Review: My New Dressform!

25 Jul

Hey everyone! I have a review for y’all today! I know – blecch ughhhh, review posts are the worst, amirite? But I think this one is actually pretty relevant to everyone’s interests (unlike a good 90% of the review offers I am constantly being offered. Like, once a company offered me padded butt underwear. lolwut!), so bear with me here.

Check out the new lady in my life-

Dressform - The Shop Company

Gorgeous, right? This gal comes courtesy of The Shop Company, who reached out to me about a month ago and asked if I’d like a form in exchange for review. In the interest of full disclosure – I did not pay for this form, although I have been wishful shopping for one for a couple years now (and The Shop Company was actually on my list, after reading Gertie’s review). I currently have a form, but it’s a terrible piece of shit so obviously I jumped at the chance for a nicer model.

Dressform - The Shop Company

I was given full realm to choose any professional form from the site, which I ultimately went with the Professional Female Form with Collapsible Shoulders (although I totally lurked the Full Body form with arms and legs, until Landon told me he’d bury it in the backyard the minute I left the house). Like I said, I’ve been faux-shopping for a form for a while now, so I knew exactly what I wanted and this one checked off all the boxes.

Before we dive too deep into the new form, we should probably talk about my old form – a Dritz My Double (I’m not even going to link you to it, it’s so terrible). I’ve had it for a few years and it’s just really awful – extremely rickety, lightweight, and poorly designed. Every time I moved it, part of the tripod would fall out (which actually happened when I finally dragged it out to the shed the other day. FUCK YOU, DRITZ DRESSFORM). After about a year of use, the “cover” (I use this word lightly because it was really just cheap fabric glued to a plastic core) started to peel off – not to mention, it’s red. Who the hell chooses a red dressform? That shit clashes with everything. The Dritz form claimed to be adjustable, but that never really worked and it also adjusted across all size points (so, say, you couldn’t make it pear-shaped, since increasing the hip size would also make the bust and waist increase). The shoulders didn’t collapse, so getting garments on and off that thing was a nightmare. You couldn’t stick pins in it. Plus, it was ugly. Ugly forms are the worst, amirite?

So what’s so cool about this new form from The Shop Company, and why is it any better than the old one I was using? GUYS, LET ME TELL YOU.

Dressform - The Shop Company

It’s solidly built. The base is extremely heavy (which made for bringing the box inside very entertaining, I’ll have you know)(also, I’ll have to know that I literally fit inside the box because, yes, I tested. What?), so there’s no danger of it tipping over. The wheels roll smoothly, the metal skirt cage doesn’t bend, and all the little metal-looking parts are actually metal – not painted plastic. I have pinned the shit out of the cover over the course of the month, and you can’t even tell – no snags, no pin holes, no marks. I’ve used professional dress forms in the past, and this one feels pretty comparable to the almighty Wolf form – at a fraction of the cost.

Dressform - The Shop Company

Not only does it have markings to aid in draping/fitting/patternmaking, but many of them are raised (including the side seams), so you can feel them straight through the fabric.

The form also raises and lowers via a pedal at the base. Interestingly, I lowered mine as far as it will go… laughed at how short it was…. and then realized it was exactly my height o_O hahahaa whoops!

Dressform - The Shop Company

THE SHOULDERS ACTUALLY COLLAPSE. You have no idea how much this delights me! Sometimes I just stand there and snap the shoulders in and out because it’s fun as shit. Don’t judge me.

Side note: Up until very recently, I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept of collapsible shoulders. Like… what are they collapsing into…? I only learned what that entailed when I was working at Muna’s and I started playing with her dressforms. So, the above image is what it looks like when you collapse the shoulders of your form. You just push them in and they snap into place. It makes getting on garments SO much easier, plus, like I said – it’s fun!

Dressform - The Shop Company

You can also stick pins in it! Not directly straight in – they have to go in at an angle (as with most professional forms; the core is still solid and unpinnable). But hey, they stick and they stay and it’s pretty awesome.

Chambray Colette Hawthorn

Oh, right, and it’s beautiful! I mean, seriously, look at that gorgeous dress form! It’s currently modeling my Chambray Hawthorn, but seriously, any piles of rags would look beautiful on this thing.

