My stunt double - a tragic victim of spam

I'm a pretty lo-fi person when it comes to this blog - I make my stuff, I post, I enjoy reading the comments, and thats about it - there's little in the way of stat analysis because yawn.  This is all just for fun for me. Blogger is really good at filtering out spam but every now and then I go in and clear out all the crap-filled garbage that piles up in there, and I started to notice that I had one particular post that was spammed constantly. So I checked out my stats, and noticed that this particular post, written about 18 months ago now had clocked up 24000+ views. Being an old post I was tempted just to delete it because the global care factor would have been well into the negative, but it's actually a really useful one - my DIY paper tape dress form post. So I've deleted the old one, and reposted the content here. Back when I wrote it I don't think even my mum could be bothered reading my blog, so it might be of some interest to newer readers. I use my little papery friend ALL THE TIME, and she has helped me with some many fitting issues. She's also awesome to just dump crap on when I'm too lazy to clean up. So enjoy!

First posted - February 2013
A couple of months ago now we had a week off, and I convinced my beloved that wrapping me in paper tape for a couple of hours to create a dress form was an awesome way to spend an evening! Decent dress forms are not cheap, but after all the fitting issues I had with my Peony I realised that unless I was to waste a lot of time and fabric, a dress form would be a really helpful investment. There are several good tutorials online, including on Burdastyle, and this sweet little blog, so there's not much point me paraphrasing what other people have already said. My main tips are to pre cut lots of strips, don't do it in the cold, and make sure when you remove it you stuff it with newspaper to keep the shape while it dries. I made the mistake of hanging mine on a coat hanger, and the shoulders dried in the wrong position - I had to rewet it, put it back on to mould it back into shape! 1 bought a second hand skivvy from an op shop which was nice and long so we could cover down to my hips, and up high around my neck.

My stunt double is not perfect in dimensions - and she's a little lumpy, and I've lost a little weight off my ab since then but for what I need, which is basic fitting assistance for my upper body and sway back, she is super!

I didn't intend to take photos of the production effort because, quite frankly, who wants to see me wrapped in paper in my partners undies, but I did in the end because my mum was having a bad day and needed a laugh:

Hasn't he done a great job - sweet boy! We had to do some emergency duct taping as I took it off a little early - she was too damp and started to implode a bit.....

We found an old coat rack on Ebay for the bargain price of $5 and with some dowel, foam pieces and expanding foam finished her off, closed up the neck with some extra paper tape and voila!

I had a old Metalicus top destined for the op shop, which was perfect - it's tight, thin and adds some disco lurex styling to her slightly lumpy brown shape - aesthetics plus practicality (I can pin onto the top rather than into the paper). 

I'm pretty sure the waistlines not quite right, but it'll do....

That is one hell of a swayback.....
She got her first official task yesterday after I traced off my Colette Laurel pattern - I cut a 4 bust, 6 waist and hips, and 8 in length using my swedish tracing paper, quickly pinned it all together and then onto my friend here and could tell straight up that the bust dart would be too high, and I probably won't need a swayback adjustment!

Pinned onto the front- looks ok....

Initial bust dart position
Black X marks my bust apex - dart too high!!
Back view - not too bad - no obvious sway back or neck gape issues!!
Bust dart cut out and moved down closer to bust apex!
I was just SO pleased - less than 10 minutes to work out a fitting issue, no wasted fabric - AWESOME!  My Laurel will be lined, and I'll use the lining as my muslin to double check the fit - so exciting!

Cost of stunt double - 2 x rolls of paper tape $10, 1 x second hand skivvy $4, coat stand off Ebay $5, 2 x cans expanding foam $26 = $45!!!


  1. I had totally missed this! I tried making one form myself using duck tape but I managed deforming it a lot while filling ... maybe take two would work better. I was considering using plaster gauze and foam but maybe first I'll give paper tape a try!

    1. I think the paper is the best because it dries hard, it's light and it's so cheap! Plaster would be hard work to get off - you'd need a plaster saw!

  2. I've wondered about this technique; it's good to hear it's a worthwhile one from an opinion I trust :) I have a commercial dressform already, but it's really only useful for basic fitting, nothing specialised. I'll have to give it a try sometime, thanks!

  3. Fantastic idea. I really need to do this!

  4. Great innovation to make your own, good work! I would love to have a body double. I do have a dressmakers' dummy (Daphne) and as I am a pretty standard hour glass shape she does the job adequately. Although I do have to adjust for my bust apex, breast feeding and age have put paid to any matching perkiness!

    1. She's been a great investment, that's for sure!


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