Most people go shopping the day after Thanksgiving– the retail industry refers to this day as “Black Friday”.
My new-found cousin (who joined us for Thanksgiving, introducing us to “Tofurkey” and it’s accompanying amino acid, Tofurkifan) and I made a duct tape dressform on the day after Thanksgiving– giving birth to a new holiday, “Silver Friday”.
I love to create wearable art, especially Wild Onion Jackets or even altered sweatshirts! I was given a dressform by a friend who moved away. It was a wonderful gift, but it wasn’t really my shape. After learning about this method to re-create your own body shape using old tee-shirts and duct tape (link) I decided that this was the perfect way to introduce this new-found relative to the craziness that is my family. (Please, if you meet relatives via the internet, be sure to vet them carefully before meeting them in person, or you too could be sucked into a bizarre situation like dressmaking dummies! Fortunately for me, Michelle didn’t vet my family!!)
So, without further ado, here is a tutorial on how to make a duct tape dress form, complete with the day’s photos!
First step, choose an old tee shirt that kind of fits. You will be cutting it up, so don’t choose a shirt you love! We cut up the back so that we could then re-tape the shirt to make it tight. You want to avoid excess fabric which creates wrinkles, which creates added inches on the finished dress form.
We re-taped the shirt to fit my figure a bit more snugly.
We (and I really mean Michelle– I just stood there, absorbing the humiliation!) criss-crossed my breasts with tape…oh, look! a Playtex living bra!
Continue wrapping your breast area using diagonal strips of tape. Make sure you don’t squish yourself!
Here you see the finished first layer– wrapped vertically from neck to micro mini. (***IMPORTANT NOTE!!! Do not– NOT– think that it’s a good idea to wear a pair of leggings for your bottom layer! It is NOT a good idea– how the heck do you think you’re going to get yourself out of this outfit at the end???!!! Please know that here I am serving as a horrible warning, not a good example! Wrap a plastic bag or another piece of old tee shirt in a skirt form. Muuuuuch better idea.)
We initially thought we’d make a short-sleeved dressform, so we (again, with the “we”. Michelle did all the work, and I just stood there.) If you think you’ll make a short-sleeved dressform, cut up your sleeve and re-tape it to snug up against your arm. We ended up cutting off the sleeve for the final dressform, but who knew?
I’m pointing to the beginnings of the horizontal wrapping layer. You need to pull the waist tight– don’t add pounds to your figure, unless it’s with chocolate. Chocolate is much more fun than duct tape. You can see how much excess we got with that first vertical layer– see the gathers at my waist? Cinch it in, Miss Scarlett!
Hooray– we’re almost finished! See how much, um, curvier I am compared to the dressform? At that point, I felt like I was in a full length girdle. Thank goodness we don’t wear corsets anymore– this is not comfortable!
Okey dokey. Now we’re done with the duct tape…and it’s time to cut me out. This is where we had that sinking feeling….how do we cut me out of the PANTS??? No one’s been near me down south with a sharp instrument since I had my c-sections. How well do I know Michelle? Is she trust-worthy? Shoot– I didn’t vet her, either. Deep breath, close eyes, CUT!!
TA DA!! Here we are– Susan and Suzette. We re-taped the duct tape dress form over the original dress form, adding stuffing as needed to pad the duct tape form. We are currently exhausted from all our hard work, but when we recover, we (meaning I– poor Michelle will have escaped by then) will take measurements. By the way, how do you gain 3 pounds from one little Thanksgiving meal??? Oh, I digress.
I had never seen a duct tape dress form put on top of an existing dress form, so I thought it might prove helpful to post a how-to for those of you with an existing dress form which didn’t fit your personal body stats! If you don’t have a dress form, there are other ways to “stuff” the duct tape form: expanding insulation foam, craft batting/stuffing/foam bits, etc. You will also need something to use as a center post stand: I wonder if you could salvage an old table lamp? Try it and let me know!
I can’t wait to use the new dress form to help me out when I make my altered wearable art, or better yet, my Wild Onion Jackets. I think it will prove invaluable to learn where NOT to place certain appliques, how best to accentuate my better figure attributes, etc. The dress form will come in handy when I make all the new Wild Onion Jackets to show during the classes I will be teaching at Quilting with Machines!
So, statistics: about 3 rolls of duct tape, one old tee shirt, one pair leggings (but you’ll be wiser than that), one unsuspecting relative, one digital camera, one afternoon, one bottle of wine. Two good senses of humor. One blog.
Addendum: I went out to measure me/my dressform. The dressform is about 1 to 1.5″ bigger than I am– I will try to re-wrap her, cinching her in a bit. Either that, or I need to start eating more to gain the extra inch on my body so we match…