I’ve decided to sew a few outfits for my Iplehouse Jessica. This means that I would have to use my doll every time I want to try clothes on her. But, first of all, Jessica is big and quite heavy and it is not very convenient for me to use her.
At the second, I afraid to leave scratches on her face up or body with pins during the process. What to do in this situation? I’ve decided that I need a doll dressmakers mannequin!
I have done an extensive research about dressmakers mannequins. I know the technology with duck tape and polyurethane foam because a friend of mine used this technology for her own foam mannequin around 6-7 years ago. But I don’t know where to buy polyurethane foam in a country where I live now. I found only some silicon hermetic but in this case doll dress form would be like a jelly and it’s not suitable for sewing. Also, floating measurements in mm are not fatal for people but may be fatal for dolls especially if I sew corsets.
For all these reasons I decided to make the doll mannequin using the papier mache technology.
Below are the steps I followed:
Make doll mannequin front part
First of all, I protected Jessica’s body with cling wrap, then put masking tape to future seams and marked them. This was really pointless (to mark seams – not to protect the doll!) as I realized later.
Then I mixed white glue and water in 1:1 proportion. I used a newspaper for first layer. I tore small pieces of newspaper, dunk them in water and glue mix and then glued to Jessica’s body (as you remember it was protected by cling wrap).
I let the newspaper layer dry. Then I used toilet paper for the second layer. I tore pieces of toilet paper and separated toilet paper layers. So I got very thin pieces of paper.
I made 8 layers of paper and I think this is enough for a doll mannequin. Because it takes time for layers to dry, it took more than a week to make all 8 layers!
When my papier mache billet dried I took it off. I didn’t bother about the edges because I knew I would cut them off. As you can see I drew the future side seam on the billet.
Make dress form back
What did I do next? Just repeated all steps above on Jessica’s back 🙂
Assembly the dressmakers mannequin
When I got two billets, one from the front and another one from the back, I cut off the edges and glued both billets together on shoulder and side seams.
Then I drew the waist, the hip and the neck lines and trimmed off the edges againat the neckline and bottom line. I trimmed off the armholes as well.
After that, I circled the neckline hole and bottom one on the cardboard and cut the details out from the cardboard.
Next, I glued the neck and the bottom cardboard details to their places. Now my mannequin looked more tidy. Next I was going to glue it on a candlestick so I really needed the bottom for the mannequin.
I can use my doll mannequin now. But, firstly, I’m about to sew a cover from calico and, secondly, glue it to the candlestick.