Old Form/New Form

I’m sure you’ve noticed me using the form since I got it – I’ve had it for about a month at this point. I waited this long to post a review because I figured the review would be much more accurate if I’d actually used it for a bit before gushing. The form actually came in while I was writing posts for the OAL, which means I switched that shit out in the middle of posts. This is actually a really good example of the difference a nice form makes when displaying your garments – check out my old form on the left, and the new form on the right. Doesn’t it make a world of difference?

Dressform - The Shop Company

The only downside I can think of to this form is that the sizing is pretty limiting. It’s not adjustable, and it’s a straight size that only goes up to a 20. However, for my size and body shape, the 2 is a pretty close match. I am of the camp that you can’t really use a form for intense fitting purposes (you’ll never 100% mimic your body with a form – and even if you do with, say, a literal body double, it still is rigid in areas that squish), so a close match is good enough for me. Of course, you can always pad out the form (I have used the Fabulous Fit system in the past, but good ol’ batting and a new knit cover will also work) if you need to add some additional curves. I use my form to display clothing, take photos, make minor fitting adjustments, help with design decisions while sewing, hang half-finished garments so they don’t turn into a cat bed, and to creep Landon out. For all these purposes, it works great.

Also – the price is pretty freaking amazing. It’s $225, which is insane for a form this nice. As a comparison – Wolf forms retail for around $850, and like I said, this one is pretty comparable. On the flip side, the cheapie ones from Joann tend to list around $260 – and while you can get a coupon to knock down the price, I’d really recommend saving your money for this nicer one. More expensive up front, but much much cheaper in the long run.

I am so excited about this new form – mostly because I actually have a legit recommendation now when people ask what kind of form I use! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much to The Shop Company for providing me with this form! If you’re in the market for a new form, definitely check them out – they have male forms, fully pinnable forms, creepy forms with arms, and even child forms. Something for everyone πŸ™‚

What about you? Do you have a dress form? Are you happy with it? Also – what should I name my form? The old one was Dolly. Should this be Dolly 2? Help.

* Disclosure: I received this form from The Shop Company for free, in exchange for a review. I know this review sounds really gushy and biased, but I promise it’s 100% honest; the product is just that good. I was not additionally compensated for this post. Also, despite the number of links in this post – none of them are paid affiliate links. Click away, y’all πŸ™‚

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94 Responses to “Review: My New Dressform!”

  1. lilysageandco July 25, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    I really appreciate this review. I had to get myself a new dressform when I landed in the US several months ago. I’m quite tall, small busted, and narrow around the hips so it is near impossible for me to find a match, and by match, I mean matching or less than any of those measurements. I was so close to buying this one – was tossing between this or another but in the end, fear that the bust would be too big (can’t shrink those ladies!) and that the length of the body may not be enough. I opted for a basic dritz which mainly for the flatter chest and length adjustable back, so I share the same frustrations as you had on this one. I’m still very tempted to invest in one like this but maybe not until they have deflatable bust!

    • LLADYBIRD July 25, 2014 at 8:43 am #

      Oh yeah, that’s a tough set of measurements to duplicate. I would normally tell you to go for the smaller size and pad it out, but you can’t really pad out additional torso length 😦

    • Cheryl Molina July 28, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

      I purchased one of these a year or so ago I have to say I am really surprised by the quality of the form and what can be done with a budget dress form, its super sturdy and fully pin-able which some cheaper forms are not so for me it was a home run. Dont mistake this with a fully adjustable forms and the best thing is to readjust the padding according to your assets….

  2. justineabbitt July 25, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    I have a wolf for me and a royal kids form . I’ve never heard of this brand. Where is it made?

    • LLADYBIRD July 25, 2014 at 8:44 am #

      I believe they are a relatively new company πŸ™‚ I’m not sure where they are made, but they are shipped out of NJ.

    • Sylvie January 24, 2016 at 6:38 am #

      Hello, Do you love your Wolf? does it pin well? Wolf is made in USA and gives jobs to American.
      I wonder where is made the one from The shop Company. I have been looking on Ebay for a year and it is always the shipping that is a problem for me. We are with the Army outside of America.

