Are you tired of sewing garments that don’t fit right? So was I.
- Imagine every garment you create fitting perfectly the first time!
- Imagine not having to wait for fittings to complete your projects.
- Imagine having the confidence to alter patterns any way you like and know they’ll look fantastic on you before you even start sewing. (Wouldn’t that be nice?)
Sewing clothes and costumes is so much more fun and productive when you have a dress form. So when I decided it was time to stop fooling around and invest a little money in one of these handy dandy tools, I went online and researched like crazy to find the best one. It was tough at first. Almost all the models looked the same and were priced about the same. But after looking at lots of forms, I came up with a winner. If you’re looking for an adjustable dress form in a reasonable price range, I recommend the My Double Deluxe dress form by Dritz.
Here’s why My Double Deluxe by Dritz is a great value in adjustable dress forms:
*Fully adjustable proportions: No two people are exactly alike. So, why are we all supposed to fit into the same 8 or 10 sizes? This dress form has 12 unique adjustment points so you can match your proportions as close as possible.
*Pinning surface: You’re going to want to pin patterns and fabric to your dress form. My Double has a nice layer of foam underneath the nylon cover so you can do just that. The core is hard plastic, though, so you have to pin horizontally (instead of sticking them straight in.)
*Molded hip area for sewing pants and fitted skirts: Most cheap dress forms end at the “high hip” measurement. Which means you really can’t get a good fit on pants and close fitting skirts. My Double has a longer torso with a molded hip and thigh area so perfect fitting trousers are no problem.
*Sturdier than the other brands: My Double uses a little thicker plastic than the other brands and is more stable on its base. You still have to treat it with a little respect, but you’d do that anyway, right?
*Offset center pole for pants: Most dress forms have the support pole right down the middle of the torso. That makes it impossible to try on shorts or pants. My Double has an offset pole. I guess this dress form is just “pants friendly.”
*Longer pole for tall people, evening gowns or wedding dresses: Sometimes you just need more pole. ‘Nuff said.
*Reasonably priced: Sure, there are cheaper dress forms out there that look very similar. But for a few extra dollars, you get more features and a sturdier product with this brand.
What about those homemade “duck tape” dress dummies?
I used a duct-tape dress form for a while, but ultimately I ended up getting a real dressmaker’s dummy and I’m so much happier sewing with this tool. There are three main reasons I don’t recommend the do-it-yourself route unless you really have to.
1) Tape goo on your pins! This is the worst thing about homemade dress forms. Pins go in great, and come out all gooey. Blech.
2) Not adjustable. Yes, you will have an accurate copy of your unique body as it was on the day you made the dummy. But if you change size at all, or you want to sew for someone else, you’re out of luck.
3) How to get the sucker to stand up? It’s relatively easy to make the form (if you can stand absolutely still for long periods of time) but it’s tough to make a good stand. Mine fell over all the time, eventually I just leaned it against the wall and worked with it slanted. Obviously, not ideal. It was better than nothing, but just barely.
Are there any drawbacks to the My Double model?
A few, yes. These are plastic dress forms, so you can’t be too rough with them. But you’re sewing, not playing rugby, right? You also need to follow the directions for adjusting the size so you don’t accidentally cross thread the dials. Also, this model only comes in female. If you need a male or child dress form, your best bet is to check out AllBrands.com for the best quality and prices.
But aren’t these plastic models flimsy?
I’ve looked at a lot of different ones up close and I have to say there’s no such thing as a perfect dress form! Many online reviews complain that the plastic adjustable forms are flimsy. Well, it’s true they’re not rock-solid. These models are intended for home use, not industrial manufacturing. The lightweight materials keep the manufacturing costs down and the shipping costs, too. They answer a need for a low-cost alternative to industrial models. If you’re concerned about the thing tipping over, I’ve solved that problem by putting a heavy blanket around the base. Some brands are better than others, though, and I believe the My Double is the best value in this type of dress form.
Will I like the professional dress forms better?
The more expensive “professional” dress forms aren’t designed for general home use. They only come in the standard fashion industry sizes, and you cannot adjust them. Apparel designers pay thousands of dollars to get dummies in every size they need. And while they are more sturdy than the home versions, it’s only worth paying the extra money if you know you’re going to be sewing that one size forever. If you change sizes, or want to sew for someone else–well, you’ll have to buy another form. Unless you have a warehouse for a sewing room, it’s not very practical.
Are they ready to use straight out of the box?
No. You’ll have to do a little assembly to put the dummy on the stand and adjust the height. Then you’ll need to take your measurements and adjust the dials to fit your proportions. Sometimes, you’ll need to do a little padding (especially in the chest and hips) to more closely resemble your actual shape.
Here’s what some other reviewers have to say:
Andrea Flanigan says “I love this dress form! It might not be for the professional, but for me it works just fine. I was looking for a form that could help me rework my clothes that I like, but never wear because they just don’t look good when I put them on. Now, I have lots of really neat skirts to wear to work and blouses that coordinate. I was able to add trim, buttons, and decorative stitching that created a more expensive look.”
Judy from California says “I have this dressform and it’s very useful for fitting the dresses I’ve made for myself and friends/family. However, do not expect a professional product here. Professional dress forms are almost all single sizes only and they are much more expensive. This is a good value product for the flexibility and convenience it offers the casual seamstress.
- Adjusting the size is easy.
- It’s generally been a good fit for myself and all the friends/family I’ve used it for.
- Very convenient to use a dress form instead of calling in friends for multiple fittings.
- The “tape” measurement around the waist came off very easily.
- Somewhat flimsy plastic design. You have to be somewhat gentle with it, feels like it could break rather easily.
- Not easy to pin, especially when your seams are in the gaps exposed by the sizing. You can’t stick the pins into the dressform either, there is only a thin foam lining between the cloth and the plastic backing.
- If you’re taller than 5’11″ or 6′, the form doesn’t extend tall enough. However, it’s an easy fix with a box under it.”
Please remember, a mannequin is not the same as a dress form.
Many websites list mannequins and dress forms together, but they’re not the same thing. A mannequin or “body form” is for displaying clothing only. It is not designed for draping or sewing or altering patterns.
When ordering any adjustable dress dummy, be sure you start with the right size.
Dress forms usually come in small, medium and large sizes. The dials allow you to adjust to your exact proportions. But they can only adjust so far. You want to order the size that fits you best to start with.
Here are the sizing charts for the My Double Deluxe:
- Bust: 39″-47″
- Waist: 32″-40″
- Hips: 41″-49″
- Bust: 45”- 53″
- Waist: 38″- 46″
- Hips: 47″- 55″
Where can you find the best price?
I’ve seen these exact dummies offered at local fabric stores for nearly $100 more than I found them online. So, in this case, it pays to shop on the web. The best prices I’ve found are on Amazon.com. They even have free shipping available for this product (at the time I’m writing this.)
What’s the next step?
Overall, I believe the Dritz My Double Deluxe dress form is the best value for most home sewers. You get a fully-adjustable, pinnable, very functional dress form for a reasonable price. But I don’t want you to just take my word for it. The next (and possibly final) step in your research is to read the descriptions and reviews on Amazon.