While sewing clothes, there is usually the need to maintain consistency. This is especially the case of mass production. The clothes have to look alike and possess precise dimensions at the same time.
For you to be able to achieve this feat, you require a worthy companion. Perhaps no other companion fits this particular bill better than the dress form.
WHAT IS A DRESS FORM?
For a start, a dress form is basically a three-dimensional model of the human torso. It plays the roles of accommodating and fitting clothing that is in the process of being designed or sewed.
It mainly mimics the precise and real dimensions of the human body to be able to discharge this role.
TYPES OF DRESS FORM
There are several kinds of dress forms. The following are the main kinds of such items.
Professional Dress Form
As the name suggests, the professional dress forms are strictly meant for professional purposes. Their nature, design, and construction are all geared toward the attainment of this noble objective. They are mainly found in boutique shops, high-end apparel stores, and sewing factories.
Unlike the real dress forms, the display forms are purely meant for display. This is to mean that they are designed and intended to showcase the final product rather than aid in the production of the apparel. They are simpler in construction and design.
Adjustable Dress Form
These dress forms are adjustable. This is to mean that it is possible to alter their forms, shapes, and dimensions appropriately. As such, they are very convenient to use and engage. They also fit a variety of applications and circumstances.
Handmade Dress Form
The handmade dress form is improvised and intended mainly for home use. Its structure, design, and scope are all limited. For this reason, it may not offer much value to a professional or those who are intent on leveraging professional outcomes.
A SHORT HISTORY OF DRESS FORMS
The dress form as it is may be traced back to Ancient Egypt. The Egyptian royalty was quite conscious of its appearance. As such, they emphasized precise dimensions and awesome appearances in the attire they were made.
Dressmakers, more so those who made royal garments invented and utilized the dress forms. The modern dress form was, however, re-invented and popularized by the United States of America.
DRESS FORM VS. MANNEQUINS
Even though both the dress form and the mannequins are designed for use in textile manufacture, they differ in scope and applicability. The following are the main points of divergence between the two:
This perhaps is the most distinguishing trait of these two items. The dress form is used in the manufacture of the dresses. The mannequin, on the other hand, is used to display the final product. As such, you will find the dress form in sewing factories and a mannequin in apparel stores.
Given the differences in their applicability, these two items inevitably have different controls. The dress form is the more complicated of the two items. These are for adjusting the dimensions appropriately and to let the item respond to unique circumstances.
Apart from the differences in their controls, these two items also differ in their suitability for their respective roles. On the whole, the dress form is the more suitable of the two apparatus. It is highly adjustable, unlike its mannequin counterpart that is non-adjustable.
Convenience of Use
Even though the mannequin is simpler to operate, it is less convenient to use when compared to the dress form. This is mainly because the dress form is adjustable and can alter its form to respond to various circumstances of use.
Value for Money
If you are intent on deriving the highest value for money, your better bet is the dress form. This stems from its ability to discharge the roles of the mannequin as well. It is also adjustable and may thus handle and accommodate fabrics of varying sizes.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GOOD DRESS FORM?
The following are the major factors to consider while looking for the right dress form:
As stated, the dress forms are adjustable. They are designed in such a manner that you can easily alter their dimensions. This is because they are designed to accommodate various dimensions of attire. As you look for one, be sure to note the maximum possible extent to which they may be adjusted.
You will have to store these dress forms conveniently while not in use. This means that you will have to set aside some space for the said role. You do not want to set aside too much space. This is why you want one that is compact in size and if possible, foldable.
Nature of the Dresses
The kinds of dresses you intend to sew also have a bearing on the kind of dress form you may possibly utilize. Most dress forms are exclusively designed for females. A few may accommodate both genders. Look for a multipurpose one to be on the safe side.
Given that the dress form is an item you purchase mostly once in a lifetime, you want to acquire one that is strong and durable. For you to be assured of this, you want to look at the materials that constitute the dress form. They have to be strong and durable.
