Most the of the things I have made over the years have required little to no skill beyond being able to sew in a straight line. I’ve wanted to dig in to making some clothing type things but without a dress dummy it’s hard to figure out how to drape things properly. So the clothing I come up with is usually skirts and scarves and hats. The only thing remotely top like that I have made thus far is this frightening thing
It’s basically a big rectangle held together at the shoulder by two chinese frog type clasps that have been hanging around my grandmas button box for about 40 years. It’s nice and toasty warm and I wear it around the house when I have on my mom jeans and slippers. But I would really like to make some thing I could leave the house in. Dress dummies are not cheap. So while my sister was here I asked her to help me make one. I googled up some tutorials on how to make your own dress dummy and we headed to the craft store.
It’s silly for me to try and explain how to do it. There are a ton of tutorials out there on different ways to do it, pick one and start taping!
But before you do….PEE!!!!!
Did you hear me? You are about to be wrapped in duct tape for the next hour possibly two and once you get started there ain’t no going back. So have a nice long tall drink of water. Then wait twenty minutes and go pee. Then wait twenty more minutes and go again. Squeeze it out! Now no more water for you til it’s all over. Your helper can taunt you with their many cocktails but you get nothing!
Also…before you start taping be sure you HAVE ENOUGH TAPE! You will not be able to to run down to the gas and sip to pick up more duct tape. Even if you are willing to be seen in public in your new duct tape outfit, walking is a challenge and sitting is not happenin’. We got about halfway through before it became obvious that we were not going to have enough for the requisite three layers. So I spent a very silly 30 minutes or so hobbling around my house like a tourquoise and purple penguin trying to remember where I put the duct tape I bought to fix the floor in the old apartment. Found it! Still not enough. Had to enlist the help of my lovely husband who swallowed his pride and walked into the craft store alone. (We ended up needing about 90 yards of tape. I am 5’2″ and size 10 if that helps you estimate.) And so the wrapping continued…WooHoo!
Three layers of duct tape wrapped to the shape of your body is HOT! Fortunately I had my brilliant sister with me who wrapped from the bottom up so I wouldn’t over heat and we decided to use an extra piece of tshirt material I had lying around to protect my neck from the tape instead of the plastic wrap suggested by the tutorial because….ARE YOU FLIPPIN SERIOUS? PLASTIC WRAP?
Pardon me while I digress for just a moment.
Who do you think is going to be the type of person sitting around thinking “I really could use a dress dummy. But the last hundred bucks I had just layin around went to pay for a school field trip, two pairs of boys size 16 pants and a very important plastic tiger, so it would be really great if I could make one out of duct tape?” The Hot flash set that’s who. So to make things even worse than the fact that you just allowed yourself to be trussed up in tape for the sake of making some clothes that ultimately may still not fit properly, the goofy tutorial writers over at Threads think it would be a really good idea for you to wrap your neck in plastic wrap. You know, the stuff the wrestling team in high school thought would help them lose weight, but just ended up making them smell bad and pass out.
Yeah. T-shirt. Not plastic wrap.
Here I am all wrapped up.
Sis wearing an Angie suit (“It puts the lotion in the basket”)
We didn’t have any materials for a stand so we found a hanger that matched the width of my shoulders and popped it in there before adding the stuffing. Of course now that I was free from my tape suit we had to take a break to go have a drink and get a hair cut.
Our drinking companions at Kings Hardware. Yikes!
The Hair cutters at Rudy’s Did a great job but we forgot to take a pic. We had other things on our minds
Stuffing! You are going to need A LOT! we had a couple bags of cheap foam stuffing which seemed like it should have been enough but ended up only filling the neck and shoulders once we pushed it down in there. We ended up raiding my goodwill box to fill it with old clothes. You have to really jam it in there. Reach in and push stuff around so that all the curves are good and full.
Then tape the ever lovin’ crap out of it so it all stays in.
New dress dummy and new hair!
The big surprise at the end of the process was having a look at my body shape from an external point of view. When looking down at myself, all I see is belly. Looking across at my “self” I just see average-ish curves. Totally weird and somewhat enlightening. Night night dummy. Hmmmm she needs a name….