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queenmom | Posted in General Discussion on

Greetings to all,

This is my first time on any discussion so if I make mistakes, please understand. I am a professional seamstress with 38 years experience. I learned to sew from my Great-Grandma when I was 10. She taught me to sew doll clothes on her treadle sewing machine. When she passed on, I recieved her machine as my inheritance. My only other “family heirlooms” all have to do with sewing too! I guess you could say I’m a little one-track minded. I also love to cook, read, and garden. I love my family too. My kids gave me the nickname QueenMom because my maiden name was King and so they thought it was really funny to call me Queen.

I have a question that maybe someone out there may have an answer to. I have an old dressmakers form or dummy. Her covering is in rather bad condition and I would really like to replace it. My problem is I don’t know where to look for the fabric to cover her with. I looks like it is an ivory ribbed knit fabric and is seamless. I know that ribbing fabric used to be made in a tubular shape, but have not seen this in years, at least not locally. Does anyone know of a source for this type of fabric?  I’d really appreciate any help anyone out there might be able to pass on.  thanks for the assistance.


  1. Elisabeth | | #1

    Hi Queenmom, and welcome.  That is a fun name that your kids gave you!  I have a rickety old dressform that I got at a yard sale.  She does the job but has a pretty scruffy surface.  In an earlier discussion here a member described how she used an old unitard to cover her dressform so she could put a little padding to make it more her shape.  That inspired me to sew a spandex sleeve for my "Matilda".  I haven't padded her and she is not my shape but I don't need that on her anyway.  Matilda looks pretty sharp for an old lady now, I think!  Check out her glamour shot here.

    I know the fabric you are talking about but I don't know where one might find it.  I'll bet someone on this forum can come up with a source, though.  Otherwise you could try a cotton lycra such as used in leotards, a rib knit with a little lycra made for sweatshirt type cuffs and hems, or you could really spiff your gal up with a pretty bathing suit print.

    1. queenmom | | #2


      Wow! You're right, she does look great! Thanks for the advice. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who named her "dummy". I didn't mention that in my introduction, guess I was afraid I might seem odd or something. Mine is named Jessie Rebekah or J.R. for short. I named her after my Great-grandma who taught me to sew at age 10 on her old treadle machine. I still have that old machine and my love of sewing and it's all because of her. She stands guard in my sewing shop and I dress her in different things so I never get tired of her. Now isn't that silly?! Oh well, creative people are supposed to be eccentric aren't we? Seamstresses are creative people otherwise we'd never be able to "see" some of the things people like my customers dream up. I've seen some really wacky things in this business, but I love it anyway. Thanks for writing back. It's nice to talk to others with similar interests. In the town I live in, people always tell me I'm a dying breed, gosh I hope not. It is true that there are fewer seamstresses these days, but I hope people don't give it entirely. It's a great way to be creative if you can't draw or paint or do some of those other things. The only way I can paint is with stencils and the only way I can draw is with a ruler. Anyway, thanks again for the advice and for writing, I hope I hear from you again sometime.    Lyn

      1. louise | | #3


        Well,  what a moniker!  It's great when love and eccentricity merge.  I too have an old dressmakers form, that my mom bought for me, used and as a surprise.  Despite the fact that my mom and my grandmother taught me how to sew, my mom  didn't quite grasp the notion that the form must resemble my form.  Over the years, my "doll" has and has not adequately replicated my shape.  Now after multiple surgeries there is no hope that she and I will look alike again.  I use her to hang projects on after a certain point;and I dress her up in my lush kimono which has a Pre- Raphaelite feel when I am not sewing.  There is a dress form kit called MY TWIN which uses a shell.  They have ads in Threads and I am sure there is a profile of the kit on the Threads website.  The shell is fitted to the body in question and then pulled onto the form.  The kit provides foam "core".  Not having used it yet, but having spent a lot of time pondering my dressform's  progression into menopause, I think it will work with the use of sheets of additionally purchased 1" or  2" foam to pad out the new curves.

        Lacking originality for naming, my dressform is called Judy.  She also scared the bejeebers out of my grown son one night, when I had moved her into the den to help me assess how much I liked the dress I was working on! 

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