If you are a sewing enthusiast like I am, you must have reached a point where you need a dress form or mannequin form.
Once I reached a point where I needed one, I was torn in between getting a dress form or a mannequin. I dove into the interwebs did some serious research before settling for a dress form.
After several days of pouring my soul on the internet, I found out that the Top Notch Dress Form: Singer 12-Dial Adjustable Dress Form, Large Red models is the best sewing form out there.
It’s affordable, adjustable and durable. But before you make a hasty decision, check out the list I talk about below where I explain everything.
At the end of the article, be sure to read the buyer’s guide I’ve included to compare the dress forms and make an educated decision!
Top Notch Dress Form: Singer 12-Dial Adjustable Dress Form, Large Red
I had the pleasure of analyzing 25 essential features of the products in this list. For this dress form, I rank it as number one in my book thanks to its practical and desirable features…
It’s crafted for the serious sewing enthusiast. My research led me to conclude that it comes highly rated thanks to its numerous, advanced features which include;
- 12 Adjustable Dial (Bust, Waist, Hips) providing a perfect fit
- Fully adjustable dress form for use in a sewing project
- An ideal display piece
- Foam-Backed fabric Exterior for easy pinning of patterns, skirts, dresses, and tops
- Hem Guide allowing for perfect hems on dresses and skirts
After setting up the dress form on the stand, you can start adjusting the dials. You can change from top to bottom or vice versa.
The middle and lower dials can be adjusted all the way out in regards to your preference. There is a dial for the neck size so you can fix it accordingly.
To be precise, this dress form comes with 12 adjustable dials that you can use for ideal settings. The perfect dress form for draping, you can pin the fabric and make adjustments with ease!
The stand’s bottom has the measurement for skirt length, while the top is for height which is measured in centimeters. Fortunately; most of the sizes are in metric.
The lightweight and rustproof form will outlive you, and it comes with a useful hem gauge and basting attachment.
The neck, torso, hip, waist, bust, and height are adjustable (this is why you’re paying a premium price).
The dress form is a Singer creation and is a high-quality product.
- Easy to adjust body size
- It’s affordable
- The perfect size for me!
- Needs a firm hand while adjusting height, it wobbles!
Beginners Best Form: Giantex Female Mannequin Torso Body Dress Form
From my analysis, I picked this to be the best beginners dress form because you can assemble it the fastest. Its construction is solid, it’s also lightweight and can be moved with ease.
It comes with a knob to adjust the torso height between 51.2” and 66.2”. The manual has simple instructions. All parts are numbered and are listed in graphic forms for ease of use.
It comes with six different patterns that you can use. Each design has a particular individual style that caters to your needs.
The foam in this form holds the pins perfectly; you will find it easy to change the 6 different patterns to the ones you desire.
The torso is well sized; you can fit all adult size clothing and picture how it will fit you perfectly.
The all-around dress form is reasonably priced and will suit both amateurs and pros. The wood tripod stand is durable and is built to last.
The dress form is made from hard styrofoam and with the right adjustments, it accentuates the cloth details.
The metal rod stands twists into the wooden base, the stand’s legs slide into the bottom and are held in place by a round disk.
You can check it out here.
- Best priced
- Easy to assemble
- Great foam covering
- Perfect for beginners
- Smaller wooden base
The dress form is sizeable and will fit into your sewing room well, leaving you with enough room to maneuver about as you make adjustments.
Best Middle Placed Form: Dritz Sew Your Dress Form
An ideal deal dress form for home and small-sized studios. The affordable (sells for under $100) form comes with 9 adjustable wheels at the hips, waist, and bust.
It has a pin cushion on its adjustable neck keeping the pins in place. There are two auto-setting dials located on the waist and bust. You will find it to be a versatile dress form!
The form is made from rigid plastic. Some users suggest that to get the right measurements, you should dress the dorm in a bra and stuff it to your fitting.
The form is adjustable, and you can fit in from a size 2-16 with ease. The height is adjustable allowing you to work on your fabric while sitting.
It is light in weight, and you can dismantle her and set it in the table to work on that intricate hem.
The neck is expandable, and the best part is, you can spin this dress form and comfortably run hems through the sewing machine knowing that it holds the weight of the dress!
- High range Adjustability
- The foam is a little thin
Quintessential Form: White Female Dress Form Size 2-4 Small 35” 24” 33”
A classy white form that comes with 28” torso measurements and 14.5 inches shoulder width.
The white female dress form is ideal for a petite woman with a sizeable bust. It measures; Bust 35” Waist 24” and Hips 33”.
It has a sizeable base that is 4.5 feet wide holding it firmly on the ground. The wooden base form makes it have a high-end look.
It comes with a second pole that you can use to add a waist to hang your slacks or pants. The material cover is high quality strong enough to withstand wear and tear.
It’s also easy to remove and put it in the wash when it gets dirty. Also, you will be glad to know that you can replace the white fabric with a black cover or any other color you deem fit.
The form’s skeleton is crafted from hard fiberglass. A foamy material covers the glass; finally, the top cover wraps up it up.
You will assemble it with ease, and the adjustments are made to work effortlessly.
The manufacturer has put a lot of effort into it making it look stellar and can work well as your display piece.
Go ahead, and check it out here.
- Quintessential look
- Second pole for slacks or pants
- Priced right
- Easy to assemble
- Has a thin foam layer
Good Looking: White Female Mannequin Dress Form On Maple Tripod Stand French Series
Another good looking dress form perfect for Bust 33” Waist 24” Hips 34” and torso height 27”.
