Friday, June 7, 2013

Dress Form Choices

I've been on the hunt for a dress form and I bought one that I feel will be a good match.  Hopefully, it will arrive next week.  I'm hoping to use it in sewing and also displaying vintage clothing to photograph so I can sell things I'm not getting use from.

I am in the process of working on sewing my first dress.  I'll be sharing this journey with all you lovely readers.  I started out thinking I would do a vintage pattern first why not take the big plunge?   But quickly changed my tune when I looked at the directions lol.   I've decided to start with a current patten based upon a vintage style.  I decided this would be the easiest course of action.  

When you are first starting a dress pattern, there are always a few supplies you miss on the first go around to the fabric store to collect basic supplies so I am off to the fabric store today to pick up a tracing wheel, pinking sheers, and transfer paper.  The tracing wheel and transfer paper will be important so that I can lay down the darts to the fabric.  I've also been watching a few YouTube tutorials.  This helps out alot as I am more of a visual person than trying to figure out from a book and instructions.  I'll share more on this process in a future post.  I'll also blog about the fabric selections.  This is a fun adventure.

I think I am just about ready to cut out the pattern but I'll need a little more time to experiment with some stitching techniques before I begin sewing the dress together.  I've never used my zipper foot or button hole foot:)  I am quite lucky as I have an excellent sewing machine from my quilting days but the 1/4 inch philosophy is out the window and now I must be aware of different seam allowances lol.   Looking forward to it though!

Back to a dress form selection....

Source: Graphics Fairy

There are a wide array of dress forms on the market with Wolf being on top.   I thought I'd share some of the dress forms I looked at and which one I decided on.

I would have loved a vintage dress form in good condition but these are hard to come by plus it is a bit of an unknown as to what you will receive, if you are purchasing over the internet.  I think it's great if you happen upon one in person and can really check it out.

In my search for a dress form,  I looked at some expensive models and some cheap models and I went middle of the road.   I wanted a dress form I could pin too and would be sturdy.

I looked at Wolf, which of course was way more than I wanted to pay but it is the cream of the crop.  This is a good investment if sewing is really a big hobby to you or you are wanting to make a career of it.

$800-$1000 low end range.   It's really difficult to find vintage Wolf dress forms so an affordable Wolf dress form was not in the cards.

One thing to remember when selecting a dress form is that if the dress form is not exactly your size you can pad it so it is best to go down a size when the measurements don't quite line up.

Source: Wolf Website

I noticed on Gertie's blog that she used these dress forms below.   I wasn't sure if  I wanted to go this route in price as it is a lot of money to lay out for your first dress form.  What I did like is that they are made in the good ol'USA.  This would have been over $700 with shipping but I'm sure worth it if sewing becomes a big hobby.

I also thought of the local Joann's and what they had to offer, which is the cheapest dress form route I would go (especially with a coupon)
Around $150.  You can probably get it even cheaper off of ebay but it's difficult to return so I would think this would be the best option for an adjustable form.  Amazon is also a great option but again difficult to return.  You can get a dress form on Amazon for $85 new in the same type of adjustable format.


I read the reviews on the adjustable form and I decided not to take this route as I heard they can be flimsy and "you get what you pay for" type of reviews.   I wanted my first dress form to be a good quality form that I wouldn't be frustrated with.  Also, I think I prefer a permeasured form rather than adjusting.  So after much debate, I ended up with this dress form...

I feel this is a nice mid-range choice.   The reviews also won me over.  This form was ranked very highly in customer satisfaction.   It will also display clothing nicely that I wish to sell.  The best part is that I used my saved up Amazon rewards points and it's free to me.

Do any of you own a dress form?   Are you happy with your dress form?


  1. This is great! I also want to start sewing. I am in the process of looking for a sewing machine. I was also looking at dress forms and couldn't find anything affordable. Thanks for this. Going to put this in my memory bank. Hopefully I can start sewing before the summer is out!

    I can't wait to see your dress!

  2. What an engaging post - thank you very much for taking us through the various forms that you debated, dear Joanna. I really like the one you opted for. I love that you're sharing the steps of your first dress making project with us - so exciting!

    ♥ Jessica

  3. I have a dress form similar to Ritz, but it's a different brand. I got it second hand. It has some issues but I'm happy with it.

    I also had another dress form, but I lost that one last year when our kitchen burned down.

    I used thise one to take pictures with, it was a simple white dress form. I've been thinking about buying a 'pretty' dressform, but I don't have enough space in my sewing room.

    Your dress form looks very pretty and sturdy! Love to read more about it when you're using it.

    1. I like how your sewing room has light. I hope one day when (if) we move I could have a sunny room for my crafty projects. We do have one extra bedroom but it's too difficult to make it a sewing room as we also have our family visiting us. So, my space is the basement for now:)

  4. best of luck! I have a seamstress, so no dress form for me!

    1. You are funny, I want my very own seamstress too. Wouldn't this be grand to have a seamstress working for you? You just have to say I want something that looks like xyz and volia a day or two later there it is.

  5. Not being much of a seamstress, I do suggest the adjustable one. Mainly because you never know when you might want a little more room in something and it'd be great to adjust to whatever you like.

  6. Envious! I sooo want a dress form to help with sewing and alterations. I can't wait to see the process of your dress making adventure!

  7. I have a Uniquely You dress form. It has some good points and some bad, but overall I am pretty happy with it. Its a foam form that has a cover that you fit to your body then put it on the form and it compresses the foam to fit your shape. Its been really nice since my weight has fluctuated over the last few years, but it doesn't compress as well as I would like.