How to Make a Custom Dress Form



Introduction: How to Make a Custom Dress Form

About: I'm a life-hacking reuse junkie who loves to create, even if all I'm making is a mess. I love hammers and rocks and history and hand planes. I hugged trees before it was cool but can still operate a chainsaw. …

I recently made/remade my wedding dress. I highly recommend a dress form for a project like this. I started without one and quickly learned (I'm talking 5 minutes in, quickly) that it was pretty important. A wedding gown has quite a bit going on and it's easy for non-seamstress like myself to get positively confused in an instant.

To make my dress form, I used:

  • An old broken-neck Jantzen swimsuit torso, half full of bugs and water (yard sale, $1, although they should really have paid me to take it)
  • Duct tape
  • Old shirt
  • Batting and foam
  • Plywood scraps
  • 2x4 scrap
  • Deck screws
  • Cordless drill
  • Jig saw
  • Measuring tape

Step 1: The Stand

  • Measure your height, floor to shoulder
  • Subtract the height of hard plastic torso and 1-1/2" (2x 3/4" plywood) and cut 2x4 resulting length
  • Trace the general shape of the mannequin's stump legs onto one plywood scrap, cut it out
  • Screw the plywood cut out and an additional triangular scrap piece (the base, mine was roughly 20" on a short side) onto either end of the 2x4 using deck screws
  • Screw the stand onto the mannequin

Step 2: The Form

Maybe you are the size and shape of a mannequin torso, but I am definitely not. I am several inches bigger around and longer. The bottom of her plastic tits (can I say that on here?) are where the tops of mine are.

So she got padding.

I taped foam and stuffing to the hard plastic torso until I had my general shape. I put on the shirt, measured myself every few inches and marked. I then cut down the shirt and sewed up with my machine. I put the shirt on the torso, and using more foam and stuffing, filled it. Double check measurements as you stuff.

When I was done, it was a little on the soft side. Because the shirt fabric had some give, I couldn't pack it tight... if I had it to do over, I'd probably just have sewed the shirt smaller to account for the stretch. So more tape... I think I used a whole roll of Gorilla tape on this form!

Next.... wait- that's it! It's done! That was pretty easy! It's a good thing, too, because the wedding dress you're about to make is going to be a serious task. Stay tuned for that entry into the DIY adventure logbook...

Plastics Contest

Participated in the
Plastics Contest

Sew Cool Contest

Participated in the
Sew Cool Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Fandom Contest

      Fandom Contest
    • Teach With Tinkercad Contest

      Teach With Tinkercad Contest
    • Microcontroller Contest

      Microcontroller Contest