A novice seamstress sits at her sewing machine
. She has just finished working on her first dress. The work took her about three weeks, but finally she’s done. Or at least she thinks so. Looking at her work lying across her machine, she can’t decide if it’s truly finished. She lifts it and tries to inspect it, but she can’t find a good enough angle to properly survey her handiwork.
Later, she decides that the dress requires some adjustments. Yet every time she puts the dress down to make these adjustments, she finds herself confused. When she holds the dress up, she can clearly see what adjustments she wants to make, but when she lays it flat, it has a different look.
Eventually, she does what she can and then puts the dress up for sale. She sets the dress out on a hanger, but very few people seem to notice. On the hanger, her work of so many nights just looks lifeless. None of the features she worked to put into the dress seem to be showing.
Situations like the one above can be frustrating. What makes it even more painful is that there’s a very simple solution that can solve these problems: a dress form!
A dress form is made specifically to model dresses in the most efficient way possible. It helps to fully display a dress so that a tailor can properly survey their work. It highlights aspects of the piece that require more work, it facilitates repairs and adjustments, and it can help accentuate the natural beauty of the clothing.
It’s also the perfect place to display sweaters made at your knitting machine
, to hang dresses you want to refit, or showcase the lovely designs sewn at your embroidery sewing machine
. We understand how important it is for your hard work to look beautiful when displayed. To help you find the best dress form, our guide will explain important features and how they affect it. With this information, you’ll be able to easily choose the form that’s best for you.
All dress forms perform the same basic function, but they differ in how they perform that function, and this can be seen in their prices. Price is also affected by the type of form, the material it’s made from, and its convenience features, like maneuverability. Our research shows that you can get a good one for $50 and $199. Within this range, you’ll find a varying selection of well-made forms.
The selection we’ve chosen for our review will provide you with a range of items that offer good value for the money. You won’t find the most expensive forms on our list—which you can, of course, go for—but you also won’t find cheap dress forms. To put it simply, the quality just isn’t there, and it’s better to spend a little more on a quality form instead of having to buy a second one a few months later.
Every product has certain features that are integral to its performance. In order to help you with your decision on which dress form best suits you, we’ve compiled a list of features that are good to consider as you shop around. We hope these features will guide you in determining the perfect one for you!
Here are some of the more important consideration points:
- Base Support and Balance
Let’s see how each of these affects the quality of the forms.
Construction and Design
Dress forms can be half body or full body, and the shape of the form will affect what types of dresses you can fit onto or over it. The weight of the form will also determine how easy it is to move around (heavy forms, as you can probably guess, won’t be as easy to move).
Because this type of product can be made with many different types of material—wood, foam, fiberglass, paper-mâché, metal and so on—you may want to consider your fabrics and what you like to use the most (wood, for example, may not be ideal for a piece of clothing made from silk). The material type will also determine how durable the form is. If you know you’re going to use your form a lot, we recommend looking for sturdier ones that don’t need a lot of care and gentle handling.
Size, which is perhaps one of the most important factors, will determine the range of clothes you can and can’t fit onto it. You’ll want to figure out what size clothes you’ll be making, and you may even want to consider buying multiple forms if you want to make dresses for children and dresses for adult women. Keep in mind, too, that the form’s size, as well as its weight, will also affect its movability and how easy it is to store.
Moving heavier dress forms around frequently might be a hassle. For designers who need to transport their forms around often, a lighter one might be a better option. Heavier dress forms can also be more balanced than their lighter counterparts.
Performance and Ease of Use
Dress forms are usually upright to provide the easiest and most effective display. Depending on where you’ll be keeping your form—in a shop window, or just in your crafting or sewing room—you’ll want to consider balance. If you know that your display area is uneven, for example, a heavy form might keep the thing from toppling as you change out the clothes on it.
Dress forms can have several levels of adjustability. For some, you can only adjust the height, but others allow you to adjust the width, and you can even find ones that let you adjust both height and length. There are also forms that can be disassembled for easy storage.
Color is another feature that you may want to spend some time on. We recommend getting a neutral-colored form because you can use it for most fabric colors and patterns. However, if you know that you like to work mainly with dark colors and patterns, for example, a darker one might be better for you.
Some dress forms have bases with wheels that can be disassembled to make transportation easier. Be aware that not every form has this feature, so try to decide how important mobility is to you as you look at different form types.
Before choosing a dress form you should first consider its intended use. If you’ll be using it to sew for commercial purposes, for example, then choosing one with adjustable dials will be your best option. You might also consider one with wheels if you’ll be moving it around a lot. If you’ve read our buying guide then you won’t have any difficulty picking the best for you. The best option for you is the one that best meets your needs.
Thanks for reading this review to the end. We hope it helped you choose the right dress form for your needs. Now it’s time to make that purchase, if you haven’t done so already!