Making a dress from scratch comes with its challenges so you don’t want the process of finding the best adjustable dress form to be as well. These products are designed to make life easier, not slow you down or be unreliable. When you pick up a quality product, it allows you to work with an ideal shape so the process goes a lot smoother.
This is only when you use a product that comes with a worthy reputation. With changeable measurements and a product to suit every budget, we have selected a few of the best adjustable dress forms on the market. Each one will make a great place to stick your pins in and work your magic as you bring that new design to life.
- Editor’s Choice
Dritz 20420 Sew-You Dressform with Tri-Pod Stand Adjustable Up to 63” (Amazon) – Review
- Best Budget
New Female Jersey Dress Form with Base & Necktop (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value
BHD Beauty Store – Blue 13 Dials Female Fabric Adjustable Dress Form (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Display
ROXYDISPLAY Display Female Body Form with arms (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Advanced Users
SINGER | Adjustable Red Dress Form, Fits Sizes 4-10 (Amazon) – Review
- Best Steel Mannequin
Only Mannequins – Adjustable Dress Form Female Black Steel Wire (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Dritz 20420 Sew-You Dressform with Tri-Pod Stand Adjustable Up to 63”
One of the best adjustable dress forms based on more than an attractive price point. It is adjustable up to 63 inches and available in both small and medium sizes. The polyester cover is foam backed and comes in a vibrant opal green that is easy to work with. This all combines to make it easy to pin reliability so everything stays in place just as you need it to.
The tripod stand feels sturdy enough and because there are 9 adjustment wheels at the bust, waist, and hips there are plenty of ways you can customize it to your needs. The adjustable neck has a built-in pin cushion to keep them within reach at all times and the dials are a particularly useful feature as you can move them to suit your desired measurements with ease. A lot of people comment on how easy it is to put together so don’t expect to have to spend more than 20 minutes to get it in a position to use.
- Lots of adjustments
- Up to 63 inches
- Tri pod stand is sturdy
- Pincushion in the adjustable neck
Best Budget: New Female Jersey Dress Form with Base & Necktop
The natural wood tripod stand gives this adjustable dress form an air of quality which is part of the reason this is such a popular product. Not only does it look good, but it is also very functional with a fiberglass body with a layer of foam covered in cloth to make it easy to pin.
We like that it is lightweight and easy to mover around and assembling it only takes a few minutes. The durability is fine considering this is a budget product and has nice proportions in the 34-inch bust and 26-inch waist but the stand is not adjustable. It’s a good option for anyone with a restrictive budget although it does have its limitations in terms of stability and features.
- Attractive price
- Natural wood tripod
- Lightweight design
- Stand is not adjustable
Best Value: BHD Beauty Store – Blue 13 Dials Female Fabric Adjustable Dress Form
When looking for the best adjustable dress form, many people just need a product that is pinnable, with plenty of minor adjustments available. This is exactly what this mannequin from BHD Beauty Store provides. The 13 dials make it easy to sew the ideal cut and although the base has a bit of a plastic feel, the feet are wide and it remains stable.
The body height adjustment has clear indications to make it easy and locks in place well. The vinyl cover is foam backed so pins stay in place with ease and there is a dial adjustment on the neck to make it easy to create perfect collars. It is well thought out and the medium-sized adjustable dress form has an adjustable bust from 33 to 39.5 inches, and a waist of 25 to 31.5 inches.
- 13 adjustable dials
- Pinnable torso
- Neck dial adjustment for easy collars
- Good value
- Can lean forward a little sometimes
Best For Display: ROXYDISPLAY Display Female Body Form with arms
Because of the adjustable arms that can be taken off and reattached with ease, this is a great product for getting a true sense of how a new garment will fit. The entire adjustable dress form is pinnable so it is easy to make minor amendments to design and because of the metal base, it stays firm even with heavier items weighing it down.
The bust measures 34 inches and the waist is 25 inches so although these cannot be amended, they give you accurate measurements. The quality is among the best with a durable feel to it and because of the collapsable shoulder, you don’t need to unzip before removing your design. It has a multitude of uses so anyone from a dressmaker to someone needing to drape clothes for display purposes can get a lit of use out of it.
- Removeable arms
- Fully pinnable
- Sturdy metal base
- Durable feel
- Better for draping
Best For Advanced Users: SINGER | Adjustable Red Dress Form, Fits Sizes 4-10
Form the reputable brand that is Singer comes to this reliable adjustable dress form. It is fine for creating garments of sizes 4 – 10 and is form backed to make pinning easy. There are 13 adjustment dials scattered throughout in well thought out places so making adjustments is easy no matter where they are needed. The bust size can be amended between 33 inches to 40 inches and the waist can be changed from 25 inches to 32 inches.
