DIY: I Get Trapped in a Duct Tape Dress Form

My mom and I got the idea to do this after realizing that adjustable dress forms run in the $100’s these days. This article was my inspiration, but there are several other iterations out there. My only spin on this was that I got too impatient and did this DIY all by my lonesome, instead of with a buddy and a safe word.


First, a note. A Samsung Note 5, to be exact (har har). I recently switched from an iPhone 5S to my Note and I have refused to ever look back. The camera capability alone was enough to make me a permanent convert, especially when my tripod decided to break and I couldn’t use my camera easily for this post. Instead, I just stuck my phone on top of the tripod using my mini-bendy legged phone tripod. This is not an advertisement — this phone seriously made this post so much easier. I could say “shoot” and a picture would happen. I probably cut an hour off of this project with this accidental switch.

Anyway, I followed the above tutorial with very few hiccups regarding the taping part. Sadly, putting yourself inside of a duct tape thing is much easier than getting yourself out. Here’s a gallery of events (click to embiggen):

There was a moment during this DIY when I thought I was going to have to wait until Mike got home in order to get out of the damn thing. Since I would have never heard the end of it, I stuck it out and carved my way to freedom. Note that my Mom was FaceTiming me the whole two hours and was laughing very, very hard from the relative safety of 300 miles away. I hope she peed.

Once free, I ended up with a lumpy, silver torso that made me wonder if I was that “thick” in person. After taking a few measurements and redistributing/arresting errant lumps, it kinda resembled me.

For the final test, I used a striped shirt that was tight on me when I was in the 180’s. I wore it once and swore off stripes until I lost weight. Since that time is nigh, I chose it as my first victim.


Some mannequins should never wear stripes.

Ugh. I should apologize to my lumpy, silver torso about unflattering angles. Lucky that my tripod broke, though, because I taped my weird torso right on there. Hooray for thinking on our feet! I pinned it and got to sewing.

2015-09-20 12.20.34

Mike took this picture, because he’s fantastic like that.



Can you see the PMS in my eyes?

It fits, but the left armpit is a bit floppy (I’ll be fixing that). And I am still pretty uncomfortable in stripes. I’ll need a cardigan, I wager. Or to keep my boobs from eating the underbust.

Overall, I like sizing stuff on my body better than using the dress form. Maybe it’s inexperience or stubbornness, but it was harder for me to translate the same skill with pinning that I usually have onto this dress form.  So, in the future, I will continue stabbing the shit out of myself and risking lockjaw for my art. I’ll use the dress form for projects where I need to reach, but can’t (like my Renn Faire costume). After I finish those projects, I’ll probably leave my lumpy, silver torso on someone’s lawn with a threatening note.

Total cost: $15 — $5 shirt, $4 roll of tape, $3 bag of stuffing (x2)
Dignity: Gone Forever

Have you ever made a dress form? Did you spring for a fancy one? Do you frequently stab yourself with straight pins? Let me know in the comments!

~ Meg

22 thoughts on “DIY: I Get Trapped in a Duct Tape Dress Form

    • I’ve been checking, but haven’t found anything that works. I have leftover thickness and tiny, sad boobs, so my measurements are hard to find. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll keep checking in the future, as this didn’t work as well as I would have liked.

  1. Pingback: DIY: I Get Trapped in a Duct Tape Dress Form | cwa115's Blog

  2. I have a real form, but you probably knew that. Mine is adjustable, but I always have to do some extra padding, especially if I’m draping–the form is maybe a B-cup. I am… not.

    I use some of my extra bust pads to make “shoulders” when I’m working on something that requires them.

    When you’re altering, don’t forget about ease 🙂

  3. Oh this made me laugh! Those pics!! I bought a dress form, I’m on my second one now. The first was a cheap one from ebay, it did not resemble me at all but it was good for draping. My current one is about 100 quid and it’s OK but it doesn’t have my difficult back measurements (which is why I bought the bloody thing!). There’s a place that does 3d printed dress forms but that’s an impossible dream for me, I’m stuck with practically dislocating my arms to fit my back until I win the lottery ! : (

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s