  3. Elizabeth Dube July 25, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    Although my husband bought me the same dritz form a few years ago, that thing is always falling over. Ironically, I had kept the one that I got in high school (19 umm 69) and you would not believe the difference in quality. And my old one was just the standard at the time, nothing fancy.

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 8:57 am #

      That doesn’t surprise me at all! So much stuff we buy these days isn’t built to last, which is such a bummer. Those old dress forms are so NICE!

  4. tialys July 25, 2014 at 8:51 am #

    Unlike lilysageandco above I would like a model with an inflatable bust. However, I did just buy a Lady Valet which is quite good and looks quite attractive because, as you say, who wants a red or blue one? However, I didn’t realise that as well as adjusting it, you have to pad it out and put a body stocking over it etc. otherwise it still isn’t going to look like you. Mine now has a padded bra, some quilt batting round where my squishier bits are and a body shaper slip on in black and looks nothing like the thing I bought. I also have a few vintage French mannequins around the place which completely freak my husband out – especially the child ones – and now he has this one in weird underwear to contend with. I’m still going to try things on a lot but I will use the Lady Valet (posh, eh?) for making small adjustments.
    By the way, I for one would have loved to read your review on padded butt underwear – for one, I am at the age where mine is disappearing fast and, for another, I am guessing it would have been extremely amusing.

    • Shannon July 25, 2014 at 11:13 am #

      So funny. Our poor men!

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 8:58 am #

      It probably would have been amusing, but I’m pretty happy with the shape of my unpadded butt πŸ™‚ It just seemed like a such a weird thing to reach out to a sewing blogger about – I, um, what? Haha!

  5. sallie July 25, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    Awesome review, Lauren! I have an adjustable dress form that I bought for $100 when I first started sewing and while it’s not total and utter crap – it does look cheesy and the shoulders and upper bust measurement are much larger than mine so it makes it difficult to use for any sort of draping/designing purposes. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a more professional form for awhile now. The price of these are really REALLY good, and it sounds like they’re pretty high quality too, which is awesome! Thanks! I’ll be looking into this!

  6. Kelly July 25, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    Oh, I want one.

  7. Elizabeth Amy Hajek July 25, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    I actually do have two of the cheapie ones from JoAnn’s and I make them work by setting them to the smallest measurement on myself or my client (usually the underbust) and padding out the rest. It works pretty well unless I have to pad out too much – recently did that for a plus-sized customer and found that I lost inches over the three months of sewing because the padding collapsed. So while I say you can make a basic form work pretty well if you manipulate it right, DO make sure your padding is FIRM STUFF.

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 8:59 am #

      I’m actually smaller in some places (such as the back) than the smallest measurement of the Dritz form, so doing that + padding doesn’t work for me 😦

  8. devoniott July 25, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    ahhh i’ve been lurking the shop company site for forever!! i need to get me one of those. i also have one of those dritz ones [it was a freebie from someone who didn’t want it any more] and have had the same experience. also sometimes it scares me at night.

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:00 am #

      You should! You can come play with mine if you want to see it in person – we’re pretty close to the same size πŸ™‚ And yeah, I can’t promise this one won’t scare you at night too! But at least it’ll look prettier while doing it haha πŸ™‚

  9. Jane July 25, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    Oooh it’s so good looking! As you say, a massive improvement on the last one. I have a Lady Valet, which I’m pretty happy with, I also like the name – it just sounds so posh! My dummy is about 90% accurate in replicating my body shape, which is good enough for me. x

  10. LinB July 25, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Confession: In 47 years of sewing, I have never used a dress form — not even in a college or university costume shop. I tend to follow the Aunt Bea school of dressmaking in this regard, and grab hold of any old Sheriff Andy Taylor or other who is in the vicinity, when I need to do a fitting. Your new form sounds like a dream come true.

