If you find yourself frequently making clothes or costumes for yourself, a dress form that matches your exact measurements comes in incredibly handy. You can use it for fitting fabric and armor, and if you add a head to the mannequin, you can style the wig on it too. I’ve seen cosplayers and seamstresses use duct tape to build a body form from scratch or to bulk up an existing form to the correct size. Irena Tsibulka of Couture Stories knew using duct tape was an option, but she wanted to be more precise and wanted to create a form that would not lose its shape over time. She decided to make a mold of her body.
She ended up use Plastrona – a plaster gauze used by doctors – for the mold. It wasn’t super cheap but she found it was higher quality than what you’d find in craft stores and less expensive than using silicone.
For the dummy portion, she used polyurethane foam:
I liked the idea of the polyurethane foam because it means that the dummy will be very light in weight. When I’ve started to study the polyurethane option, I found that polyurethane is sold as two separate liquids. Which is far more “user friendly”, than those sold in building construction shop. When you mix them, you have some time to pour it into the mold, where it begins to expand. And it dries fast.
There are at least three types of different polyurethane density you can buy, and I’m talking about the hard foam. The denser the dried product the smoother the surface, but you’ll need more liquid to buy. This can be expensive. We decided to buy the least dense, one liter of mixture expands to 30 liters of dried polyurethane.
Be sure to know the volume of the body trunk, and how big in volume the mixture expands.
What is your body trunk volume?
You can tell that your weight is the approximate volume of your body.
So if I weight 55 kilogram, the volume is 55 liter, but I’ll need less than this, because I’m planing to do a dummy without the volume of my hands, head and bottom side of the legs. It will be approximately 10 liter less ( Human head volume ~4.5 liters, I just Google it.)
So when I bought the mixture I knew that I need 45 liters of dried foam. In my case I bought two liquids in bottles of 1 liter each, it yields 2 liters of mixture. It’s more than I need because from this amount I can get 60 liters of dried foam.
Just be sure to check the total volume of foam you’ll get, from the mixture you’ll buy.
Mission accomplished!!! We’ve bought two bottles.
Read the entire, very detailed tutorial at Couture Stories.