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Custom Paper Tape Dress Form

Added Jan 4, 2010

by ichigogirl

Stockholm, Sweden






Yippie, I have a dress-form with the right measurements! Never thought I would… (I have searched extensively since september).
It’s made with an old method by wrapping yourself (or actually, you need a helper for that part) with strips of gummed paper-tape.
Blogged here with instructions to make one yourself!

Update: I chose to make a paper-tape dress-form rather than a duct tape one (it would have saved me quite a search for the gummed paper tape!) because I wanted a form that wouldn’t distort with time, and that doesn’t need any stuffing.
It’s not pinnable as it is now, but I will cover it in jersey to get something to pin in (spray glued to the form). And maybe a couple of strips of some sort of ribbon to allow more heavy pinnings on the shoulders :-)!

Material Notes

Gummed paper tape, tight fitting clothes, masking tape, sharp scissors, patience.




Garment Type

15 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • 2b30e1bd63e1423adbb3171713743de107bea472_large

    Jun 19, 2010, 07.20 PMby laugh434

    Does this hold up well? I’ve got a duct-tape form that my sister and I made of me, and even though it’s stuffed it’s not very structurally sound.

    1 Reply
    • Vatten_large

      Jun 21, 2010, 11.25 AMby ichigogirl

      Hi! Yes, it does hold up really well, it’s nearly rock hard.
      I want to use mine for draping though, and with the hard surface it’s not pinnable, so I’m hoping to develop it into a pinnable version when I find the time. There’s a tutorial on how to do it here on Burdastyle, right here http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/dress-form

  • Img_0024_large

    Feb 20, 2010, 06.35 PMby Natalia *

    Hi I want to make one of these dress forms and bought paper tape, but its self-adhesive (doesn’t require water to seal). Do you think this will still work or do I need to get the “gummed” paper tape? The office supply store I went to (Staples) didn’t have anything but this kind, so Id have to search for the other stuff.

    3 Replies
    • Vatten_large

      Jun 21, 2010, 11.27 AMby ichigogirl

      Hi! Hm, I think you need the gummed one. I got mine at an art-supply-store, they don’t sell gummed tape in office-supply-shops here any more…

    • Img_0024_large

      Jun 21, 2010, 12.35 PMby Natalia *

      haha thanks for the reply. i found the right stuff and made the dress form months ago. it turned out pretty well.

    • Vatten_large

      Jun 21, 2010, 02.21 PMby ichigogirl

      Hehe, I saw the date and thought you might have, but anyway… I didn’t see your question until now… :-)

      I’m glad it turned out well!

  • 423522_384202408271182_100000442775613_1366652_613035250_n_large

    Jan 20, 2010, 07.15 AMby fashionista2407

    that came out really good!

  • Bu_large

    Jan 9, 2010, 02.56 PMby tyui2

    I made my dressform from papertape as well, but because the inside of it is even more perfect in shape and measurements i decided to use it as a mould for a final version. I stiched a layer of felt in the inside of the papertape form to get that soft pinnable feel to the final form. Then I just taped a new layer of papertape in the indise. It stickt to the felt. Then I cut of the stiches and removed it from the mould.

    The final dressform is more true to the measurements and it has nice soft surface. It’s perfect.

    1 Reply
    • Vatten_large

      Jan 9, 2010, 10.30 PMby ichigogirl

      Cool! Sounds super!

  • Missing

    Jan 5, 2010, 07.55 PMby mwana

    I’ve been looking for a dress form for a while now and have been considering making one myself. However, I’d like a dress form I can stick pins into that I could make myself. Thanks for the instructions, I think I’ll try this for a start. :)

  • Img_5077_large

    Jan 5, 2010, 12.45 AMby dewreb

    I plan to make one soon! I had never heard of paper tape, but now I will consider it, since it sounds as though it may be a bit more durable than duct tape. Thanks for your thoughts!

    2 Replies
    • Aw2_large

      Jan 5, 2010, 11.09 PMby chocolatefoxdesigns

      u get it from staples it comes in a big roll 4 about 8 bucks

    • Vatten_large

      Jan 5, 2010, 11.31 PMby ichigogirl

      Hehe, I had to pay $26 a roll… at an art-supply-shop. Seems like all Swedish office-suppliers are totally into plastic… But still, it was enough for two dressforms, so they came out really cheap anyway :-).

  • Sitting_down_-_gloomy_large

    Jan 4, 2010, 08.59 PMby sarsaparilla

    This is great! I’ve been thinking about making the duct tape dress form, but I’ve always thought it would sag a great deal. I just might try this one instead :)

  • 12068bdcf8f8559de50b4f6ade48c167b5d6c5cd_large

    Jan 4, 2010, 08.53 PMby ncn6

    Looks great. I’ve always wanted to do this, because it seems like it would be so much easier to make general fit adjustments on a dress form instead of trying to pin it to yourself all the time (as I generally do, and end stabbing myself!). I think I’m with Nehmah on waiting until summer, though — currently -14C in Ithaca.

