My 7 year old hates for me to keep trying clothes on her when I am making her something new. So, I decided to try making a duct tape dress form of her. Making the dress form is a easy concept for an adult model. However, for even a well behaved 7 year old I would say Don't Try this at Home. Well, at least make sure you have a nice bottle of wine for you and ice cream for the kid to look forward to when it is over. It only took an hour to get the shell done but that is still a long time to get a kid to stand still without wiggling while you are mummifying them in duct tape. Also, the smell of the massive amount of duct tape is a bit overwhelming for an adult and more so for a kid.
Otherwise, it was an easy concept. It took me more duct tape than I expected for a kid size form. I used almost 5 rolls total but the decorative tapes were smaller rolls. I also used two bags of 20 oz Polyfill. I repurposed a wooden wire spool for the base and used a large wooden dowel for the post.
I read all the various how to's online and then decided to make mine a little different. With a child the top of the arm fit and the top of the leg fit are very important for comfort. So, I did not feel the simple torso to hips form was enough. I had her put on an outgrown long sleeve top and long pants so they fit snuggly. Then, I wrapped her in duct tape. Most people seem to cut down the back but with the leg and arm I decided to cut down one side. With a side seam, she was then able to slip out of the other side while it remained intact. I started from the top taping the the form back together and then stuffed from the bottom. I stuffed plastic bags in the open end of the arms and legs and then taped over them with duct tape. I stuffed the form with two bags of polyfoam so it is very stiff. I then inserted the wooden dowel and taped the form closed at the bottom. The dowel then slips into the wooden wire spool so the form stands up straight and does not tip over. Afterwards, I double checked the form to her measurements. Make sure to mark bellybutton, nipples, and center of front and back with a Sharpie. Children's dress forms appear to usually be more expensive than adult forms so I am glad to have this done until she changes sizes. I may be able to pad and tape this form as needed as she grows. I will keep you posted.