In dressmaking and sewing garments or clothes, it would be ideal to have some model to better gauge the form and overall look of the dress.
A model will give insights, both to the dressmaker, sewist, and the client, on how the dress would look and how she would look wearing it.
But several models are available to give everyone the impression. These models approximate most people’s height, build, and physique.
The dress form is one, but how do you choose the best dress form for sewing, and why do some people think it is the ideal model for making a dress?
Before choosing the best dress form, let us first discuss how it differs from others.
Mannequin, Tailor Dummy, Dress Form: The Difference
All of us are familiar with a mannequin: they are human-like models made either of fiberglass or plastic.
They give a more realistic touch to the model, approximating nearly every feature of human aspects, from head to toe.
As such, they are the closest to what a human being likes when wearing a particular type of clothes or dress.
For this reason, retailers use mannequins in malls and stores for everyone to see: to give anyone an idea of how a dress would look.
They effectively give us an idea of what a dress would look like to a person once worn. But in making clothes, mannequins may not be the ideal model, as we shall see later.
A tailor dummy is like a mannequin and the dress form, but it gives the tailor a particular model from which to work, sew or base the material.
A tailor dummy is what most sewists used back in the day, and the dress form may as well be just its modern version.
A dress form is similar to a mannequin and tailor dummy in that it is an exemplary representation of a human being. It also closely approximates a human’s shape, figure, and other physical aspects.
But unlike a dummy, it is incomplete, usually does not have arms and legs, and more often, it consists of a torso only.
Why would most tailors prefer a dress form over a mannequin, even though it is incomplete?
The Advantages Of Using A Dress Form
Sewists use dress form because it can give them several advantages not present in a mannequin. The most important of these are its adjustability and portability.
You can adjust the size of the dress form; in taking measurements for dress sizes, this is an almost incomparable advantage.
It means you can create dresses and clothes for people having different builds, sizes, and ages.
Because of this feature, the dress form allows a dressmaker to make more precise measurements, resulting in a more fabulous fit for the customer.
Unlike a mannequin for a fashion design meant for display, a dress form allows for customizing a dress or a sewing project.
You can also adjust other features; an adjustable dress form has a collapsible shoulder, for instance, and can have detachable arms if you like.
A dress form is also more portable than a dummy because it is an incomplete model.
As such, a sewist can bring it from a sewing room to anywhere and do measurements for most clients without hassle.
The big difference between a dress form and a mannequin is utility. You dress up a mannequin, then display it for everyone to see.
But you use a dress form to create dresses, clothes, and the like, thus, more ideal for sewists and dressmakers.
How To Choose A Dress Form
There are some things you need to look at when looking for a dress form; among these are:
There are five types of dress form: adjustable dress form, which allows you to move some of its parts; bifurcated dress form, which has legs.
A custom dress form is for measurement, a display dress form is for displaying dresses, and fashion designers mostly use a professional dress form.
You can choose one from any of these depending on your need and the customers you cater to.
If you are using a dress form and moving it now and then, you may need a light one.
If you are dealing with clients outside your shop, you may need a portable dress form to cater to your customers anywhere.
There are different sizes of the dress form, and you must know what size you need. You can get a standard-size dress form if you cater to those of average build, height, and weight.
The Best Dress Form For Sewing: Our Top Selection
Are you looking for the best dress form to give you the exact body measurement and deal with different sizes?
Here are some of which we consider the best in the market:
1. Dritz Twin-Fit Adjustable Dress Form: Best Overall
Many consider this one of the best, if not the best: its easy-to-use features and great texture makes it comfortable to use and, at the same time, can give an accurate body measurement.
It is made of high-quality, durable, sturdy material and can easily make accurate measurements of ladies of different sizes.
It is also easy to assemble and lightweight, so it is easy to carry from the sewing room to anywhere.
- It can give an accurate body measurement.
- It makes for easy pinning.
- It is easy to assemble and very lightweight.
- It is of high-quality material.
- Very sturdy and durable.
Verdict: If you want a dress form that can give you all the advantages and benefits and none of the hassle, you should go for this one from Dritz.
