Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Creating a duct tape body double

Over the weekend, my boyfriend helped me create Wendy Bernard’s duct-tape dress form for my over-ample body. (Go buy Custom Knits - it’s a terrific book! And check out her blog, Knit and Tonic.)

Unlike many folks who’ve made a custom dress form, I am relieved by the shape of my body. I harbored great trepidation about seeing my body in 3D, but it was actually a relief. The image in my head was 100 times worse than the reality. I’ve always heard that I am hourglass shaped, even if I am fat. It’s true! What a relief. I can work with this silvery-rubberized version of myself, both in knitting and in other ways

That’s the good news. Now the bad: the experience making the dress form was 100% completely miserable. I am 50 and menopausal as hell… if it’s 30 degrees and snowing, I’m still sweating. So when Tom wrapped my neck with Saran wrap and then started laying on the duct tape, I thought I was going to die. Forty-five minutes and a couple of tape layers later, I was planning my funeral. I finally screamed at Tom that I couldn’t take it anymore - I was literally dizzy and nauseous and claustrophobic. He cut the damn thing off of me and I walked around naked for an hour. I break out in a cold sweat even now just thinking about it!

My suggestions?

  1. Make a dress form before you go into menopause.

  2. Turn the A/C way down low, like to 40.

  3. Pour yourself a bucket of ice water. Then drink it.

  4. Cut four million tape strips before you start - this will make it all go faster.

  5. And repeat the lament “this too, shall pass” over and over and over again until you can’t stand it and make your beloved grab the damn scissors.

All that being said, I’m still glad I did it. The result is fantastic. I couldn’t order a dress form shaped like me if I tried, and now I understand why people want one. I’ve already taped up some swatches to the dress form… wow, what a difference! I’m a graphic designer and am used to rolling things around in my brain, but it really helps to see my creations on my body replica.

Thanks to Wendy Bernard and Custom Knits for this great idea! Can’t wait to start knitting true to form. ;-)


  1. visiting from Ample Group.
    Nice Blog you have started.
    Linked to your rss feed and will be visiting!

  2. I literally just laughed out loud thinking of you stripping the duct tape form off and walking around naked!

    I agree with you 100% about the horrible thought of seeing yourself in 3d. I think the worst part was having my body flattened out and seeing how wide it is. At least once it is stuffed it doesn't look SOOO bad (of maybe I am just telling myself that).