Saturday, April 30, 2011

Duct Tape Body Doubles

For a few years now, I've been wanting to make a dress form of myself.  Having an exact body double to fit clothing on as I sew would make things much easier!  I've put it off, because I knew it would take some effort and more than a little teamwork, but finally I had the perfect reason: in our church, our Creative Arts Team is responsible for both music and artistic expression in our building and worship experience, and so for each big sermon/conversation series we choose a new theme to go along.  This most recent one, kicking off on Easter Sunday, is called "Modern Family", and so we decided to do a spin on that with retro-fitting the stage and other areas with vintage and mod-inspired deco.  I volunteered to create four dress forms to put vintage dresses on.  And of course, I plan to take one of them back home after we are all done with them.  (WOW that was a long-winded explanation.)

Last week, my friend Lisa and I got to work on them, figuring it all out as we went along with this tutorial.

My friend Lisa, helping me to create a duct-tape dress form

I had already considered Lisa to be among my very closest of friends, but let me tell you, nothing brings you together like a little duct tape.  She now has a very (VERY) close understanding of my body.  It's all about lots of laughs and a good dose of body confidence.  (MANY laughs -- a little painful once the duct-tape has been fully wrapped!)

My friend Lisa, helping me to create a duct-tape dress form

We started with first the less expensive silver color, and then switched to black for the outer layer (in the interest of the form blending into our black stage as much as possible, allowing the dresses to really stand out.)

My friend Lisa, helping me to create a duct-tape dress form

Creating a duct-tape dress form

Preparing to be cut out of the duct-tape body cast.

Lisa ended up making three of these, and Greg made the final one for a total of four.

Our friend Josh built a wooden stand with a cross piece for the shoulders, which helps to stabilize the whole thing.  I put the "shoulders" inside the duct-tape shell, then plushed out the form with stuffing and quilt batting, and taping it first up the back, then the arm and neck holes.  Finally, I cut a piece of cardboard to seal off the "hips", and duct taped it all closed.

Completed duct tape dress form

Completed dress form.  (Sorry about the horrible background -- I forgot to take a picture until I was on my way out the door, bringing this to our church building.)

I will post pictures soon of our stage set -- it's the coolest one we've done so far, and I'm so proud of our entire team, and all of the hard work that went into it!

For now, here's some videos from Easter Sunday (the kick-off of the Modern Family conversations and superfun stage set) that I've just added to my playlist (the top four).  I had the privilege of singing a crazy fun Nico Vega song: Family Train  (sorry about the scary freeze-frame!)

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