No matter what the level of expertise from the user, an adjustable dress form is an essential tool to use when creating garments. There is no better way to ensure the sizing is spot on, with pinning and adjusting necessary. Hanging a new project and being able to step back makes it easier to make changes.
The better products are those that are easy to use, sturdy, and reliable, and can be adjusted in certain ways. This is only possible when the buyer knows what a reputable brand should offer. With this in mind, we have created a list of the best adjustable dress forms. There is something for every budget but each one of the following products is easy to use.
The 6 Best Adjustable Dress Forms
#6 HYNAWIN – Beige Female Dress Form Mannequin Torso Body
Anyone on a budget will appreciate the price here but will have to make do with fewer adjustments. The height is one place that can be amended to make any amendments comfortable and the sturdy wooden stand is one of the better ones available. It can be changed anywhere between 52 to 67 inches tall and it is one of the easiest products to set up and use.
A torso dress form, it is ideal for display purposes but can be used to see how a design is coming along and will still make it easy to make changes to a new garment. The lightweight design makes it easy to move and it is available in different colors.
#5 PDM Worldwide – Adjustable Mannequin Dress Form with Tri-Pod Stand
An adjustable dress form that comes with 13 dials to make for an accurate fit, making it easy to make amendments to the garment. The torso is pinnable thanks to its foam-backed design and it comes in two sizes but the medium covers a lot of the common sizes. The stand is easy to adjust so the height can be changed in an instant to suit the needs of every new project.
To make marking garments for alterations easier, there is a 360-degree hem guide. Even the neck is adjustable and all the dials come with clear indicators. There is plenty of flexibility in this product, and the adjustment dials don’t get stuck like with some of the sub-par brands out there.
#4 BHD Beauty – Blue 13 Dials Female Fabric Adjustable Mannequin Dress Form
A sturdy adjustable dress form that is another tall one with a max of 70 inches and still feels sturdy when fully extended. There are 13 adjustable dials and the measurements range from Hips = 40″ – 46″, Bust = 39 1/2″ – 45 1/2″, Waist = 30 1/2″ – 36 1/2″. Even the neck is adjustable making any changes to the height easy.
The vacked nylon cover has a quality feel to it making it fine for display purposes as well as functioning as a mannequin for fitting garments. It is a good idea to keep the plastic cover to protect the nylon from dust when not in use which any future projects will benefit from. The hemline gauge is easy to set and assembling doesn’t take long.
#3 Dritz 1754D Twin-Fit Dressform with Tri-Pod Stand Adjustable
This full figure adjustable dress form from Dritz features a tripod stand and can be fixed up to 63 inches at shoulder height. The grey design is pleasant for anyone into a neutral look and there are 12 adjustable dials to get the shape just right for each new project. There is a pin cushion on the neck to keep spares out the way and a pin hem marker attachment included.
The twin-fit design makes it one of the most versatile dress forms available, capable of a wider range of adjustments. This makes the price even more attractive and has a sturdy feel even when fully extended. Other products can go taller but this isn’t always so important when 63 inches in height will suffice.
#2 Dritz 20405 My Double Deluxe Dressform with Tri-Pod Stand
A popular adjustable dress form that has a quality feel to it, Dritz makes some of the best available. Foam-backed and pinnable making it easier to get every new garment just right, it has a pleasant blue nylon cover protecting it. With half-inch increment adjustments available in different areas including the neck, hips, bust, waist, and back it is designed to be as versatile as possible.
This is evident in the fact that it can also be used for seeing how pants look as part of an outfit but can be used to fit gowns, dresses, skirts, and more. The shaped hips and thighs make it ideal for giving a realistic shape and it is available in 5 different sizes including a kids mannequin. The longer pole allows it to reach a taller height than most with a maximum of 70 inches.
#1 SINGER | Adjustable Red Dress Form, Fits Sizes 4-10
From the reputable brand that is Singer, this adjustable dress form makes sewing easy. It is fine for sizes from 4 to 10 and is made from dense foam to make for reliable pinning that doesn’t damage the product. There are also 13 adjustable dials making it one of the more versatile products available. Because of this, everything from the bust to the neck or hips can be changed to fit what a new project requires.
Making alterations is easy and it comes with a sturdy stand. Even when taller it still feels pretty stable and assembling it out of the box doesn’t take long. Where other brands make adjustments difficult to master, the simple dials are easy. The only grumble most people have is in the heart sticker, but this comes off easily leaving a durable and well designed adjustable dress form.