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:02 am #

      Oh yeah, that’s how I like to do fitting as well (except it’s usually just solo!). This one is good for really basic fitting, though πŸ™‚

  11. orangecloudhandmade July 25, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    If they made these in custom sizes, I would buy one in a heartbeat. I’m too afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get it to my (rockin) pear shape, or that if I bought one that’s in my smallest measurement, I’d have to pad the hips way out, and it’d be so distorted and weird by the time I got there. They’re so pretty, though! And my Singer one is… fine, but I’d love to have one that doesn’t fall over, or have huge gaps, or generally suck. Hmmm!

  12. Danica July 25, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    It’s just beautiful. The collapsible shoulders and cover are wonderful. I thought your review was fine – it looks like a nice product and works for your body proportions.

    Alas, I have a flat chest, so my cheaply made, but not cheaply priced dritz works. I really hate that you can’t push pins it – actually, it’s my biggest pet peeve.

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:04 am #

      Yeah, a dress form that doesn’t let you stick pins in it just seems like such a waste!

  13. symondezyn July 25, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    Oh how nice!! That really is the bomb!! I have been dying for a dress form like this forever… I haven’t bothered to get a form at all yet because as you say, the ones readily available in shops are the absolute pits, and I’d rather have none than a sub-par one. I’m off now to see if these lovely forms are available in Canada πŸ™‚

  14. Peter July 25, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    I think dress forms are great, but as you say, they’re not really for precise fitting. I own two, both used, that I found on Craigslist. I love them. They’re beautiful. And they make me feel like a pro!

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:05 am #

      Feeling like a pro is definitely a perk of having a dress form! πŸ™‚

  15. Caroline Joynson July 25, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    Yeah Lauren. Congrats on your lovely new dress form. Did you notice that the lettering for ‘collapsible shoulder’ turns your dress form into a sad face (the boobs are eyes) meaning that you just have to throw a garment on her otherwise she is sad ; (
    I think I’m a bit sad for noticing this!? Does anybody else see this…. no? just me then…. I’ll get my coat.

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:06 am #

      hahahaha nooo, I totally see it and now I can never unsee it! Damn you! πŸ™‚

  16. Connie July 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    I have a cheapo one from Joanne’s, I think it is a Dritz, it certainly isn’t a very good one. Maybe if I padded it out to match my body I would like it better. I suppose I could paint it the color is dreadful.

  17. Connie July 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    I think your new one looks like your body pretty close, certainly your clothes fit on her very well. I think you should name her Dolly too.

  18. Angela July 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    I saw a post from a woman that bought a dress, but has the same problem as many of us – she is tall and long-waisted. So… she CUT IT APART with a hacksaw in two places, used firm plastic and then muslim strips with plaster of paris to make the spread areas solid again. Obviously looks at this point not great, but if you put some padding on to make the form like you, then a cover, the repair job isn’t seen anyhow. The picture of hers looks great, you’d never know what had transpired.

    http://catonalimb.blogspot.com/2013/04/altering-dress-form-for-long-torsos.html?showComment=1406307933050#c3633131851410745547

    I’m sure I have the same rickety Dritz form others have – and I have the length spread apart as far as possible, so there is a big ol’ gap at the waist. Maybe filling in with some plastic and plaster of paris is in the future….. I’ll have to think about this idea.

    • Anonymous July 26, 2014 at 7:02 am #

      Thank you, Angela, for the link. My problem too – I wondered about cutting my old (very old and the size is more like my much younger self – torso never long enough) form in this way but my husband didn’t think it would work. It’s an adjustable form, with length at max but it’s got a heavy metal pole up its centre which makes it awkward. Plus I’m pear shaped and my waist slopes. The base is solid. I certainly haven’t managed to find a suitable form to purchase. We were going to go down the DIY route anyway. I did find a thermo plastic metal cage which adjusted to size around the body but postage from Germany was very expensive and of course you can’t pin into a wire grid. Do let me know if you come up with something!

    • amcclure2014 July 26, 2014 at 7:04 am #

      Thank you, Angela, for the link. My problem too – I wondered about cutting my old (very old and the size is more like my much younger self – torso never long enough) form in this way but my husband didn’t think it would work. It’s an adjustable form, with length at max but it’s got a heavy metal pole up its centre which makes it awkward. Plus I’m pear shaped and my waist slopes. The base is solid. I certainly haven’t managed to find a suitable form to purchase. We were going to go down the DIY route anyway. I did find a thermo plastic metal cage which adjusted to size around the body but postage from Germany was very expensive and of course you can’t pin into a wire grid. Do let me know if you come up with something!

