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Topic: Dressmakers dummy - does size really matter?  (Read 6695 times)
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« on: October 12, 2008 01:58:24 AM »

I'm looking at purchasing a dressmakers dummy, but living here in Perth, my range is fairly limited in terms of what I can get. I've had a very good scout around all of australia (and even international websites), and have found two  I'm considering but I need some help deciding..

Dress form one is a small, costs $250, and at its smallest adjustments, is exactly 1 inch larger than my measurements all round.

Dress form two is a petite, costs $450 and is adjustable to my measurements perfectly.

So, my question is, does the 1 inch matter that much? If I fit my garments tight on the dressform, would it be okay? I'm just trying to justify/unjustify whether spending an extra $200 for one inch is worth it.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2008 03:10:20 AM by klement » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008 09:58:25 AM »

Have you considered making your own? There are free instructions at http://sewnews.com/resources/library/0806form/index.html.

You'll need someone to tape you, of course. And, count on being on your feet for at least an hour (harder than it sounds). But you'll have a perfect replica of your own body.
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008 06:52:43 PM »

I would also try to make a dressform myself. It takes time and everything but it would be worth it. IMO.

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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2008 12:05:03 AM »

I second the first two replies, but to answer your question...  Grin :

You dont fit your clothes around a dressform super-tight to begin with, it really depends on how you like your clothes to fit. For a loose fit, the cheaper one would be okay, but for a perfect or tight fit, the one for 450 bucks is the better option, of course.

But seriously, IMHO you only need a professional dress form if you make a LOT of clothes for yourself, and even then, I myself could not justify spending this much on only one item (apart from my sewing machine, of course...).

Did you check Ebay, yard sales or even estate sales? You might be able to locate a local seamstress in your area and ask her for help. Sometimes they even have an older dress form collecting dust in the basement and are more than happy to sell it to you for cheaper.

So, to sum it up, here is what I would do: Try your hands at making a dress form with Duct Tape, and keep looking for a professional one for cheaper than what you have found so far.

But that is just my $0.02.

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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2008 05:35:20 PM »

i suggest regularly checking ebay... i had the same problem as you, i was an inch smaller than the smallest measurements on the cheaper small dress forms... but i lucked out and got a used petite dress form off of ebay a few weeks ago for only $89...

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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2008 03:55:03 PM »

I would just keep an eye out for a cheaper one that fits your measurements better.  $450 is a LOT of money, but 1 inch can make a big difference.
And, I have to throw in my input on the duct tape dressforms: waste of time.  I threw mine out after using it for one dress and went out and bought a real one.

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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2008 05:19:02 PM »

Thank you for all your replies!

Re: the DIY dress form. I'm not very keen on doing this as I have heard that these dress forms are better used for fitting , rather than draping. While I'm not a very experienced sewer, I would still like the option of being able to use my dress form for doing these things, and am happy to pay a little bit more for the investment.

RE: ebay, yard sales etc.. Yes I did check these.. I checked these for a month prior to my posting the original post. Where I did find a petite model, the shipping was exorbitant as it was often coming from overseas.

So what did I end up doing?  It turned out the day after I posted, the store had a 20% sale and I was able to put an order in for my dummy for $360 (they only have display models in store). It hasn't arrived yet, but she said one week.

It's a little more than I originally wanted to spend, but the quality of the dressform really is very sturdy, fits my measurements and therefore a better investment (and in light of the original price tag, seemed like a good opportunity).

For me, even using commercial patterns is a hassle because at times the pattern doesn't go down small enough. By using a dressform, I can pin and alter the pattern before/during the sewing process rather than make adjustments at the end and to me, this is much better an option than the frustration of the latter.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2008 05:22:42 PM by klement » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2008 04:32:46 PM »

It looks like you made a good choice for yourself!

For anyone else out there looking for a dress form, I searched craigslist.org for about 7 months for a dress form that would work for me.  There were a couple listed as vintage mannequins, there were some modern JoAnn's Fabrics that were priced too high for my budget, and I didn't want to make one out of duct tape.  Rats.

HURRAH!  Last week someone posted on craigslist that there were 2 dress forms for sale at the local VFW post.  A woman was moving out of state and wanted $20. each!!!  I bought the one that is a perfect match for my size, has a bazillion adjustable dials, and am glad my paltry $20 is going to help local veterans enjoy pool and bingo nights. 
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