Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

which dress form to buy?

susanna | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Does anyone have a recommendation for a dress form? I have been surfing around looking at various ones but have not made up my mind. I’m looking for durability and sturdiness, a good covering to pin on, and some adjustability (I’m a size medium, mostly a 10, depends on what cookie season we’re in). I’m willing to pay for higher quality.

Also, do these items come with instructions? Are there any books out there that could help with using the form once I get it (“fitting on a dress form” or something-?).


  1. kjp | | #1

    Search the archives for some discussions on dressforms.  Most people suggested making the ducttape dressform or another custom method.  Personally, I wasted my money on an adjustable dressform which now provides me with a nice hanger for my unfinished clothes.  It is no help for fitting! 

  2. educo | | #2

    I suggest checking ebay for used professional dressforms. I paid a pretty penny for a form that's is shaped for evening wear. If you are willing to pay the money for it, I recommend Wolf Form Company.

  3. Elisabeth | | #3

    If you are looking for a dress form to use to fit clothing you make for yourself then the dress form needs to look like you. I suggest looking at various brands and see what you like best. The adjustable ones might be nice if there is a cookie/chocolate season to deal with but check and see if the curves are in the right places and if the posture is compatible. You can always do a little padding in spots too if you want to. I have a yardsale purchased form, age unknown, that has a touch of funky posture, makes me think of the 60's maybe, with slightly skyward breasts. Not completely useful for me as a fitting pal but I like her.

    There are "alternative" dressform ideas out there, one being a duct tape double where you wrap your torso up in duct tape and cut it off and somehow mount it on a stand. Doesn't appeal to me (duct tape has that ikky plastic smell for starters!) but you get a good copy of yourself.

    A book called fitting on a dress form is a good idea, don't know if there is such a thing. However, if the form is the shape you want to fit to, then any fitting book that shows fitting on bodies will do the trick. Good luck finding a form, maybe you'll even name your form like I did! Her name is Matilda.

    1. susanna | | #4

      Tried the duct tape form a few years ago and found it annoying to make and use(I could never pin into it) although we laughed our heads off while doing so. When we moved, I packed the flattened duct tape away, and found it a couple of months later stuck to itself, a sad, deflated & sticky thing. You'd think there'd be a way to spray-foam a body form of oneself over some plastic and make another foam casting and then cover it with pinnable material or something.

         Has anyone tried that?

      1. Elisabeth | | #5

        I hadn't thought of the pinning thing in the duct tape. Well, what you are describing has been done sort of, here http://www.mytwindressforms.com/ They look like real bodies and it might be fun to have a party and get plastered... I've read about another method of sculpting down styrofoam in a Threads article from 1989. A clever method of measuring body outlines. These days I am working on padding out a moulage on my smaller than me form. Other than the form poking out a bit in the bust in an direction that is different from mine it works pretty well. I used poly batting since I had some but it is a little too fluffy. Maybe cotton batting/wadding would have less give.

      2. MarionF | | #6


        I was looking to purchase a dress form for my hard to fit teen daughter. The least expensive one I found was around $200, and I wasn't sure that it would fit well. So I made a duck tape form using pvc pipe and fittings for the stand. I sewed a cover for the form using an old sheet, which gives me something to pin to.  This has worked out great and it only cost around $30.

        Good luck with whatever you do.


        1. susanna | | #7

          Hi. I am wondering how you did this with the pvc. What size did you use, and what were the fittings?

          1. MarionF | | #8


            I used 4 inch PVP pipe and then went through the hardware store to see what worked. I found a toilet flange that the pvc fit right into and attached it to a old cutting board for a base, the flange allows the dress form to rotate. I found this top cap (I have no idea what it is for) but it made the perfect neck/cap. Once I got all the pieces together I cut the pvc pipe down so that the form matches the height of my daughter. The best advice is to walk down the fitting isle and be creative. Purchase a few different pipe fittings and see how they go together and return the ones you don’t use.

            <!----><!----> <!---->

            I have a photo, if you would like to see it send me your email.

            <!----> <!---->

            Hope this is helpful.

            <!----> <!---->


          2. Marion6422 | | #9

            Could you please post the photo here?  I bet a lot of us would like to see it. -- Marion

          3. tmokwe | | #10

            Yes, it would be a great help to show a picture, if it can be made available.  Thank You.

          4. MarionF | | #12

            Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, but I was away. I am new to the message board and I am just learning my way around. So I hope you can see the photo. Thanks MarionF

          5. Marion6422 | | #13

            That's fabulous!  With arms, too. Bet the whole thing was fun -- your daughter looks like she has a great sense of humor. Did you stuff the inside with something to keep it in shape?

          6. MarionF | | #14

            Yes, I originally tried expanding foam insulation, but didn't like working with it. So I just stuffed it with fiber fill, it was less expensive, easy to work. The best part is in a year or so when her body changes again I can remake the duck tape part and reuse the stand and fiber fill.

            Have a wonderful day!


          7. mem1 | | #16

            Marion when you made your form what didi you use for the base of the actual form to stop all the stuffing coming out?

          8. MarionF | | #17


            That's great, there are so many ways to create something useful, it's fun to think "outside the box". 

            To close the duck tape form I used cardboard from a carton, cut it to the opening shape and taped it on before stuffing, leaving a hole in the center for the PVC pipe. This also helps to stabilize the form on the stand. When taping the duck tape body form on to the stand, leave a slit on the upper back for stuffing, a stick or ruler helps to push the fiber fill into place.

            Threads has an article with excellent step by step photos for creating the duck tape double.

            Edited 4/27/2005 9:06 am ET by MarionF

          9. mem1 | | #15

            that is great . i made a stand for my dress form which was pre existing one with a brocken stand . I used the base of a standard fan which had died . it works very well and is actually better than the one which came with the dress form.Fans are so cheap that it might be worth just demolishing one for the stand! I ll bet no one has ever bought a fan just  for the stand !

  4. kathryn | | #11

    hi suze

    i too am in the market for a dress form and the one i think i will purchase (after much research) is called the Twin Fit dress form. it has dials at the bust, waist, and hips to fit a range of sizes. i have not seen one in person but you can view them at Sew True in NY sewture.com ($130) and Atlanta Thread Supply atlantathread.com ($150 but freeship).

    let me know how you like it if you get one!


This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All