I’ve been making small quilts and doing crafty sewing for a long time, but I’ve just begun trying to sew things that can actually be worn. As in outside the house, in the daylight, without scandalizing others. Since it’s hard to be both the fitter and the fit-ee, I started thinking about getting dress form.
I’m not prepared to drop many hundreds of dollars on a custom foam form just yet, and I was looking at the cheaper adjustable forms when I ran across the idea of a Duct Tape Double. This method leverages the wonders of duct tape to slowly build up a sturdy body cast, basically molding itself to your body. You have to do several careful layers and then slice the cast up the back so you can ooch out, then re-seal it and stuff firmly.
Husbandly assistance and duct tape obtained, I donned a charming Heavy Duty Lawn and Garden trash bag and we got started. It took 3 solid hours of wrapping to get a thick shell, then we marked the waist and center lines before cutting an escape hatch down the back.
Important Tips – many of are mentioned in the resource links below, but I can personally attest to these!
- Put your hair up, including all those little ends, because they will get stuck in the tape and it will hurt when you pull them free.
- Wear tennis shoes and have a chair close by to hold onto. It is really hard to stand still for 2-3 hours, and once your hips are wrapped you’ll feel at little tippy. I was more worried about feeling claustrophobic or dizzy than I was about standing comfortably, but wow did my legs hurt by the end!
- Get a second helper if at all possible. Ripping the tape takes at least half the time, so having a designated person to manage the tape strips will make this a lot faster.
- Start with the rib strapping and then the cross-bust wrap, and make this as firm as you can without squashing your squashy bits.
Resources – give these a thorough read before getting started