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How to Make a Custom Dress Form

You can sew clothing for your specific measurements by customizing a dress form that will ensure a quality fit.


  • Step 1: Wear the T-shirt Pull on the long T-shirt, which should hang at about knee-length. Have your friend wrap duct tape horizontally around the shirt, starting at the bottom, snug at your thighs and hips, but loose around your waist.
  • Step 2: Allow for breasts Use smaller strips of tape to cover your bust, since shorter pieces of tape reflect bust contours better. Lay the strips in different directions in an outward radius from the center of the bust area.
  • TIP: Wrap plastic around your neck to protect it from being taped.
  • Step 3: Fold around neck and arms Fold the tape around your neckline and armholes.
  • Step 4: Add layers Add a second layer, vertically, using strips and pressing out wrinkles at the waist. Then wrap once more horizontally.
  • TIP: Stand straight and face forward the whole time to create a consistent body model.
  • Step 5: Mark waist and middle line Mark the waistline with the marking pen so that you can locate it later. Mark the midline of your abdomen using the plumb bob hung from the middle of your throat.
  • Step 6: Cut the form Lie face down and have your friend cut the form along your spine in a jagged pattern. Step out of the form and tape the back closed, ensuring the body form won't be skewed and the midline remains centered.
  • TIP: Use a pole attached to a stand to set the form on while working.
  • Step 7: Fill the form Fill the form with poly batting, sealing the bottom with a cardboard cutout.
  • Step 8: Fill, sand, cover Fill the cavity with polyurethane spray foam, sand the model, and cover it with the knit fabric.
  • FACT: Did you know? At the beginning of the 19th century, 75 percent of all women's clothing was homemade.

You Will Need

  • A long T-shirt
  • An assistant
  • Three rolls of duct tape
  • Plastic wrap
  • A marking pen
  • A plumb bob and string
  • Scissors
  • 2A pole and stand bags of poly batting
  • Cardboard
  • Polyurethane spray foam
  • Sandpaper
  • Knit fabric
  • A pole and stand (optional)

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