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Dress Forms

user-105646 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I’m checking out dress forms.  I’ve read good and bad about most models.   So what is your opinion about brands?  I’ve also read about the duct tape methods.  I need almost every part of the form to be adjustable.


  1. starzoe | | #1

    I find that the major drawback of commercial dress forms is that rarely is there an adjustment for the bust height. I own a rather expensive Diana form and to fit bust darts I have to raise the shoulders with padding and then of course the measurement from bust to waist is off so to fit the rest of the blouse/top/jacket I have to remove the padding and ignore the perky breasts which of course affects the fit as well.A duct tape form would solve that problem.

  2. User avater
    Becky-book | | #2

    Do you want a form that you can adjust to be able to use it to sew for several different people? Or do you want one that will work for your unique shape? I have a simple dial-out one that helps me with some of my friend's shapes and a duct-tape double of ME (or rather what used to be be 40 lbs ago; time for more duct-taping!)See post number 7035 for photos of my "friends".Becky

    Edited 6/14/2008 8:14 pm ET by Becky-book

    1. user-105646 | | #3

      I need it just for me. As my fondness of ice cream and M & M's increases so does the amount of adjustment I need.

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #4

        Go for the duct - tape double... seeing myself standing in the corner of the sewing room helped motivate my weight reduction efforts, hence the need for a new form!! But while I was that size and shape she did help me design and alter a shirt pattern that actually fit both my shoulders and my hips!! and make a very nice dress too.Becky

        1. user-105646 | | #5

          Ill try the duct tape idea.  i read about it  a while back in Threads.  Maybe it will give me the motivation I need to get the extra pounds back off 


          1. jjgg | | #6

            from what I've read, you would be better off with ####brown paper tape dress form rather than duct tape. People have a tendency to squish the bust too flat with the duct tape, where as the brown paper tape will conform to the figure better. Also, the duct tape is very sticky (putting pins in it etc). The paper tape ones seem to hold up very well for a long time.Also, the commercial brands of professional dress forms (think wolf etc) really don't mimic the human form very well. If you want the dress form to do fittings for your self, you need one of your body, not some manufacturers idea of what your body aught to be.

    2. AAC | | #9

      OK Becky but this time it's at my house, lol.  Hey, what happened to you?  You're not watching Oprah and her guru, Bob Green.  Seriously, I've gained too.  I've been loving ice-cream, mmmm good.

  3. BernaWeaves | | #7

    Go to the Atlanta Thread Company website and checkout the Uniquely You dress forms.  I have one and it's great.  They are foam with a cloth cover that you sew to fit you, like a sloper.  Then you zip the cloth cover over the foam, and you have body double that you can pin into.  If you change sizes you just redo the cloth cover, or buy an extra cloth cover ($10) and make a new one.  They come in different sizes, and each sized form has several different sized covers, so you can get one close to your size for minimal alterations.  The stand allows you to adjust the height and whether you want it to swivel or not.  It's also lightweight, and I had no trouble lifting it to move it around.  They cost $129.


    Edited 6/20/2008 8:54 am ET by BernaWeaves

    Edited 6/20/2008 8:55 am ET by BernaWeaves

  4. User avater
    purduemom | | #8

    I would agree with BernaWeaves regarding the Uniquely You form.  Mine was an E-bay buy - a little cheaper than buying new.  The form has a nice neck extension and the shoulders are built out perfectly for me.  The only complaint I have with it is there is too much foam at the bust - I bought the size based on the bust and still had to bind 'Violet's' bust a little before slipping on the custom-fit cover.  Adding a little extra padding to give a more rounded rear end was easy. I also have a brown paper tape personal-sized form.  The problem with it is we didn't build out the shoulders far enough.  I found it difficult to use for fitting jackets.  I covered it in pretty paper napkins and added a few decoupaged flowers and she now watches down over me from her perch on a shelf in my sewing room.


  5. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #10

    Here is a list of dress forms I give my students.I have to disagree with one of the ladies re: Uniquely You foam forms. I found it very difficult to shape the "iron" polyester cover they send and the foam never really forms any kind of subtle shapes. Very limited use in my opinion. But of course...different strokes, yes?I am an advocate of making removable dress form covers based on a personal fit torso block garment. (A torso block is a one piece, darted bodice or princess line bodice that ends just below the full hip.) They are the most functional type of dress form. Tape forms with industrial foam in them fall apart quickly, are difficult to pin into, and difficult to hold together in the proper shape while you fill them up. Plus, they are SO not dressmaker-ish! You can learn a great deal in the process of creating your own fabric/cotton batt dress form cover.I've attached some photos from one of my classes so that you can see the process.DRESS FORM COMPANIESFABULOUS FIT 1-800-853-9644
    http://www.fabulousfit.com Paper Mache Misses Form
    Paper Mache Women;s Plus Size Form
    Oak Base Personal Women's Form
    Iron Base Maxima Misses FormDRESSRITE 1-773-588-5761
    http://www.dressriteforms.comGold Body Forms for mature figures
    Industrial Forms
    Tailoring Forms - Professional Model
    *Deluxe Full Body Forms $1550.00 but adaptable petite to tall waist lengths.STUDIO ROX 1-718-526-2966
    Really nice forms at a great price. Currently being used in design schools.WOLF DRESS FORMS 1-201-567-6572
    http://www.wolfform.comThe Mercedes of dress forms and the fashion industry standard. Pricey.
    All types of forms are available. Shipping is by LTL truck which makes the cost
    of shipping almost as much as the dress form when shipped across country. However, check with Wolf Forms to see if that is still their policy.ROYAL DRESS FORMS 1-516-887-5266
    https://www.ronis.com/store/There are other, less expensive forms available although I encourage you to purchase the best form you can afford. My personal favorite devices are the foot pedal that raises and lowers the form easily, collapsible shoulders which enable you to get snug fitting garments on the form, and a “spin-stopper”, which keeps the dress form from turning away from you while you are draping or fitting a garment. I also recommend that you choose a form that has a padded cover (batting and cotton twill or linen) as a foundation, rather than simply an extruded hard foam, paper mache or metal plates covered with jersey knit .Select a form which is about two sizes smaller than you are, but has approximately the same back neck length. A longer back neck length is OK since that can be padded out, but a shorter length could mean that the outward curve of the hip might interfere with establishing the waistline in proper proportions. Another area to consider is the position of the bust apex and the shape of the chest or breast bone. If you are very hollow in the area above your bust, a dress form that is shaped high and flat in that area will not work for you. I have had to commit surgery with an electric knife and power sander in order to help my students adjust their dress forms for a good fit. A third trouble spot is the back neck, especially for those of us in the baby boomer generation who might be developing a bit of a dowager’s hump. This can sometimes be compensated for by slightly raising the entire dress form cover by padding up the shoulder area so that the neckline is actually lifted away from the dress form’s stationery neck. If your head/ sits forward of the shoulder line, the back neck area can be somewhat problematic but not insurmountable. Be careful not to throw off armscye, bust and waistline areas however when raising the shoulderline.Depending on your figure type, you may also want to inquire about the derriere of your dress form. It is possible, with some companies, to choose a form with a nicely rounded backside or one that is quite flat in the back. Ask the manufacturer and look at the forms on line if you have a preference.

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