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Sewing Mannequin

Down for Exclusive Fashion Advice? Pave Your Path to Success with a Sewing Mannequin

A sewing mannequin isn’t among the necessities when it comes to sewing. We do see them around but rarely think about getting one (if not as a fancy item for a fashion boutique or sewing room ideas). 

A sewing form mannequin is often a curiosity to show off, especially at the beginning of a sewing career. 

Yet, the time you need to go from a sewing hobby to successful sewing business doesn’t have to be long! 

You may want to get your hands-on experience with sewing mannequins. Let’s see what all the fuss about these mysterious objects is.

Sewing mannequin
Image source: Serj Tyaglovsky on Unsplash

What if we tell you that having such a sewing body at hand―and we don’t mean your husband or older daughter―is handy and effective? What if we tell you that it can level up your sewing experience? Not to mention that it’s going to have its share in teaching you how to sew

Let’s get to the core of the idea. A sewing bust has its practical side, and you’ll be surprised to discover how useful it can be for sewing!

Sewing form
Image source: Vlady Nykulyak on Unsplash

Sewing mannequin―an introduction

What is a full-body mannequin for sewing for and how to enjoy it? 

The best sewing tips and tricks are waiting there to be picked; don’t make them wait!

A sewing mannequin is a three-dimensional model of the torso or the whole body. We usually see them in fashion stores and boutiques where they display clothes. Thanks to them, we’re more eager to buy another dress even if we don’t need it.  

Yet, also sewers use mannequins. We call these that serve for sewing purposes: 

    1. dress forms 
    2. body doubles 

With the use of a standardised human-like sewing form, you can try out your fashion projects-to-be on a body. You can also work day and night (only if you wish) to make them fit. 

Plus, an average sewing dummy will never complain that it takes too long. 

Mannequin body for sewing
Image source: Kazuo ota on Unsplash

While working on a new garment with a sewing mannequin, it’s more accessible to: 

    • notice the fit and drape of the garment, 
    • make adjustments or alterations;

Thanks to the mannequin body for sewing, you can see how the particular garment looks on the human, even when it’s still unfinished. 

You use pins to work on an outfit put on the sewing dummy. It’s not doable while working with an actual human, even the most understanding and patient one.

Mannequins are also more useful than a sewing table. Measuring a garment is much easier (and more fun!) on a mannequin. 

Check out this YouTube video, “All You Need to Know About Dress Forms” by SewVeryEasy. The same topic is cracked well on the Sewing Chanel Style:

Sewing mannequin and adjustable dress form―FAQ

Suppose you love to sew―those of you who haven’t started yet may apply as well―and you feel that it’s time to have yourself a big or small sewing mannequin. 

Down below, we cover a few helpful tips about sewing mannequins. 

Before you let your new outfit leave its nest, be sure to get to know these custom woven labels, care labels, and hang tags by SuperLabelStore

Clothing tag royal blue luxe

There is nothing that can spice up your fashion project more. 

Learn to sew and be proud of your creation.

The individual touch on your garment using these custom-made labels is a pro feature that few DIYers will have

Consider the:

    • originality, and
    • professional vibe

of your new fashion item made with custom woven labels

Remember: you snooze, you lose! 

Adjustable dressmakers dummy
Image source: SewWay 

A few questions come to mind when we discuss dress mannequins for sewing. 

Whether it’s a sewing mannequin female or male that you’re about to get, you’ll face a few doubts:

    1. Do I need a dress form of a mannequin? Sewing Direct will help us break this one down. 
    2. Is the dress form necessary to have? Let’s see what DixieDIY has to say about it. 
    3. What will I like most about the adjustable dress form? We’ll tackle this topic with a fantastic Sewing Julie
    4. How to use a dress form? Instructables share a few pieces of advice. Check also what Takara Oneá has to say about it. See the YouTube video below to discover the five ways to use a dress form:

A dress form or a sewing mannequin?

Before spending money on a new gadget, be sure to review a few helpful tips about your options. 

An adjustable dress form is a three-dimensional model of the torso. We can use it for fitting clothing while designing it.

There are several names that we use when referring to a dress form:

    • mannequin, 
    • dressmakers dummy,
    • tailors form, 
    • a creative combination of them all;

Yet, the adjustable dress form has features that are far from those of a traditional mannequin. The first and most fundamental is its adjustability. The potential for changing its shape―to reflect the actual body shape―is vital to distinguish this type of dummy from traditional ones. 

Sewing dummy
Image source: Jen Theodore on Unsplash

We tend to work a lot on a sewing table. With a sewing kit, sewing scissors, and a sewing cutting table at hand, we can do a fair amount of magic in fashion. Yet, this traditional sewing process gives no idea how the garment will look on an actual human being. A fantastic imagination will do only to some point. At that stage, a full-body adjustable sewing mannequin comes into action.  

Where will a sew easy dressmaking model play out well? Think about:

    • fitting zips at the back of a dress, 
    • creating a level hem, or 
    • fitting a lining into a jacket;

A dress form allows you to work on a garment:

    1. on the natural-human shape,   
    2. keeping both hands free to work on any area of the garment, 
    3. standing back to see the final effect from all angles;

What are the top three reasons why purchasing a dress form is a great decision? Let’s see the table by Sewing Direct below:

Reason

Description

affordable

The more complicated the gadget, the more it costs? Not necessarily. You can get an average dress form for a fair amount of greens. 

adjustable

We shouldn’t take anything in our consumerist world for granted. It’s called “adjustable”, but it doesn’t mean for sure that you can adjust it. 

