Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Adventures in Draping

Headless got a makeover! 

I've had the same dress form for about ten years. She was really getting sad and broken, so I finally ordered a new one. While waiting for it,  I had the brilliant idea to experiment and take the duct tape mannequin concept to new lengths. 

Draping 18th century garments on yourself is hard. Really hard. Draping on a dress form only goes so far. Patterns are great, but it's still not really the experience of draping.

So, I put on my stays and enlisted my very jet lagged mom (thanks, mom!) to wrap me up in duct tape.

New fur baby alert! We got kittens!

So here it is initially. Just draped over Headless like a backwards jacket.

I decided it would be so awesome to be able to drape sleeves! Sleeves of all kinds! So I sacrificed some very cool tube socks and wrapped my arms up, too. 

Then, to make it firm and useable, I traced my stays out of cardboard, taped them to the inside, and stuffed polyfill to fill out the curvies and arms.

Ta dah!

So I've started a new gown on her. I draped the lining (referencing Fitting and Proper, Costume Close Up, and Larkin & Smith's English Gown Pattern), then tried it on myself. She runs a little big, because of the extra layers (and I fit the duct tape after a big lunch!), but I think this is good. I'm trying really hard not to make things skin tight. I have a bad habit of fitting pieces in the morning and then if I have to dress after eating, it's like eeeeeek please fit!

By the way, this goes so much faster than cutting out pattern pieces, fitting a muslin, etc etc. I am having fun with this!

P.s. The chintz redo is finished! Will post soon!


  1. Thanks for the shout-out! I was happy to be of service. Your new project looks great. Lovely fabric, and it's terrific to see how you can fashion it right on the doll. BTW, Henry likes it too. I see him down there.

  2. Love the idea of re-using an old cheap dress form as a duct tape double stand! Might have to try this sometime!

  3. Brilliant idea to add the arms. I really want to try a form like this. Just need to find someone to tape me up. I'm sure my brother would be willing but I'm afraid he wouldn't let me out once he was finished! And his idea of the perfect dress form might include the head too...!

    1. Haha, yes that's a risk! Well, I've been terrible about finishing this dress, so hopefully this next month I'll find time to tackle the sleeves and update on how it goes!