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Dress Forms

Jewel_Bartlett | Posted in The Archives on

What is the best type of dress form to buy?


  1. lin_hendrix | | #1

    Hi Jewel,

    Your choice of dress form should be based on what type of dressmaking you'll be using the form for. I primarily use mine to drape patterns and to position/hand sew jacket linings and shoulder pads.

    If you're going to sew stuff for other people (women) then you might want to consider one of those adjustable forms. If you're sewing a line of clothing then get a current industry standard size eight or ten to drape your first pattern then grade up/down from there.
    If you're sewing only for yourself then and you do a *lot* of sewing then you might wish to buy something similar to what I bought.

    My basic "frame" never changes so I chose a semi-custom commercial style dress form from Dress Rite. It's similar to the Wolfe forms you can get on the west coast and the Modern Model forms. Commercial forms are offered in industry sizes based on what the industry thinks the "ideal" figure is at the time. They're built on a heavy duty wire frame, usually with an up/down position, little wheels, collapsible shoulders, and a magnetic cap (for pins); basically the "tank" of dress forms.

    I chose my Dress Rite form size closest to my measurements then, because I'm quite short, had the semicustom option added of shortening the neck-to-waist measurement. I'm pretty full on top too so I had them add extra to the bust dimension. I've been quite happy with the form (7 years old now). When my weight goes up I draft with a lot of ease; when my weight goes down I draft closer to the form.

    Dress Rite seemed very reasonable at the time. I think $350 for the basic size and $50 per customization. In dressmaking school (years and years ago) I paid $400 for an industry standard Wolfe and struggled with the petite aspect every time I draped something.

    Dress Rite number -- (773) 588-5761

    hope this helps,

    1. Jen_Donnelly | | #2

      *I have to vote for the Fabulous Fit dress form. It's a customizable, adjustable form that's much sturdier than the standard adjustable forms. They are at http://www.fabulousfit.com. Many other people swear by duct tape and/or packing tape forms, because they cost very little to make, and can be whipped up relatively quickly for custom clients or yourself if your size changes often. There was a great article on making these here on Threads online.

      1. Pattycake_ | | #3

        *I am a fabulous fit fan also. Have been posting on another site. I like the fact that with all the pads i can get the form to look like me (UGH) and can change the shape as needed. Wonderful customer support also.

        1. Susie_McQuaide | | #4

          *I will look into the fabulousfit site but I am trying to find out about making my own form. Threads do not pub. back articles and I wanted to know how to do the duck tape form and one sim. to a cast like you would put on a broken arm. Have you heard of that type?Susie

          1. TRM | | #5

            *Did you read about this dress form project? I think it's the one you're referring to. It also has links to the duct tape form making instructions. Hope this helps...http://www.taunton.com/th/features/fitandfabric/clone/4.htmGood luck!Terri

          2. TPro | | #6

            *I have copy of the Threads magazine with the article on duct tape doubles in it. I can mail you a copy of it if you would like. Just e-mail me at [email protected]. Tanya

          3. Pat_Moore | | #7

            *There is also a web site that gives detailed instructions on the duct tape double:www.leanna.comI haven't used it myself yet. Good luckPat

          4. Joan_W. | | #8

            *To Susie McQuaide and others:I believe you're inquiring about the "My Twin" form, by Carol Stith Zahn; it is formed by doing a body cast. It is your identical body, for better or worse!I had one made 6 years ago. Carol offers custom-made forms or a kit, video and instruction manual. Reach her at 209/832-4324 in California.- Joan

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