After getting married, it was hard to find time to just sit and sew. When I did, I no longer had my mom as my fitting assistant. My husband tried his best, but it was very hard to direct him with fitting in the back. It would be so much easier and quicker if I had control over the fitting myself. Thus, I began looking for a dress form.
The SearchThe problem was I have a long waist and nonstandard measurements. My first thought was to buy an adjustable form from Joann’s. Unfortunately, the prices were very high and the reviews were miserable. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a product that made me unhappy and wouldn’t last long.
DIY?Next, I started looking into DIY options. Duct tape, plaster, you name it I looked into it. I searched blogs, YouTube videos, and I scoured through Pinterest. Nonetheless, the perfectionist in me only saw the flaws, multiple ways the project could go wrong, and lack of available resources and skill.
The Shop CompanyI was toying with the idea of modifying and padding up a cheap mannequin, something used for display rather than tailoring. I was also thinking of finding a polyurethane form to follow this dress form tutorial. I found a cost effective mannequin for the padding option with a very attractive wood base at The Shop Company. That’s when I discovered their professional forms. Wow. They were so pretty. How I wished I could have one of those. I pushed it from my mind as I thought it wouldn’t possibly fit my measurements.
While finalizing my mannequin plan (materials, cost, process), I kept coming back to those professional forms. They looked so nice and the price was amazing for the quality. In addition, the measurements weren’t too far off. A little short in the back length measurement, but was it that big a deal? The reviews were good. Even Gertie had a glowing review of their product.
Actual purchase!I bit the bullet and purchased The Shop Company’s Professional Female Dress Form with Collapsible Shoulders. If I was going to do this, I wanted to spend my money on a good, long-lasting item. I also purchased The Ultimate Dress Form Fitting Pad System by Fabulous Fit through The Shop Company as well.
The dress form finally shipped about a week after I placed my order and the fitting pad system shipped a couple of days after that. Once the items shipped, they arrived quickly and in good condition. The box was a little heavy for my noodle arms. My husband carried it up the stairs for me. The professional dress form instructions were clear and I set it up in all its glory within minutes. The linen seemed very clean and pleasing to look at. There were a few scuffmarks on the armhole plates, but I feel I may be able to clean them. The base was heavy and sturdy. The wheels would probably roll nicely if my sewing space wasn’t on deep carpet. Thus, moving the dress form was a little ungainly for me.
Measurements and ProblemsThe decisive moment came when I compared my measurements with the form’s measurements. Regrettably, I had lost some weight between my initial search for a dress form and when I ultimately acquired one. Now the waist measurement was spot on, maybe a smidge large. In addition, the bust measurement was spot on. That was a HUGE bummer as my cup size was still larger than the dress form. When I checked the upper bust measurement? Yup, about 1.5 inches, maybe 2, bigger. I had no idea my rib cage was so much smaller. Maybe that’s why I have such issues fitting patterns in that area. I am a little concerned right now how this will affect my sewing. Is it too large and nothing will fit me correctly? Can I fit patterns skin tight to the dress form in that area and it will have the right amount of ease when I wear the garment? Will I be able to display my finished outfits as I had planned?
I don’t want to return, as a smaller size would have an even shorter back length measurement. I cannot afford to go any shorter. Moreover, I would have to pad everything rather than just problem areas. With the padding system, I can get accurate shoulder and hip/thigh measurements as it is.
OverallGreat service from The Shop Company. They responded to my emails quickly and my product arrived in good time and condition. The product is good quality, but I wish they included upper bust measurements when buying. I hope that it all works out.
The Ultimate Dress Form Fitting Pad System by Fabulous Fit Review