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Topic: Tutorial for Paper Tape Dress Form  (Read 52104 times)
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« on: January 19, 2006 02:26:03 PM »

I made one of these over winter break and it has made sewing so much easier. I highly recommend it. It's easy AND cheap!

What You Will Need:
  • 1 roll of paper tape (it costs about $6 and you can find it in the mailing and shipping section of office supply stores; you'll need less than half a roll for one dress form)
  • a sponge
  • a dish with some water
  • scissors
  • a shirt you don't mind cutting up that fits you well
  • saran wrap (or something similar to cover up exposed skin)
  • duct tape (optional)
  • someone you feel comfortable with taping you up
  • tape measure

1. GO TO THE BATHROOM. Depending on how far down you wrap, you won't be able to sit down for the next few hours. Trust me on this one.

2. Cover up your neck and any other exposed skin that you don't want to get tape on with saran wrap or something similar.

3. Start wrapping. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. The first layer I did was horizontal. Cut your strips so they're a little more than half as long as they need to be to go completely around you. Wet the gummed side with the sponge and stick them right on your shirt. Don't worry about getting the lines straight. I found it works best when you let the ends of the strips angle down to follow your curves. This picture should explain it a little better.

See how the ends point downwards to follow the hips? When you add a piece to the back, it will overlap on the sides and eventually everything will get covered.

A Helpful Tip: To get the tape to fit to your curves better, make some cuts in it so it won't pucker (see the picture below). It makes doing your bust a LOT easier.

When doing the bust, I found it easiest to make one horizontal layer above and below the boobs. Then use short vertical pieces with cuts in them to cover your actual boobs. (See below.)

4. Once you've done the horizontal layer, do a vertical layer and then one more horizontal layer. The vertical layer takes forever and you'll want to quit, but stick it out!

5. After you're all taped up, have your friend cut you out of it by making a cut straight up the back. Be careful not to cut through any underoos.

6. Put three pieces of tape along the back like this:

7. Measure your dress form in all the important places and compare it to the real you. I found that mine was about an inch too big everywhere. Do not despair! Just overlap the back by a little bit before you tape it up. Or you could cut off however much if you'd like, but those things are thick and you might want to save your fingers and scissors by just overlapping the edges.

8. (Optional) Cover it all with duct tape. The bust of mine had a lot of little pieces of tape with ends that tended to want to peel up. Duct tape fixes this. I didn't like the look of my semi-duct taped dress form, so I just went and covered the whole thing so it looked uniform. (See?)

And now the finished project!

Questions? Comments? Let me know!
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2006 02:53:04 PM »

good job just bookmarked this one  Grin


Guess who's back?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2006 03:08:44 PM »

oooo This is a GREAT idea! I desperately need a dress form, but have no cash. so I think I'll try this Cheesy
thanks for the tut

« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2006 03:24:54 PM »

wow thats awesome i might just make one of these!
 it looks like a sculpture too   its pretty neat

The world's a roller coaster and I am not strapped in.
Maybe I should hold with care, but my hands are busy in the air
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2006 03:37:19 PM »

I just bookmarked this thread also. Wink

I've seen tutorials for tape dress forms on other websites, but this is the clearest, most well-phrased one I've come across yet. Thanks so much, xrockgeekx!
Bodewin Cauthon
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2006 05:27:14 AM »

Oh good thanks.Ive been thinking of doing this too.
Ive saved the page though as sometimes the pictures on these pages seem to dissappear.
I found my paper tape in an art shop(UK) and its called butterfly brand.Used for stretching watercolour paper.About 2.20 for a 36mm thick roll ,35 metres long.
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2006 02:41:58 PM »

I think my cousin told me she did something like this at school in her fashion class. But do you have to stuff it with anything to keep it from collapsing or does it keep it's shape well enough that you don't need to?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2006 12:41:05 PM »

I think my cousin told me she did something like this at school in her fashion class. But do you have to stuff it with anything to keep it from collapsing or does it keep it's shape well enough that you don't need to?

I haven't stuffed mine and it's just fine. It's pretty sturdy.
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2006 04:20:44 PM »

This is an awesome set of instructions.  I will point to this post too!

I posted some of my own thoughts on making a paper-tape dummy online here:


Bottom line, I think it's more sensible to make your own dummy instead of buying one.

« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2006 06:59:24 PM »

i went to my local offive max, office depot, and home depot and none of them had paper tape.  i was going to special order it from office depot but their online thing said they dont even sell it anymore. 

just a word of caution, dont buy all the all the stuffing and poles and whatnot until you know youre able to get the paper tape.

i ended up having to spend $35 for ten 600ft rolls on ebay. way more tape than i needed.

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