Guaranteed to be durable and long-lasting, you will have much comfort taking an accurate body measurement, guaranteeing a fabulous fit.
2. Dritz Sew You Dress Form: Best Price
A close second would be another one from Dritz. This top seller, one of the all-time favorites of sewists and dressmakers, has the same excellence, durability, and easy-to-use features.
It is also very accurate and has excellent adjustability.
But the best thing about it is that it comes way cheaper than the other one; you need not spend that much having so much versatility, functionality, and accuracy.
The height and heft will not matter that much; it can give the body measurement you need for your client.
- Very accurate in body measurement.
- It has a wide range of adjustability.
- Very durable, sturdy, and long-lasting.
- It can take on the tallest of women and the heftiest of them.
- It can take on any garment.
- It is very affordable.
- Some consider the bust measurement to be relatively small.
Verdict: It is relatively inexpensive compared to the other one, which is why many prefer it, and it is currently among the top sellers.
If you are working on less diverse sewing projects, the dial options it provides you are more than enough to handle them.
Inexpensive but highly efficient, it provides excellent body measurement, is highly adjustable, and is durable. No wonder many dressmakers love this one.
3. Singer Adjustable Dress Form: Most Versatile
This one from a reputable sewing company provides you with 13 dialling options, much like their sewing machines can give you many options for dressmaking.
Accuracy and precision are among its strong suits, making it ideal for repairs and alterations.
It comes in two sizes: the red dress form, which is size 4-10, and the gray size, which is size 10-18. With all the options for dials, versatility, and sizes, Singer makes sure they got you covered.
- It has a lot of options for dials.
- This dress form can give very accurate, precise body measurements.
- Ideal both for dressmaking, repairs, and alterations.
- You can adjust the height and the neck.
- It looks squarish than others.
- It may tumble if you apply too much pressure.
Verdict: If you are looking for a dress form that deals not only with dress making but other things like repair, alterations, and minor adjustments, this one might be the best.
It has many dials, very accurate measurements, and is easily adjustable.
The price is reasonable, too, considering what it gives and all the options and accuracy you can get from this Singer dress form.
4. Dritz 20000 Little My Miss Double Dress Form: Best for Kids
If you are a seamstress specializing in kids’ dresses or just a hobbyist wanting to make dresses for your daughters and nieces, this one will suit you best.
It is easy to use, has great adjustability, and comes with a pin hem marker for greater precision and accuracy.
This lightweight sewing dress has nylon for the back cover, which makes for easy pinning and marking.
The dress form is made of plastic, making it very light and, at the same time, very durable, and it comes with twelve dials which make for easier but at the same time accurate body measurement.
- The features make for excellent measurement for kids.
- It is very durable but very lightweight.
- It has an adjustable height and neck.
- It comes with a foldable tripod.
- The stand is a little bit shaky.
Verdict: Looking for a reliable dress form for kids is pretty challenging, so it is good that Dritz also offers one.
The accuracy, precision, and adjustability you can have for ladies are also available in this one.
5. Aspire Iron Tall Dress Form Mannequin: Best For Display
If you specialize in making gowns and long dresses, this one from Aspire might be one of the better ones. It specializes in elegance and gives priority over functionality and comfort.
But it does not mean it is not excellent or not suited, far from it. Its height and metallic design can give the master tailor the insights needed about elegance and magnificence in designing the dress.
It can make for a beautiful display, giving the sewist and the client the idea of how one would look when wearing a dress.
For this reason, despite lacking some features, it resembles a mannequin more than any other.
- It is best for making elegant dresses and long gowns.
- It can give that decorative look
- This dress form can give the right feel and idea for the sewist and client.
- It has a very reasonable price.
- You cannot make a pin on it.
- Before using, you must cover the dress form with a cami slip.
- Not as functional as other dress forms.
Verdict: This one has a specific function and will cater to those creating fashion designs. But for its purpose, it is highly efficient and can give you the excellent, elegant look you want for your client.
Getting the best dress form for sewing is not complicated, but there are things you need to consider so that you can get it right.
Once you have one, you need not worry about accurate body measurements.
All you need to do is find the one that will suit your sewing needs.