  • Cherrys_047_large

    Jan 4, 2010, 02.37 PMby nenasew

    Thanks for the inpirations. This is one of those projects I really really want to try.

  • Art_movement_large

    Jan 4, 2010, 02.34 PMby goldilox

    You can use duct tape as well, that’s what I plan to use. I found this tutorial online. They show you two methods and personally i prefer the second method because it gives a better fit.Method 1Method 2

    2 Replies
    • Vatten_large

      Jan 4, 2010, 02.50 PMby ichigogirl

      Thanks for adding the links!
      I chose to use the paper-tape method raher than the duct-tape one since the paper tape is hard after it’s dry, which means that the dress-form doesn’t deform at all, and that it doesn’t need any stuffing, like the duct tape forms do. I also think the extra volume is smaller when you use paper tape than duct tape since the paper is really thin and you only need about three layers of tape to make it stable enough. But I’m sure duct tape works really well too! Good luck!

    • Aw2_large

      Jan 5, 2010, 11.05 PMby chocolatefoxdesigns

      i did that one too and let me tell you it messes up your pins and if you stuff it with clothes[or anything else] it stretches overtime so the paper tape route is the best option it gets hard when it dries ad does not stretch out im in the process of covering mines with fabric 4 pinning but jst a suggestion the paper tape is ur best bet

  • Avatar-cupcake_large

    Jan 4, 2010, 02.28 PMby frkbustad

    Congrats! I have one myself, but I have to admit that I find it a little hard to use. Since it already is three layers with paper tape, it’s already a little bit bigger than myself, and if I pad it (so pinning into it will be easier) it will probably be a whole size bigger. Do you have any suggestions or ideas around this?

    1 Reply
    • Vatten_large

      Jan 4, 2010, 02.46 PMby ichigogirl

      Tusen takk!
      I found a set of really old instructions (1920’s) on the web, where they recommend you to compare your measurements to those of the dressform and to then remove the difference from both the center front and center back of it (1/4 from each side, before joining the halves). Maybe you can open it again? My form has my measurements, but it’s a bit more narrow from the front than me (the waist thus looks thinner although the measurement is correct). I think it will work well enough that way.
      I will make a rather thin jersey cover for it to pin in. I don’t think it’s possible to make them as pinnable as bought dressforms, but the bought ones don’t come in my size, so for me this is better anyway (and although it’s a bit bigger than me across the shoulders it’s still more like me than a bought one could be).
      I had this idea of attaching the soft half of kardborrband (I’ve forgotten the english name) on the shoulders, a strip on each shoulder, to get some more pinning-room without too much extra bulk… I’ll let you know if I do and it works!

  • Cherry_cupcake_canvas_white__large

    Jan 4, 2010, 02.21 PMby pomka

    This is way too awesome! I need to find a partner that would help me though! Great job!

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    Jan 4, 2010, 01.22 PMby carottesauvage

    Hey that’s great, how ingenuous! Happy new year!

  • 990745-073_large

    Jan 4, 2010, 12.07 PMby nehmah

    Very nice form. However, since we are facing single-digit temperatures (Fahrenheit) for the next week, I’ll put a hold on this sort of project. The grapefruit-size goosebumps would throw off the final measurements. Cordially, Nehmah (Who loathes any temp below 32F)

    1 Reply
    • Vatten_large

      Jan 4, 2010, 02.59 PMby ichigogirl

      Hehe, I wore really thick wool-socks, long sleeves and hid in the upstairs bathroom for the whole process… it was ok. I love central heating!
      We’ve had temperatures between -28,5 centigrades (= -19,3F) and -6C (=17.6F) the whole christmas, but I had no other option than to just do it, I needed the help of my mum who I visited for christmas…
      My flat, however, was +14C (57.2F) when I got home again, terrible!

  • Canon_1st_073_large

    Jan 4, 2010, 12.04 PMby sewclairey

    Great job. My mum and dad bought me a dress form for my birthday, but I get the feeling that one of these would have been better and far more accurate!

    1 Reply
    • Vatten_large

      Jan 4, 2010, 03.02 PMby ichigogirl

      I think they both have their advantages, I’d love a store bought one too! I think they’re much easier to pin in, although they can never be exactily the right shape (unless you’re lucky and shaped like one).
      There are always advantages and disadvantages to everything I guess… congratulations on a great gift, and they sound like clever parents!

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