Tips & Tricks Costume Minus Mannequin?

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by BultarSwan, Aug 6, 2013.

Moderators: Commander-DWH
  1. BultarSwan Founder: Grand Rapids, MI FF

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2003
    star 10
    So my cousin is helping me to make a costume (not star wars if you're curious), but the way she did it is that she pinned it on me, cut out the different parts and then I took it home and sewed the seams. I'm wondering if you fine ladies and gentlemen could help me figure out how to cut out a costume by pinning it on myself and then cutting it out. Is that eve possible to do yourself?
  2. Commander-DWH Shiny Costuming & Props Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    So, I sort of did my first few costumes this way. I'd cut something huge out, pin it, put it on me, adjust, cut, pin again, adjust, etc. It's doable, but takes a lot of patience and willingness to stab yourself.

    I would recommend instead building yourself a duct tape double. Gives you your exact form, without stabbing yourself, and is pretty cheap. All you need is a friend to help you out: http://makingitwell.blogspot.com/2012/03/i-made-my-own-dress-form.html
    BultarSwan likes this.
  3. BultarSwan Founder: Grand Rapids, MI FF

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2003
    star 10
    That sounds less painful. Definitely a fan of that. I'll do my best to get that done. I just hope I can have my costume when I need it. Thanks DWH. [:D]
  4. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    The technique she does is what I do all the time. It just takes patience and knowing your own body.
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  5. BultarSwan Founder: Grand Rapids, MI FF

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2003
    star 10
    Thank-you Miana. I'm a little nervous because I want it to work! :p
  6. spacelady Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2003
    star 5
    I would suggest the duct tape form, if you don't have the money for an actual dress form. I originally started out with a duct tape form and it made a huge difference, just make sure if you do end up making one, don't pull the tape too tight. When I was much younger, I had my mom help me and she ended up pulling the tape too tight and it actually distorted my shape, causing obvious problems.

    If you can manage by measuring out what you need and pinning it out on the fabric, great! But if you can put your WIP on some kind of a dress form, it will give you a better view of how it fits and how it will lay on you. You can also see the back and sides better than wearing it yourself, which will make pinning adjustments so much easier! :)
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  7. BultarSwan Founder: Grand Rapids, MI FF

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2003
    star 10
  8. Jabari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2007
    star 1
    Another thing that works is to use an existing item of clothing that fits as a pattern. I made a mostly-Anakin-style Jedi robe once and copied the "yoke" portion of a favorite flannel shirt for the pattern for the shoulders, and copied the hood from a wool coat. It worked really well.

    Some people find a garment that fits similarly to what you want the end product to be and cut it apart to make an exact pattern, but you don't have to. If you measure/trace carefully and make sure to add a seam allowance, you can get a pattern without destroying anything.
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  9. BultarSwan Founder: Grand Rapids, MI FF

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2003
    star 10
    That's great news Jabari. Thanks! I hadn't thought of doing that. :)
  10. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    That's actually what I'm planning to do for a pair of men's pants that I have to make. I'm just going to get a pair of pants that already fit him and use THAT as the pattern.
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  11. BultarSwan Founder: Grand Rapids, MI FF

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2003
    star 10
    I had my cousins over today so we could work on my Renn. costume and the one who was helping me out just used an old tee so I got to see firsthand how it goes! I'm very excited and hope to use that method in the future.
    Jabari likes this.
  12. Tala Que Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2013
    You could make a duct tape sewing form. I made one for myself a few years ago and I can't image making costumes without it! It's so helpful! After I made mine, I ended up covering the whole thing with a few layers of batting so I could pin to it, and then I took an old corset I had and put that on it to get it back to my measurements.
Moderators: Commander-DWH