As stated, these items are adjustable. This adjustability is made possible by the various controls apparatus. These apparatus vary in their sophistication and applicability. You want one that has simpler controls for the sake of your maximum convenience.
WHO ARE DRESS FORMS FOR?
Even though the dress forms may be utilized by just about every other person, the following cadres of individuals will find them quite handy and relevant to their use:
Professional Custom Dressmaker
Professional custom dressmakers are perhaps the key users of the dress forms. The dress forms indeed aid them in obtaining precise measurements and accurate designs. They also aid in the mass production of the said attire.
Fashion Design Student
These items may also help fashion students to acquaint themselves with the basics of dressmaking. This is because they make the learning process both practical and simple. They also eliminate guesswork and see to it that the message is taken home.
Fashion Bloggers and Shop Owners
Do you fancy everything fashion, you have this dress form for your taking. The item will normally come in handy while capturing snapshots or propping up attire for the sake of styling. These two roles and benefits are also relevant to the shop owners.
Lastly, you will find this item quite suited for you in case you are a person who fancies apparels. You may be a collector, a photographer, or a curator that deals extensively with clothes. The dress form helps you to showcase these items well.
HOW TO USE A DRESS FORM
The following are the major procedures to follow while utilizing a dress form:
Step I: Determine the Various Dimensions
Start off by determining the dimensions of the attire you want to sew. Measure the torso, the butt, the chest, and the shoulders. Jot these dimensions on a piece of paper for the sake of appropriate memories.
Step II: Alter the Dimensions Appropriately
This is the most significant step. It is this step that makes or breaks the situation. Alter the dimensions of the dress form appropriately to align with the ones you had captured above. Be very slow and meticulous as any errors or inconsistencies at this stage may often have compounded effects.
Step III: Place the Garment atop the Dress Form
Now carefully and slowly place the garment you intend to sew atop the dress form. Be slow and meticulous here also to avoid any tears. Unblock any folds to see to it that the attire is completely stretched out for the sake of easier handling later.
Step IV: Fasten Securely
Proceed to fasten the attire securely. This is to prevent it from sustaining any tears in the process of being engaged. It is to also set it securely and stable enough to be able to withstand even the most vigorous handling.
Step V: Lock the Dress Form firmly in Place
If you have no immediate plans to conclude sewing immediately, you may consider locking the dress form firmly in place and store. This is to allow for simpler retrievals later and without compromising the quality, shape, and form of the attire.
TOP BRANDS OF DRESS FORMS
As of the year 2018, the following are the top brands of dress forms:
- Only Mannequins
- White Child
- White Female
- Dritz Sew You
- Female Jersey
- Giantex Female
- New White Female
10 BEST ADJUSTABLE DRESS FORM REVIEWS
1: New White Female Dress & Slacks Form Size 6-8 Medium 34″ 26″ 35″
Do you want to display your final attire over and above merely sewing them? If you answered in the affirmative, this dress form is indeed yours for the taking. It is structured and designed in such a manner as to be able to display slacks awesome.
Thin Foam Layer
It possesses a thin foam layer. This allows you to pin your garments into the materials that surround the form easily. It also allows you to retrieve the material or garment that is being sewed safely and without the fear of tearing apart.
Hard Fiberglass Construction
Its main structural component comes in the form of a hard fiberglass construction. This material is indeed tough and reliable. It withstands the various elements of abuses perfectly better than most other dress forms.
High-quality Material Cover
Lastly, it does have a material cover that is made of high-quality fabric. This cover can resist greater stress, wear and tear than most ordinary materials. It, therefore, lasts longer and is more reliable.
- May be used on both the table and the tripod equally
- Great for use as a centerpiece
- The higher adjustable range of around 4-1/2 feet to 6 feet
- Easier to clean and maintain if it sustains dirt
- Backed by a robust and reliable customer care team
- Not truly pinnable
- Cannot accommodate heavier slacks
- Requires other attachments to operate optimally
2: SINGER | Medium/Large Dress Form DF251
Heavier garments require equally tough and stable dress forms. This is to cater for the added weight and drag. This particular dress form, as you are about to note, is intended to handle heavier garments well. It is on the whole very durable and reliable.
