One thing a seamstress will want to get a hold of when they start getting serious about sewing is a dress form or mannequin. Why should you consider one? Well, it’s a bit different when making clothing for someone else because they are in essence, a living form. But making your own clothes tends to be difficult without a dummy.
They used to be pretty expensive but now with the introduction of the internet you can get them for much cheaper today than in the past. They can be purchased at different prices, so be sure to shop around. These can make a huge difference in making your own clothing to an exact fit. Here is a run down on the lower priced ones. Though this isn’t by any means an exhaustive list, it will help you to get a good idea as to whether you would like one or not.
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Singer makes a few adjustable ones. We will use their brand as an example since it is very popular.
Here is the upside. It’s one of your cheaper options, and they are easy to locate. Most sewing stores and shops will have them available. Because it’s adjustable, if you personally change size and shape because of weight loss or gain, you can alter the dummy to whatever the need may be. Most are capable of adjusting the height and even have a hem length gauge added in. It’s not really the best one but it is affordable and will work for those first using them.
The weight can be an issue because it’s a tad lighter than a more expensive form, and it’s not put together as well. I read a complaint about it saying the difference between the waist and bust isn’t much so it doesn’t work well. Also the bust is an A cup so you have to pad it for any size higher to fit. But anything like that can be changed if you need to make it work.
This should be expected because the price is so much lower. It could make the process frustrating for you though, so keep that in mind. Another issue that you will run across with these and other low cost mannequins is that the shoulders aren’t collapsible. Because of this it will add difficulty in constructing certain garments because you may have a hard time getting the top off of the shoulders. All in all though, even the cheapest of dummies work.
Some Of The More Common Brands:
Where To Purchase:
Just about any chain such as Hancock Fabrics, Jo-Ans, and other sewing stores will have them. (United States Stores)
On a final note:
There are higher quality brands but you have to pay a lot for them. It really isn’t necessary to go with an expensive one when first starting to use a dress form. Odds are the lower priced ones will be fine for most seamstresses and tailors.
Keep in mind that a display form isn’t the same thing as a sewing form. The sewing form will have plenty of padding for pinning fabric to it. A display form has a closer shape to the real anatomy of a woman, whereas a dress form only will be this way if you get one custom made exactly with your measurements. The display form is just that – for displaying clothing so they will look their best. There is little to no padding, and the proportions such as the height typically aren’t adjustable.