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Dress Forms
Buy one or not?
Plumm
Plumm
Intermediate
Michigan USA
Member since 6/11/06
Posts: 51
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Date: 1/7/13 2:35 PM

I'm not a beginning sewer, but I do have a question regarding buying a dress form and I'm totally unfamiliar with the topic. As I've gotten older and my shape has changed (big sigh!) I find fitting patterns to be more challenging. For those of you with dress forms, how have they helped you? What kind did you buy? Can they be changed as one's figure changes? Any information would be most appreciated.

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Plumm

PattyE
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PattyE  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Member since 9/7/10
Posts: 1741
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Date: 1/7/13 7:23 PM

I have a PGM form...it's a fixed size. My weight/shape does not fluctuate so it works for me. I love my dress form and wish I had bought it sooner. It makes my garment sewing process easier and more enjoyable.
There are alot of different forms available including ones that are adjustable. I'm sure others will be along to give you their recommendations.

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Iowa USA
Member since 11/21/09
Posts: 2483
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Date: 1/8/13 1:01 AM

I like using a dress form. I have a Uniquely you. It has a canvas cover that you fit to you then put it on the foam shape. I am short from shoulder to bust, bust to waist and waist to hip and had a difficult time finding a dress form that would allow for these adjustments. The ones I found at JA and Hancocks could be adjusted only in circumference and not length.

-- Edited on 1/8/13 1:02 AM --

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Ada

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Florida USA
Member since 2/8/09
Posts: 2564
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Date: 1/8/13 6:05 AM

I got a basic form (Dritz?) at JoAnns. It didn't help a hoot with fitting. I used it alot though to drape and mark up garment alterations for myself, DH, DD & friends.
Problem with that type is the shape- boobs too high, tummy too flat, hip sides too wide, cant get wide enough waist. I padded with batting and dressed with bra and old shell top. It did OK but wasnt my double.
What I learned is to look for more than circumferences in a form. My body has more inches in front and way less in my flat butt area. My apex is way lower. If I ever get another form i will get smaller size and pad up so I can put padding where i need it.

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

SewPerfect
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SewPerfect  Friend of PR
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North Carolina USA
Member since 1/6/04
Posts: 191
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Date: 1/9/13 11:51 PM

I put off getting a dressform for many reasons over the years and am so sorry I did! I recently purchased this form: DRESS FORM and absolutely love having a 'body double' so to speak to help when making clothing.

I like to drape the fabrics I'm going to use with a project onto the form, pin in place to preview the 'look' before I make my final picks. I've also taken to photographing my drapes and looking at the pix online, a nice way to get a different perspective of what your fabric combinations will look like.

My form isn't TOL but serves the purpose well for the monies spent. To make the form more less likely to tip over when I'm draping/pinning etc, I made 3 long rectangular muslin bags, filled the bags with bird gravel and use the bags as weights for each of the form's 'legs'. I keep the bags from slippings off the metal legs by attaching them with Velcro strips I made.

My form wears one of my old bras filled out with poly stuffing, and the hips I've rounded out a bit with cotton quilt batting. Unless you get a cast of your body you have to compensate with ready made forms.

Happy sewing, Ani

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Happy Seams to you....until we meet again!
In the corral: Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2, Bernina 931 Record, Brother PQ1500S, Brother XR1355, Singer 15-91, Singer 221 Featherweight, Pfaff serger

Tbird

Tbird
Expert/Couture
California USA
Member since 8/8/05
Posts: 111
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Date: 1/10/13 1:51 AM

I've gone through a few dress forms over the years currently I have a wolf form with legs but its a size 13 and I'm now a 22 so I really only use it for getting the general hang or making patterns in the dress forms size.

Even when it did fit it wasn't a complete substitute for fitting it on myself so it's nice to have and display but not totally necessary.

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http://sewunnecessary.blogspot.com

Miss N
Miss N
Intermediate
Minnesota USA
Member since 9/27/12
Posts: 20
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Date: 1/10/13 11:42 AM

PR.com member BlossomKyle has posted a comprehensive review of the Roxy Dress form and Fabulous Fit padding system under notions. In my research I've found many users suggest purchasing a form (up to 3 sizes) smaller than your acutal size in order to allow you to pad out the form to your specific measurments and shape. The Roxy form & FF padding system is an investment, but for the $$$ owners seem to love their purchase. Let us know what you decide. Happy Sewing!

Plumm
Plumm
Intermediate
Michigan USA
Member since 6/11/06
Posts: 51
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Date: 1/10/13 3:40 PM

Well, it sounds as if most people haven't benefited from a dress form while fitting patterns. I don't have the expertise to drape my own creations. I think I'll stick with fitting the tissue as directed in the Palmer books: "Fit for Real People" and "Pants for Real People." At any rate, I still love sewing and when things don 't turn out the way I had hoped, I try to look on it as a learning experience. Thanks to all who responded. How nice to have input from fellow sewists who love the process as much as I do.

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Plumm

pinkcatflower
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pinkcatflower
Beginner
NEW ZEALAND
Member since 11/20/09
Posts: 190
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Date: 1/11/13 4:22 AM

The reasons mentioned above is why I didn't want a dress form- it never matches your body exactly. Also the cost put me off, lol.
If you are a DIY type, you could make your own body double for a very low cost- it's a bit of work, but I've found mine a real asset. I think it's superior to a bought dress form because it replicates your body really well! You will need a willing helper though.

Here is the link for the process I used-
Paper tape body double dress form

Hope you find a solution! :)

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I have a new blog: makingitwell.blogspot.com
I'd love for you to visit :)

SewPerfect
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SewPerfect  Friend of PR
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North Carolina USA
Member since 1/6/04
Posts: 191
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In reply to pinkcatflower <<
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Date: 1/11/13 10:23 AM

Quote: pinkcatflower
......If you are a DIY type, you could make your own body double for a very low cost- it's a bit of work, but I've found mine a real asset. I think it's superior to a bought dress form because it replicates your body really well! You will need a willing helper though.
Here is the link for the process I used-

Paper tape body double dress form

I've a friend who made a body double using this method. She purchased an inexpensive used dress form/stand, put the paper form over the used form, then filled in the cavity with canned spray foam. It is very sturdy and of course and exact likeness of her body. The only drawback to this method of course is if your body changes significantly at some point another would need be made.

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Happy Seams to you....until we meet again!
In the corral: Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2, Bernina 931 Record, Brother PQ1500S, Brother XR1355, Singer 15-91, Singer 221 Featherweight, Pfaff serger

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