Thursday, February 23

Dress form recommendations?

It's been a busy few days with a project finishing up for work, hosting chili night (9 entries, all were good for different reasons) and well, being sad.  I dunno guys, I'm feeling a lot of the same doldrums, but I don't really have much new to say on that front.  Just stating that it's there.

So this summer I did get a promotion at work, apparently this puts me into a new pool for bonuses.  It's not a lot of money, but more than I usually get and enough that I'd like to make a planned purchase with it rather than just seeing it disappear into household expenses.  Part of it I will tuck away because my car will need replacing at some point in the not so distant future and I'd like to have a down payment set aside rather than scrambling.  Still, there is enough to do that and buy something for me.  I don't have a dress form and while I've always thought about making a duct tape dummy or some other DIY, but I haven't.  After this long of thinking, I probably won't.  But where to start...

The Singer form that Fabricland sells?  The price is right, membership often gets you 50% off.  I don't know which specific model that Fabricland carries or if there is much variation between them.  This picture is from the Joann website.  Is it me or do the Dritz ones look pretty similar?  
http://www.joann.com/singer-150-adjustable-dressform-small-medium/prd29699/
Or what about the Fabulous Fit?  I like the idea of being pinnable and it looks more realistic than the gaps in the singer form, I can put the padding where it's needed.  I like the 3/4 view because I could do pants or see how panties will fit.  And bathing suits, I have made bathing suits for myself (just not while having the blog).

http://www.fabulousfit.com/ Personal Misses 3/4 Form
I looked at the Wolf page, wow, that would take damn near my whole bonus (all of it and then some for some of the models).  I'm not sure I'm up to that kind of investment unless someone can tell me some incredibly good reasons it's better.

So, I poll you for opinions and thoughts.  There are lots of reviews on pattern review, I'll be reading through those too.  I'll probably end up with analysis paralysis and not order anything until June...

And in other sewing news... I cut out another Renfrew, same view C with cowl and 3/4 sleeves on Saturday.  It's out of the purple/grey/black swirl fabric I bought in the fall. 


I was sewing it up on Tuesday.  Shoulders went together well, the cowl made far more sense.  I tried the double needle trick around the neck and eh, something just isn't right with the tension.  It's okay, but not great.  Then I went to sew in the sleeves.  Something is totally screwy with the tension.  I tried a whack of things and just decided it needed fresh eyes.  So I will get back to it soon, when I'm ready to tackle the loose thread issues.


18 comments:

  1. I've written a series of posts about the Fabulous Fit, which is what I bought last year. Overall I'm happy with it, but the shipping it to Canada thing is stressful and expensive, and the client service is minimal at best. Also, it is in NO WAY EASY to fit to your shape. Takes a while and it likely won't come out exactly the same. The cost was over 800 bucks (on sale) by the time it arrived, so keep that in mind.

    Would I get it again? Not sure. Does it work for me? Yes. Would I get one of the Fabricland ones? No way. You want something that's as close to your shape as possible - and it MUST be pinnable or it will be far less useful than it should be.

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    1. I think I started reading your blog about the time you were working on the dress form. I do plan to go back and reread those posts. What is great to hear your opinion about it now is that you've had time with it. Every shiny new toy is fun the first week, 6 months later... maybe not.

      And every time I pass the Fabricland ones I think, you know I don't have holes in my body... And yet someone is buying them.

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    2. In my experience the holes aren't a huge deal (except maybe the waist, depending on what you're making). I've primarily used my form when making up an empire waist dress and it wasn't a problem. However, the non-pinnable thing is definitely annoying! Especially if you have any hopes of using it for draping. (And if you did, the holes might be more of a problem as well, as style tape can't really be used.)

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  2. I have one of the Dritz dress forms and I can honestly say: don't bother. The way the form is made, there is a big gap in the waist area and that makes it impossible to fit skirts/pants (plus the pole in the middle makes pants and shorts a no go). The bustline and back/shoulder curve look nothing like mine, in spite of being set to my measurements. The most useful thing about it is I can put a dress on it and pin in the zipper before the final fitting. So, it's not USELESS...but it's not good for fitting either.

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    1. See, that's good to know. I don't understand why they think that dress forms with gaps are a good thing. Our bodies do not have gaps.