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:10 am #

      That is AMAZING! Wow! Would not have ever guessed it was possible to do that kind of hacking, but it turned out awesome!

  19. charliewensley July 25, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    Wow. So envious! I’ve been lusting after one of these since I saw Gertie’s review. It looks beautiful and so similar to the Wolfs I used in my patternmaking course. Thanks for the review. Somebody (my patternmaking tutor) said to me a while ago that if you want to use a form for accurate fitting then you need to get one custom made and I think that makes sense so your list of uses seems spot on (particularly the last one!)

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      Yeah, I think the custom-made ones are the way to go if your body differs too much from the “standard,” however, I still don’t think they are 100% for fitting. Accurate body form or not, you’ll still never be able to tell if something is too tight/restraining/etc until you actually put it on πŸ™‚ But it would be very helpful to have to get you to that point πŸ™‚

  20. Jess July 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    Great timing! I’m shopping around for my very first dress form and wasn’t sure where to go, and I haven’t been very keen on the dial-a-size ones that look like they’d start losing parts after a few months. This might be iiiiiittttt.

    Also, I don’t know if you’re allowed to say in your review, but the discount code Gertie gave in her write-up (TSCgiveMe10%off) still works. The ~$20 in savings just about covers the cost of shipping, which makes it even more competitive with the discounts given at Joann and Hancock for the adjustables. Suck it Dritz.

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:12 am #

      Ah, didn’t know that! Thanks for the head’s up! And yeah – Suck it, Dritz, indeed hahahaha πŸ™‚

  21. KaoruMarie July 25, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    My mom bought a Dritz dressform for herself, but then she immediately told me I could “borrow” it so I’m pretty sure she bought it with the intention of giving it to me. Free dressform? How could I say no. It’s not too terrible, but I really, really wish it had collapsible shoulders since I can’t fit any finished garments on her 😦 But it does have separate adjustments for bust and waist and hip areas so at least when I’m fitting, it is close to my body shape.

    Your review cracked me up and I totally appreciate your honesty. I also had a similar reaction with the dressform height. I lowered it and then laughed at how short it was, then got all sad when I stood next to it and realized that was my actual height!!

  22. Kilkenny Cat July 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    That so looks the business. Can see why you are so pleased with her. I am totally with Landon about the arms and legs dress form. Yikes. It could be a Halloween horror. What about Dollybird? πŸ™‚

  23. Eileen July 25, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    I have this one and love it. Like you my previous one was a Dritz that fell over everytime I touched it. I am in love with it……

  24. Laura July 25, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    My dressform is called Alan, because it is quite manly in shape

  25. SeeKatSew July 25, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

    Firstly, I agree with Landon wanting to bury the complete dress forms, the limbs just make it creepy!! I don’t have one yet, eventually maybe when I get better at sewing. I am amazed at the difference the dress forms make in that pic you show the old and the new side by side! Who knew? (Apparently no me). I am also shocked at the price – amazing I thought professional ones would be way more. I think when/if I invest in one I would go with an adjustable one, just in case a miracle happened and 10lbs vanished from my body.

  26. fabrictragic July 25, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    It looks very swish. I had my beloved wrap me up in paper tape one hot summers night and now I have a paper mΓ’chΓ© stunt double which is surprisingly helpful. She’s not a looker but she’s very useful for basic tissue fitting, dart placement checks and of course mimics my rather dramatic sway back very well. A cheap but not as aesthetically pleasing option as yours. Names….. She’s a bit swisher than Dolly 1, so maybe Dolores?

  27. RatRace July 25, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    Great review. Thanks for sharing this useful information.

    You are hilarious. I was cracking up so much that my family made me tell them why I was laughing. Thank you, I needed to laugh.

