Body Double

My first assignment for draping was to create a body form to work from throughout the course of the class. The first ones we made in pairs, by standing perfectly still minimally breathing while being wrapped by your partner in wet brown tape.

It is the same idea as the duct tape forms we made for Fashion Fiber Fabric 2000, only a lot sturdier and molded to your actual body shape. The duct tape ones were basically useless as they were soft, pliable and did not keep their form.  After a lovely Saturday morning asparagus and swiss eggs benni from Coras, I went in to the studio yesterday and discovered the forms weren’t dried long enough on our bodies before we cut them off and were now completely warped and twisted.

I spend three hours fixing, taping, stuffing, and cutting mine down determined I wasn’t going to have to re-do the whole thing until I gave up, taped a plastic bag over the real-motion-less mannequin and went to town on a whole new form!

I left it to dry for 24 hours before I attempt to remove it, hopeful that it will not be as warped as the first one. This leaves me with a whole day spent getting back to the same place where I started 6 hours earlier! Before Tuesday mornings class, I have to finish and mount the form, drape/sew a soft felt and then cotton bodice to completely cover the paper. Sigh.

Here is a great tutorial on how to make your own brown tape body form.

I recommend using a factory made mannequin for the base, it will give you a symmetrical, even, and sturdy form without the “breathing room” and un-even shape you will get from a “living” model. When she begins to drape the tape around the arms and bust she is using strips that are to large. If you cut up pieces of various widths and smaller strips, you will get a much smoother and accurate form. Remember in waist and bust curves placing little slits in the sides of the tape will help the tape lay flat to the form. Instead of recycling a tree ‘stump’ use a long cardboard tube. You can visit your local fabric store for these, once bolts of upholstery and double width fabrics are used up they always have plenty they are about to throw away.


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