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I want to get a dressmaker's dummy, what are good makes and models?

(9 Posts)
MaryMorpho Sun 19-Feb-17 16:04:21

(Just namechanged as I've had the same name for too long and the imminent appearance of my new dressmaker's dummy in my house might out me!)

I know nothing about them and have never had one, but I've been a big sewer for years and realised I actually really want one. I need an adjustable one as I'm an odd shape - tall, long-waisted and pear-shaped and a size 14 so one size will not fit all.

Does anyone have one/use one they love and can recommend?

QuiltingFlower Wed 22-Feb-17 14:24:34

Hi, I have used these in the past, and they are ok for simple skirts/tops. Anything more complicated than a simple separate needs many adjustments on top of those allowed by the limitations of the dummy's adjustments (think placing padding to mimic a jelly belly or voluptuous breasts!) To get a better idea find a shop that sells them and ask the assistant to show you how they work and get him/her to adjust it to your shape. When they have done this, whip out a dress or jacket of yours which has some structure to it and see what you think then. I would suggest saving your money and start sewing with a friend or two and you can help with fitting each other's garments. Happy sewing.

NotMeNoNo Wed 22-Feb-17 17:33:13

Make a duct tape dress form? I'm on my phone but you can Google it. Mine was successful except I put on a stone and need to redo her!

MaryMorpho Wed 22-Feb-17 23:02:45

Ooh thanks for replies. I've seen the duct tape thing online but I was horrified at the thought of having all the tape round me! Yes I was thinking I would need to pad and reshape it too (I am a bigger below the waist, but my bum sticks out at the back rather than big hips at the sides IYSWIM). Looking at one in a shop is a good idea.

NotMeNoNo Thu 23-Feb-17 10:45:08

It is a very weird experience being wrapped in tape but with a friend to help you it can be a bit of a laugh. Obviously the tape is going over a T shirt so not on you directly and it is not meant to be horribly tight, just matched to you. It is perfect for fitting, if you think there are so many nuances of posture, shoulders, tummy that are personal to you. It's also very cheap so if it doesn't work you won't have lost much.

BarchesterFlowers Thu 23-Feb-17 18:38:08

I bought a lady valet Mary and swiftly returned it. Not only was it very flimsy for the £££ (especially the dials for adjustment), I couldn't get my measurements out of it.

For instance, I could get my waist circumference out of it but not my shape, it expected my body to have a certain depth front to back which I don't have.

I bought a cheap foam thing (polystyrene I suppose) from eBay and spent about 90 mins padding it to my shape. I used old horse leg padding and bandages (clean I might add), an old bra with lentils sandwiched between cling film (several layers) to get the cups right and then replaced the black nylon stretchy cover.

She has a name, lumpy grin, serves me quite well for the small amount of cash and time invested. I have got a photo somewhere, I will look for it.

BarchesterFlowers Thu 23-Feb-17 18:45:24

Here she is, I did refine it a bit, one of the hips was a bit lumper than the other. You could use anything for padding, old towels, sheets in mummy style.

I was really pleased to reuse the cover thing. I have sewn for a v long time without one, it is useful for hems and came in handy for a couple of really fitted dresses.

MaryMorpho Sat 11-Mar-17 13:21:15

Barchester, sorry I've just seen is as the thread fell off "threads I'm on". Just wanted to say thanks as I was edging towards your solution and I'm now planning to do that. Your lumpy looks fab! grin

BarchesterFlowers Sat 11-Mar-17 16:36:31

Mary - look at this from Threads which will give you a bit more info.

I had a good set of measurements because I did a pattern cutting course last summer and was measured by the tutor. I don't have a bulbous hip though, honestly grin, pleased to report that both hips now match.

Threads on padding a dress form.

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