  28. Michelle July 25, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    I just got the same dressform last month! I love it. And for anyone not living in the US. theshopcompany ships internationally thru their eBay store. I am so grateful that they do. It was half the price of crap forms at my local fabric store. And it’s do nice not to sew half dressed anymore πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:13 am #

      Ooh, good to know – thanks for the head’s up! πŸ™‚

    • Kelly August 5, 2014 at 5:42 am #

      Thank you for the ebay store tip, I’d been hoping I could get one in the UK but it didn’t seem possible, so that may be a solution πŸ™‚ and not as horrendously expensive to ship as I thought it might be πŸ™‚

  29. Kim July 25, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    So jealous! I’ve been trying to order from the shop company for months but they are out of a size six every time I check. WWLD (what would Lauren do?) buy a dressform 1″ big in the bust, or buy a dressform 1″ small in the hips and waist? The size six is my waist and hip measurements exactly, just bigger in the chest. I am losing weight (at the moment…) and of course it always comes from the boobs!

    • Michelle July 25, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      I’d always go inches smaller as you can always pad up. IMO.

      • Kim July 25, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

        Thanks Michelle! If I go for smaller, it is in stock.

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      Late on the reply, but I agree with Michelle – get the smaller one and pad it up πŸ™‚

  30. Bellbird July 25, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    I have a really solid vintage form that looks very similar to yours, but it doesn’t have collapsible shoulders. Mostly I use it for decor in my sewing corner (I think she’s pretty) but it is fully functional and pinnable so I should really use it more often! It has ‘tru form’ printed on it, so her name is Tru Form Trudy. It has a nice ring to it I think!

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      Ooh, I like that name! πŸ™‚

  31. deadlycraft July 26, 2014 at 3:33 am #

    I think you should call her Dorothy or Dolores (the “proper name” versions of Dolly) as she is so much more proper (or fitting hahaha!). I have a vintage dress form with metal slider adjustments which is amazing – you can widen each bit independently (like seriously, one shoulder can be higher than another…). The only downer is the gaps between the pieces… I guess I need to make a cover!

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      I do like Dolores! And DAMN, that dress form sounds legit! I wish they made adjustable ones like that.

  32. Barbara July 26, 2014 at 3:34 am #

    Thanks for the review, ive had a similar experience with my dritz

  33. Suz (@pretty_florals) July 26, 2014 at 5:11 am #

    I have a Diana dress form and I’m really happy with it at the moment. It serves its purpose and it’s pretty nice for my first dress form! The only thing that bugs me is the colour. I love that your one is neutral! Also, collapsable shoulders are the dream. Great review πŸ™‚

  34. amcclure2014 July 26, 2014 at 7:17 am #

    I’ve replied to Angela thanking her for the link in her post, to someone who lengthened their dress form like I would need to do. I’d love to buy a dress form that would work for me but I’m afraid that as I’m tall with a long waist this type just doesn’t work. Even my adjustable one doesn’t go long enough. I’m in the market for one! Suggestions welcome. I agree with the suggestion of Dolores – might become just Dolly in time.

  35. Rose July 26, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    I’d like to read that padded butt underwear review. I know that I’d have lots of laughs reading it! I have a self made dressform. Hubbie actually tapped my body over an old t-shirt and then cut it off my body. That was a fun afternoon! My engineer son made the stand so it is sturdy as can be. I never got around to making a cover. I know that I would have to do lots of padding and adjusting with the Shop Company dress form although it sounds great. My old one needs to be fixed to fit my changed body shape. I really must get that on my sewing list and make the cover. I’ll use the idea of the raised markings which should be easy on my self-made cover. I use the form for photos, draping to check fabric hang, and pinning fitting adjustments. That really helps with fitting although the form fit is not exact. I think that you should name your new form after a bird. Do you have a favorite one? I keep thinking “peacock” because you always strut your beautiful, well-made clothes like the peacocks in our neighborhood.

  36. Stacia July 26, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    I’ve been in the market for a dress form, so this is super helpful! Thank you so much for sharing all of the helpful information!

  37. redcapuchon July 26, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    That dress form would be a dream come true! Hey-I have the same strawberry red glass salt and pepper shaker that you seem to have.