The form comes with a shoulder to shoulder width of 14” and an adjustable height from 4 ½ – 6 feet.
The foam layer is a little thin allowing you the courtesy of pinning into the material around the form.
The French style basic dress form is made for you if you like displaying dresses, pants, suits, etc. You can also use it at home or the backroom for sewing.
Its torso is formed from fiberglass and covered in foam and material.
The torso’s underside comes with the allocation for screwing in a stand that you can use to fix on the middle for skirts or display slacks.
It doesn’t come with butt or hips, making it fast and straightforward to put it together. The form is adjustable and a perfect platform to organize your jewelry especially if yours tangle.
- Priced fairly
- Exact measurements
- Has a cheap look
Simple But Functional: GIANTEX Female Mannequin Torso Dress Form
By far this is the simplest dress form to assemble.
All the hardware and assembly instructions are included.
The labeled part numbers can be put together by following the steps in the graphics form. A 12-year-old can assemble it without breaking a sweat!
The bottom tripod stand and the base are made of painted pine wood. It will stand the test of time and will remain firm on the ground.
The form comes with 6 patterns, and each is crafted uniquely to match your style needs. As much as it’s sturdy, you can move it thanks to its lightweight.
The torso is made of styrofoam thus making it pinnable. You can use it for adjusting t-shirts, blouses, blazers, sweaters, tops and holding your accessories.
You can use it to display clothes from small size to 3X without it showing any stress signs.
The floral print material makes it an ideal piece to add to your home collection especially if you like to sew or are an up and coming fashion designer.
- Easy to assemble
- 6 pattern colors available
- The wooden base isn’t broad enough
The Best garment Construction Form: Dritz Twin Fit Dress Form, Medium
The best garment construction dress form. The Dritz Twin Fit works wonders for DIY designing or dresses alteration.
The form comes with all the necessary features including a solid stand, it accommodates a whole range of body types, and it’s interchangeable.
You will love this form for being the only one from the Dritz family to come with a broad range of sizes (petite, small, medium, large, full figure).
Use the 12 auto-set dials to adjust the dress size with ease. To make marking and pinning easy, the form comes stuffed with a foam-backed nylon cover.
The neck is covered with a cushion making it easy to mark accurately. It also comes with a pin hem marker that will make hemming a little easy for you!
- Sturdy stand
- Soft covering
- An inexpensive professional dress form
- Doesn’t look that fancy
To make things a little bit easier, I will help you know whether you need the dress form or the mannequin. But first, we need to know the differences between the two…
What is a mannequin form?
A mannequin is a styled, three-dimensional dummy that represents the human form. Dressmakers, tailors, and clothes designers use mannequins for making and fitting clothes.
According to Wikipedia, mannequins date back to the 15th century. You can clearly see fashion dates way back!
A dress form, on the other hand, is a three-dimensional model of just the human torso. Its primary purpose is to fit clothing being sewed.
I use mine to gauge whether the piece of cloth I’m making will fit perfectly.
If not, I proceed to make the necessary adjustments. I also opted to go for one with a skirt cage as opposed to full body with legs.
Does that mean that there are different types of dress forms?
Yes, dress forms come in different types, shapes, and sizes. Allow me to elaborate further by naming the different kinds.
Each piece mentioned below serves a particular purpose, you have to choose one that fulfills your demands…
Handmade dress form: If your sewing doesn’t entail a lot of fitting perhaps just light sewing purposes then a homemade dress form is a right option for you.
If you’re up to it, you can create one from papier mache, plaster-casting or duct-tape. A shortcut would be to purchase a compressible foam form that you will fill into a custom-fitted cover.
The more you continue using it to fit clothes, the better you will become at replicating body measurements and posture on the dress form.
Display form: Despite them appearing as sewing forms, display forms are made for the sole purpose of displaying outfits; unfortunately, not many amateurs know this!
They have more simplified body shapes and are made from fiberglass or foam.
Professional dress form: these forms comes with a cast iron base. A majority are made from papier mache which gets padded with several cotton wadding layers.
They are finally covered in linen thus making them stand out. Buyers can choose forms with a full body or one with a skirt cage.
Adjustable dress form: they are custom fit with dials. You control the dials to either expand or contract the form to cater to different measurements.
Naturally, the human body moves and breathes, so bear in mind that not all dress forms will entirely replace measurements taken from an actual entity.
Get one that you can adjust to match body measurements and posture.
Collapsible Sewing Dress Forms
One thing I like about collapsible sewing dress forms is how easily I get garments on and off the dress form.
I don’t even need to use other closures!
I get to push the shoulders up to 4” on either side which helps me test a pattern without having to put in zippers.
When I want to drape a design, my collapsible form allows me to pull the garment through the body over the head and shoulders without difficulty.
Collapsible dress forms are a significant investment. If you come up with sample size patterns, then you will never go wrong with one.
Moreover; if you are a person of means, you can have one custom made to your desired size, and it will last you for quite a while.
On a side note; mine has a plush to which I use for putting pins…
Now that you have an idea about the different types of dress forms, I will take you through a buyers guide to help you narrow down your choice…
As you can see, there’s plenty of info to digest before you settle on an ideal dress form.
However, I am happy that in my trial and error phase, I was able to narrow down the search for you.
There are many types of dress forms in the market today, you need to list down your needs, wants and a budget to get an ideal form for your home sewing.
I hope my buyer’s guide has given you some insight as to what is available on the market.
If you have some exciting ideas/thoughts or info you’d like to share with me, kindly do so in the comments section; otherwise, I hope my guide has helped you somewhat!