Do you love to make your own clothes but the flat-cuts are just not cutting it for you? If that is the case, you might want to consider dress forms. Dress forms are structures that look like the human torso. They are used to drape fabric to get an idea how the outfit might look on someone.Since every single person has a different body-shape, adjustable dress forms are really the most convenient options since custom-made ones can get quite expensive. We are here to discuss everything you need to know to find the best adjustable dress form by yourself.
Dritz Twin-Fit Dress Form is sturdy and has a solid build. It is equipped to adjust every part of the torso including waist, hip, bust and the height. The features that make it our top pick are how you can spin and pin it with ease.
Dritz Sew You Dress form is small yet surely provides great quality. It is versatile, easy to assemble and strong enough to handle professional dress-making. It is great for small alterations. Its partially pinning option is enough to use draping techniques.
Quick Comparison Between The Best Adjustable Dress Forms
We selected the adjustable dress forms based on their quality and versatility. The can be found listed below. Each one of these adjustable dress forms has great sets of specifications. We will discuss their special features, pros, and cons in detail.
1. Dritz Twin-Fit Dress Form, Small
Dritz offers a wide variety of dress forms. Their adjustable dress forms can be found for all kinds of body shapes and sizes. This particular adjustable dress form from Dritz is adjustable for plus size bodies. It is great for bodies over size fourteen.
The first step towards assembling the dress form is reading the instruction manual. We needed a little bit of time and patience to perfectly understand it. The dials are designs to be pressed and then rotated. This is a great feature because it minimizes the possibility to accidentally change the size.
Once you have taken twenty minutes to half an hour to assemble it, the rest is a breeze. There are dials to change the bust, waist, neck and overall height of the dress form. They can be cranked up and down to fit your body exactly.A word of caution, the dress form is made in the shape of a standard plus-size body. So, if your client’s body is a bit unusual, it might need some extra padding.
The dress form has a thick layer of foam underneath the nylon covering. It can be pinned and marked easily. There is a pin container on the top surface of the neck. It comes in handy if you just want to reach out and grab a pin. The adjustable dress form is sturdy, holds heavy dresses and is a great value for money. We were fairly impressed by its quality for the price – which makes is one of the best adjustable dress forms that you can get your hands on.
2. Dritz Sew You Dress Form, Small
Dritz Sew You adjustable dress form feature their signature great quality. It is great for those who work on occasional projects. If you are looking for a budget-friendly yet nicely made adjustable dress form then you might want to look at this one.
It is very easy to put together. This one takes about five minutes to assemble. It has dials to change the size of bust, waist, and hips. Please keep in mind that the dress form has a very flat bust area. You might need to add extra padding if you have an hourglass-shaped body.
The dress form is sturdy enough to hold heavily beaded wedding gowns. We would not recommend using it too roughly though since that might shorten its lifespan. This dress form is perfect to make your everyday dresses and skirts. It has a nifty hem marker for creating a straight hemline. It is very helpful for putting on dresses and skirts for alterations or just to see how it might look once finished.
The material used in the torso has a thin layer of foam. It is covered with nylon material over that. It is not easy to use pins galore on this one. Being that said, it is partially pinnable. You can pin it upward or downward through the material. But, it does have a pin holder on top of the neck.We could not review this dress form without mentioning its affordability. It is really inexpensive and makes for a perfect first dress form to have. Needless to say, Dritz has not let us down about the quality of the product.
3. SINGER medium/Large Dress Form
Singer medium/large dress can be adjusted from medium to plus size bodies. It has thirteen dials to change the size and achieve a perfect doppelganger for your torso. It actually took us a lot of hard work to properly understand its workings. The trick is to start expanding the dress form from bottom up. It has four dials for the waist, but and hips each to balance out the size. Change each of those equally to make it work.
This needs to be expanded little by little. When you are changing the size push the dials and hold as long as you are rotating it. We are sorry to report that the instruction manual was pretty useless. We suggest you keep the above-mentioned things in mind if you want to give it a try.
Onto the actual dress form – after getting through with the hassle of assembling it, the dress form is great to work with. It is layered with foam. The material that covers it is good quality as well. It pins easily. Although, you should hold the pins in angles while pinning the fabrics. They will hit the plastic base otherwise, causing your pins to go blunt.
The base and pole of the dress form are strongly built. It does not wobble or slip if it is assembled correctly – which is exactly what you need to do. It actually can be locked in place to prevent wobbliness. It also spins around which is essential if you have difficulty moving a lot. You will be able to mark the hem with its hem marker while sitting in one place.Overall, we appreciate the quality we got for the price. This dress form is perfect for making heavy-duty clothes. If you want to make costumes or weighty dresses we would highly suggest this one. It is sufficiently strong to hold them all.