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  3. I'm going to echo the "meh" for the adjustable form. If you have the cash, and it's that or nothing, then you might find it useful. But honestly, most of what I've used it for, I could probably have done without it. The single most annoying thing about it is that it isn't pinnable, although the commenter above makes a very good point about the gigantic waist gap (which I find quite impossible to adjust, but admittedly my model is seriously old and used, so new ones are probably better).

    So yes... if you really want a form and it's the only one you can swing, it might be better than nothing. But if you could save that cash, plus save for a little while longer and budget for a pinnable one, that's what I'd do!

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    1. You know I have managed this long, I'd rather get something good than something cheap. I'm more about value for money than actually the cost (although there is a ceiling eventually, I'm not spending $1800 on a dress form).

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    2. Also, it just occurred to me - have you triple-checked all the sewing stores within a reasonable drive? I know there are some places locally here (Vancouver) that sell non-adjustable forms. I'm not sure if the price is so ridiculous once you compare it to the price/headache of international shipping?

      For example: this is what's available near me: http://www.frasersewing.com/Dress%20form.html

      If I had the budget, I'd probably buy one and then pad it out as necessary, a la Gertie's method. (I suppose that would take some research when choosing which size to buy in the first place. In my experience, the bust measurement matches mine proportionally with the other measurements, but it's more due to the width of the back than the size of the bust.)

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    3. (Oh - and sorry for so many comments, but I just scrolled down and saw that they're a Canadian distributor of Fabulous Fit. Maybe they also ship, or maybe there are other Canadian distributors?)

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    4. I am loving all the comments rolling in, I keep looking up to see one more.

      I am at the very beginning of looking for a form, I have few ideas (although the cheap adjustable ones were already suspect to me) and a very open mind. I only found out about the windfall on Wednesday, past that any research was brief and in fantasy land rather than reality.

      Toronto isn't too far out and you'd think someone would be selling something worth having, but I'm thinking K-Line would have found it. The closest thing I know of to the link you provided (fantastic btw) is a little sewing machine retailer where I get mine serviced. I haven't gone all that often, never seen a dress form, but that doesn't mean they couldn't source it necessarily. It's on the list of places to inquire. Even if they don't they might have reco's on who would.

      And about sizing, it's all so unique to what you purchase, eh? Given that I really do need a FBA, I'm sure I'll end up doing sort of the same of buying a form based on high bust and padding out to the right cup size.

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    5. It's interesting - after I posted that link, I saw that on the Fabulous Fit website they don't list any distributors at all and say they only ship from their factory. I wonder if that's because the information on their website is US specific, or if the company I posted is an "unofficial" distributor (meaning they'll place an order on your behalf and mark it up?) Hmm!

      And yes, totally. Based on the measurements I'm seeing, I'd have to pad out both the bust and the waist in order to get the back the right size. Sheesh, complicated. Can't someone just take a mold of my body and produce a perfect likeness of me? Geez. :)

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  4. I don't have one (other than a duct-tape one which hasn't held up especially well, although I also haven't stored it particularly well) but I am holding off for something customised like the fabulous fit. I think the adjustable forms would make sense if you were sewing for lots of different people, but if you're mostly sewing for yourself, I'd rather have a true body double.

    If you get a fixed form that's slightly smaller, I think it can be padded out to match you (Gertie talked a bit about doing this at one point) but it might be tricky to do on your own.

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    1. I think I remember the post from Gertie, about the time she started draping lessons. It seems consensus against adjustable ones, makes sense to me.
      It's moments like these where I'm a bit jealous of shipping within the US vs to Canada.

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  5. I'm so curious to know what you decide. I wrote a similar post a while back, and it's still up in the air! I know adjustable is out, and Fab Fit seems great in theory. But reading K-Line's comment has me firmly planted on fence. Maybe save up for a Wolf? What to doooooo :)

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    1. I am still musing and researching about it. The money has arrived and I forgot how heavily bonuses are taxed. So I guess it's all going to the dress form. ;D I am not one to make decisions like this quickly but I really haven't had much time to research since the day I posted this.

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  6. That IS the same fabric I'm using for my Vogue 1257 dress! It's an interesting NON-floral print, isn't it?
    I love it in plum. Great job on the Renfrew too.

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    1. I have been really pleased with how it's washed up and worn. You'll be happy with your dress. I like the shading and saturated colours.

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Thanks for your comments, I love to have a two way conversation. I seem to be getting a lot of spam from anonymous users and am turning off the ability to comment that way. I really would like to hear from you so if you do want to add your two cents without an OpenId, email me at seraphinalina at gmail dot com.