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Hi, I am thinking of buying a dressmakers mannequin (the one I have is a friend's).  I would love an old fabric one, but they are difficult to find, the new ones seem so flimsy.  Does anyone have any recommendations?

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Hi Debbie!  I got mine from Hancock Fabrics at a very affordable price.  While it is a little flimsy, it has nobs to adjust the bust, hips and waist to your measurements.  I would have loved to get a fabric covered one, but it wasn't in my budget at the time.  If you are looking for one to get you through until you can afford a fabric one, I recommend a Twin Fit (the brand I have).  I am still able to stick pins in it (though not too deep) and it's easy to adjust when I lose or gain an inch here and there.  It stands easily on its own unless I lose my balance and fall against it.  Good luck with your search!!
I have a Singer adjustable mannequin and I love her!  She is easy to adjust and does have a slim surface for pinning.  I can also adjust her height and she is freestanding.

I am managing without one as well. My friend has one that she got at a car boot sale for almost nothing, so I was really jealous as you can imagine (!). Luckily she is really nice and now pregnant so I will be able to borrow it for a few months! I have never used one so I will be interested to see what I have missed....

I purchased mine on Ebay about a year ago.  The company is based in Australia, Melbourne I think and they were great to deal with, shipping was reasonable and it arrived all in one piece.  It is a new one and it is quite flimsy, but for $100, including postage, it does the job.  If you are interested I'll track down the seller for you.
Deb that would be great - I have been looking at some on ebay, but wasn't sure ......

It was JK Trading, and I see they are starting bids at $159, they are based in Sydney, I can't remember how much postage was, I always get a quote.  Occassionally they put one up for a low starting price, that's how I got mine so cheap - so keep an eye out.  Having a look on Ebay there is certainly alot on there, most for local pick up only though, sigh.  Goodluck!

Thanks for bringing this up, I too feel I need to invest.  I've only managed to look on ebay so far, I do love the ones with the wooden base.
They are my favourite too!  I would love a vintage one, but they are hard to find .... so it will probably be a new one - I guess the advantage of these is that they are easier to adjust???  Good luck in your guest.  BTW - I like your dress!!

Hi Debbie,

 I found my mannequin brand new (but technically second hand) from the online Gumtree classifieds. If you wanted to have a look the Brisbane Gumtree classifieds can be found here. My mannequin is the type they sell at Spotlight but I got it for $100 instead of $350.

 

That said however, I've had some issues with fitting using mannequins. My mannequin is the standard type with dials at the neck, bust, waist and hips - it isn't one of those super adjustable ones with dials all over the place. As a result, my mannequin's shoulders are 2" narrower than mine (so bodices never sit right) and I'm tall so my waist is around the area of my mannequin's hips! So I'd recommend comparing your measurements to the non-adjustable parts of the mannequin. But maybe there's a way around that stuff? I really don't know!

Hi Amanda

 

Thanks for that - I will have a look at the classifieds. Maybe you can pad yours our a little in the shoulders so they are closer to your size?  I have no solutions for the waist though!!

Hi Amanda,

My mannequin sounds like it could be similar to yours. It was from a sale at Lincraft years ago. I can change the waist length though. Forgive me if I sound silly for suggesting this to you.. I'm sure you've had a good play with it, but I thought maybe getting it secondhand you might not have had the  instructions. Have a look inside the mannequin. The torso on mine can be slid up and down on long pins - this function is not obvious from the outside and is a bit fidly, you have to hold back some lever like metal bits and shuffle the torso to where you want it.

Thank you SO much Casey!! I definitely had no instructions with it and had no idea I could lengthen the torso... and to be honest I hadn't really poked around much to find out! You've just saved my mannequin from being re-homed!

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