4. SINGER 12-Dial Adjustable Dress Form
This adjustable dress form is an old one but is just as great as the newer version. It is a great starting adjustable dress form for a fashion student or an amateur seamstress. It is built with solid plastic. The torso works fine for draping fabric on. This dress form works alright for alterations of clothes. We would not say it has the potential to be used for pattern making. If you are using commercial patterns then this will work great.
The sizing of this dress form is based on pattern sizes, not dress sizes. It works well for medium to large sized dresses. It needs to be measured with tape carefully while adjusting. Otherwise, it might not have the right size or shape. The dress form has felt cover for easy pinning. We do suggest to be gentle with it since it does not have the thickest layer. You might want to use twist pins instead of straight pins with it.
It does look a lot nicer quality compared to the price. The dials are easy to adjust – they rotate to change the sizes of different portions of the torso. You can change the size from size fourteen to around size twenty. If you need larger sizes than that, you will need a different dress form.
Another nice feature is the adjustable neck. It can be expanded in girth as well as height. This dress form would basically come in handy if you want to look at a garment without trying it on. You can look at the dress from all sides for the complete assessment.
5. Dritz My Double Full Figure Dress Form, Large
We have yet another great adjustable dress form from Dritz. This is the Double Full Figure dress form. It is specially made for petite women with a full figure. This dress form is easy to assemble. It adjusts easily to any measurement. It might be worth noting that it is for a specific range of sizes. You can not crank this up and down to look like everyone. We turned the dials slowly until it reached our desired size.
As long as you handle the dress form gently, it does not wobble. It has a pretty stable stand which is made of plastic. Although, we would have liked it to be a bit thicker. The torso has thin foam padding. It’s covered with burgundy nylon fabric. It does not take pins straight like all the other Dritz dress forms. You have to pin the fabrics at an angle, which is a slight drawback but certainly not a deal-breaker.
This one is usable for the thin or slim body sizes. In this case, you need to be cautious if your body shape is slightly unusual. Try to have a measuring tape handy so that you can accurately size the torso. It might need a little bit of stuffing in the bust or rear for more voluptuous figures.The dress form comes with a pin hem marker. Which would be immensely helpful for making skirts and dresses. Another thing we like about it is Velcro sticks to the material, which is great for temporarily attaching the materials to the dress form.
6. ROXYDISPLAY™ Fabric-Backed Large Adjustable Dress Form
This dress form is made for women with full figures. Its twelve dials allow you to adjust the dress forms for a wide range of plus-size bodies. You can drape fabric on it for the purpose of creating patterns. Along with that, this adjustable dress form is great for little homely projects. Take altering clothes or putting on knitted tops to see is the sizing it alright for instance.
The foam-backed exterior allows you to pin directly into the dress form. It is fully pinnable, that is, you can pin it from any direction. The material is nice quality so there’s no need to worry about the longevity of this adjustable dress form. Our only complaint is that the pole is made of plastic.
Due to the quality of plastic, it can get a little wobbly. We would not recommend putting it into heavy usage. This is just perfect for small projects. If you are looking to get your very first dress form as a beginner then this might be best for you.
7. BHD BEAUTY Adjustable Mannequin Dress Form, Large
This adjustable dress form is affordable and works great for beginners. It is made for the plus size bodies that are on the larger side. You can personalize the size of the torso. One thing to keep in mind is that this dress form is perfectly proportioned. As no one has a perfect body, you might need to pad it in some places. Especially in the tummy and hips area.
This works well for making everyday dresses of even formal dresses. The fabric covering takes pins and it’s easy to mark. The hem marker is also a nice addition to the design since it is very useful for a neat hemline. Unlike some of its peers, the dress form is very simple to assemble. We really liked the fact that it feels nicely made which makes it a pleasure to work with.The packaging includes a plastic bag to cover the dress form. It would come in handy to keep it dust-free. The shoulders of the form are not-collapsible. So, leave a side of your garment partly open. Take it off to finish the sewing.
8. Dritz Celine Standard Plus Dress Form - Size Small
Dritz has yet another solid adjustable dress form. The Celine Standard Plus Dress form is a lovely shade of Silver Gray. It claims to be foam-backed but the layer is quite thin. Which makes it harder to pin. One of the best features is that it has a sturdy base of five-star shape. It is complete with wheels that can be locked in place.
The size ranges from about size 12 to size 14. You can always change things up with a little padding too. It is a lightweight dress form. It is best for working on casual wear – nothing too professional. It can be disassembled easily to store on a shelf.
