|While I linked to Jean's site, there is also an upcoming Patternreview.com version of this class coming up in early June. I highly recommend taking this class online if you can't do one of Jean's classes in person. I took the class at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL.
The class I took was the first in Jean Haas's Clone Yourself series, in which Jean tapes you up and then guides you through the process of creating a poly fiberfilled duct tape double to use as a dress form.
There is some preparation for this class which Jean is very specific about in her very detailed, pre-class instructions. I'd recommend following her prep instructions to the letter and if you have questions- about materials or supplies, email her with them before the taping up/stuffing begins. (If you take the class with her real-time, she is incredibly well-prepared with the proper type of tape, extra turtlenecks if, like I did, you bring 100% cotton "ribbed" instead of interlock--the ribbing would have sagged too much. With the on-line version, it would probably be best to have everything set at the start of taping.) She is very helpful about answering the whys and hows. (one tip I have for you: be careful about the pantyhose/lycra leggings you wear on the bottom. I never wear either in real life, so I was scrambling around at the last minute and found only a pair of very tight, control-top pantyhose that caused that flesh-bunching- up above and below the waistband thing...You know the look I mean. Ugh.)
In the class I took, Jean did the taping-up and it took about 45 -60 minutes --and she invented this process and has come up with all kinds of equipment and shorcuts that you probably won't have access to, so expect it to be longer when you do it.
The result in the taped version of me was so true to form that it even picked up the knotted muscles in my upper back from a damaged nerve injury--a "shape" I'd never actually seen before, since it is under my shoulderblade- but which I have since discovered makes a difference in the back dart take-up of fitted bodices and in how all kinds of things hang. The DT me has also shown me the other compensations in the musculature of my back that have occurred around this injury--never MIND what goes on in the front and from the sides!
After the taping up, comes the mounting on a base of pvc pipe- one of my classmates brought in a lovely picnic table stand which would render a well-dressed DTD quite decorative if storage is a problem for yours. I purchased a pvc base from Jean both because I signed up at the last minute and because I wanted to see one made correctly. (The instruction sheet Vogue gave me was outdated and incmoplete in its info.)
Then comes the stuffing part. This actually takes longer to do properly than I'd have thought. The arms are a little tricky and NO-ONE's look good, so don't stress about how awful yours look. It's the ease factor. Once I got my form home and started working with it I realized that the shoulders needed more filling out-- they were kind of caving in as I tried to put temporary tape for design lines on the form. No problem since I knew how the thing had gone together.
The finished result is definitely "a presence" as my neighbor put it. It's a bit disconcerting to see oneself in all that 3D glory (or horror, as the case may be.) On the up-side, you can always make another if this new "presence" inspires successful weight-loss behaviors. (I need to put mine in front of the cupboard where I store the bittersweet chocolate. Maybe in a pair of bicycle shorts.)
There is some ease built in, as Jean measures biceps at their flexed fullest. I'm not sure what the ease is in the body of the clone, itself, except that I pin-fitted a sloper to it quite closely and I could still move in the (perfectly -fitted) sloper when I took it off the dummy and put it on myself.
Seeing in 3D how patterns hang has been invaluable in just the few days I've had mine.
Jean offers a whole series of classes as follow ups to improve fitting, learn alterations, draping and design. The next one in the series involves putting a fabric cover over the duct tape and placing design lines on your particular form that will help with Jean's tissue draping/fitting process--described in this month's Vogue Pattern magazine. That article itself is what convinced me I HAD to take this class - it's just such a sensible process. I find tissue fitting myself to be a very tedious process with iffy results. After these initial classes there are a bunch of follow up classes Jean has created to teach in a variety of formats with on-line support. She and I talked a lot about how impractical and difficult it is for someone who is not 19 years old to find appropriate instruction in clothing design, alteration, fitting, etc. and she is working on developing alternatives for those of us who can't afford fashion design school.