Saturday, March 21, 2009

My turn to get to the gym! And my duct tape double

Well, at least to hop on my treadmill. My partner sent me a gorgeous package for the Help Me Lose Weight Swap! First, she sent me an amazing bag:


This is so well-made, and I absolutely love this fabric! She should be selling bags, seriously!

She also sent me a cute t-shirt and a necklace:



A pretty journal for tracking exercise and a neat exercise book:


Thank you, Craftastrophe! I love it all!

One additional motivator. . . .

I am sick and tired of not being able to find feminine, well-fitting (and modest) shirts. I am not a man, so I do not want to dress like a man (boxy t-shirts or polo shirts.) Currently, I seem to be in some type of odd-sized limbo. I'm a 14/16 right now. Women's shirts balloon on me -- waaaay too big. But XL in "regular" sizes are very tight in the bust. No skin-tight clothes for me, thank you.
I have decided to sew myself a few simple, spring-time tops. I chose these patterns to start with:





However, I still have a hard time fitting myself with standard patterns. It's more an issue of, um, distribution. I don't have a dress form or mannequin to work with, so. . . .

My solution? A duct-tape double!

This isn't perfect (I'm not that lopsided! LOL!) but it gives me general idea of where everything is, and how clothing will drape. I'm really happy with how it turned out! I do have to store it in the closet, though. I kept doing a double-take, thinking someone was standing next to my work table!

My sister told me about these several years ago. They're very simple to make. (Sorry, no in-progress photos.) To make one for yourself, you will need:
  • a large, long t-shirt (old ones are perfect for this)
  • a roll or two of wide duct tape (I used 1 full roll, and just a couple of strips from a second roll)
  • a patient friend (or spouse)
  • poly-fil, or some type of stuffing
  • cardboard, or some type of frame to put your double on
**Your t-shirt needs to be long, about mid-thigh, as it draws up as you are taped.
**Put your t-shirt on, with your typical undergarments underneath. You want your double to be formed the way you typically look.
**Now, have your trusty friend start wrapping duct tape around you. We used long sections of tape, about 2 feet long, rather than winding tape around and around. You'll want the tape to be pretty snug and form-fitting, but not so tight you pass out.
**You can tape as far down on your figure as would suit your needs. Some people tape all the way down through their hips. I stopped just past my waist for mine, since I'm using it for draping shirts (not dresses.)
**I also do not recommend being taped with your arms straight out. . . . it's better to have them by your side, and only wrap a couple of inches of the arms. You could probably leave the arms off altogether if you wanted.
**Once you have one layer of tape all over, you can add a second layer if you choose. I did not.
**Have your friend cut you out of your duct tape armor, by carefully cutting one single cut up the back, through both the t-shirt and the tape. Pull off your shell.
**Now, tape that opening back together. It helps to have your friend hold the cut ends together, so you can carefully line them up as you tape it closed.
**For the neck hole and arm holes, I put some old t-shirt scraps over these openings, and then taped them shut with additional tape. I also marked where the neck would be on mine with a sharpie.
**Stuff your double. I used poly-fil for most of it. I wanted mine slightly weighted, so I shredded some old t-shirts, and put that at the bottom to help it stand up.
**To finish, I traced the bottom of the double onto a piece of cardboard, and cut that out. I then taped that cardboard piece to the bottom of my double, and it stands up just fine on a table top. Some people use old dress form stands or other types of stands for their double. Those would be particularly helpful if you are making skirts or dresses for yourself.
**And that's it!

Oh, and about that motivator -- I hope to be making a smaller version of this by the end of summer!

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry but you could NOT be more clever! I love seeing what you come up with next! That duct tape double is GENIUS!

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