Whether you want to display clothing in your bedroom or in a retail store, using a wire mannequin is a simple way to show off clothing. Making your own wire mannequin is an inexpensive project, and after a trip to the hardware store for supplies, is fairly easy to do. Wire mannequins are also easily constructed in different shapes, from a large man down to a small child.
Measure the height, bust/chest, shoulder-to-shoulder length, arm length, waist, hips, inseam and shoulders-to-feet length of a person who is approximately the same size of the desired mannequin shape.
Cut a piece of wire netting as high as the height measurement plus 6 inches and as wide as the bust measurement plus 4 inches. Make a vertical cut starting from the bottom center as long as the inseam measurement – this will be for the legs.
Turn the edges of the wire netting piece inward to form a cylinder shape. Separately do the same with the two areas to form the legs.
Carefully bend the top of the larger cylinder with your fingers into a head shape, keeping in mind the shoulders-to-feet measurement. Give shape to the shoulders with the shoulder-to-shoulder length.
Mold the chest shape, the waist shape and the hips shape using the measurements and keeping the mannequin’s desired figure in mind.
Cut a piece of wire netting 8 inches wide and as long as the arm measurement plus 2 inches. Turn each piece inward to form a cylinder, and mold the arm shapes. Attach the arms with fuse wire to the main mannequin body.
Review the mannequin shape, and refine it with your hands, bending, shaping and molding to produce the desired effect.
Place the wire mannequin on top of a wood base (a square- or rectangle-shaped piece of wood). Set wire netting staples at the bottom of the wire mannequin, and hammer them in place to secure to the base. Paint the wood base if desired.
- Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen’s dresses and their construction, c. 1860-1940; Janet Arnold; 1972
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