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Adjustable Dress Form Buyer’s Guide
There is no better method for designing clothes than being able to make adjustments on a dress form. Without the client to hand, these products make it easy to make a garment fit perfectly which is why the professionals and those learning their trade all use them. Because they are such a vital part of dressmaking, it is not a purchase you can afford to get wrong.
Although not everyone has the budget for a high-end product, it is still possible to get a quality adjustable dress form when you know what the better features are. This is why we have created the following buyer’s guide. By the end of it, you’ll know how to find a product that you are proud to display your garments on.
Why Use An Adjustable Dress Form?
The first reason is convenience. If you’ve ever tried to make adjustments or to fix a garment without one, it is going to take longer. With a realistic shape being replicated in front of you, it is much easier to make changes comfortably. When the piece is finished, a dress form is also an excellent way of displaying the final look for a customer or to advertise it in a shop.
How To Change A Dress Forms Shape?
This is only possible with an adjustable dress form, but the dials that are placed throughout the body can be turned to make the size of the area bigger is smaller. They should be smooth and display the adjustment information on the dial.
What To Look For In An Adjustable Dress Form
One of the most important features is that the product can be comfortable to work with. This all starts with it being the right height for a dressmaker to pin and adjust. Most tend to go up to the 63-inch mark but some are better for the taller users of the world. If this is the case, some reliable products go up to 70 inches tall.
One of the key complaints will a lot of adjustable dress forms is that when they are at maximum height, they are not as sturdy. Although there are also customers who find the same products perfectly stable, it is important to make sure it is not going to topple over at any point, potentially damaging the product and the garment. The better dress forms are those with sturdy legs and a thick pole to keep everything stable.
The whole point of an adjustable dress form is that it has a wide range of places where the dials are placed. The most important. are the bust, hips, neck, waist, and neck. The more dials, the more adjustments that can be made and this is better as a versatile dress form means it can be used for a wider range of clients.
Whether the user is making clothes for themselves or not, it is important to find the correct size of mannequin. Most brands make their products in a variety of sizes so it can be used to make clothes for different people. If you have a certain size in mind, be sure the mannequin is right as there is no one size fits all.
An adjustable dress form is unlikely to arrive ready to drape clothes on, so there is always going to be some form of assembly involved. Thankfully, most reputable products make this easy and come with clear instructions. Because no one likes to wait before they can use their new dress form, this is an important part of any purchase.
Being able to stick pins in the right places makes it much easier to see how the garment should fit and where it should fall on the body. This comes from having a foam interior that can bounce back once the pin is taken out. Ideally, the whole dress form should be pinnable but saving that, the torso at the very least.
Quality Fabric Cover
This is also going to make pinning and marking easier and a common material used is nylon. This material is soft but can collect dust which is why we recommend keeping any plastic cover for when the dress form is not in use. The color shouldn’t matter so much but for some people who like to display jewelry, it could be more important.
Standard Dress Form Vs Adjustable
Although there is something that can be said for both types of dress forms, only one is going to make life easier. for dressmaking. They can both be used to display clothes at a show or in a shop and a standard dress form is going to be cheaper.
However, this is where the advantages end for a standard product. An adjustable dress form makes it possible to make the garment look more flattering on a garment if being displayed among other benefits. They can also be pinned, change shape, and are tailor-made for being versatile enough to take the shape of different sized clients.
How To Maintain An Adjustable Dress Form
Because these purchases can be put through a bit of punishment with pins prodding and different garments being draped, it is important to know how to look after them. The easiest way is to use a protective cover so dust doesn’t collect. Another easy way to look after them is to wash the covers regularly. Because they are handled frequently, grease can collate which is where a bit of a spot clean can help.
Also, any direct sunlight can cause the color to fade and keep a pin cushion to hand. By leaving pins in and keeping putting them into the same places, it can cause damage to the dress form and make it difficult to place them when you need to.
How Much Does An Adjustable Dress Form Cost?
As with most products in the niche, the better products do tend to cost more, but that shouldn’t put most people off since a quality adjustable dress form can cost between $100 – $200. Towards the higher end is where the dress forms with more dials and settings and a higher quality of cover and foam are found.
Some people will be tempted to save some money and purchase a traditional dress form, but these are not as versatile and don’t make life as easy as an adjustable product. Still, we recommend staying within your budget. Start by looking for one that is the right size, then you are halfway towards finding the right product.