Let the search begin

I would love a dress form and could use one now more than ever.  The process of fitting my bodice block would be helped immensely by being able to walk around myself, stick pins in and so forth.  I just need to figure out which is best for me and my budget and buy one.

I spent some time today searching the internet, reading blogs and forums, finding loads of info so tomorrow will be reading some more, collating it all together and shortlisting.  Phew.

Do you use a form?  What you think of it?

On the sewing front I have done some.  The darts are fixed, apparently, and then its just swapping out the too short zip and sewing up the remaining side and should seam.  Wow, I’m fast!

Edited : changed the picture because I lost the source info for the original one.  Hmm, where are those dratted marbles?

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28 Responses to Let the search begin

  1. Jane's sew & tell says:

    Have you thought of making one? I’m planning to have a go using these instructions http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3659/clone-yourself-a-fitting-assistant/page/all when my friend and I next have time. Once it is made you can paint the tape to make it look at little more attractive.

    • Hi Jane – I have thought about making one but don’t want to spend the time doing it. Of course that may change if I have trouble finding a form of similar enough size as me, and I’ve bookmarked the Threads tute (thanks) plus others just in case. Fingers crossed I don’t need them!! :o))

  2. kaitui_kiwi says:

    I have a Singer 150 called Scarlett. She is not the sturdiest or the most expensive but as my first ever dressform I love her and she has made a huge difference to my sewing and fitting, I mean, even Hubby has commented, which is saying something. So I say dressforms thumbs up! But I think choosing which one can be quite personal. I’ve read some peeps who have a Singer 150 and hate it but it suits me fine. I did go and “play” with quite a few before deciding on the right level of quality vs what I was willing to pay. I imagine in a few years I will upgrade to something a bit more expensive now that I know how much she has improved my sewing.

    I nominated you for the Leibster blog award btw – Not sure if you are into blog awards so feel free to accept or ignore, I won’t be offended 🙂

    • I like blog awards because they are great thumbs ups in this big ol’ sewing community, so thank you muchly. I shall get onto that shortly…

      About dress forms – I was looking at Singer because they are around here quite a lot. Did you “play” with different ones at various places in Welly? I remember Arthur Toye used to have a few around the old shop, so I’ll head in there next time I’m in town. I’m going to have to sort out my measurements first because I am definitely a very non-standard shape … as are we all. :o)

      • kaitui_kiwi says:

        Actually I bought mine while living in Perth from a shop called Lincraft so I’m not sure who has them on display here, I don’t remember seeing any while in Arthur Tiye the other day, but maybe give them a ring. Take your tape measure with you and your measurements and see if she can adjust to how you like without too many gaps, that’s what I did. There are limits of course (see them here: http://lincraft.cart.net.au/details/2174321.html) so you don’t want to be right at one end of the scale but also don’t forget you can pad her. I do find her cup size smaller than mine but I know to allow for that and sometime I stick a bra on her and stuff it 😉 She looks right pretty like that! Hehe

      • Oh the best things are found off shore, don’t you find! Thanks for the tips and good idea to measure the mannis, though I think I’ll leave the extra bra at home until she’s all mine (hehe).

  3. Kirsty says:

    I was lucky enough to find an adjustable one secondhand for $60 locally. I waited about 8 weeks to find one advertised and then had two to choose from. I’ve done some basic adjustment and padding as she has a much smaller, neater waist than I! Having a form has been really useful for things like figuring out necklines and crossovers on a fitted shirt I was frankenpatterning together.

    • Fantastic find Kirsty. I would love to find a 2nd hand one – shall have to look more thoroughly I suspect.

      PS your blue merino cardi looks lovely – fab colour on you too.

  4. Sandra says:

    I was lucky enough to pick up a professional one at a second hand place, for about $80. It isn’t exactly my size but I only use it for draping and checking fabric combinations rather than fit. Have you considered making one of the duct tape ones, which end up being an exact replica of your body? I can imagine that they would be useful!

    • Hi Sandra – I have thought of doing a duct tape one but am kinda too lazy. Man that’s terrible but if I’m being honest its true. That is until I find out what the real cost of getting my ‘preferred’ form delivered its true.