Foam-Backed Fabric Exterior
Throughout its exterior is the foam-backed fabric. It is on this fabric that you pin the garments that you are sewing. This material easily accepts pins and other garments atop it.
Removable Hem Guide
A removable hem guide does accompany the dress form. This comes to the angle of 360°. It allows you to pin or place marks against the garments. It also allows you to alter the hems as you may so desire.
Pin Cushion with Key Holder
It also possesses a pin cushion that comes along with a key holder. This is located at the top of the dress. It enables you to conveniently store the pins. Moreover, it also possesses two extra adjustment keys for your consideration.
- Way very adjustable
- Quite simple and convenient to adjust
- Pins fabric or pattern pieces of the sake of easier fitting
- More convenient to move around as may be required
- Extra stable and more durable
- Requires some assembly before use
- Slightly complicated to an ordinary user
- Takes up plenty of space
3: SINGER 12-Dial Adjustable Dress Form, Large Red
In case you are a professional dressmaker, you definitely want a dress form that is highly adjustable. This is to bring about a perfect fit. This dress form fits that particular bill perfectly. This stems mainly from its possession of numerous adjustments.
Generally speaking, the dress form has 13 adjustment options. These impact the back, the neck, the hips, the waist, and the bust. They work jointly to confer to you the benefit of a perfect fit.
Awesome Height Adjustment
With the ability to stretch and retract easily, this dress form provides awesome height adjustment options. It thus enables you to customize the dress form to your unique heights in the simplest way imaginable.
Four Leg Metal Base
With a four-leg metal base, you may count on this dress form to confer to you maximum stability. Moreover, the legs are extra durable. This makes them able to endure years of abuse and last you as long as you possibly want.
- Allows you to easily customize the height as need be
- Works well for sewing projects or displaying pieces
- Provides a more perfect fit, all factors considered
- Has hem guides which allow for perfect hems on the skirts and dresses
- Enables you to easily pin dresses, tops, skirts, and patterns
- Limited geographical applicability (USA and Canada only)
- Lower adjustable range (40-1/2 inches to 46 inches)
- Only for female dresses
4: Giantex Female Mannequin Torso Body Dress Form
Tops, blouses, dresses, jackets, T-shirts, and sweaters are usually more complex than ordinary attire. They are hence difficult to work on. This is why they require an equally complex and stable dress form. Look no further than this dress form if you have these attire in mind.
Sturdy Stand and Base
Both the stand and the base of the dress form are made of the painted pine wood. These are solid and extremely durable. They serve longer and also confer stronger support to the whole dress form.
Adjustable Torso Height
This dress form has a knob which adjusts the torso height appropriately. This allows you to customize the heights of your garments accordingly. In this regard, you will be able to make just about every other kind of garment.
Beautiful Patterned Style
On the whole, the dress form exudes some beautiful and patterned styles. As a matter of fact, it has six pattern options for you to choose from. This allows you to match the pattern to your specific needs.
- Quite suited for taller dresses
- Easier to monitor and engage
- Accompanied by a solid and durable tripod stand and a base
- Creates beautiful and eye-catching patterns
- Easier to assemble, maintain and clean
- Poor aesthetics
- Less stable
- Made of weaker materials
5: Female Jersey Dress Form with Base & Necktop
Small female attire has unique requirements. This stems from their extremely small and minute sizes. To be able to handle them properly, an equally small and handy dress form is by all means necessary. This perhaps is the best dress form for the job.
Perhaps no other component of a dress form is as significant as the stand. This is because it determines the stability and the reliability of the form as a whole. This dress form has a natural wood adjustable tripod stand which is great indeed.
In all, the dress form may adjust to the sizes 2-4 for the female dresses. This variable size is also accompanied by an easy to pin foam. These two bring about the dual benefits of maximum convenience.
