My New BFF - In Duck Tape!

Ever since my last Washi Dress, I've been thinking that having a dress form might be useful.  I've been looking at all the options and thinking....and finally decided to try the duck tape route.  There are a million different tutorials for making a duct tape dress form, so I won't add anotherBut, I will my general advice based on my experience.
Here are my tips in a nutshell:
  • buy quality tape - and you probably only need 1 roll
  • wear something thin and fitted underneath
  • I used fiberfill to do the chest area and wasn't happy with the results so I went back and filled with plastic bags  
  • don't be afraid to cut her open and refill areas - I did this A LOT
  • take measurements as you fill - my rib cage ended up being too big after filling, so I added more tape to cinch it down
  • use cardboard to stabilize areas - I used cardboard at the base, neck, and armholes 
Overall, I think she came out pretty good.  I'm not thrilled with the chest area, but that's true in real life too, so I guess she's accurate :)  
 I haven't used her for much yet, but I'm happy to have her around, even if it's just for taking pictures of finished garments.  The kids enjoy hugging her too.  It's pretty funny.
 I used this tutorial from Crafterhours to make the cover.  I did mine in a cream color first, but you could see the duct tape through the fabric, so I went back and made another cover out the brown.  It's a little closer to my own skin tone too, so I guess that might be helpful.
My favorite part is the stand.  I bought a 1 inch dowel and some PVC pipe that the dowel could slide in to.  I put the PVC pipe up through the form, slid the dowel in, and used an umbrella stand from Home Depot for the base.  The great part is, it all comes apart for easy storage.  When all was said and done, it cost about $30.  Perfect for my budget.  It didn't take much time either, which fit my needs as well.  I've had my eye on a Uniquely You form, but felt like I wouldn't have the time or patience to really customize it as it requires.

So, do you use a dress form?  
I'm curious to hear about what other sewists are using.


  1. I've seen those tutorials, too, for the duct tape forms. I don't know if I have the patience to do it, but this looks great. I might have to try it after all.

  2. Though she didn't mention it, you MUST have a friend do the taping for you as most of the tutorials advise. Another thing the tutorials advise is to cut a head hole and two arm holes in the smallest trash bag you have, such as a tall kitchen bag or whatever is the appropriate size, before you slip it over your head to cover your body. Then, when it's completely taped, it must be cut up the back (about 2" either to the left or right side of the center back) as straight as it can be cut so that you can remove it. By offsetting the cut to the right or left, you then will have a smooth surface to work on in case you ever have a back zipper in the center. It must then be taped together. After this, check your measurements for accuracy and make the necessary adjustments.

    One last thing I should mention is to wear a well-fitting bra so that your bust points end up in the right place.

    If you haven't seen the tutorials, just Google for Duct Tape Dress Form. There are other methods too so you can Google for DIY dress form.

    Enjoy your creation!