This gives most dress markers plenty to work with and there are also neck adjustments to make precise collars. Each adjustment dial has markings so you know what you are working with and the dress form allows for pattern changes before cutting. This is great for accuracy and alterations so you can see how the material will drape.
- 13 adjustment dials
- Fine for garmets size 4 – 10
- Adjustment dials have markings
- Dress form allows for pattern changes
- A little lightweight
Best Steel Mannequin: Only Mannequins – Adjustable Dress Form Female Black Steel Wire
The reasonable price tag makes this an attractive proposition but so does the steel wire design. This means you don’t get the foam padding to stick a pin into but there are still plenty of adjustments that can be made. The decorative stand enhances the appeal of this adjustable dress form and makes it one of the sturdier available.
The adjustable height can be changed between 46 to 64 inches and it can even be set up to wear pants so you can see how your design is shaping up. It doesn’t have the adjustable settings of other products but it is good for displaying clothes and has a decorative look to it that has proven popular.
- Adjustable height
- Attractive design
- Sturdy base
- Great for draping clothes
- Not as good for dress making
Whether you are looking for an adjustable dress form to drape your clothes for display or want to use one for dressmaking, certain attributes separate the best from the products you best avoided. This can be the difference between an awkward product and one you get plenty of years of use out of so it is important to get this purchase right.
Because it can be difficult to tell them apart, we have created a buyer’s guide so you. can make an informed decision.
This might sound like an obvious attribute but some adjustable dress forms do not use them. This is where you need to consider how adjustable you need it to be. Some models are only adjustable in terms of height whereas others have several dials, as many as 13 to make minor adjustments to give you the perfect shape to work with.
Whatever the design of the adjustable dress form, to make minor adjustments to your creation, it has to have a pinnable torse. Most of the time this is on the form of a foam-padded body with a cover and should cover the entire mannequin.
These come in different forms and whilst some are more functional than decorative, the main attribute you need is stability. Some are better than others but make sure your adjustable dress form doesn’t lean under the weight of a garment or topple over when nudged gently.
These products aren’t bulletproof so we’re not asking for it to stay upright under heavy pressure but it needs to be able to stand firm when you under regular use.
The Right Size
This will be determined by who you are making the dress for. Although most products have plenty of adjustments, they only go so far. This is why a lot of products are available in small, medium, and large with children sizes also available.
The adjustments within these sizes ensure you can make accurate cuts and changes but it is one of the first things someone needs to consider when buying an adjustable dress form.
To some people, this seems obvious but you might be looking at what seems to be the perfect dress form, only for it to feel flimsy and be made from low-quality materials. Look for a brand that has an established name in the industry and a model that is known for quality.
Being able to make minor adjustments can ensure you get the measurements correct for sewing. For a custom piece, you will need to make sure it fits the customer and the better adjustable dress forms are ideal. This is because they can make minor adjustments to the bust, waist, height, and more to match the intended wearer.
Otherwise, an adjustable dress form is also useful for draping. Because using a hanger to display your clothing is not going to do it justice, these products can provide an enticing place to make the garment look its best from all angles.
You don’t have to do a lot to ensure the upkeep of these products is kept to an acceptable level but it is best to not neglect their need for a proper clean from time to time.
The better products come with removable covers which make it easy to wash. Dirt can soon build up otherwise and a lot of products are covered with a material that attracts dust.
Another piece of advice is to keep a pin cushion to hand. When you leave all your pins in one place, this will soon cause the dress form to deteriorate when it shouldn’t.
To the uninformed, there might not seem like a big difference between the two, with many people even confusing them. However, a mannequin is a basic product used for display purposes only. The firm materials are often made from some form of plastic so it is not pinnable.
This is one of the main differences in an adjustable dress form. These are products that are pinnable so a dressmaker can make minor adjustments to their creations. The soft foam inner should cover the entire torse and there should be plenty of adjustable dials in various places to recreate different body shapes.
They are both well suited to draping and displaying clothes but only an adjustable dress form will be able to help a dressmaker.
A dress form is easily distinguishable but other types are used for different reasons. Here are the most common:
Expect to have to part with more funds to get your hands on one of these but they are the ideal match for anyone looking to grow their business or make life easier when making clothing.
These adjustable dress forms should have authentic proportions with plenty of adjustments available and be fully pinnable. Cage bottoms and adjustable necks and shoulders are common features.
Bifurcated Dress Form
These are similar to the professional types only they have legs. These are often removable and give the user a sense of what the finished garment will look like as a complete outfit.
Because of these additional features and materials, you can expect to pay a little more.
The most basic type and one that most resembles a mannequin. These products provide a place to drape your latest design in a way that shows it at its most authentic. Sometimes these products come with removable arms, otherwise, they are a torso design.
They. should still be pinnable so they can be used by a dressmaker for minor adjustments. Some have adjustable heights although this can often be their only adjustable feature.