dress form

Dress form are an essential if you want to start sewing clothes for yourself. Kids are pretty universally sized but it's trickier for a woman's body. I went through a ton of tutorials and found the best ones for making your own dress form.The recurring theme in each tutorial is to stuff it really good and firm or it will start caving in after awhile. It's best to use expanding foam from the hardward store,but it's not essential.Also rip your tape into pieces instead of just going around your body. There are ways to make paper mache dress forms but from my experience with paper mache,it likes to crumble and crack. That's not good for something you are sticking pins in,but it would be good if you want it just for decoration purposes.

The first link is for actually making the dress form.
I like this one this best b/c it includes the shoulders and thighs,both of which are a little tricky in altering clothes(definitely don't want to end up with camel toe!).

This is a link for a paper tape dress form. It looks like paper mache and would probably hold up better than it,but for utility purposes I would stick with duct tape.

This magazine also has an epic tutorial for putting your form on a stand and for the actual stand. If you find it too complicated,there is a simpler way. http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3665/molded-papier-mch-form
For a more simple dress form stand,find an old floor lamp. Most come in sections that you have to screw together. Just don't put the part on that contains the light,slide the dress form on top of it. If you aleady closed it up you can make a small hole,otherwise you can tape it up AFTER you slide it on. You will likely have to put something under the dress form to act as a "nut" and keep it from sliding down the pole. No matter what it is,use epoxy or hot glue to secure it and you should be set.

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