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Dress forms

surya | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi everybody,
I just bought a dritz “twin fit” dress form. I’m a guy but my goal is to be a teacher, so I wanted to get some good practice sewing and fitting/altering womens patterns. I noticed that when I take her high bust measurement it is very close to the full bust. If anything it less by only like 1/2 inch. From the videos and books I’ve seen, I hear it can be quite a difference between these two measurements on women and it is always best to pick out patterns by the high bust. Maybe I’m taking it wrong? It is a little weird since she lacks arms. I live in hollywood and it’s hard to get together with friends for all the fitting and such, so the dress form is going to have to be my model for now. Everyone is so busy here in LA with their cell phones clamped to their ears and running from here to there. I know you can put pads here and there to make the forms more natural and give them figure quirks to match a real persons, but not sure how realistic I can make the bust. You’d think they would design the form to have that difference between high and full bust. I’m curious if any of you have tips for making these adjustable forms more like your own figure. I just want to make sure the practice I’m getting will reflect what it will be like when I work more with students in the future.
Any thoughts appreciated.

Edited 6/8/2007 11:02 pm ET by surya


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    The full bust measurement reflects the fullest part of the bust, which is very affected by cup size, such as A,B,C,D,DD,DDD,E etc.  most will be A,B,C,orD, but in LA who knows?  Also, on the bodice, the bustline will vary from one to another, especially when gravity takes over!  Then there are shoulder widths and posture, bone structure, back curves, high and low waists, etc.  If you look at several of the archives here, there are many on fitting and padding a dress form.  Women are much more difficult to fit than men, and really vary alot. Maybe a fitting class would be a good place to begin.  Good luck!  Mary

    go to "advanced search" type in dress forms and fitting and words related to your needs.  You will find much info on this. 

    Edited 6/9/2007 12:45 am ET by MaryinColorado

  2. Fruzzle | | #2

    I don't know what cup size dress forms are usually made for, but you can always pad out the bust if it's too small -- but you *can't* reduce the bust if the dress form is too busty. Ergo it would make sense for dress forms to be made for an A cup.

    I pad out the bust on my dress form using an old pair of pantihose & some foam batting. I just cut a hole in the crotch of the pantihose and then put them over the head upside down (so that the waist is under the bust and the crotch is the neck opening). Then I tied off the legs at the shoulders and clipped the excess. Now I have a tight-fitting cover on the top half of the dress form that I can pad with foam at the bust and at the shoulders.

  3. Crazy K | | #3

    I bought a dress form a while back.  I set all the dials but it wasn't even close in the bust area.  I finally took one of my older but current style bras and put on the form, stuffed it and bingo.........not perfect maybe but much closer. 


    1. surya | | #4

      Thanks all for your help. Yeah, I had a feeling when the thing arrived that it looked not quite realistic in some way. So these tips are great. I bought some patterns at the Joann's 1.99 sale so will get a lot of good practice sewing some womens clothes.

      1. NovaSkills | | #5

        One of the most successful and easiest padding ideas for dress forms is an assortment of shoulder pads (think of all those 80s clothes!) The ones made for jackets, that have tapered edges, work best for filling out bustlines and adding tummies and other lumps, bumps and slumps. The little ones that go in blouses can make minor adjustments to shoulder slope or upper arm thickness.

        The pads are easily relocated as you need to change the form to fit other people.

        1. surya | | #6

          do you use tape to stick them on?

          1. NovaSkills | | #7

            I pin them on, using long quilter's pins, the sort with yellow heads.

          2. MaryinColorado | | #8

            You could try double stick velcro too.  I put a bra and lycra bodysuit on mine and stuffed them, also you can wrap her in quilt batting if needed. 

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