Durable Material Cover
A durable material cover closes the list of its features. This durable material cover comes in a durable jersey material. Being tough and thick, this material is indeed able to withstand years and years of abuse and tear.
- Very easy to assemble
- Simple to dress and undress
- Has a customer service on standby to answer all your questions
- Possesses a leg position base which displays dresses flexibly
- Comes complete at the point of sale
- Performs fewer uses on the whole
- Returns lower value for money
- Has a limited Adjustable range
6: Dritz Sew You Dress Form, Small
Once more for a smaller attire, you have this dress form for your taking. Its miniature size, coupled with its ability to conform precisely to the body sizes makes it quite suited for the job. This is not to mention that it is also easier to engage on the whole.
9 Adjusting Wheels
Topping the list of its key features are the 9 adjusting wheels. These wheels may impact the bust, waist and the hips, respectively. These 9 wheels simplify the usage of the dress form and therefore bring about the benefit of unbridled convenience.
2 Auto-set Dials
Closely accompanying the 9 adjusting wheels is a set of two auto-set dials. These dials occupy the bust and the waist regions. They help in adjusting these parts and enabling them to enhance the securing and sewing of garments.
An Opal green foam-backed nylon cover closes the list of its awesome features. The perfect cover basically allows for easy pinning and marking of the various dimensions. The cover is also durable and therefore endures the test of time.
- Conforms uniquely to your body contours and measurements
- Can be adjusted just about anywhere else
- Easier to handle and adjust as the need may so dictate
- Accepts markings easily
- Backed by a pin hem marker for the sake of marking hems
- Accommodates only smaller dimensions and dresses
- Quite weighty (weighs 9.45 pounds/4.3 kg)
- Moderately costly to afford
7: Only Mannequins Female Mannequin Dress & Slacks Form
Get hold of this dress form to enjoy the benefit of higher value for money. This dress form is indeed able to discharge the dual roles of aiding you in sewing attire besides displaying the final outcomes. It also adjusts appropriately to accommodate various kinds of attire.
Hard Fiberglass Construction
A hard fiberglass comes in as the topmost feature of this dress form. It forms the skeleton of the dress form which in turn confers support to the other components of the dress form. It is stable and very reliable indeed.
It does have a reliable cover as the second most significant component. The material cover is manufactured using the higher quality materials. It is hence able to withstand more wear and tear than the ordinary counterparts.
This pod is able to work well either atop a table or on a tripod stand. Moreover, it also doubles up as a great centerpiece. For these reasons, it assures you of the benefit of maximum convenience at all times.
- Has a hard and long-lasting surface
- Grants you the freedom to alter the material cover
- Endures years of abuse and lasts longer
- Made of a reputable and experienced brand
- Has a longer experience indeed
- Cannot withstand heavier slacks
- Strictly not for full dresses
- Very prone to fall-offs
8: White Female Mannequin Dress Form Size 2-4 Small 35″ 24″ 33″
For moderate dress sizes of the females, you require a specially structured dress form. You obviously do not want to confront any unnecessary mishaps at all. Place your bet on this particular dress form. As you are about to see, it is great and relevant for such circumstances.
Its basic structural form and shape is the fiberglass that is wrapped in rayon and foam. These materials and structures are great in several ways. They are light yet both strong and stable. They are thus very reliable on the whole.
A wooden base comes in next. The base is indeed made of hardwood which is naturally famed for strength and durability. This construction confers both strength and durability to you. You may thus count on it to serve you consistently for longer.
This dress form is on the whole very adjustable. It can stretch horizontally to 4.5 feet apart. In the vertical direction, it can stretch up to a whopping 6 feet high! This capability allows you to sew just about every other kind of attire you may have in mind.
