Meet Ralph

Ralph is modeling Big Damn Heroes, and doing a really lovely job at it.

Ralph replaced my DIY dress form, Penelope, who was made of an old t-shirt and duct tape. Sadly, Penelope did not make it through the move to California so she had to be replaced. Why is her name Ralph, you ask? Well she used to work at an unnamed retailer modelling clothes for a classic American designer whose name rhymes with Malph Wauren. I loved Penelope in all her sticky uneven glory (she was made from my figure after all), but it is really nice to have a model with well balanced proportions – even if she looks slightly obscene without pants on.

If you are interested in a dress form but don’t want to spend the cash on it just yet (and don’t have a “fell off the back of a truck” connection like me) – all you need is:

1. an old t-shirt you never want to wear again
2. lots of duct tape – they make it all kinds of colors now which would look really cool, but the heavy-duty stuff works the best
3. polyester fill (about 2 big bags)
4. something you can use as a stand – I used a plastic beach pail in the neck, balanced on a giant cardboard tube, shoved into a hole cut into big cardboard box from a tv – classy, eh?
5. a helper – for reals, don’t try to do this by yourself if only because if you wrap it too tight you might have a panic attack trying to get free from your duct taped prison
6. scissors and a deft hand

The quick instructions are:
a. put on shirt with a well-fitting bra (or with the girls hanging free, I won’t judge you)
b. have your helper wrap you in the duct tape using big strips and paying close attention to the curvy bits (you want this tight, but not so tight you flip out, it is a bit constricting)
c. make sure the shirt is completely covered (probably several times over)
d. then have your helper cut the shirt straight up the back without out cutting your well-fitting bra (hence the need for a deft hand)
e. take the duct tape/shirt off (cover your shame!)
f. carefully line up the cut part and duct tape it closed
g. stuff with the fill and attach to the stand (if you go with the plastic beach pail like me, shove it up through the neck before you stuff it then fill it with polyester fill and the cardboard tube)
h. duct tape over the neck and bottom holes
i. stand it up, fix any sticky-uppy parts with additional duct tape
j. DO NOT freak out over the way it looks in comparison to the way you see you body shape in your head – the shirt + duct tape adds like 3 inches to your real figure and you are beautiful just the way you are anyway.

Penelope served me well, and I hope if you decide to make one of your own you share pics of her working it with your knitwear!

RIP Penelope, you will be missed.


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