taking shape

No costume entry this time but something else I have been working with for a while.

I have dreamed of a dressing-form for some while already, and not just A dress-form but one that would be my own shape and size(I have a tad longer back and larger bosom than what a standard dressform would have). I've been fantasizing about how much easier it would be to make patterns especially for the backside, because you know, it's not very easy to try to draft a pattern on yourself with the help of a mirror... So I decided to try to make one myself.

The net is full of tutorials of how to make a duct tape form, and that's what I tried first too. But duct tape is rather soft, it doesn't hold it's shape very well and with time, it will start to droop. It also ended up way bigger than what I am and was pretty useless to tell the truth. My next plan was to make a plaster mold and use it for a glassfiberform. This didn't really work either because the plaster wouldn't harden, and after three hours of standing up covered in plaster strips I had to call it quits. (We tried twice with two different types of plaster). After some research I found a third method which has worked the best so far, and that's using papertape. Papertape(or cardboardtape) is a lot stiffer than duct tape, and will hold it's shape a lot better.
The papertape form was pretty successful, it's not perfect and it would've probably been a bit better if I didn't have to mutilate it a bit in the filling part, but it's rather close to my size and shape. Some of the measurements are exactly the same, some are 1-2cm~ smaller(hips for example), so I need to remember to add ease to my patterns.
Here's how I made my form in case someone is interested :)

You'll need:

- A friend who's not afraid of wrapping you very tightly (important)
- plastic
- duct tape
- paper tape (we managed with one roll)
- scissors
- cardboard
- filling(fiber or insulation foam)
- fabric
(- leg)

Start by covering the model in plastic. It's a good idea to strip to your underwear to avoid any extra bulk from clothing, you don't want the result to end up too big. Next take the duct tape and tape some important spots shown here

But I made a mistake(ops), you should do 2 before 1, so start by finding you waistline, and tape it as tight as you can! This is important because otherwise the form will end up larger than you. Duct tape is best for these because it can take the pressure of pulling a lot better than papertape. If you really want your butt refined as well I think you could also add a line under it : P I kept my legs slightly apart the whole time, so that if you make something tight(like a pencil skirt) there's still some room to move your legs.

After that take the papertape and start covering. Always remember tight, tight, tight! Except around the bosom unless you're planing to only make crossplay costumes. After you're done, cut the form open from the  middle of the back and wiggle out of it, tape back together. Remember to thank your friend for doing all this.

Trim the bottom, armholes, neckhole and bottom straight. Cut cardboards to the neck and arms and tape them to place. Then start filling. This is where my form went a bit downhill, I bought insulation foam for the job, but got a bad can. Most of the foam collapsed on itself, ending up back to sticky brown goo I had to scoop out and it was a mess really but I somehow managed to fix it... Trust me you don't want that to happen. Otherwise I recommend the insulation foam over some fiber, because it's stiff. I didn't want to take my chances again though so the upper half of my form is now filled with insulation foam and the bottom with fiber.

If you want to add a leg, do it in the filling phase. I chose not to add it this time, because living in a small student apartment I don't have much space. I need to just do with a makeshift leg in case I decide I need it to have my height. Finish by taping a cardboard on the bottom.

After that you can start covering it. I chose to just stretch a jersey over the form. If you do, remember to stretch it as tight as possible, you don't want it to droop if you pin anything tad heavier on it. I wrapped the form with the jersey,  handstitched the sideseams and lastly sew ribbon on it to hold the fabric down in places where it just wants to stretch over things straight (boobs). I'll call it finished for now, but when I get my hands on a staple gun I'll staple the fabric down to the sternum.

Haha there you can also actually almost see the first piece I used this on, making the back thingies on the scifi cosplay I just started~


  1. http://masquecosplay.blogspot.fi/2013/04/tuplasti-haastettu.html
    Sinut on haastettu!

    1. Pitääpä vastailla tähän jossain sopivassa välissä :) ..!


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