I do actually have a dress form, which may come as a surprise to some because it rarely, if ever, appears on this blog. That’s because I hardly ever use it. And that’s because it’s the wrong size.
You might think that the sizing issue should have been apparent when I ordered it, but in my defense, it really wasn’t. I ordered a professional body form from The Shop Company many moons ago when reviews and discount codes for them were all over the sewing blogosphere. It’s a very nice quality dress form (very nice, particularly considering the cost), and my measurements put me exactly in a size 10.
So I got it, and the service was great, the price was reasonable, shipping cost was low, and the quality is fantastic. And it looks really cool in my sewing room. But … it is too big for every single garment that I try to put on it. Every. single. one.
My Anna dress fit me like a glove, but it barely makes it over my dress form and there’s no way that zipper was budging. I made my first Watson bra last week (to be blogged eventually!). I couldn’t fit it as I went, so after I was done, I put it on my dress form to snap a photo for Instagram before I tried it on my body. I was really worried for a second because the band wasn’t even touching, much less fastening, in the back (several inches separated the band). But, I put it on me and it fit perfectly.
After that experience, and seeing some of these posts, I got curious. Why is my dress form, which has almost exactly the same measurements as I do, such a poor fit for me? I got out my measuring tape and put on my detective hat.
And it turns out … I am not shaped like a dress form — shocker! While my main measurements — bust, waist and hip — match my form almost exactly, my underbust measurement is a full 4 inches smaller than my form. Which is why my Watson bra didn’t fit it and nothing will zip. My above bust measurement is more than 3 inches smaller than my form. So basically, my dress form is about a 36A (maybe B if you’re being generous), and I am a 32C-D.
So after all that, I’m a little uncertain of what to do with my form. It’s a very nice form and looks cool in my sewing room. I could keep it for blog photo purposes, so long as I don’t need to show the closures. I could try to sell it and recoup some of my money since there must be someone out there who could actually use a size 10 form.
And then do I buy another one? I’m a little hesitant. It’s pretty clear that the main measurements I need are the underbust and above bust measurements, which aren’t typically included. So long as those fit, I can pad the other areas to get the measurements I need. I suspect I need to go down at least 3 sizes to get a form that I can modify to fit correctly.
Do you have a dress form? What would you do?