Sewing Vloggers

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Duct Tape Dummy Madness!

My BFF Jocelyn and I have had this planned for some time. Here I am waiting for her to arrive and she did right on time!

 Yup, we are both five feet tall! Jos is a very fast taper. We had two layers done within 45 minutes. At that point I wanted to be cut out of this damn corset. I figured I could do the last layer myself, control freak that I can sometimes be!

Kinky, huh? A bit wrinkly too! So she cut me out after layer two. We tried to get the dummy around my dress form. The plan was to fit it around the dress form and stuff it with fiberfill till full and firm. but lo and behold....   

That wasn't going to work. We dialed the form as tight as we could, took it off its stand, played with the guts. It just wasn't getting any skinnier so on to Plan B.
Plan be is to close up the bottom, find an old stand up lamp to use as a hanger, and fill the sucker with expanding foam from the Depot. So it will be a bit before it is functional. In the meantime I pulled the t shirt away from the tape which didn't affect the shape but made it less bulky. I then took some black tissue paper and pressed it against the inside of the dummy to deal with the stickiness. That was Jos's idea and it worked like a charm. Now I was ready to do my third layer. First I smoothed out all the wrinkles with some heavy pressure. Then I cleaned up the edges of the armholes, neckline, and bottom. It was much better. I noticed that the boobs cave in so I put some stiff cheap interfacing, cut in a circle, over the boobs and taped that over. That was a big improvement. I think you can see the difference.  Here's what it looks like now:

Can you see my wicked swayback? doing one of these is quite illuminating! Notice aging boobs, despite my beautifully engineered bra worn for the festivities.

 You can also see  a bit of rounding on my upper back, hmmm,,,,,didn't know that was there!

On this one you can see how the upper chest caves in. Well, it does than on me in real life, again an issue of narrow torso disease

All in all, this was great fun and a very enlightening exercise. I hope to get an old lamp at the thrift store soon so I can hang her up and put her to work. In the mean time, she needs a name. Any ideas?....Bunny


  1. I've been wanting to make a duct tape dummy. Thanks for the photos and story. What is the lamp for? Is that what you'll use for the stand?

  2. Ever since I saw the post on the Threads blog about the duct tape dress form I've been meaning to do this myself. You are giving me the impetus to go ahead!

  3. The old lamp stand is to hang the dummy from. Hopefully I won't have a problem finding one.

  4. You will find this dress form so helpful in fitting. Mine also showed me the real shape of my back and shoulder for the first time, and my asymmetry. I call mine Verite, I think it has a pretty sound, but it is French for truth.

  5. The duct tapy dressform is going to be very helpful. With the help of my husband I made a duct tape dressform in 2007. During the summer the tape became loose and somewho lost its form. My sewing room is in my basement and I believe it was probably too warm

  6. Use the right stuff to fill your dress form I remember reading somewhere that someone used highly expandable filler and the dressform over-expanded.

    I think it was here


    Rose in SV

  7. That's great. I too, amongst so many, have wanted/needed to do a duct tape dummy for 2 yrs now. Made one for my DD who studies in another State ( 1 hr by plane). I make her clothes using the dummy (aka Germaine - cos she looked like the cover of Germaine Greer's book the Naked Eunich). Anyway, it works a treat but the only thing I can't do is hem, this has to be done when she's trying it on. I'm definitely going to get my girlfriend over (or Hubbie) to make one for me, as I can't alter my own clothes on me - too hard. Thanks Bunny for reminding me.

  8. I'm interested to see your duct tape dummy experiment, since I've been thinking about doing my own.

    Call her Bea ("B" for Bunny and Beatrix Potter).

  9. Nice job, ladies! You are far more patient than I, and yes, the true shape is very, very illuminating. You and I both need to name our new sewing room "friends", and I like the previous idea (Bea) which also stands for "bargain"!

  10. Hi Bunny,
    Great Pics. Last summer, my daughter helped me with one, corset is right....get me out of here! I used left-over pieces of quilt batting that I had been saving. My stand was an old dress form stand from the 50's that my mother had. I covered my girl with cotton rib knit, it clings nicely to the "old girl" who never lies ;-)

  11. I SO want to have a duct taping party! Been wanting one of these body doubles for ages. OK, in August/September, anyone that's in/near Ottawa?

  12. I did one of those a few years ago, but alas she did not last ;( Must try again. I have a narrow upper chest and no commercial sewing dummy is small enough! You just can't dial them down enough.

  13. Digs, I am an hour from Ottawa on the U.S. side. Email me. I couldn't find your addy.

  14. Interesting. My dress form isn't quite right, either. Looks like you'll have a much more accurate way to fit once this is done.

  15. A duct tape dummy is all-too-illuminating! Yours is beautiful; much better finished than most, even though you're not quite done.

    For a stand, you might consider what I did:

    Easiest Dummy Stand Ever

    It was cream-puff to make, and very easy to move around the sewing room.

  16. You did a great job on this - I have been wanting to make one for so long. Unfortunately an upcoming move is in the way right now but I need to learn about my body dimensions in the way you did. I'm bookmarking your post and will come back to it.

  17. I must try to make a duct tape dummy myself! Great job!

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