Hi! Today I would like to tell about my large project of making true size dress-making dummy doll. Everybody who sews soon or later starts thinking about a dummy doll and even about having it in true size and shape of his own body. This makes sewing of tops, blouses and dresses easier since you do not need to adjust it on yourself.
I have this idea since a while but could not find a proper way to do it and in meanwhile I had already dummy doll which does not have correct measurement of the upper part of the body.
Internet gives a lot of information about the dummy doll from tape, plaster gauze and few workshops who can actually do nice dummy of your size, but it’s very expensive. I’ve stuck to the idea to do it myself. However, I did not like idea with tape, it’s very unstable and can easily change the form. Plaster gauze sounds better, unfortunately it’s also very fragile unless you put many layers as doctors do. but then the dummy would be far to large. The next thought was to make a cast and fill it with something which then can be hard, for example polyurethane foam which is used in construction work.
I loved this idea and started to elaborate it and kept searching in internet and I have found this post. This is exactly what I wanted to do! I took some useful tips like do not do entire cast but only half of it with separation in front and back, using Vaseline (originally I thought about wrapping myself in a foil) but with Vaseline it’s easier. On the other hand I wanted to wrap the doll in wadding fabric to make it look nicer and construct the supporting leg. So I improved a bit the procedure.
The process of making dummy doll is time-consuming and consists of many steps, so I’ve still did not finish it completely, but it’s approaching! Today I will start to shape my experience.
What do you need
1. The friend is the most important – somebody has put you in the cast. I worked together with my boyfriend.
2. Fast drying plaster gauze (around 50 m)
3. Sticking tape
4. Vaseline… a lot of Vaseline
5. Plastic foil
6. Plaster powder (around 5 kg)
8. 2-phase PU foam
9. Wooden stick for the supporting leg. We have squared one of 3.5 cm x 3.5 cm
10. Wooden plate to make a foot
11. Necessary instruments – scissors, screws and screw drivers and so on… depends on the way of constructing the leg.
12. Wadding fabric
13. And some decorative fabric to make your dummy doll looks nicer.
And now the process begins…
Step 1: Preparation. Convince your friend to do the job. Then you need a plaster gauze. I have bought around 70 meters with width of 6 cm. Cut it to pieces of 5 cm, 10 cm and 15 cm. Long stripes are practical for the back, but do not make it too long, would be very uncomfortable to work with it. I used around 30m for casting. Later I needed another 20m for post-processing.
Let’s start… Wrap your bra in plastic foil and make a mini-skirt around hips. It is very practical to stick front and back side of the plastic skirt between legs then the shape of buttocks would be better approached. Put a spacer on the body and then a lot of Vaseline. Do not hesitate to use Vaseline you will appreciate it later when you will need to remove the cast.
Step 2: casting. This is the hardest part, mostly because you need to stay straight and do not move. However, I would suggest to keep moving a bit, move your fingers and toes and open window, you would need a lot of fresh air. In the beginning a did not move at all and windows were closed because of cold weather and I did not wish to stay wet and naked with open windows… but half an hour later was black out… Nearly… But cast has to be removed and I needed to sit down and drink a lot of water. Then we open windows and I let myself to move a bit. However, I realized in the end I moved a lot…
tip: start to put stripes from the shoulder to the back and then switch to the front from bottom to the top. The breast will be longer free and breathing will be easier. Put another tape border for bottom part of the cast, then you would not need to cut it afterwards. We did not do it and it costed us 2 extra hours.
Step 3: drying. It is important to have plaster gauze which dries fast, then the time spent in the cast will be significantly less. Be careful one layer is not enough to get a stable cast, you need more. We put two layers on the shoulder and one everywhere else. Then we applied thin layer of the plaster powder directly without removing the cast from the body. I am still not sure that it was a good idea, it takes more than an hour to dry and starts to solidify after 40 min only… After 40 minutes I removed it and put to the existing dummy doll for complete drying. Before it is dry completely it cannot stand by itself without deformation. Maybe 3-4 layers of the plaster gauze would be better or powder which dries faster.
Step 4: Post processing. As I have mentioned we did not care about nice bottom line and regretted a lot. cutting thin cast was very difficult and we spent around 2 hours for something which can be done in 5 min in the beginning. Next step is glue together two half of the cast. We used the plaster gauze to close the cut and then applied 2 more layers of the plaster powder. The total thickness of the cast was a bit more than half a cm. Now we cut the cast along the shoulders and sides for two parts. We used very fine saw the cut was perfectly straight, no single piece was broken.