The finial neck is a nice perk of this form. It looks nice and professional. Two drawbacks of this form are that you can not put pants on them and it takes pins at an angle. The latter is basically true for most adjustable dress forms out there. Overall, like all other Dritz dress forms, this one too is sturdy and easy to work with.
Things to Consider Before Buying Adjustable Dress Forms
Adjustable dress forms are a real treat for custom made clothes enthusiasts. You can drape fabric on them to see exactly how the finished attire will look on you. They save you the hassle of trying on clothes an ungodly amount of time while making them.
The best thing about these is that you can change the sizing. Therefore, you will be able to make clothes for a wide variety of people. This would be great if you are starting your own fashion line or just want to make outfits for your family members.
We have constructed a list of the most important things to consider before buying an adjustable dress form:
Adjustable dress forms are specifically made for a range of sizes. That means that one adjustable dress form might be changed to any size. To clear things up, you need to understand that size small and plus-size adjustable dress forms are completely separate.
You can change a small adjustable dress form to fit a range of small figures. Same goes for any other shape. For example, Dritz Twin-Fit Dress Form alone comes in different shapes including petit and full-figure.
2. Pinnable or Not
One thing you must check before buying an adjustable dress form is if it is pinnable or not. Most of the time, dress forms are made of thick, foamy materials that hold pins so you can temporarily attach your fabric to the dress form.
Some dress forms are partially pinnable. You can only pin them in one direction. If you are looking for a professional, heavy-duty dress form then you might want to choose one that can be pinned from any direction.
If you want to use it more casually then partially pinnable should work for you. It actually depends on how you usually make clothes. For those who make their own patterns, we would recommend fully pinnable dress forms.
3. Adjustable Height
It is not given that an adjustable dress form will change height-wise. Just like width, there are limits in changing the heights of dress forms. You might want to check out this feature before buying your dress form. Dritz Sew You Dress Form, for example, ranges from four to six feet tall.
One thing you might want to keep in mind that while changing height, the bust line needs to be changed too. Sometimes you will need extra padding to create the perfect shape using your dress form.
You can spin some dress forms for easy access. If you don’t want to move around a lot then this feature should get priority while choosing your dress form. Some of the dress forms can be taken apart for traveling. You might want to look at those if you work on custom fittings.
Strong dress forms are important for those who make heavy clothes (i.e. wedding gowns). Make sure you are getting a dress form that can hold all those beads and pearls.
There is some controversy surrounding the wobbliness of some adjustable dress forms. Please keep in mind that the poles can be locked in place. So, if your dress form doesn’t stand still, make sure you have adjusted everything right and locked the dress form in place.
6. Hem Marker
Hem marker is one nifty feature that some dress forms have. It is a tool attached near the bottom of the stand. It moves in a circle and holds the fabric in place. Resulting in a straight and even hemline in dresses or skirts.
Most of our chosen adjustable dress forms have hem markers. It can be bought and attached separately in case your dress form doesn’t have it.
7. Expandable Neck
With this feature, you can expand the size of the neck on your dress forms. It might be helpful for trying out different necklines. It is great for professional seamstresses since they have to work with people of various shapes.
It would also come in handy for slipping dresses on and off. You can just crank down the size of the neck and the clothes should be easy to remove.
8. Option for Fitting Pants
Dress forms are mostly used for dresses and skirts. Therefore, many dress forms don’t have the option to put pants on them. You should check beforehand if you can fit pants or trousers on your adjustable dress form if you need the feature.
For example, some dress forms allow you to put pants on a pole that can be attached to the main pole through a hole. You could put on the pants on its pole before attaching it to the main pole.
9. They need time and patience to assemble
We put this little point in here because dress forms can be real hassles to assemble. Especially adjustable ones. They have a lot of options that you can play with. So naturally, they might it might take you five minutes or fifteen to learn properly.
All the dress forms we recommend have instruction manuals with them. Read them carefully and you will be able to master the techniques easily.
10. Usage of adjustable dress forms
Last but not least, you should choose your dress form based on what exactly, you want to do with it. Some dress forms are more like mannequins. Those are used for displaying clothes. They usually don’t have much padding to stick pins on.
Some basic sewing can also be done in the display dress-forms. We would not recommend those if you are a professional seamstress.
The best adjustable dress forms for fashion students and professional workers would be thickly padded ones.
Adjustable dress forms are great tools for draping fabric. They allow you to change the sizes according to your requirements. They can be found in almost one-third of the cost of the custom-made dress forms. So, they are just perfect for beginners or even professional seamstresses.We have discussed everything you should consider to buy the best adjustable dress form for you. Hopefully, now you are equipped with enough knowledge to find yours.