Resurrection and Revamping: the mannequin dossier – part two.

In part two of my mannequin restoration project, I’m now ready to start re-covering my Venus dressform. Having dithered for several weeks about how to do this and also being distracted by other activities, like holidays to Spain; de-cluttering my workspace and the many other projects on my to-do list I am finally there.

Ah procrastination, if there were a world championship of procrastination I would definitely be a strong contender. It’s a long while since I was crafting on a regular basis and I am really rusty. I think I also have a severe case of launch anxiety. Which job should I do first, WIP vs what needs doing (this dress form) vs what seems exciting (the several new projects on things which I’ve never done before – more later) and all of this in the context that I’m trying to blog about it all as well. I’ve forgotten how to prioritise – this is of course if I ever knew how to in the first place.


I bought the covering as I told you in stage one and I drew out a pattern for the cover. This was a very simple affair, I simply measured the mannequin and did a hand-drawn outline based on the measurements and by-sight sketch for the front and back. I cut these shapes out using the rotary cutter, then pinned it to the form to make some final adjustment. the fabric is easy to manipulate with a little stretch so you can ease it into the correct position and trim it to size.

The next sticking point (!) was how to attach the fabric to the form.  My OH suggested PVA glue but I didn’t think it would adhere, also the thought of that mess made me squeamish; I had some double-sided sticky tape but when I tried that I wasn’t convinced with would stay attached to the smooth plastic of the mannequin.  I went back to Google and then I thought, all the best sticky things that I have used have been made by 3M so I searched their site. Well, they have heaps of different sticking solutions and just when I was about to get overwhelmed I saw they had a chat line. I asked them what would be the best adhesive for sticking foam back fabric to hard plastic and straight away the chat person told me that I needed 4218P double-sided tape.I ordered it and it arrived the next day.


I cleared my desks and set up and off I went. It was actually quite a smooth process attaching the first front piece I had to make some slight adjustments with the ease and snip out a bit of excess fabric but it went on well and the tape seems to be doing the job. Before attaching the second front I made adjustments that I had needed on the left side. Then I stuck on the double-sided tape around the edges and carefully applied the fabric.

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Soon Venus was looking much better and I was feeling quite satisfied. When I started I


had intended to only do the top, the lower cover still seemed intact and as I wasn’t super confident that the cover would work, I didn’t strip it. Now I’m so pleased with how it turned out that I have decided to strip and replace the lower part of Venus too, especially as I have more than enough fabric and no thoughts about what else that might be suitable for. I had a small hiccup in that I needed more of the tape, the original roll that I bought was only enough to attach the two front pieces so a slight pause while I ordered some more.

Just the final stage remains: to put Venus back on her pedestal!

About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

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