One of our favorite adjustable address forms is the Singer DF251- it provides 13 different adjustments in the hips, bust, waist, back and neck helping to provide a perfect fit.
As well, its height adjustability enables you to easily customize it to your own height specifications quickly. The fabric exterior is foam-packed so you can simply pin skirts, patterns, dresses and tops to it.
The base is constructed of four legs to provide extra stability and durability as you work. Excellent for precision sewing or functioning as a display piece the Singer DF251 is a valuable resource for professional garment makers as well as dedicated hobbyists. Users have provided mixed reviews for this adjustable dress form, however.
One problem people have is that the different body landmarks do not easily adjust independently of one another. For example, if you try to increase the bust by several inches, what will happen is that the hips and waist will also increase by the same amount.
This is the nature of the dress form- while it is very solid, the trade-off is this static construction. Overall, users say that the padding really grips onto pins while you work with your garments, and that the form's surface has enough traction so that your garments don't slide off, but it's not too sticky either.
Another reviewer that we spoke to says that it was easy to assemble, and a fairly practical way to make garment alterations and to do pinning, but it was not easy to make adjustments to it outside of the standard hourglass shape.
Setting the body size was difficult because the adjustments have to be done in increments from the top of the dress form to the bottom so that the sizing mechanisms don't snap back. Another reviewer commented that if your body is not an hourglass figure, the dress form really struggles to maintain the shape.
This particular user has more of a pear-shaped figure and it was a real difficulty to adapt the dress form to that shape.
Another sewer who has been practicing for over 30 years was excited to receive the Singer DF251 dress form, saying that it was lightweight, simply spins around for complete accessibility, though like other reviewers said it took some elbow grease to get it adjusted to the size that she wanted.
Overall, after extended use, she has decided that it is best for draping and designing, not as much for measuring out the perfect fit of garments. The way she uses it, is to use the dress form as general guidance and then do more specific alterations to the finished product.
The Dritz dress form was another option that we examined.
Some criticisms emerged from the reviewers we spoke with who complained that the skirt marker isn't quite long enough for fall skirts for wedding gowns.
The dress form is pretty flat-chested. There is not a way to adjusted to a specific height-if you want to adjusted to 5'4".
You will basically have to guess or measure it yourself with a tape measurer; the dress form has multiple dials and most of the users thought that it would be better if they were less dials that had the ability to operate multiple openings with included readable dimensions on the dial.
Other users also thought it made sense to have locking wheels so that it would be easier to maneuver the dress form torso around the work space rather than having to lift and set it down again.
Another dress maker recommended getting inspiration from trendy online boutiques to get the most out of these dress forms.
Assembling The Dritz
Another reviewer that we spoke with said that she had built her own dress form herself using duct tape. While this worked alright for a little bit of time, it wasn't sturdy and eventually she decided to upgrade to a professional-quality dress form.
She says that the Dritz took around 20 minutes to get it set up and adjusted to her size. She commends how lightweight, but sturdy, the Dritz dress form is, making it easy to turn with a handy hem marker and simple height adjustability.
The Roxydisplay dress form was another adjustable dress form we examined. It has 12 adjustment dials, a form-backed fabric exterior for pinning, and works well for display purposes as well as sewing projects. Users that we spoke with provide fairly positive overall feedback for this dress form saying that it is sturdy, easy to assemble, and that the adjustment dials will get you the size you want to work with.
Another buyer said that it was perfect for their crocheting work, enabling them to measure out simple sweaters without having to repeatedly try them on themselves, also enabling buyers to design on it.
Only Mannequin Feedback
The Only Mannequins dress form is a little bit different in that while it is height adjustable you cannot actually modify the dimensions of the body. The medium comes in a 34 inch, 26 inch, 35 inch formulation and sits on a black wood tripod stand that is adjustable.
One buyer that we spoke with says that she purchased it in order to help them sell their extensive wardrobe. It was a great way to display all of their dresses, skirts and tops, though not the pants because it doesn't have separate legs.
Another reviewer said that it was an ideal purchase for photographing and displaying clothing- easy to put together, which was great for his online Etsy store.
How To Make Your Own Dress Form
The double full figured Dritz dress form was yet another option.
One reviewer we spoke to says that while it is not a professional-quality product, as most professional dress forms are generally single-size exclusively, and usually much more expensive, this dress form provides a great deal of flexibility as well as convenience for casual seamstresses.
Buyers say that it is easy to adjust the size, usually provides a solid fit for the different people who work with it, and that it is convenient to perform multiple fittings instead of relying on friends with different body shapes.
On the downside, some purchasers complained that the tape measurement for the waist easily came off. Others say that the plastic construction felt a little bit flimsy and that if you are not gentle with it buyers get the sense that it could break. As well, the reviewers say that it is not super easy to pin on it, specifically when the seams are in the gaps.
One advantage of this dress form has is that unlike many others it comes in different sizes, including a large. If you are in the market for a dress form, take a look at our reviews, and carefully scrutinize the sizing and ease of adjustability to ensure that you purchase a dress form that is the best for your requirements.