Sewing Cafe

Patterns, Tutorials and Works in Progress from the Sewing Studio of Lynne Williams

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dress Form Evaluation - Personal Fit

I find these truths to be undeniable ...

For personal dressmaking you will find that a dress form that replicates your body will be the most helpful.  Any standard form that is purchased must be adjusted to suit.
Dials that change the length and width will not accurately represent your personal shape.
You must create a cover that replicates your body....why..
are your...
 shoulders sloping or square?
neck forward?
bust high or low?
sway back?
full in the tush?
wide at the low hip?
dowagers hump?
An A cup, or C/ larger ?
Over your ideal weight?
A standard form, as purchased off of the shelf (so to speak) will not address any of these issues. 
 All of which dramatically change the way any garment hangs on you. 

Let's compare 2 forms which have very similar measurements to illustrate my point.

The form on the left is a Fabulous Fit form with measurements that are the closest to my personal measurements.  The form on the right is my personal dress form created using a customized cover over a Uniquely You form.
The Bust and Hip measurements are the same, my waist is 1" larger(currently) then the FF form.

The differences are the shoulder slope, hip shape, waist line tilt, bust cup size, center back length and thigh circumference. 

From the front notice the difference in the shoulder slope?  
At the hip you can see that my hip shape is not as square. 
 The widest part of my hip is the same measurement. 
My crotch depth is longer.
 My thigh is fuller.

Back to this image which shows the tilt in my waist and the curve of my upper back.
The center front measurement on these forms is the same, but my center back measurement is 2" shorter then  the FF form!
My neck position is also more forward...due to all the sewing take heed girls
My bust is a C cup and the standard on forms is a B.

The point of all this is that although I can put my clothes on the FF form, they do not fit properly.

If you are going to have a dress form in your sewing room and you want it to be a truly useful tool you must customize it properly to fit you.  With out the custom cover you are not getting the full benefit of your form.  

Any design analysis you do will be handicapped by it not having the correct proportions.
Any hemming you do will potentially be uneven due to it not sitting at the waist or shoulders properly. 
Any pattern making will require alterations to fit afterwards,
 and your fitting will be inaccurate.

In our next Evaluation we will look at customizing an existing form for personal fit.

Once again, please feel free to ask questions or share your personal experience with us.


  1. I would love to know how to make a more customized dress form! I look forward to seeing your future posts! :)

    1. Thanks for the comment Rebecca. Do you currently have a dress form to customize? If so what kind?

  2. The reasons you mention reflect my thoughts...I haven't bought a dress form because I know it won't reflect my what's the point of spending money! I'd be excited to read how to customise it...


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