I've been thinking that I might like to do some sewing at some point. Fitting patterns to me is sort of fun but sort of tedious - there gets to be a point in the fitting process where I'm frustrated and just can't get it right. So I've been thinking about dressforms again.
I've had a duct-tape dummy made, but that was a while ago and my body has changed since then. Plus, since I'm trying to actually lose weight, I figure that my body is going to change again. I also want something I can put pins into so that I can attach patterns and design lines.
I did quite a bit of research online today, and I discovered a crucial bit of information: no dressform will ever fit perfectly. Every dressform will require padding to make it have the right amount of soft lumps and bumps. So buying a dressform to fit exactly won't be possible.
So there are two options: buy an adjustable dressform anyways, or buy a non-adjustable one. If I were buying a non-adjustable dressform, they say to buy one an inch or two smaller than the actual measurements so that it can be padded up. If I wasn't going to be changing sizes, that's exactly what I'd do. But since I hope to be changing my size and I don't want to have to pad it a crazy amount, buying an adjustable dressform is the better choice for me.
Dressforms are complicated - the exact same dressform is manufactured under a different name in the UK and in North America. Except for one: the Lady Valet dressform. It gets good reviews for being sturdier than the usual ones that are available at the local fabric stores. It is more expensive, but it does have a nicer, sturdier stand. If I could buy the dressform itself without that stand, I would, but I haven't been able to find it yet.
Not only is it tough to find another dressform that I like, but it's going to be a job to find one that ships to Canada for something less than an arm and a leg (which don't even come with the dressform, ha ha). I've seen a couple of 50s-style ones which I like because the shoulder-length is adjustable, but I worry that they won't still work. I'll keep searching... I have confidence that I'll find something eventually.
It's a long shot, but you should consider frequenting vintage and second hand stores. I have seen a number of dressforms of different kinds over the years. I'm sure you're aware that Fabricland sells dressforms--at least the one here in Burlington does. Perhaps they could order in the one you want from their distributor? It's worth asking.
i have an adjustable dress form you could have, although shipping might end up costing more than it would from a store! i am not sure what size it extends to, but i could check if you were interested. my biggest complaint with the form is that it is sort of wobbly - the slightest bump and it seems to lose its shape. this is the same one:
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