Thursday, January 17, 2008

What I did on my winter vacation

No, I didn't volunteer for the crossing guard.

With the help of my sister, we made duct tape doubles of ourselves. I had been wanting a dress form for a while. It's hard to check a garment's fit on one's self and the boyfriend never quite grasped proper tailoring techniques. Thankfully my sister was excited about the idea of making duct tape dress forms so we slotted out a time during the holidays when we both had a few free hours.

Here mine is in her spot in my sewing "room". We used this tutorial but also learned a few tricks along the way through trial and error. If you try this at home, here's my advice:

1. This is a two person project. I assume that's obvious, but just in case...
2. This project took much longer than we both anticipated. Plan to be standing straight and still for at least two hours. Go potty beforehand and wear comfortable shoes (kind of like the advice people give to brides, no?).
3. Scissors are no match for duct tape. It's much easier to just rip and tear it.
4. Use smaller pieces of duct tape. They're much easier to manage and go on smoother over curvy areas.
5. To make the process quicker, rip a bunch of pieces off at a time.
6. To stuff the dress form, use fiberfill. We used newspaper at first but found that it didn't stuff well at all. My dress form took 104 ounces of fiberfill to stuff.
7. We used a wooden curtain rod cut to size and a Christmas tree holder as the base for our forms (the rod goes all the way through the dress form).

I'm so glad to finally have a custom fit dress form. I've already used it on the two projects I've worked on so far in 2008. Here's hoping my shape and size don't change anytime soon!

13 comments:

Tamara said...

I did the same thing over Christmas vacation. I learned a lot of the same things you did. By the time my husband was done taping I was soooo antsy to get it off. It is so nice to have now. You will love yours!

Kloth & Bolt said...

Oh this is so fantastic! I love how it turned out. -kb

cidell said...

Curses. I must attempt one again. Your's look terrific.

christina said...

Neato! How does the dressform actually stay up on the curtain rod? Is there some kind of horizontal bar to hold it up?

Stephanie said...

Good question, Christina. Before we stuffed, we put a wire hanger in the shoulder area after cutting off the loop on the hanger. We then duct taped the hanger to the curtain rod. Next, we stuffed. Then we duct taped the bottom to the curtain rod. Does that make sense? The dress form is pretty light so it stays up fine.

Catherine Slye said...

that's amazing...I was just at the fabric store drooling on the 50% off dressform...this, this is so much better than a $100+ dressform, this I must make!

Chole said...

Very nice. I like how you used white tape rather than the silver. Makes it look more finished without extra work. Using a curtain rod was a good idea too. I ended up with a recycled cardboard carpet tube & tons of plastic bags for mine (magic word, free).

Theresa said...

I did this too, a while back. I decided that mine was way too fat. Must have stuffed it too much, ha-ha!! Decided I really didn't want to see myself all bumpy and naked in my sewing room, so I trashed the evil twin.

kayla_d said...

I'm so glad to hear that someone tried this--I was wondering how well it would work. My hesitation in sewing more clothes (other than skirts) for myself is because of the fit issue. This would make it so much easier, and I could feel like a contestant on Project Runway!

Brenda said...

A friend of mine and I are wanting to get back into sewing after years being away. We have thought of making these dress forms. Thanks for the tips! Yours looks great.

Breanna said...

I just found your blog, and had to comment~ I did this same project with my husband a while back, and was horrified to see how poor my posture was. I had to trash it. We do have some pretty funny pictures though...

Jessie said...

You did a wonderful job on your duct tape double! I am researching everyone's instructions today and hope to learn from all of them. Maybe I will be as brave as you all and display my form on MY blog LOL My blog is VERY new (in fact, not quite finished!) I still have much to do but will post my blogspot on my website as soon as it's presentable! Tata and happy sewing ~

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