Have you ever fancied investing in a dress form? They are one of those big-ticket items behind your sewing machine and overlocker and we think they are a must have purchase for any budding seamstress. Here are a few reasons why we love them
- It’s really useful to see how your garment is looking through the different stages of construction. Looking at your garment from a distance and in three dimensions helps you check everything is lined up and positioned correctly. For example, you can check the following
- Positioning of buttonholes
- Checking necklines and facings are correctly aligned and lying flat
- Checking set in sleeves hang correctly and that the sleeve head is correctly aligned.
- It allows you to re-pin parts with no fear of pinning yourself! Especially things in the round such as neck bindings
- Try out positioning of embellishments
- Check how your garment hangs and make sure your hemline is even.
- Check linings don’t hang below the hemline.
- They can also be a great way to give a final steam/press to your garment, I’m thinking of delicate pieces like wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses or heavy items such as coats. Your garment can be left on the dress form to help keep its shape and not get creased.
- Dress Forms can also be super handy if you’re sewing a garment for someone else, and at the moment that person might not be able to visit you (thanks Covid!), but with their measurements you can tailor your dress form to them, and then fit your garment to that.
- A dress form can also allow you to see the back of the garment without twisting round in the mirror, again very useful if you live alone and cannot get anyone to take photos for you.
- You can also pop your newest me-made onto your dress form and admire it until you come to wear it! Or use your dress form as a way of taking photos of the garments you create. Not only will this allow you to build up a photo library of your closet, but you will be able to see how your style changes over the years, and perhaps remind you of forgotten items lurking in your wardrobe. Lots of sewists use their dress form as a way of being able to photograph their makes for social media, like Instagram. This also works if you’re thinking of selling your garments at shows/craft fairs as people will be instantly able to see the shape and design of what you’ve sewn, more like in a retail shop.
Most dress forms are fully adjustable, meaning you can tweak their shell to make them the same size as your body. However, if you want to go one step further you can ‘pad’ out your dress form if your measurements don’t quite fit the sizing, and let’s face it, we are all unique and have different shaped bodies. This can be particularly helpful if you are pregnant, we’ve seen small ‘pillows’ made to pad out the front, which are then easily removed once the baby is here. Another great tip is to pop a bra onto it (use one in your current size) and pad it out with some soft stuffing to help recreate your perfect shape. There are lots of helpful YouTube videos available to help you do this.
Some dress forms come with an outer layer that you can pin through, allowing you to create garments that have been draped instead of using pattern pieces. And some have a pin cushion at the neck for easy storage. You can also buy covers for your dress form which are washable, so you can mark on any points of reference. You can also add a chalk marker to easily mark the hems, making them even all the way round.
We have two types of Dress Forms on the website at the moment Click Here to take a look or send the link to Santa!!! They are the perfect size to fit down most chimneys!
If you’ve got any questions about just drop the studio an email, we love to talk sewing!