A doll’s costume needs to hang with the illusion that gravity is pulling the fabric into natural “folds” as it hangs on the figure. There are always folds where the figure bends, such as at knees and elbows. Sometimes you will want to add some motion to give the illusion of wind or that the figure is in motion.To improve your costuming skills, try these four techniques to see exactly what they do.
First is to use spray starch. To do this you must saturate the costume (on the doll) with spray starch and pull the fabric into the drape you want and let dry. This technique makes the fabric feel slightly stiff. This technique requires the use of waterproof glue or sewing. Second is heat. You can make minor adjustments to the drape with a heat gun. Heat makes the costume sag on the doll as real clothing does. Third, you can add a hidden wire in hems or seams. This technique lets you get fabric to retain a shape, such as in a hem or to hold fabric away from the doll’s body to indicate motion or wind. And finally, you can pin parts of the costume’s fabric in place and use hair spray. A light spritz of hair spray will hold fabric with less stiffness than spray starch.