How to Select the Perfect Dress Form
A dress form is a useful addition to just about any sewing room, regardless of your skill level. The key to selecting the right one, however, is to determine its intended use. Below, I'll describe a few options to consider before selecting your ideal dress form.
Dress forms vs. mannequins
What's the difference? I get this question all of the time, so I figured I'd start here. Dress forms are most often made to represent a body's torso and are usually constructed with a hard interior and a foam or fabric exterior, which is helpful for pinning. A mannequin, on the other hand, is what you'll usually come across in a retail store. It generally has a hard outer shell and often represents an entire body. For the remainder of this post, however, we will focus solely on dress forms.
Types of dress forms
1. Display dress form
|The first thing to consider when buying a dress form is to identify its desired purpose.|
|The Shop Company|
If you only plan to use your dress form to display garments, then you may want to go with a cheaper option, such as the standard display version (shown above). Display forms usually cost less than $100 and can be found on the following websites: The Shop Company, Mannequin Maven, and eBay. While the proportions of these forms tend to be unrealistic for fitting and draping, display forms usually have an adjustable height and are easily pinnable.
2. Professional dress form
|If you are looking for a form that can assist you throughout the construction process with draping, pinning, fitting, and more, a professional dress form is worth the investment.|
|The Shop Company|
While these forms generally have a much higher price tag (usually between $150 and $1,000), their features and longevity significantly outweigh those of the standard display versions. For one, professional dress forms feature more accurate proportions and are available in a variety of sizes.
They also come on wheels for easy mobility, have a cage-like bottom to help with hemming, collapsible shoulders so garments can be easily put on and removed, and an adjustable height. Here are recommended sources for professional dress forms: The Shop Company, PGM, Mood, and Fashion Supplies Inc. Just remember that since these forms might not match your measurements exactly, choose a size based on your smallest measurement(s) so you can pad the rest of the form later. That being said, if you're willing to spend even more money on a dress form, consider these custom-made services: Fabulous Fit and Wolf Form.
Posted on in tools & supplies, fitting, dress forms, mannequins, bifurcated, custom form