Dress Forms

Started by Tikiguayo, April 12, 2024, 08:51:06 AM

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I am looking for a dress form much like the one you find in a Saville Row shop. I've found cheap ones on Amazon, adjustable ones that look flimsy from Singer, and expensive ones with metal bases (labeled "pro") from The Shop Company... but I'm looking for the classic form, with a wooden base, to both work on and display jackets. Let's go hivemind!

& Thanks you in advance.


Many of the mannequins in tailors shops aren't actually tailors dummies. They're for display only, hence the fancy wooden bases. Just make sure you can stick pins in anything you're looking at.

I don't own a dummy, but I will probably buy one in the next year. This is a cheap option:


Only polystyrene, so probably won't have great longevity, but not much of a investment and it will give you an idea as to whether or not you really need one. Look second hand for a vintage model? Probably better quality than a lot of what is on offer today.

The following episode of Sew What is worth watching to get some advice from one of the best - Carol Alayne (Savile Row trained, master tailor):


She recommended her dummy made by Kennett. For a torso, prices start at just under £900 if the reconditioned/sale prices are anything to go by (the company don't actually quote their retail prices). So you'll need to sell one of your kidneys to buy from them!



Alayne doesn't recommend the adjustable type, because the necks widen/narrow along with the chest when you adjust them, making them as good as useless. I'm glad she said this, because at the time when I first saw the above video, I was considering buying one.


If I were going to do it I would follow the instructions in Hofenbitzer - Massschnitte u Passform.

Even if you don't read German it's a great book to own. Google translate is incredible these days. May as well use that AI before it starts using you.

Here's the beginning page for the Schneiderpupe:

Schneider sind auch Leute

theresa in tucson

The pattern company Bootstrap Fashion has an individualized PDF pattern for dress forms.  They have been reviewed a few times on Pattern review by sewing enthusiasts.  You might give them a look and look at some of the reviews as well as blog posts by folks who have made individual forms.


I have a few, including a full body hanging stand. Used ones, found online, one from a retired colleague. Men's dress firms/stands are less common than women's.

Here in North America, Wolf was the gold standard, but they have closed.

If I was buying new, I would seriously consider Alvanon. They have a regular and plus size series of forms.


Quote from: TTailor on July 08, 2024, 08:57:33 PMIf I was buying new, I would seriously consider Alvanon. They have a regular and plus size series of forms.

Alvanon was also recommended in this vid by Zoe Hong:


She also pointed out another drawback of the adjustable type. They leave large gaps as they're adjusted, making them useless for draping (nothing to stick pins into).