- Available in various forms, colors, and shades
- Has a wide and reliable stand that is also very stable
- Easier to assemble and put in good shape and form
- Lasts longer than most other dress forms
- Fitted with a stable base that is quite reliable
- Requires plenty of space to mount and store
- Bulky and cumbersome to carry around
- Calls for huge muscle power to operate
9: White Child 7-8 Years Old Fully Pinnable Mannequin Dress Form on Natural Tripod Stand
Are you a student or an aspiring tailor? You definitely want a dress form that is simpler to engage. This dress form ought to possess the bare minimum parts, features, and controls available. This is to eliminate the need for too much experience and expertise.
On its exterior surface is a heavy-duty foam coating. It is this coating that grants you the surface upon which you may pin the dress you are sewing. Its heavy-duty nature allows you to pin directly on the material from just about anywhere.
The dress form stands apart from the others in that its torso is made of fiberglass. The material is both strong and light in weight. For this reason, you will find it pretty simple to engage and operate as need be.
Jersey Material Cover
Lastly, a jersey material covers the entire length and breadth of the heavy duty foam. This material basically shields the raw structures from undue access and interference. This, in turn, lengthens the lifespan and guarantees long-term reliability.
- Displays dress over and above helping you sew them
- Great for sewing indeed
- Covered by jersey for added aesthetics and durability
- Higher adjustable height range
- Quite resilient to the various agents of abuse
- Only for garments of the 7-8 years old
- Too simple to accomplish complex purposes
- Lacks a couple of vital controls
10: Only Mannequins Dress Form: White Female Dress Form on Black tripod Stand Size 2-4
Launch your tailoring career with this easy to use a dress form. By reason of being exclusively designed for the learner, this dress form will surely come to your aid. It possesses the bare minimum features and is thus easier to engage on the whole.
You may adjust the height of the dress form from approximately 4-1/2 feet to 6 feet. This freedom of space allows you to conveniently make dresses that fall within this particular range. This is not to mention the added degree of freedom.
Thin Foam Layer
A thin foam layer adorns the exterior of the fiberglass construction. This adornment makes it possible for you easily pin the dresses on to the form. This subsequently allows you to work your dresses perfectly and with minimal hindrances.
Perfect Torso Height
Apart from the height, you may also adjust the torso of the dress form. It can stretch to a maximum width of 27 inches at the torso and 14 inches at the shoulder regions. This again provides you added freedom of choice.
- Takes up less space to mount and store
- Simpler to carry around
- Does not require too much technical expertise
- Exudes excellent aesthetics
- Possesses fewer and convenient controls
- Lacks a couple of significant features
- Less useful and handy
- Quite delicate and prone to breakdowns
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Q1. Are dress forms and mannequins one and the same things?
NO, they are not! The dress forms are used for sewing apparels whereas the mannequins are used to display the finished products. The dress forms may also double up as mannequins though.
Q2. What are the various uses of the dress forms?
They serve the roles of sewing garments and displaying the same in cloth stores. They may also be used to inculcate the art of sewing and apparel to students.
Q3. How much should I expect to pay for a dress form?
A good dress form costs $100, give or take.
Q4. Where may I find a good dress form?
Even though these items are found in apparel stores and leading stores, no other source beats the online auction sites. This is because the sites give you the rare privilege of comparing the various items in stock easily. They are also cheaper than the traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Q5. Are the dress forms great possessions, really?
YES, they are! Their roles in enhancing the sewing of garments cannot at all be downplayed.
My favorite is the SINGER 12-Dial Adjustable Dress Form, Large Red. As you may well have noted, the machine is indeed great for professional dressmaking.
It is packed with a host of awesome features that make this dream a reality. It is, therefore, better suited to and bringing about greater and higher quality outcomes.
Now that you have received the head knowledge, why not go a step ahead and purchase at least one of the items we have reviewed above? It is only then that you will be able to enjoy the accompanying benefits.
We also want others to enjoy similar advantages. To be able to achieve this noble objective, we plead with you to share this information far and wide. We wish you all the best as you contemplate taking the first major step!
Top Editor in TheDearLab. Traveler, Reader.