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Making a custom fit dress form

 
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Eventually, if I am going to keep doing this sewing thing, I'm going to need a dress form that matches my shape.  My shape is... not standard.  Also, dress forms are hugely expensive.  

I could make my own.

Here are some ideas
general information about making your own dress form https://www.threadsmagazine.com/2008/10/24/clone-yourself-a-dress-form
paper tape - https://www.threadsmagazine.com/2008/10/24/paper-tape-dress-form

https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Mannequin

I'm a bit worried about using duct tape as I have a friend who got quite sick from the fumes.  But it is an option.  

The paper tape idea is very interesting to me as I have a few rolls I bought when I was experimenting with different packaging options after my Kickstarter.  It didn't work out (mostly because it arrived a month after I finished my shipping) but it might do the trick.  I'm not sure if I'm going to keep sewing enough to be worth making one of these, but then again, not having a dress form is probably the reason why I don't sew enough.  

Anyway, let's chat about making our own dress forms.  
 
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There is a plaster permeated gauze tape of some sort that might work? I think that is what is used for these castings for the treasured chest program

I used something like that for masks in a group project once but I'm not sure where the gauze was ordered from?  It was easy because we just dipped the dry gauze in warm water and it was good to go.

It might be you could cut strips of gauze or muslin maybe and dip into a thin plaster  like we do paper mache strips?
and then slip a stretchy knit cover over the whole thing in order to have something to pin to...

My old form, who I called Adele, was some kind of heavy fiber stuff and covered with a stretchy fabric.  

...what about fiber glass? seems like you  can get it in some kind of layering fiber stuff?

or, paper mache itself?

 
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Paper tape would do well, or masking tape. I have used duct tape for large forms, because it's wide, you use less mileage than masking tape. Never had paper tape around to mess  with. Something that helps: get a bunch of tissue paper, crinkle it, and tape it on first, then cover with the tape, makes it come off easy and be easy to work with. I've always just stuffed my tape up with something to use it as a form, and put a stretchy shirt/pants on it for pinning. I have thought that if I made one again, I'd give it a wire skeleton, and put it on a stand. My body shape shifts a lot, so I never bothered to make a full one for myself. I did make a quick and dirty full one for someone who I was making an elaborate costume for, it survived that, but wasn't worth keeping at that point. It was deliberately lame work, as I only needed it for a month or so. The costume was mailed to her, and fit perfectly!  
 
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I likes this one, as they cleverly put seams to make it easy to take off, though their method wasnt the greatest for making the exterior a good likeness.

 
r ranson
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I made a form of someone I was dating.  She wore a sacrificial t-shirt and close-fitting shorts. I used duct tape because it can hold up to the stress and will last longer.  I wrapped her up like a mummy, paying close attention to contours.  When the taping was complete I carefully cut the shorts and t-shirt away straight up the back until she could step out of it.  Then we stuffed it with used plastic shopping bags that I'd been storing for years.  I made it a few years ago and it has held up.  I did put a cardboard tube up the leg so it would be easier to prop up on a stand at her correct height.

20200830_175011.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20200830_175011.jpg]
 
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Pearl Sutton
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Glanced at a bit of the video, I don't know about anyone else, but my breasts aren't shaped like that. I have a very hard time finding bras that fit, no way I could make a shape like that that actually matches me. I think I'd make a torso, and put on it a bra that fits me well, and stuff it correctly. That would be the easiest way to make it fit me. Leave the straps adjusted just as I wear it, so it's in the exact position that is known to work. then things I drape on there might fit me well.
 
r ranson
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If you already have a dress form, here's a class on how to customize it to your shape: https://www.craftsy.com/class/fitting-essentials-customize-your-dress-form/
 
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One of my hobbies is paper mache and I've replicated objects by covering them with strips, letting it dry, and separating the form.  Unfortunately it would be uncomfortable to stand in front of a fan for a day or two while waiting for a body form to dry.  You could use the paper tape, masking tape, or duct tape in layers to replicate the basic shape, cut from the body, and then stuff with newspaper or plastic bags to sturdy it before adding plaster cloth or paper mache.  One trick is applying the first layer of tape with the sticky side out so it will be easier to remove.  For paper mache, brown paper is much more substantial than newspaper and will add sturdiness with each layer.  I often alternate between newspaper and brown paper layers on large objects.  I generally do a minimum of six layers and up to ten on large projects.  Paper towels also work well as a final layer since they can be smoothed out.  Also you will get a nicer finish if the edges of your strips are torn instead of cut.
 
r ranson
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another style of making a dress form

 
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