Goodbye, dressform!

I am a big fan of my dressmakers mannequin. It really helps to put a costume on the mannequin to see how it fits. But it is time to say goodbye. I can’t believe I wrote that.

In the past year, I made some costumes but honestly my productivity is dwindling. Being a mom is amazing in many ways, and it also means I have less time to sew and a different body to boot. And that different body doesn’t fit into the size range of my dressmakers mannequin!

It appears that the two of us will have to part. But before I do, I’m writing a blog post in honor of my mannequin who helped me so many times with making gorgeous costumes.

One of my first belly dance costumes on my dressmakers mannequin


What to look for in a dressmakers mannequin?

  1. The option of changing the size of the mannequin independently is very useful. Most women don’t fit the ‘standard’ sizing: hips are wider or narrower, the back is longer or shorter. Having a mannequin that can be changed to your size makes it easier to see if clothes work with your body type, and to adjust patterns to your own sizes.
  2. Make sure you can put pins in it. For example, there are inflatable mannequins for sale, meant for displaying clothes. Another form is the plastif dressform also used for displaying clothes. While these are great for display purpose, the sizes are probably not similar to your size and you can’t pin clothes or items on the mannequin. A dressmakers mannequin is covered in fabrci so you can pin and tuck to your hearts Delight.
  3. It should be able to carry  a heavy garment. There is no maximum load described for my mannequin, but belly dance costumes can be very heavy. With layaers of fabric or beaded fringe, the mannequin has to hold all that weight! When you are on the lookout to buy one, keep this in mind. In my experience the cheaper ones have a harder time with heavier items.

Making your own

If you want to make your own ‘body double’dressform, there are many ways to do so. Read this article for 9 ways of makingyour own true to form dressform.

I am a little bit sad to let mymannequin go because she represents all the pretty costumes and clothes that I made with her help. I still have the memories though 🙂 Plus, she’s going to a very talented and creative friend of a friend who will make many more beautiful clothes.

In the mean time, I’ll go back to making items without a dressmakers doll. It’s the end of an era, not the end of the world. and if I get my mojo back and starts sewing for myself, I’ll have an excuse to go mannequin shopping for a new one!

I am a professional bellydancer, costume-a-holic and dance studio owner living in the Netherlands. My biggest passion is teaching and performing bellydance and I intent to continue doing so for quite some time! I am a teacher at the online Belly Dance Business Academy, where you can find courses and workshops to help you grow your belly dance business. If you like to be kept in the loop, please like Kyria Bellydance on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Leave your questions or comments in the box below, or let me know through Facebook.




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