I've been contemplating purchasing a dress form to help me with fitting, but I have a lot of questions first! And I knew this forum was the place to ask...
1) If you have a dress form, do you use it often enough to make it worth the investment? I want to do more with draping and possibly creating dresses without patterns.
2) What dress forms do you recommend? I've been looking at Royal Form and PGM Form.
3) Do you choose the dress form with or without "hip"? I sew mostly dresses... don't know the difference between hip and hipless for the forms.
That is really cool! I have a friend who made a dress form herself as well. I would like to save to buy one, but this is definitely an option.
You are right about needing a form to sew your dresses, how else can you work on them?
The PGM forms with collapse-able shoulders would be best. Order by your measurements. These come with 'skirt' or 'pant' form that has legs. I think the dress version will work best. The pant version is OK, but never as good as fitting pants on your own body. The 'hip' form has a little 'butt' which is a personal choice, but nice if you sew knits or fitted skirts. This is a heavy form, and would need to stay out in the room at all times. She is pin-able and with the collapsing shoulders will allow a skirt or dress to be pulled over.
Getting a good fit: You can add to her shape if you have more curves by just padding those places with fiberfill and pulling over that a tube of spandex swimsuit knit. I also recommend having your form wear a bra that fits you well, so the upper torso is correct.
Another dress form type is the "Uniquely You" dress form. It is also on a stand and is 'pin-able'. First a fabric shell is fit to the owner's body (by a friend). This shell is mid thigh in length, with a heavy back zipper. When the alterations are complete, this cover is pulled over a big 'marshmallow' foam figure to get a tight fitting, smooth form. I have seen many of these used in couture type Hollywood dress studios with personal fit forms for each actress. They will mark duc tape the exact waist measurement and wrap this around the waistline of the finished form to stabilize the waistline. You can sew on any padding, so it's very easy to customize the form later. Another plus for some sewists is that it is light weight (and the stand can be removed), in case it has to move into a storage area when not in use.
Either style will be great to have and fun to work with!
I definitely think I want a PGM form, then will get a Fab.Fit system to fit over it... I just have to save up the $$$ now!
Thanks Jen for all the info!