Doll dressmakers mannequin made using the papier mache technology.

How to make a doll mannequin

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

Protect doll with cling wrap, put masking tape and mark side seams

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).

Tear small paper pieces for the first layer, dunk in water and white glue mix and glue to doll body
Use small pieces of toilet paper for next layers.

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!

8 layers of paper on doll body
Remove papier mache billet from doll body

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

Make papier mache billet at doll 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.

Cut out the edges of front and back mannequin billets and glue them together on shoulder and side seams
Trim the edges of the mannequin at the neckline, armholes and bottom line

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.

Circle the neckline hole and bottom one on the cardboard and cut details out
Finished papier mache doll dress form mannequin

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.

doll-mannequin-11
Ok, it’s here
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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.

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