Yet, here we are, making sure that altering and fine-tuning sizes in dress forms is a thing. 

Now, you can reflect the ever-changing body size on the artificial model. Read how to use and adjust it on SewWay.

good quality

We can’t be sure about all the brands, but the quality is always central in fashion. 

Check out Love Sewing or Teach You To Sew to see the top 2021 brands. 

Is the dress form necessary to have? Female and male mannequin for sewing

Now that we know everything about dress forms, sewing supplies and different types of woven labels, let’s consider what we really need. 

Dixie shares a few words of her expert opinion on the DixieDIY blog. 

I bought it because I thought I needed it“―she starts her story―”After several years of serious sewing, I thought a form would transform my stitching experience into something magical […]“. 

Was it the case? 

She admits that she uses her dress form, but it’s not necessary. At the same time, she’s convinced that there are sewers who couldn’t live without it. She can understand them too. It’s all about personal characteristics and preferences.

Adjustable dressmakers mannequin
Image source: SewWay

An adjustable sewing form can become a valuable tool or just a fancy decoration covered in dust in the corner. The devil’s in the detail, or rather, in the body shape. Some forms can mimic your shape; some try hard but never deliver. 

There are three types of full-body adjustable sewing mannequins. Let’s crack them down with DixieDIY:

Dress form type

Description

Cost

A professionally made form

It’s made to fit your measurements. 

There are two options to make it:

    1. you need to make a cast of your own torso,
    2. you can buy one that follows your measurements by the numbers;

The most expensive ones

An adjustable form

If you get a little extra curve here and there, you can still use it. 

You can also make clothes for others who are a few inches bigger or smaller. Yet, adjustable or not, it has its limits to alter. 

Cheaper than a professional form

A self-made form

You can do your dress form at home, and there are a few ways to do it. Funny as it seems, one of the most popular is the duct tape form. Check on Threads Magazine how to perform this project. 

Very affordable

Is there anything we wish to add?

Keep in mind that a professionally made form works best if you only make clothes for yourself. Plus, your weight and shape shouldn’t fluctuate often.

It works well only if your body resembles that of the form. Keep in mind its unadjustable parts like: 

    • a large/small bust, 
    • sloped shoulders, 
    • swayback, etc 

before you buy this kind of dummy. 

As Dixie shares on her blog:

“A dress form is not a replacement for your body. You will still have to try a garment on while you work on it repeatedly. A dress form does not move. You can make that top fit great on the form; it won’t tell you that the armholes need to be adjusted because you can’t lift your arms. A dress form doesn’t have arms, an important factor when you’re working on fancy sleeves you’ve made from scratch”.

A self-made form also has its pros and cons. 

This type will be your exact double like the professional form. Yet, you can’t stick pins in it, and you need a helper to create it from scratch. 

Sewing form mannequin
Image source: Roberto Martinez on Unsplash

What will you like most about the adjustable dress form? 

We checked with Sewing Julie about what’s so great about adjustable dress forms. That’s not to say that sewings supplies, sewing pins, or other sewing tools are less critical. 

Here’s what she says:

Pros

    1. An adjustable dress form can recreate one’s figure to full detail. For Julie, this function is worth every penny. The top part of her body is two sizes smaller than the bottom part. In this case, standardised sewing mannequins won’t do.
    2. It allows fitting the back, which is a tricky spot to fit for many. Now, instead of trying to see yourself in the mirror, you can work on the model. You can solve many fitting issues straight on the dress form.
    3. It’s cheaper than custom-made forms. Not everyone is crazy about spending on sewing supplies. Some like to sew but prefer to save and spend on fabrics or custom woven labels. An adjustable dress form is a functional choice. It’s more versatile than the fanciest mannequin. 
    4. You can use it when sewing for others. Adjust the dress form’s wheels to fit their shape, and here you go!
    5. A human-shape model makes for fabulous home decor. Whenever your new garment is ready, you can leave it on the model to admire it in its entireness. 

Sewing mannequin female
Image source: Michael Van Kerckhove on Unsplash

Cons:

    1. This sewing bust isn’t as sturdy as its non-adjustable form sister. Sewing mannequin is far more heavy-duty. After a time, adjusting wheels becomes a challenge. They might be stuck here or there once in a while.  
    2. The adjustable form may sound like a “fit for all”. Yet, it’s not exactly the case. A sewing kit is universal, but you can alter an adjustable dress form only within a 2-3 size range. As Julie recalls: “my bust measurement is on minimum setting, while hips are on the widest, meaning any bigger difference would not be achievable on this form; not to mention different cup sizes, torso lengths, etc. Check all measurements carefully before getting one!” (Sewing Julie)
    3. This kind of adjustable sewing mannequin female takes a lot of space. Keep in mind that it’s not the easiest to hide. 

Here’s another personal story on Sew Not Mature by Donna Gilbert. Check it if you wish to get to know more real-life experiences about adjustable dress forms. 

Dress mannequin for sewing
Image source: Thomas William on Unsplash

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