      I really like your blog, BTW, and watch your gorgeous little ones grow. My two girls are 5 already and I don’t know how anyone does it with more than two …. and take time to sew. Then again I am the worlds’ slowest sewer.

      • Sandra says:

        Yes I have thought about doing a duct tape form too, but that would take precious time away from sewing! Thanks for the compliment on my blog, I have learned to ‘sew around’ the kids, but now the twins are crawling I am going to have to baby proof the house all over again!

      • Mine are 5 now and I’ve had to change the way I do things again with sewing because they want to be involved. Oh and the beads and buttons are something they love too :o)

  5. I got a Lady Valet because it has an adjustable waist length. It’s not a perfect match for my body even after padding it out, but it’s a huge help. Also I like that it’s light enough to move around with one hand because my sewing space is tiny so I’m forever rearranging.

  6. I have an adjustable one and don’t really like it — it’s a Dritz dress form. There’s a gap at the waist that makes it hard to fit anything that fits around the waist. So, it’s really only good for blouses and dresses. I do like it for pinning in a zipper in a dress, or spacing buttonholes, but since nobody including me is shaped like a dress form, I can’t get away from a lot of try-ons.

    I only paid about $100 for mine. Even if I had the disposable income, I’m not sure I’d splurge for a custom form. I think they might be minimally useful for my kind of sewing.

    • Hi Andi – I didn’t know about the Dritz waist gap and as I’d be using the form for dresses at some point that gap would kind of defeat the purpose. I do like the idea of being able to customise the form as much as possible, with padding, but it all costs dosh….Hmmmm. Why do you say you think custom forms might not be so useful for you?

      • A form is very stable — it just stands there, which most of us don’t do. If I stay still, I’m a pretty standard size. It’s when I move that the need for adjustments becomes obvious. To me, it’s about the amount of use something would get vs. the proportional cost. When I wear things and they ride up or slide around, that’s a better indication of how I might need to change the pattern later.

      • Oh I hadn’t thought of that. Good point. Hmmm

  7. I spent ages choosing one that would expand to suit my rather ample bosom and was so excited when it arrived. Problem is, the smallest size it goes down to on the hips is way bigger than me, so it´s not very useful for skirts or fitted dresses 😦 Forgot to think about the “whole” me, I was so focussed on the problem area!

    • Oh no what a bugger! I’m guessing you have kept it? Can you use it for tops/shirts/etc? I have to admit that I would love to have a bit more bosom to work around! Are you going to find a better form?

  8. Lene says:

    Hi Emily
    I am only just a day ahead of you. I ordered a dressform yesterday and am now waiting to receive it in the mail – probably next week.
    My decision was relatively simple. My waist measurement is on the large end. That means that although my bust and hips were fine for the ‘small’ size my waist measurement was not. When I found a dress form that acommodated all my measurements the decision was made.
    I chose a Sew Deluxe Trouser / dressmakers form code 0238 size small. This is available in Australia, but I don’t know where you live and if it is available in your country.

    • Hi Lene – oh how exciting – can you bear to wait?! Please do let me know how you get on with it because I suspect you will recieve yours before I order mine. I’m in NZ so I’m sure they would ship here – have bookmarked their website so will be checking the vital statistics later. Actually, I must double check mine too as I seem to be utterly rubbish with a ruler. Thanks for the details.

  9. Rosy says:

    Oh, yeah! A Dressform is a great way to get a good fit without having to be trying the garment on the body several times, that’s a good investment!

    • Hi Rosy – that’s what I am hoping. And actually it sounds like fun to get the form all padded out to my measurements too, though I’ll have to confront any body issues I may have lurking around. :o)

  10. Oh my aunty has one with adjustable width and height… I think save the extra penny and buy one of those!

    • Yes please! I’ve got to find out what the options cost, as well as the expansion/reduction possibilities and am hoping like hell it isn’t going to be a trade off.

  11. StephC says:

    I don’t use one, but if I had the space I’d have a really nice one… Made to measure, princess seams, cloth cover, etc etc… That’s part of why I got into making patterns anyway, because I couldn’t drape in my current space!

    • Oh I would love one of the custom forms though I am scared to look at the pricing because even though the NZ$ is high against most currencies the shipping alone will probably be horrendous. Still, you gotta check out all the options right?

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