Making a duct tape body double mannequin – the wrong way
Making a duct tape body-double mannequin, read this for some problems to avoid then read the right way to do it
By Paula O’Brien
See Threads magazine for more suggestions and pictures
Last November, my sister-in-law and I created a duct tape body double dressmaker’s dummy for her 6 foot tall body. She was very keen as she could never find a ready made dummy that would have the correct body height to match hers. I’d seen these articles in Thread magazine for years so we planned a weekend rendezvous and created one. I’m going to share with you our experiences, failures and eventual great success and maybe you know someone who’d like to create a body double too.
Supplies – Have at least these amounts on hand, you can always take unopened supplies back later
2-3 rolls silver duct tape
5 bags of 20 ounce/ 567 gram each polyfill stuffing
One strong wooden coat hanger
1 1/4 yd fine jersey to make the final skin in nice color, skin tone maybe or gray, lighter colors will reveal the meridian lines drawn on underneath which can be helpful when pinning on the twill tape
10 yds of 3/8 inch twill tape in a nice toning or contrast color. This is way more than you need but have it in stock anyway, very useful stuff.
You need 2 helpers. You can do it with only one helper but it will take a longer time.
Straight pins with flat heads, not ball heads to pin twill tape into stuffed dummy
1/4 to 3/8 inch plywood or thick cardboard to make a cutout for bottom
Optional- Upholstery needle and heavy crochet cotton
2 big garbage bags
Plastic Wrap for neck and underarms
Permanent black felt pen
Flat screwdriver to pull out staples
Pliers to pull out straight pins or staples
Foam raglan shoulder pads for breasts, shoulders, buttocks (again buy more and return unused later)
Try some kind of shoulder pad for stuffing out the butt
Heavy (flexible) wire
2 3/4 inch flat buttons
My cost was about $100 but many of the items on the supply list will be things you already have on hand. If you ever decide your dummy needs to be abandoned, everything but the duct tape can be reused in some future projects and 3 rolls of duct tape cost about $25.00.
Takes just over an hour with 2 helpers.
Two helpers are best, one to make tape strips and one to tape the subject.
A plastic chair back or glass window to stick tape to that will not be damaged by pulling off the duct tape later. This way the tape assistant can prepare the lengths of tape that the taper requests.
Like duct-tape dress form #1 in Threads magazine, this one uses three layers of tape.
Start by writing down measurements and have this at hand:
The subject should PEE FIRST, wear rubbery soled shoes, have a drink at hand, not assist too much, move body as little as possible, take little breaks to flex legs, knees as little as possible but as much as needed to keep from stiffening up too much. Don’t wear a sports bra unless that is your normal bra. Wear your normal bra and tight pantyhose. Wear a garbage bag and another down below instead of a t-shirt to keep duct tape shell as close to body as possible.
Now go and read the article about the right way to do this project.
Tags: duct tape dummy