How to Make a Homemade Dress Form Mannequin

Written by kittie mccoy
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Dress form mannequins can be expensive, especially for those who are not professional seamstresses but would like to learn to create some of their own clothing. Instead of shelling out £65 or more on a professional dummy, you can create a dress form in your exact size by using a few rolls of duct tape and an old T-shirt. Make sure that you have a friend to help you because this project is impossible to do by yourself.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Assistant
  • Over-sized T-shirt
  • 2 to 4 rolls of duct tape
  • Cling Film
  • Scissors
  • Wooden hanger
  • Batting or newspaper

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  1. 1

    Dress in properly fitting undergarments and a long T-shirt that extends to approximately mid thigh. Choose an old or cheap T-shirt, as it will be destroyed during the dress form making process.

  2. 2

    Start wrapping the duct tape around your body starting at the bottom of the T-shirt. Wrap the duct tape snugly but not so tight that the shape of your body is distorted.

  3. 3

    Continue to wrap the duct tape in horizontal layers until it reaches your waist.

  4. 4

    Apply the duct tape to the bust area to form an X on the front and the back of the T-shirt. Use the duct tape to create a bra shape over the bust area to ensure a good shape on the finished dress form.

  5. 5

    Place a piece of plastic cling wrap on your neck area to protect your skin from the tape. Tape over this area to create a high neck on your dress form.

  6. 6

    Continue to apply duct tape until you have created a duct tape dress. The duct tape needs to extend over the shoulders and form a solid dress which reaches down to your mid-thigh.

  7. 7

    Add two more layers of duct tape to the entire dress form to make sure that it is sturdy when it is removed from your body.

  8. 8

    Cut the duct tape and the T-shirt open at the back starting at the bottom of the tape, cutting a straight line which ends at your neck. Be careful not to cut the person wearing the T-shirt.

  9. 9

    Place a wooden hanger inside the dress form so that the top of the hanger extends through the neck hole. This will allow you to hang the dress form up when using it for dress making.

  10. 10

    Stuff the dress form with batting or newspaper until it is solidly packed and maintains it's shape when you prop it up.

  11. 11

    Tape all of the openings on the dress form closed with duct tape, including around the hanger to secure it in place.

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