How to Make a Form Fitting Dress

Written by melissa mccormick
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How to Make a Form Fitting Dress
Start creating a form fitting dress by making a dress form. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

When sewing clothing, creating a fit perfect for your body can be a challenge. One common way to make a form fitting dress is to use a dress pattern of your choice and then make adjustments as you go so that dress hugs you tightly. However, if you want to make a truly custom, form fitting dress first create a dress form then work with a clingy fabric such as a stretch knit.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Fabric (stretch, jersey or any type of clingy fabric)
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape (2 to 3 rolls)
  • Old T-shirt or turtleneck T-shirt
  • Cling film
  • Fiberfill
  • Wooden hanger
  • Straight pins

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    Creating a Dress Form

  1. 1

    Recruit a volunteer. You will need two people to create the dress form: the model and the person creating the dress form.

  2. 2

    Put the model in a long old T-shirt or turtleneck T-shirt that fits close to the body. If you don't have a turtleneck T-shirt, loosely wrap the neck area with cling film.

  3. 3

    Cut strips of duct tape as you go and start wrapping underneath the bust and around the body. Do not alter the body shape by wrapping too tight.

  4. 4

    Start at one shoulder with duct tape and move under the opposite breast and wrap around the back. Then place a strip of duct tape on the other shoulder, move under the opposite breast and around the back. This should form an "x" across the chest that defines the bust.

  5. 5

    Cut off the arms of the T-shirt carefully and wrap the edges of the armholes and neck hole with duck tape. Move on to define the waistline with duct tape and then fill in any open space with strips of duct tape all the way down to the bottom of the T-shirt.

  6. 6

    Cut the T-shirt and duct tape form straight up the back and have the model step out of the form.

  7. 7

    Hang the form on a wooden hanger and tape the bottom opening up with duct tape.

  8. 8

    Stuff the form with fiberfill and then close off the armhole and neck hole openings with duct tape. You now have a dress form custom to your body to help you make a form fitted dress.

    Making the Dress

  1. 1

    Pin your fabric to the front of the dress with straight pins and using a fabric marker, draw on a dress design.

  2. 2

    Remove the fabric and draw an extra 1/2 inch around your pattern. Cut out the front piece of the dress you created.

  3. 3

    Pin fabric to the back of the dress form, draw on the back of the dress design and remove the fabric. Draw an extra 1/2 inch around the pattern, and cut out the back piece.

  4. 4

    Fold all edges of both pieces of fabric under to the 1/2 inch line you marked and pin. Sew with the wrong side of the fabric facing up to conceal raw fabric edges.

  5. 5

    Sew the front and back pieces together at the shoulders, then along the sides, with the wrong side of the fabric facing up.

  6. 6

    Turn the dress inside out to the right side and try on your form fitting dress. It should be an exact fit to your body.

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