Wednesday, March 7

Dress Form Debate Part 2

I suspect I will be pondering about dress forms for a while before committing to purchase.  It's just the way I am.  Sadly all the drawing of opinions and options can lead me to analysis paralysis and at some point I'll realize that I have known what I wanted for a month and a half and it is time to admit it to myself.  I still have a lot of work to do to find room for it anyhow.

Yesterday I was trying to find more opinions on the Uniquely You dress form.  Talk about a sewing community, I was reading Carolyn's post on online supply resources and saw ElleC suggest A Great Notion.  I thought I better check that out and they do indeed sell Uniquely You dress forms.
Reviews seem to be somewhat mixed.  The process is that you sew the cover until it fits you so close you can't breathe and then wrestle the dummy into it.  The foam compresses and fills the cover and ta-da, you have a clone of yourself.  But... some people have found the cover stretches a bit over time so it's not accurate any more.  Small busted women have needed to take a knife to the breasts because it's too much and compresses in weird ways.  Elegantly Basted bought this last year and I found her struggles educational, as was Diary of a Renaissance Seamstress.  I think I could be up for the fitting, my bust is probably big enough I don't have to worry about it escaping to the sides or cutting them off to make them softer like DofaRS did to fit her corsets.  But... I can't do pants or a bathing suit or anything involving the crotch...  I know I don't do a ton of that kind of sewing, but it seems like I might at some point and it's silly to limit options unless it really is the best option.

On Pattern Review, someone suggested buying a Roxy form and padding it out


Roxy have full body, half body (dress forms) and three quarters (body forms).  Now these aren't adjustable but they are pinnable.  It would require padding out.  I'm less interested in the half body because of the reasons listed above.  The three quarters is only $50, could be used for pants etc, but only comes in one size.  Getting a 34" bust to my full bust is a heck of a lot of padding.  Full body come in a lot of sizes, I could get a size 12 that fits my upper bust of 38" and pad out.  Full body is $379 and comes with a full (detachable) arm for free.  I have no idea how shipping would go at this point.  Handmade by Carla bought the half body version and the padding from Fabulous Fit to pad it up.  Georgeous Things bought the full body from Roxy, and if you look in the comments, so did CoutreMode and Kadiddlehopper.

What did we do prior to Google?  I have been able to find a ton of links and reviews and opinions about these forms.  I know it muddies the water to have so much information at your fingertips, but at least I feel like will have made an educated decision rather than just going with whatever cheap ass form Fabricland was carrying because it was the only option I knew of.

13 comments:

  1. "analysis paralysis" OMG I love this, I have been known to suffer from it from time to time, ok a lot. I am glad I was able to be of use in helping you find A Great Notion, FWIW I have ordered from them several times and have been pleased with their service. I agree with you about Google, heck how did we even sew without the interwebs, it is so much more fun when there are people who give a crap about your favorite pastime.

    Good luck with your decision.

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    1. It's not the easiest web site to navigate, but wow they have a lot of stuff. I would be a total sucker for the $20 grab bag.

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  2. allow me to muddy some more, pgm dressforms are comparable pricewise to roxy and i've heard the quality is better. they do free shipping often. AND i got an email last night that simplicity dot com is offering 40 bucks off & free shipping off their pgm forms (and they have small busted forms!) http://www.simplicity.com/c-333-dress-forms.aspx

    i've got a uniquely you that, oddly enough, i'm pulling out of storage today. i had to knife the bust, and the whole thing is just flimsy. you have to hold it every time you stick a pin in it to keep it from falling over.

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    1. I'm not scared of a little muddy water. I appreciate the input.

      I saw PGM in a few links I was following yesterday, it was next to dig into. It is a good deal at Simplicity, sadly it doesn't extend to Canada. Although looking for PGM led me to Feiyue dress forms, they look pretty similar.

      Hmm, tippy dress form is less than ideal. Is it the pole that is not strong enough?

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  3. Hey I've got some more muddy water for you! I have been investigating making my own- what about this?

    http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3659/clone-yourself-a-fitting-assistant

    You wrap yourself up in tape for a form that mirrors your exact body shape... I'll be trying it hopefully this weekend or next so if you're interested keep an eye on my blog! lol :)

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    1. I have thought about doing the duct tape/paper tape dummy for years and while I'm interested, I also figure if I haven't done it yet, I likely won't. When something has been on the to-do list for more than two years, the odds of it ever getting done are slim. Still, I'm totally into seeing how it goes for you. Thanks for adding your two cents!

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    2. I made a duct-tape double and while it was pretty good initially, over time parts of stretched and others have sunken, to the point where it's not really helpful (plus I never had a proper stand or hanger for it, which really limits is usefulness). I think the paper-tape ones are better, if you can find the right tape, but to really get everything together (stand, etc.) you're looking at a decent sized investment of time and money there, too. Maybe not as much as a brand-new form, but certainly close to what you can pick a used form up for if you're patient...

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  4. Wow, I can not help with your choice but there are some great dress forms out there! I don't use mine as much as I would like, and in retrospect have decided that I'm not really a dress form sort of person, but I can see the value of spending a bit more rather than getting the $99 version like I did.

    What I really want now is a full-length mirror so I can stop standing on the bathtub to check my hemline. I mean, I live dangerously anyhow but it's getting ridiculous (and especially frightening in heels)!

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    1. Many people have mananged to sew for many years without a dress form. It's certainly not a requirement.

      There is a thread on pattern review where someone asks about dress forms being new to sewing. Most people recommended the full length/three way mirror. Our hall closets are mirrored so that's where I go when I need the full view. Only down side is the lighting sucks there.

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  5. I just found your blog via Tanit-Isis! I have dress form issues, too, being a very hourglass curvy sort of girl, and have found the best results are done by DH and rolls of duct tape. Johanna's link to Threads instructions about making yourself a clone are really good. I'm making my 2nd one this weekend, as the first one collapsed because I didn't fill it with expandable insulation foam - or whatever that stuff is you put around your windows. Doing a clone this way saves padding, and although it's SHOCKING to see an actual clone of yourself size-wise, it saves time because the distribution of curviness is 100% accurate!

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    1. Welcome and thanks for commenting.
      I have always thought the concept of a duct tape form was fantastic, it's just getting off my ass to do it... So expandable insulation foam, eh?

      I was looking at myself this morning passing the mirror enroute to the shower and thinking that's going to be hard to see. I do like my body, I love my curves, but clothing smooth over the little belly that will be needed on a dress form.

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  6. I have one of the Dritz ones from Hancock's. I have been fairly pleased with it, especially because it's a petite form with a back length of 13" (or thereabouts) and narrow shoulders, just like me. I bought the Fabulous Fit system to go with it, and while I'm using it, it's overpriced, and doesn't offer nearly enough pads, so I wouldn't actually recommend it. Really though, for the money, I'd probably just do a duct-tape dummy. Especially if you are currently losing weight. Because the custom one is great until you lose 15 lbs and then it isn't representative of you anymore.

    Sorry, I'll step off my soapbox now. *blush*

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    1. Hey I'm looking for opinions, no need to worry about a soap box. And I have been thinking about a DTD for years now, but never quite got around to doing it. It's not entirely off the table, I'm just afraid I'll never actually set aside the time to do it.

      Hmm, I should measure my back, I'm not sure how short it is. I know I am short, but I'm not sure how short in a proportional sense off the top of my head.

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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.