"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Friday, July 19, 2013

Yes, I've made a paper dress form!

I've been reserching dressforms for a while now. I don't have any help with fitting so it usually involves a mirror and lots of mumbling under my breath. So my solution was a dress form. I can't really fork out a lot of money so I decided to make my own (with a little help from my friend and her cat). I read every blog post, forum comment and website on the subject. Worked out all the dos and don'ts.

It also helped me decide I wanted paper and not duct tape dress form. I also like that paper would be the more vintage/historically authentic way.

Here she is...
Trying to decide on a name I thought maybe Sally or as references to me being in armour were mande during her construction maybe Xena or Bouddica would be more appropriate? ;)

Details of note...
Used 2 layers of paper 3 over the bust area. Used a cheap t-shirt from primark. Drew lines on before cutting out to make it easier to line up when the back is rejoined. Its handy to have someone who knows how to cut of bandages and plaster casts on the other end of the scissors. You CAN eat dinner while in the 'cast' (its tricky but possible). If I do it again need another layer on hips so it doesn't crumple when stood on its base*. The top of the cast dries quickest so I would recommend hanging the drying dress form like I have by the shoulders.
It took 1 roll of 36mmx35meter roll per layer and approx 2.5hours in total. I only had 2 rolls.
I measured it and its aprox. an inch out. That's fine for me as I like a bit of ease. at least I know if something is snug on the dress form it will fit me with breathing space.

Next I need to stuff the dress form. Mount it somehow (maybe use a hanger as I don't have a stand?) and then I'm going to paint and varnish it. I have some modge podge which I hope will do the job.

*You can see the crumple in the photo.


  1. Great job on the dress form! I've been looking into creating one as well, but so far haven't jumped into it. I like your paper version, probably also less scary when you're making it compared to a duct tape version. When you make it and put the paper on, will it be adjustable for a few seconds before it stays? I'm worried with duct tape I'll panic when it's too tight with no room for adjustment.

    1. I waited till it was dry but not bone dry before being cut out. I couldn't really squidge the paper but you could when reclosing it once your out slightly over lap to make it smaller.
      Oh, I was able to breathe in it fine if you've ever worn a corset its like that. You can brethe but movement is restricted.