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Dress Forms USA specializes in high-quality professional dress forms and display dress forms. We are the nation's #1 source for sewing mannequins - a reputation we have earned through hard work and excellent customer service for thousands of customers.
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From global fashion brands to world famous fashion schools to university theater departments to Hollywood costume designers, our dressmaker forms stand up to the test every single day to make sure you are able to do your work. With superb construction, quality materials and details, we guarantee you will be happy with our products or your money back.
"Love Dress Forms USA! Our department has ordered dress forms from here for several years now and the process is always super easy. The quality of dress forms is high and the customer service is always A+. Thank you Catherine for all of your help."
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The adjustable dress form is the most useful tool a fashion designer can have in the workshop. Because of its features, the adjustable dress form becomes an exact replica of the human body, which makes it easy for the tailor to work. Crucial parts of the body, like the bust, waist, neck, back and hips, are mechanically expanded or retracted. Therefore, no matter the difference in measurements for a wide variety of clients, you can still use the same dress form for all of them.
Moreover, using an adjustable dress form helps with tailoring the perfect custom-fit fashion pieces your clients would love. When the shape is personalized, it allows for better cutting, altering, fitting and fabric work.
If you require a dress form for personal use, then a DIY dress form may be a good idea. On the other hand, if you need one for work, or if you want to display one in your store, then it might be best to go with a professional one. After all, as we already mentioned a few times throughout the guide, appearances count in fashion retail, and a professional dress form looks a lot better than a DIY one.
There is also the duct tape dress form. While this is an option for people who are not yet ready to invest in a manufactured dress form, there are often inconsistencies when making your own duct tape version.
A custom dress form is also known as a made to measure dressmakers dummy. They are typically not adjustable, and are created using your body measurements, either provided to the company yourself, or as part of being scanned.
A professional form is created in a fixed size, often with a fiberglass interior form covered with a very light layer of padding and tightly woven fabric shell, making it great for easy pinning, when you know how!
I am personally not a fan of the adjustable dress forms. The last one I owned was a blue Singer model, and while it did the job, I struggled with how different it was to work with compared to my K&Ls. But, as I said, if my draping students are learning to drape on a more affordable and adjustable dress form, it is only right that I teach them on one that is similar.
I had wanted the Dritz My Double Designer Full Figure dress form, which has the pole offset so better for draping trousers / pants, but I could not get it outside of the US and the cost of shipping to The Netherlands and the import duty made it a very silly price!
The above companies make professional dress forms with a variety of options including collapsible shoulder, base plate and castors for a more stability over the tripod leg style and even attachable arms can be included too.
Hi Eve, this is very informative, thank you! I am considering purchasing an adjustable dress form because I have a long torso. Is the Dritz adjustable in torso length, or one of the others? After looking online I couldn't really tell specifically. I also have broad shoulders but I'm not sure an adjustable dress form can help with that. Thank you so much for this article.
Hi Sarah, thank you for the lovely feedback! I too have a long torso, which is why I bought an adjustable form. From the ones I reviewed, only the Dritz are adjustable in the length, by approximately 2" / 5cm. And in all honesty, I struggle with this amount, I could use 3" and with options to distribute that above the bust and at the waist. Sadly, that's probably never going to be something the manufacturers put into practice, so I have ended up padding it out to get a more realistic shaping for my body. I will be adding a tutorial to my YouTube this month showing the process, so if you do end up grabbing an adjustable, you can always follow along with that tutorial to make it more reflective of your body's shape! Best, Eve
Hi Svonne, please see my response yo your previous comment below. I do have a lesson on this inside my Drape & Contour course, but understand that you may not wish to purchase a course just for that information. So, I will create a photo tutorial tomorrow on the process of pinning on an adjustable dress form. I hope that will be helpful for you so that you can get started with draping!
Hi Svonne! Yes, this is true of almost all adjustable dress forms unfortunately. They are cheaper because they have a plastic shell, with a felt like fabric on top. It means that pins cannot be 'stuck' into the dress form, but they can be manoeuvred so that they push into the fabric covering the way we would pin fabric pieces together. I know it isn't necessarily what you were hoping for, but the only dress forms that are softly padded that you can stick pins into are much more expensive - or made from polystyrene which very quickly distorts and is useless.
Do you know if anyone makes a dress form for the short waisted? I know how to adjust a pattern reasonably well, but using a form never works well because even at the shortest distance, they are longer than I am. Shoulder seam to natural waist, I am 16.5" and waist to hip I'm 6". I'd like an adjustable form, as my weight does shift, but I'm wondering if my only option is a slightly smaller non-adjustable form and then pad as needed? Any input would be appreciated.
Hi Aerin! I'm afraid I do not know of any specific dress form brands that make them for shorter waisted persons. I have the opposite problem of being very long waisted, and the dress forms don't always extend as much as I need. I would suggest going for a petite option, and then padding it out as needed to get the shape you need for your body. I'll be sharing a tutorial on padding out in March, so if you need assistance with this, I'll make sure to include the method that you would need! Hope that this is of some help!
Extremely durable and bursting with functionality, our Professional Dress Form line is the #1 choice by professional and aspiring fashion designers all over the world. Our forms are available in a wide range of sizes, body types and functions and are priced so affordably that anyone can become a pro. Come and see for yourself what all the professionals are raving about!
Display dress forms are covered in canvas and foam similar to our Professional Dress Form line but are meant primarily for display purposes. However, our new line has many significant upgrades which allows them to be used for design as well. We have introduced many new base options, colors and accessories for these display dress form models. A ton of options at great prices and, as always, free US shipping.