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      Haha how funny! Do you know where it’s originally from? A friend’s sister gave me that one and I’ve already been curious πŸ™‚

  38. senjiva July 26, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    I have one of these, and I do like it. Love those collapsing shoulders!! I don’t like that it squeaks badly and the up/down won’t work anymore (it stopped working after a couple months). If you can tell me how to fix that, I’d be grateful. If The Shop Company would like to send me one in a 14, I’d be happy to rep the crap out of it. πŸ˜‰

    • senjiva July 26, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

      p.s. my gal is named Ethel Anastasia von Beaverhausen.

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      That’s a bummer that the lever doesn’t work anymore! Have you tried contacting them to see if they can help you fix it? Might be a really easy fix πŸ™‚

      • senjiva July 28, 2014 at 11:23 am #

        Not yet, every time I think about it, I’m in the middle of a client project and don’t want to get off course.

  39. Basya July 26, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    I bought this exact dressform earlier this month. It took about five minutes for me to assemble. It’s solid. It’s easy to pin. I love it.

    Lowered to its lowest position, it’s a smidge taller than me. (I’m 5’1 3/4″.) the high bust and underbust measurements match mine. I had to pad the full bust to match my boobs. I am simply thrilled by how little work it took to simulate my boobs. I’ve yet to work on the waist or hips; I have the feeling that those will need little, if any, augmentation. I’ve been focusing on tops, so waist and hip measurements haven’t been a big concern. Next week, I plan to take my measurements and, I necessary, pad Angela’s lower half.

    How does the Fabulous Fit system work? Would it work on this dress form?

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:22 am #

      I was RIDICULOUSLY pleased that the underbust measurement matched mine! I didn’t even think that was possible, but woohoo for not having to pad the underboob! πŸ™‚

      The Fabulous Fit System gives you a bag full of padding (looks like various shaped shoulder pads – for boobs and butts and all sorts of inbetween) plus two covers. You put on one cover, add the padding underneath, then top with the second cover (for smoothness, I guess) when you’re done. It works pretty well, but make sure you get the right size πŸ™‚

  40. Heather July 27, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    Very useful,thanks! I will get one soon as my return to sewing ramps up and if it’ll fit me at a Vogue 14 bust and 16 waist-hips. BUT – today it was a new dryer as the old one died #(… now I’m getting fitting help from Melissa and Wendy @ the wonderful Elfriede’s fabric shop in Boulder, Colorado to get some basics fitted. Another session next Sunday!

    How about Bobbi (double) or Deedee?

    • LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 9:23 am #

      Omg I feel your pain! Our washer died months ago and we haven’t gotten around to replacing it (mostly because the ONE downfall to this house is that the laundry room can only hold an apartment sized stackable – so it’s really hard to find a good deal on one! Argh!). I’d much rather have a working washer than a working dryer, boo! Hope you get it replaced soon πŸ™‚

  41. Kimberlypearl July 28, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    I love it! It displays your clothes beautifully!

  42. Grace July 28, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    So.. I recently learned (at work) that the raised “side seams” are NOT to be used as actual side seam marks because they may not be the same on each side. When fitting, you should line up your CF and CB (because those seams are perfectly centered) and just make sure that your garment side seams are perpendicular to the floor. That said, I’ve totally used the right “side seam” when testing sloper patterns in draping and pattern making classes.

  43. Nikki H. July 28, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has the “leg falling out of dritz dressform tripod base” problem. So annoying! However, since I don’t really use it for much, and I don’t know how to drape, I can’t justify buying a new one right now. I do appreciate the review for information whenever I am ready, though.

  44. cupandpenny July 28, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    I got a dressform last year and I love it! I have a question: Do most of the people asking you to review their products contact you? How did they find you?

