Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Carbon Copy

So I received some money for Christmas and I’ve thought I would get myself a dress form hopefully in the sales.  But after looking at some I can’t get a grip on which one I want so I thought I would ask the font of all knowledge, t’internet!  I guess the first question to answer is what do I want from a dress form.

I want to

  • have as close a representation of myself as possible, I’m quite prepared to pad a dummy (in fact it will probably be essential to do this as I have ‘bits’ that need to be taken into consideration)
  • I would like to have flexibility to change the dummy as I have gained back a bit of weight I lost previously so I don’t want to do a Duct Tape Dummy in case because I will lose the weight!
  • be able to tissue fit on the dummy and be able to see all the way round and pinch and tuck and pin everything together
  • same with a muslin/toile, I guess I need to be able to stick pins in the dummy
  • Hemming……
  • I’m not too bothered about the aesthetic of the dummy
  • not be too freaked out at seeing what I look like in the flesh!  Tall order I know!  Maybe that's the point of it, to be able to see myself the way others do and understand the fitting solutions my body needs. 
  • I have about £140 to spend so want to take advantage of the sales

Looking around there seem to be a few options


I like this one for its aesthetics and it looks stable and robust.  Is it flexible enough in its adjustments? How many adjusters do I need? Is more better? This one has 10. Split waist, foam backed. 

£149 including hem marker


Looks a little less stable and less attractive but attractiveness is optional!  Has a hem maker, do these work?  How?  12 adjusters including a split waist




This one has only 8 adjusters but has legs so adaptable for trousers.  I’ve never made trousers, no plans to make any but might feel differently in a years time……..  Have a very squishy tummy, saddlebags and bottom so would this be better?




Diana seems to be a popular dress form, this is the fuller figure version, do I need that?  8 part body with 12 auto set dials.  What does that mean? Split waist  Looks ok. 



8 party body with 12 adjusters again with a split waist , foam backed so I can stick pins in



So whadda ya think?  Do you have a dress form, are they useful or is it something that will sit in the corner and never get used?  I’m veering towards the Lady Valet but is it worth the extra cash?  Do I need a stretchy cover for it as well, I’m guessing so to keep the extra padding in place.  Help!!!!!!!!


  1. I would love to be able to buy one of these. I had a look in the past at them but like you I wasnt sure how they work and mine would need LOADS of extra padding lol. Still it would be nice as I do make my own clothes especially tops and it would be good to be able to fit them on the dummy and get a proper fit without having to try things on with pins sticking out then end up having to open seams and re sew etc. Good luck with whatever you choose xx

  2. I'm very happy with my Lady Valet. Definitely helps to have one you can pin into. I didn't need to do a lot of padding so I got away with putting one of my old bras and a tight t-shirt on her to hold it on place. I haven't found a fix for the fact that her back waist length is shorter than mine. Just having a dressform is great though. Even if she's not precisely the same shape it makes adjusting the back of a garment so much easier. Enjoy whatever you choose!

  3. I've also got a Lady Valet and agree with cyberdaze: it's the same measurements as me but not QUITE the same shape! I found adding a bra and stuffing it with tights works quite well. I'd say mine's 95% accurate, which for my purposes is fine. Good luck, hope you end up with one that works for you. x

  4. I have one and fine it fairly useful. Ideal to pop a garment on during construction and just step back to 'check' every angle. Sometimes it is a bit sad to see yourself duplicated in the same room, but the value of the fit is worth it...