Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Making of the Form Part 3 of 4 – The Stand

You can find everything you need for the stand at your local hardware supply store. I went to Home Depot and the total cost of the stand was $22.


  • 2 inches of wide Velcro
  • Cardboard  a little larger than size of the form base
  • Masking tape
  • 1 - 1 inch by 10 feet PVC pipe
    Cut into sections: 4 - 4 inch | 1 – 2 1/3 feet | 4 – 8 inch

Attach all the parts together as shown in the image. Use PVC cement to secure them together. Let it dry.

Cut down the arm hole pipes to fit just to the end of the shoulder tip. Inset the PVC tube into the form and insert the arms, making it look like a hanger. Do not cement the arms. Using a hot glue gun, attached Velcro to the shoulder tip and PVC tip where they meet. This will help to keep the form from sliding around on the pipe.

Trace the pipe on the cardboad  and cut a hole [1 inch diameter]. Use masking tape to secure the edges of the cardboard so that when the form pivots, the edges do not fray and get destroyed.

Insert the tube with the form and trace around the cardboard, positioning the form so that it is perfectly vertical. [The hole might not be the center of the base, depending on how you stood when the cast was made--you might have to pivot it one way or another.]

Cut out the traced lines, place the cardboard back onto the form and secure it with masking tape all around.

The stand is complete. While not the prettiest, it is as functional and versatile as a professional form stand.

Making the cover for the form coming soon....

Update - 07.16.11...Velcro alone did not do a good enough job of holding the form securely onto the stand. Everytime I went to lift the form by the waist, the the weight of the form was causing the velcro to separate. To rememedy this I predrilled 2 holes through the form and the PVC pipe then secured it with dry walls screws.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Making of a Dress Form Part 2 of 4 - Papier-mâché Form

Warning...not for the faint of heart, this is very time consuming.


[from previous entry]
  • Cast
  • Plastic wrap
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Plastic tub
  • Shims
  • Cord

Fill the plastic tub with paper pulp [it will come pressed together, so make sure to break it up]. Pour the wallpaper paste over the pulp and mix it [I think to minimize cost, papier-mâché mixture can be substituted. I can't vouch for the outcome, however, as I didn’t try it]. Mix until it is a nice, moistened, dough-like consistency.
Line your cast with plastic wrap.

Start applying the new mixture to the cast, pressing to make sure it flattens evenly.

Create a 1/2-3/4 inch lip at the edge.

Let it dry [preferably in the sun]. This could take up to 2 weeks to completely heal!!! [You will know it’s dry when it’s rock solid]

Next...Papier-mâché mixture
  • Water
  • All purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Newspaper strips
  • Paint brush
  • Container to mix

Make an even water-to-flour mixture. 1 cup of water to 1 cup of flour, 1 tablespoon of salt. [In the end I used about 8 cups of flour/water.]

After the form is completely dry, line it with two layers of papier-mâché by brushing on the flour mixture, layering it with newspaper, then another layer of flour. One layer horizontally, one vertically. [This might seem excessive, but you want to make sure your form doesn’t fall apart after it’s taken it out of the cast] Let it dry.

Carefully take the completely dry form out of the cast. Join the mâché halves with white glue spread thickly along the widened edges, and tie them together firmly. Slide shims under the cords to tighten them as the glue dries. You might have to apply some pressure, as the half might not come together as well as expected. You can carefully force them together as close as possible without breaking them.

While the glue is somewhat dry, layer the inside seams of the form with more papier-mâché. This will secure the seams, and you won't need to reapply any glue.
Once the glue and interior mâché dries, take the cord and shims off.

Use some sandpaper to even out the edges and imperfections [in case you moved around white casting yourself]. Smooth the surface texture by spreading more mâché over the cracks, side seams and shoulders and build up any area that’s uneven.

Cut out 3 circles: 1 for a neck opening, 2 for arm holes [they might all be different, so measure each separately].
Place the neck circle on the opening and mâché over it. Leave the arm holes open. We will put them together after the stand is ready. That’s coming soon...

Ideas...You could also try filling your cast with Urethane Liquid Foam. It is not any more expensive than buying two buckets of wallpaper paste alone. But, you have only 45 seconds to pour it, and I imagine the cast is ruined after it's been used, so I am not sure I would go with it. But I'd love to hear if anyone does try it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Red Shorts

I am not sure if anyone noticed, but red is my favorite color. Summer is here, and it’s time to get some fun shorts going in this hot, hot weather. And what could be better then a pair of red shorts? [yes, I can think of several other things.] While I am still working on my own custom-made red shorts [entry to follow], here are some that all the brave girls can enjoy.

Retraction: say no to jcrew. While they look nice on the pic, the slopers they use are mumzy. The shorts look nothing like they do on the picture. However, Red shorts are still cool :)

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