut it to fit. I bought a little hacksaw and with a little patience, you can cut through it in no time. You will need to tape the crossbar to the vertical pole and it will take a bit of tape to get it not to wiggle.

There are several types of stands. Some use a microphone stand, some utilize a Christmas tree base and PVC pipe fixed in the stand and still others have really creative ideas for stands. I made a stand with wheels I can roll around.

I helped a lady make a double… I being the sucker and she used a microphone stand. Her complaint was the stand wouldn’t stay up. Her husband had tightened it really tight yet as she worked on it, it slipped down. The form was around the part that needed to be tightened. Fortunately, she cut her form open and taped the stand in place and it no longer slides.. Not everyone will have this problem but something to consider. Knowing that this could be a problem, Duct tape the stand so it won’t slide down.

The Christmas Tree stand can be found at thrift stores around Christmas, I even saw one on the side of a country road for 6 months before it finally disappeared. If you use PVC, it need to be at least 3 inches in diameter. Two inch PVC just isn’t strong enough and will bend

You could use galvanized pipe back in the plumbing department, but it is heavy and very expensive. I use this for my full body half scale dress form and for my pants form. It ran me approx. $40 for my half scale and $70 for my pants form.

If you make a form that sits on the table and you decide you need a stand for it, you can use a bar stool. Again, look for one in the thrift store, ask for one on freecycle.org or if worse comes to worse you can buy one. Wheels can be added.

I made my own stand using a toilet flange. They are under $5 at a hardware store, look for the black pvc isle. They come in 3 or 4 inch which means that is the size pipe that will fit into it. The black or white pvc will come in 10-12 foot lengths. Ask the sales person to cut it to the height you need. I need 5 feet. You pay for the full length and will walk out with two pieces. They may charge you $0.50 cents they may not for the cut.

Toilet Flange turned so that the ring with the holes is down against the wood.

ABS sewer pipe it does come in white

A wood round called a stain grade round- lumber department. It is 1 inch thick, smoothly sanded so it can be left alone, stained or painted. I purchased the 17 3/4″ but it says 18″, but it also comes in 24”. There is more stability in the larger round.

wood round

You will need screws to screw the toilet flange to the wood round.

If you want wheels, you will need to decide what kind of wheels you want, some come with screws. Since I go from bare floor to carpet, I chose casters. Great on carpet but does roll freely on the floor, I keep my foot on the round!

If you choose this method, you will want the pipe to be as tall as you are from the top of your neck to the floor. When measuring full length dresses or skirts, you will measure to the top of the wood round. If you add wheels…. it is like wearing 3” heels!

Well, pretty close anyway.


Duct Tape Dress Form Part 1

It can be called a Duct Tape Dress form, Duct Tape Dummy, and Duct Tape Double

I have decided to split this into several articles so it doesn’t get boring and I can add photos.

If you are sewing for yourself, at some point you will want a dress form. I have had several and my favorite is a duct tape double. It is cheap to make but you do need someone to wrap you which takes about 2 hours.
So you find a Sucker I mean friend or husband, or Mom to do the wrapping. Once you have your double, it makes it so easy to fit yourself, stand back and see what needs altering, it makes it easy to adjust the pattern and then sew.

I recommend if you are sewing for one of the kids or husband to make a double of them, even though children change quite rapidly, it is worth the 2 rolls of duct tape and 2 hours once a year so you can keep sewing and they never have to try it on… and say… ‘I’m busy’, ‘owie the pins are pokey’ or ‘not now I am doing my homework’ – <– the only time I hear this is when I needed to do a fitting!
Really small children are too wiggly to be taped, their bodies are straight up and down which makes it so easy to sew for them. Husbands are hard to talk into getting wrapped in duct tape, I have a solution which I will talk about much later.

Duct Tape comes in a rainbow of colors; silver, blue, red, purple, green, brown, white, hot pink and bright orange, and more! See them at: http://www.duct-tape.com/ Duct tape comes in two size rolls, 20 yards and 60 yards.

I would say if you have to have a color… buy the large roll of silver (as an example) at the cheaper price then spend the money on your final wrap in the color of your choice to save money. Silver on a 60 yard roll at a hardware store (HomeDepot or Lowes) is cheaper then a color on a 20 yard roll at Wal-Mart. I do want to add, do not buy cheap tape! Buy a sturdy tape be it Duct Tape or another brand… do not buy it from the dollar store! These cheap tapes do not offer the stiffness or thickness of Duct tape. The cheap brands glue just doesn’t hold up and the thin tape doesn’t hold the shape of the person your are taping.

How much tape you will need depends on your size and the size of the rolls you purchased and how many layers of tape you use, as well as how far down you tape, and did you make arms for your dress form. You can always buy more tape then you may need and return the unopened rolls for a refund. I wrapped my daughter who is a size 3 in ready to wear or a size 10 in patterns, it took me 120 yards of tape, I did 4 wrappings. Three wrappings on the body and the final or 4th once it was stuffed.

I suggest using tape closer to your skin color. Using colors such as purple because purple is your favorite color, then making purple clothing… often times doesn’t make the garment look good because the purples clash and are not complimentary. You stand back and don’t like the garment when in reality it is beautiful. This means don’t let the kids any where near the store when buying duct tape! ROFL!!! I told my daughter, ‘if you want hot pink, you buy it, I will wrap you, but you are sewing your own clothing because that color is too hard on my eyes.’ She choose white. I wish they had tan available back then, white is bright. I have yet to tape over it in tan.

You will need to stuff your double. I have read people using old clothes, pillows, and other stuff… but honestly, pillow or stuffed animal stuffing is $1.97 a bag. It is light, easy to stuff in all the rounded places a dress form has and makes it light weight. Again, if you purchase too much, save the receipt.. the unused stuffing you can always return.

Don’t put arms on your dummy, it makes it too hard to pull anything over the top. You can make arms that can be removed or added as needed. I will cover this in much later in the article.

Next is the supplies you will need and a bit on stands.