As a dressmaker, a crucial part of my sewing equipment is my dress form. Up until now I have been using a very old and battered dress form which came to me in fairly bad condition, second hand, several years ago. She has served me well over the years but recently decided that enough was enough and refused to stand up any more despite several repairs to the legs.
As somebody that spends time sewing in one form or another most days, I missed her tremendously. I hadn’t quite realised how much I relied on her until she was finally unusable. You can imagine my relief when Adjustoform came to the rescue and very generously provided me with a beautiful new model to use and review. The following is my entirely honest thoughts on her construction, set up and features.
The model I have is the Action Form in a glorious purple colour. It arrived very well packed in a large box. For those interested the box dimensions were
- Height 79cm
- Width 38cm
- Depth 27cm
Inside the box were all the parts required to quickly and easily assemble it along with a simple instruction sheet and a booklet describing how to get the best out of your dressmaking model.
To assemble the stand it was just a case of simply slotting in the four feet to the bottom of the stand. Nice and simple. The stand feels strong and sturdy.
Then you can just pop the body onto the post and secure by tightening the adjustable screws. (By hand – no tools required).
Isn’t she beautiful! Front and back.
She is an adjustable 8 part dummy, so after this basic set up you can adjust her to replicate your measurements. To do this you alter the 3 dials and 9 adjusting thumb wheels to give you an exact fit. In addition to this she has an easily adjustable back/waist length as well as the opportunity to adjust the neck. All incredibly simple to do.
Finally adjust the height to match your height and hey presto! you are good to go!
She is covered with a nylon, foam backed fabric to allow for easy pinning and has a handy little pin cushion at the top!
By far my favourite feature of this beauty though is the hem marker with basting attachment. This feature had always been broken on my last old model and boy! is this a useful gadget to have.
Simply decide what hem length you need and open and attach the fixation clip on the hem at that point, slide the pin through the pin guide and when you remove the fixation clip your pin is magically in place on the garment exactly where you want it! Repeat at regular intervals and there you have a perfectly level hem marked out! Genius! I now have level hems on my handmade garments for the first time ever!!
My new sewing assistant is already a firm favourite of mine. Although I have not had her for very long, I have used her to help me make 5 tops and 3 dresses so far. One of the dresses I recently made has a lined bodice and the dress form was so useful in pinning the lining in place (whilst the garment was inside out), without it pulling at any point. I also think with any dress it is good to let it hang on a dress form for 24 hours before hemming it. This is especially important of course with skirts/dresses cut on the bias or when using knit fabrics, simply hanging on a hanger will not give you the same result.
The dress form enables me to check on my dart placements now without having to repeatedly try the garment on. Pockets and buttonholes can be checked on the dress form now in the same way without me having to try it on several times.
I am also looking forward to making up new patterns that I have not sewn before as it will be easy to fit and adjust a paper pattern on the dress form to try to work out some of the potential fitting issues before I cut into the fabric.
Although I have only used it for a few weeks and therefore can only review this on the short time I have owned it, I am thrilled to bits with it. It is, in my opinion, one of the most useful items in my dressmaking kit, and I do not want to be without one again! This model does everything I need it to – and more, and is simple to set up and use straight away. You will be seeing a great deal of her in my future makes, and I will continue to share with you any info on the model as and when I think you could find it useful.
This particular dress form is just right for me, it would be perfect for a beginner seamstress right through to the more experienced sewist, and it could just be the perfect Christmas gift don’t you think?
Adjustoform have a small range that you can purchase on their website – alternatively you can also search their website for local suppliers here. Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m sure I’ve seen several types of Adjustoform models in the John Lewis haberdashery departments too.
A huge thank you once again to Adjustoform for sending me my new best sewing buddy. I’m in love ..
Do you have an Adjustoform that you couldn’t be without? Which type do you use? Is an Adjustoform on your wish list this Christmas? Do let me know your thoughts, I love to hear from you.
Take care, I’ll be back soon,
Thought you might like to see the sorry state of my old girl! ….