Duct tape fitting double

This week in my class at ‘Workspace Fashion and Design School‘, Sarah helped me make a duct tape copy of ME!

Yes, I agree. These are not very flattering shots. I will spare you with the worst, but this is how the afternoon unfolded.

There is plenty of information on the web about how to do this. We used cloth duct tape initially. This type of tape doesn’t stretch so it will give a firm base. A bonus is that you can just tear it, so you don’t need scissors to cut the lengths. Next we used regular duct tape, which behaves very differently. It stretches and can therefore be moulded around curves a lot easier. Unfortunately it requires scissors to cut and it tends to stick to anything you don’t want taped, such as hands, scissors, table etc. The best thing about this kind of tape is that it gives a smooth finish.



Sarah then cut through one shoulder of the cast and down one back princess seam to be able to get it off. It was a simple to stick it all back together again and then we began a process of stabilizing it by cutting out cardboard shapes to fit the neck, armholes and the bottom section. Sarah was a wizz at this, eyeballing it and getting the shapes right first time every time. These cardboard pieces did help the body to retain its shape, however, I need to stuff it full of newspaper/wadding/? to preserve it.

Sarah warned me against using expandable foam. It is very hard to control and creates a horrible mess, so I’m not going to go there. There are some funny examples on the internet of how the foam process can go horribly wrong.


I bought som PVC tubing and a T-joint to build an internal framework, just need to find the saw! I also plan to use some cardboard under shoulders, décolleté and back probably with some wadding to prevent distortion. I’m also thinking of stuffing the boobs with some 80’s style shoulder pads.

Do you have any other suggestions of how to preserve my dummy?

I also need to give it a name. Sarah suggested Dolly because it is like a big doll and Its for dressing and undressing. So far I haven’t thought of a better name, so I think that will be it.




11 thoughts on “Duct tape fitting double

  1. I’m sure you will find that having a duplicate of you is SO helpful in fitting. What a great find to have someone who can help. I arrived at my duplicate through padding a standard form and she makes the fitting process easier and faster. I’m watching for your method of constructing a stand. I have a few older dress forms and would love to make sturdier bases for them.
    I’m assuming you are planning to cover her. I found using a thin layer of quilt batting and medium weight linen work great and give you a pinnable surface. In one of your previous posts you showed your master block. It looks like it was drafted from the Mueller & Sohn system. I have spent most of the summer searching for the most accurate system and am focusing in on that system. I’m happy to hear yours fits so well. I would use that block with the ease removed as your cover pattern.
    Love your blog and I’ll be watching for updates. Congrats on the race.

    • Hi Mary, thank you so much for your nice comment and all the very helpful advice for covering the dress form. The block was based on Vinifred Aldrich’s book with some changes which Sarah has developed over the years. I am not yet sure how to construct the stand so I am on the lookout for ideas. One is using an old standard lamp stand, except I don’t have one and I’m not sure where to find one. There are some ideas on the internet, which I will check out further. I could use the stand from my old adjustable dress form, but it is very cheap and flimsy, so I don’t favour that idea.

      • I’m looking for an improvement to my old, flimsy stands. I had already ordered Aldrich’s book and will see how it compares with other systems. I’ve discovered there are many common elements and I may be doing my own changes also.

    • Thank you Sarah. I too look forward to future projects. It will be a lot of fun trying new (to me) ideas and getting the creative juices flowing.

  2. I’ve never really thought about doing this. What a good idea! Will have to find myself a willing sewing friend who can help and will understand when I ask to be covered in duct tape!!! Thank you for posting your lesson.

  3. This looks wonderful and it’s funny, I just discovered these workshops and was planning to do some next year when I’m on leave. I am looking forward to seeing what you do with her!

  4. I made one of these is a seminar a few years ago. It was so much fun, we laughed all day. Our stands were made with pvc pipe. With a connector there was a short horizontal pipe across the shoulders, connected to the long horizontal pipe, cut so it made the form our height. The base was made from a wooden lazy susan with a piece the pvc pipe fit into screwed onto it. All of the materials were from Home Depot. The forms were stuffed very firmly with batting,

  5. Thanks for the great ideas. I have actually already fixed the body with PVC pipe across the shoulders and as a main stand. I am not using a lazy susan but instead I made a stand of PVC piping. I still need to attach a wooden base to the form as the cardboard proved to be too flimsy. My son is helping me create the right shape, as he has tools and better know how, so I am waiting for this. Once that is installed I can start thinking about covering the form. I will write a post once the base is installed.

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