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September 07, 2017 4 min read

When you sew and you have kids, you sometimes need to sew after they go to bed. But if you sew garments for your kids, this may be a problem, as they can’t be there to try the garments on as you sew. Of course, there is a solution for this, so you don’t need to stop from your work until they can try the fit. A solution is a dress form.

But as we all know, kids tend to grow up quite fast, so this means you would need to constantly change your dress form, so it fit the size of your kid. Well, there are various models of dress forms, some of them specially created to resemble a child, but if you don’t want to spend too much money on a dress formthat you may only use for a certain amount of time, then we offer you an even better solution: make a dress form for your child.

If you have more than one child, you may need to make a different dress formfor each of your children. However, here we’ll show you how to do the dress formfor a child, and you can make it for every of your children. However, considering that children grow fast, you are recommended to make a dress formand do a stack of clothes for that child, and only then move on and do the dress formfor the next child.

What you need

Here we’re going to show you what you need:

  • A partial roll of regular tape for the first layer
  • Three rolls of printed duct tape for the outside
  • A metal frame
  • Old plastic bags
  • Foam
  • Old shirt

The process

Before you start, make sure you explain to your child that once you start, he or she needs to stay very still. Also explain that near the end, it would get tight, so your kid knows what to expect and doesn’t get scared by the feeling. It is always important to forewarn your kid about what comes. Make sure you choose a shirt that your kid no longer needs, as it will become part of the dress form.Therefore, you also need to make sure that the chosen shirt covers every area that you want the form to fit to. Once you explained everything clearly and your kid is ready to begin, he or she needs to put the old shirt on.

You can start with an “x” over the chest area. It is recommended to do so because when you just do horizontal or vertical stripes, this area is possible to become less fitting. This is especially essential for older girls, but you can also do this for little girls.

Once you finished this, you can start with small horizontal sections along the front and then in the back. Only put it along the sides at the end, as this causes the form to get tight and it can be quite uncomfortable for your child.

Carefully line the neck line and each arm. You need to make everything that you may ever want to fit your garment to. So if you plan to make garments with sleeves, then you need to make sure your dress formhas sleeves, as well. The same thing is available if you want to fit pants to the form. In this case, you need to wrap the thighs and do them as well. You need to ensure you have fabric pieces around the thighs and under the form.

Once you are happy with the result, you need to fit very short strips, of around six inches, to one side at a time and fit it as snug as you can without restricting any air flow.

Once the duct tape form is how you planned it to be, repeat the process with the decorative tape. However, this time you need to make it faster than the first time. It is possible that you need two full rolls for the second layer, as the dollar store rolls are quite short.

After you complete this step, place your non-dominant hand inside the bottom of the back and start to slowly cut up the back with the scissors. Be very careful with this step. Once you get it off your child, you need to carefully tape the back together again. Make sure everything is lined up right. Carefully hold the arm shape and tape over the arm holes. Tack some pieces of a plastic bag inside the arms.

Now it depends on how you want your dress formto look like. You can leave it like this and tape over the holes filling it with shredded paper or plastic bags. However, if you need to use it for ankle length dresses and skirts, you should go on with the next step. In this case, you need to create a stand just like your kid’s height. You can put some weather stripping on the bottom to avoid it from scratching your floor. Another way you can do this is to fit the form to a wood stand.


You don’t need to worry if you don’t have the exact same materials as in this article. You can use your own materials to create the stand and filling for your dress form. The important thing is to make sure that the materials you use hold the shape of your form.