Category Archives: DIY Dress Form

Chapter Two- Let The Planning Begin!

The purpose of making the corset toiles was to get a decent base shape to work with, both on my own living body and for the paper tape form we finished tonight.

I’m happy to try my hand at a couple more corset toiles to get it perfect but I needed a good enough base to make a new dressmakers dummy. Part of the design will be draped on the form and my old one is much bigger than I am after weight loss- so a new one was an absolute requirement.

MrT is a kindred spirit, we both love “projects” and he’s usually happy to help me out. This is my third body clone with him as the paper tape draper and things went very speedy- from start to finish he had it done in just over an hour and a half.

I wore the white corset toile under an old long-line white singlet (which was sacrificed in the process) and we used brown gummed paper tape. It’s 48mm wide and there’s a heckuvalot on a roll. For the princely sum of $15- it’s an affordable experiment.

Let the wrapping begin!

Let the wrapping begin!

I followed some advice from The Sewing Forum about using something like a meter ruler to alleviate some of the belly-pooch-fitting-troubles but got creative and used some of the leftover cable ties instead. It worked a treat! Such a good suggestion- used in a slightly different manner- with excellent results. You can see the idea in action below.

Smoothing out the pooch!

Smoothing out the pooch!

Once the first layer was covered MrT went over the whole form twice more, paying attention to key areas like the shoulders, the hem and the waistline. We stopped with about 5m of tape left on the roll so we could cut me out of it. He marked the centre back, then some horizontal lines at 5cm intervals so I could match it back up. Once it was off I used gaffer tape to stick it back together- it has greater holding power at this stage! Then I covered the black tape with the last of the brown paper tape so it looks nicer. Here’s some of the final pics we snapped of the process.

Mark Cut and Stick it back together

Having the form done is a HUGE weight off my mind. It might not be perfect, I might still change my mind about an underbust/overbust corset- but the main points of waist, hips and pooch have all been taken into consideration with this form. If I decide I want to wear an underbust corset with a bra I can always stick a bra over the top of this form for boobs… or make another one for the cost of another roll of paper tape and a singlet *shrugs*.

It’s currently swinging on a coat hanger but I will be plopping it on top of an old TINY dressform once I fix the base.

I am relieved and exhausted at the moment. It’s a rewarding process and I will do it again but it takes a lot out of you- not being able to move!


A Curious Experiment

Today was Mr Thrifty’s birthday and in our typical style we indulged in what some may call “odd behaviour”. There was no fancy dinner out, we didn’t go and see a film- instead we bought a bucket and played with expanding foam.  We must have been the type of children that were cheap to entertain because we were both excited about this experiment for at least a couple of hours. 

You’re probably curious about why we wanted to play with expanding foam and a bucket. The short explanation is because I want to make another “custom” dressmakers model and we didn’t believe the manufactures claims about the expanding foam. Mr Thrifty helped me to make a bust form about 18 months ago and while it turned out very well it wasn’t a full dress form, it stopped just under my bust. When we made the first one we blindly chose a can of expanding foam (I think it was the cheapest) and stuck to it for the whole project. By the end of it we’d used five cans… just for my boobs!

For the next doppelgänger I’ve done far more research into expanding foam. For a long time I’ve contemplated two-part polyurethane foam (aka AB foam) but it’s not exactly cheap, nor is it readily available at the local hardware store. Yesterday, Mr Thrifty and I toddled off to our local Bunnings and took some photos of all the expanding foam they have on their shelves. When we came home I looked them all up online. It seems that not all foams are created equal! Most of them have a 2:1 or 3:1 expansion ratio- meaning one 500ml can expands to somewhere between 1-1.5L, some claim a 10:1 expansion ratio meaning one 500ml can expands to about 5L. None of them seemed to come anywhere near the two-part pouring foam expansion ratio of 25:1.  Continue reading