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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DIY Dress Form

If I were the crime committing type, now would be the time to do it.  I say that because I have no fingerprints left on my fingers.  In fact, I don't think I have much skin left either!

This all started when I purchased my mom an online class from Craftsy.   Hopefully, I'll get a broomstick lace cardigan out of it ;)

It was proving difficult for her to get her measurements correct so I suggested making her own dress form.  I had seen them on other websites.  They range from simple tape mannequins to paper mache masterpieces.

In order to complete the duct tape mannequin I had dreamed up, mom had to run some errands on her own since I was working.  She came across this nice hat/coat rack at a thrift store and snagged it... perfect for the stand.

The next thing was making a tube for the middle of the form.  Since we didn't have a mailing tube, or even a wrapping paper tube, we made our own out of two potato chip cans and a creamer container.
Plenty of duct tape (the good brand) keeps it together.
Next, we dressed mom in garbage bag attire to keep the tape off her clothes and skin.  She was wearing a tank top and leggings to keep the form from being too bulky.
Then, the taping begins.  We crossed her heart (bra style) and kept going and going and going.  Not quite like the energizer bunny (did I mention that I worked last night and I am running on fumes with no sleep).

More taping.  We made sure the shoulders were sturdy.
We taped her neck last since she said she was a little tight in there.  Didn't need an emergency...

 This may just be a new fashion statement.
Now we get to cut it off
 I carefully cut up the back.  She acted like she trusted me.  I tried to be careful not to cut her clothes.  I cut through the plastic bag as well as the tape.  I did have a new skin stapler that I could have tried if I had cut her!
 At this point, she could slide it off her shoulders, but you can cut across the top of the back to get it off if the arms are too tight.
We put the tube inside the form.  The top potato chip can metal end was left in place and a hole was punched in it to attach it to the stand.  We used newspaper and phone books to stuff in the form at this point.
 We tried to keep the tube in the middle of the form as we stuffed, and stuffed, and stuffed.  Did I mention that all the ink was rubbing off on our hands.  Yuck!
 The back seam was lined up and more tape was used to mend it back together.
When we stuffed as much as we could, we cut a piece of cardboard for the bottom and, you guessed it, taped some more.  Now you know why I don't have fingerprints anymore!  Duct tape is sticky!

This is what we have so far... So, it seems as if our mannequin has developed a belly button and it won't go away.
 We had plenty of help... A little too much at times.
 Using this spray foam insulation, we filled any gaps or soft spots we had.
 I had to do this outside.  I just took a box blade and made a slit, put the tube in and filled it up.  I did this in several places.
 You may want to wear gloves for this step.

The spray foam will come out the holes.  Don't touch it!  It will stick to you faster than it will stick to anything else.  Just let it dry on the duct tape and then just pull it off.

 We have one of the pieces of the stand off.  It really will not be this short.
Chloe tries to look cute while we work.

We are getting closer.  We have pulled off the foam that leaked out and now we will tape up the holes made to put the foam in.
 The form is complete, now we just need to make it pretty.
Mom wanted a red dress form.  It almost looks orange in the picture, but it is bright red.  We simply just covered up the ugly duct tape with the red.  The pretty duct tapes don't seem as strong so get a good silver one to do the main form, then you can add the pretty stuff.

It needed a little more dressing up, so we added some pizazz to the bottom with zebra striped duct tape.  Yes, my OCD required me to tape a little inside the potato chip can.  It kind of looks like a magic eye picture.
 This step wasn't absolutely necessary; I just couldn't help myself.
Ideally, the form should be your height so you will be able to gauge how long to make skirts, etc.  Mom will be crocheting and using her form to measure tops while she is sitting, so she wanted it shorter.  That's what makes these so neat.  They fit your needs.
 Tada!  Here it is, naked and cute as can be.  We couldn't cut the top of the coat rack off, but she plans on using the top of it to finish off the top of the neck.
 Here's another picture.  It really looks like it has a belly button.  I don't know how to fix that.
 The form spins freely on the stand.

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