    • LLADYBIRD July 29, 2014 at 6:57 am #

      All of my reviews are the result of me being contacted (I’ve never reached out to a company before; mostly because I don’t wanna hear them say no! haha!). I suppose they find me the same way anyone else finds me – search engines, referrals, blog rolls, etc. I’m not involved in any sort of group or anything that matches up bloggers with companies, if that’s what you’re asking πŸ™‚

  45. Helen // Grosgrain Green July 29, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    I always wondered what collapsible shoulders meant tool thanks for helping me get my head round that!!! I thought they somehow went down…

  46. alliedpassagetranslations July 30, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    Maybe name it your real first name? (I know you mentioned a while ago that you go by your middle name, but I don’t remember what you said your first name was…)

  47. thequirkypeach July 30, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

    Thanks for this review post! I would love one of these forms, but I just think my sizing is too off from “standard” sizes to make it work – lol. Also, my iron is named Dolly! I started naming my sewing stuff going through the alphabet, so Archibald (sewing machine), Babette (dress form), Clarence (serger), Dolly (iron), etc etc… they have to be good names to shout at when something has gone terribly wrong and it is obviously THEIR fault πŸ˜‰

  48. laurajane August 2, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    You are hilarious! I have the same form – had the same Dritz before and had all the same issues. And, truth be told, had NO IDEA how to collapse those shoulders until you told me!!! Thank you! And you’re right — it IS fun – hahahaha!

  49. Meagan August 5, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Hi Lauren!
    I’ve been a lurker for a while; this is my first comment. You’re technically “petite”, am I correct? How does the torso of this dress form compare to your torso? I’ve been looking around for a form for a while, but I’ve always thought that I needed a petite one to more closely match my short torso (I’m 5’2″).

    • aspen @ little green orchids August 6, 2014 at 12:13 am #

      I was just pulling up this post to ask that very same question. I’m about to pull the trigger on this dress form, but I’m a textbook petite…wondering if this would just not be worth it for me? Are your measurements typically petite Lauren?

      • LLADYBIRD August 6, 2014 at 7:16 am #

        See above for my full reply πŸ™‚ I have a standard torso, so I’m not textbook petite! Just got short legs, boo! haha

        • aspen @ little green orchids August 7, 2014 at 10:46 am #

          Thanks so much…since pretty much all my torso measurements are petite I’m probably gonna have to find another option then. :-/ thank you for saving me a hassle!

    • LLADYBIRD August 6, 2014 at 7:15 am #

      Hey! I am indeed petite, but most of my height (or lack thereof) is actually in my legs. My torso is pretty close to standard. This form is slightly longer than my torso – maaaaybe half an inch, tops – but since I’m not using it for intense fitting, it suits me fine. If you have a very short torso and plan on using this form for more than basic fitting, then you’re right that you probably would want to look for a petite form. Hope this helps πŸ™‚

      • Meagan August 6, 2014 at 10:38 am #

        Thanks! Petite form it is! πŸ™‚

  50. Ana Sullivan August 7, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    I am a recent subscriber. After reading your poor choice of words on this post, I had to unsubscribe.

    • LLADYBIRD August 7, 2014 at 8:50 am #

      I’m sorry to hear you feel that way!

  51. Tactile Travel (@Tactile_Travel) August 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    I made a duct tape mannequin 4 years ago. For the price of admission, it’s worked well. I placed a padded suit hangar at the neck before I closed it up. This way I can just hang it from my hanging rack when fitting dresses.

    Originally, I rested it on a bookcase, but after a year or so, I was worried about the form smooshing together. So now I store it on its back. Still works great, and if I were to make a new one, reinforcing the inside with some type of wire would probably fix this issue.

    But I’ve always wanted a nice, full body mannequin….

  52. sewnotwork January 31, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    Wow, that is a really affordable dress form! I like that it has collapsible shoulders and pinnable. I made mine with expanding foam and it is my body double. Looking at yours I was tempted to get one. I think I just need to make another one since I’ve changed shape a little bit. I dread getting wrapped in plaster again though.

  53. heather June 17, 2015 at 6:35 am #

    hi! thanks for the info. i’m a little late on the game, i guess. just purchased a dritz yesterday (great deal, i thought). now i’m wondering. never had a dress form. ughhh! oh, well. live & learn… maybe next time (will make myself make these patterns…) πŸ™‚

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. Time For A Sewing Room Tour! | LLADYBIRD - July 29, 2015

    […] RAIL + BYGEL BASKET Dressform: Professional female dressform with collapsible shoulders (also: full review here!) Rug: Nashville flea market Sewing machine print: Madalynne Kitty Cat clock: gift from […]

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