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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Kansas City, MO
Gender: femme
Posts: 2,925
I might be in the market for a different dressmaker's dummy.

Mine is a "My Double" which I bought this past summer, and frankly, I was discovering its shortcomings almost as soon as I put it to real use.

My main problem with it is that it is difficult to adjust--you have to fiddle with the little dials forever to get the panels to slide apart appreciably, and the dials are very stiff, so your fingers end up raw if you have to change the dummy's size a lot. The panels don't slide out very willingly for someone who has a large hip or bust to waist ratio, and I have a couple of clients whose hips are 12 or more inches bigger than their waists, and I can't get the dummy to represent that. The way it is put together, the panels don't slide fully independently of each other, and don't angle any. It doesn't even work that well for my figure, because the shape is all wrong--the *** is completely flat on the dummy, and it has hips that stick out; I have a boyish figure, head-on.

So, what I am looking for is a dummy that is more adjustable. Ideally, the upper torso (in front) would be 4 panels, and you could adjust the bust more per a person's shape (mine has molded "boobs" and can't be adjusted for somebody flat-chested or busty). You would be able to adjust torso-length. This is critical! My dummy has a fixed torso length that works for practically nobody!!!

If at all possible, the panels would adjust via internal thumb-screws or clamps, like the old-fashioned dummies did, and it would be beneficial to me if it were made of something a little heavier and sturdier than fibreglass. My dummy has a tendency to overbalance whenever I have anything particularly heavy, like coat-weight wool or anything large made of Pleather on her.

I've tried looking in the secondhand shops and antiques places, since the type of dummy I want is one like how they were made about 40 years ago, but haven't turned anything up...everything I have come across has been pretty battered. I own a dress-form from 1912 that adjusts the way I like, but she's pretty fragile, not to mention she has that front-leaning Edwardian pigeon-breast figure...

So, any leads on where I could get a good-quality, hightly-adjustable dressmaker's dummy would be sincerely appreciated!

It came from out-of-space!
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,478
Ebay often has auctions for vintage adjustable dummies and most of them are in pretty good shape.

I am taking a dressmaking course and our instructor told us that the industrial forms are a better choice for custom work. She showed us how to pad a form with cotton batting and sew a cover for it. In this way we have customized it to fit our exact measurements. It is also possible to adjust an industrial form to fit a client up to 4 inches smaller and up to 4 inches bigger than it's (the form) actual size. Another great thing about the industrial forms is that you can pin fabric to them. A used one costs about $300 but in the end is worth it .

"There's a fine line between Chaos and Creation"- Sir Paul McCartney
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NYC
Gender: femme
Posts: 458
and where can one find an industrial dummy?

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