10 Best Dress Forms for The Stylish Sewist

IN THIS GUIDE

Sewing garments can be so satisfying when they come out fitting like a glove.  

But if you have fitting issues, even after you’ve graded between sizes, creating a garment that fits you well can be a frustrating trial and error affair.

One sewing tool that can make your garment sewing much more satisfying is an adjustable dress form.  But how do you choose the best dress form from all those on the market?

Choosing the best dress form for your needs really depends on how you intend to use it 

We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing a dress form with this guide, which lists the features to look for, and breaks down all the popular dress forms on the market.

Now let’s have a look…

10 Best Dress Forms for The Creative Maker

Here are our top picks for the best dress form. There’s something in this list if you’re looking for an adjustable dress form, a dress form for display purposes or are ready to shell out the money for more than just an entry-level dress form.

This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is sort of boring, but you can find it here.

#1 Dritz Sew-You Dress Form 20420

Dritz 20420 Sew-You Dressform with Tri-Pod Stand Adjustable Up to 63” Shoulder Height, Small, Opal Green
  • Opal green foam-backed polyester cover for easy pinning and marking
  • 9 Adjustment wheels at bust, waist and hips and 2 auto-set dials at bust and waist
  • Adjustable neck with built-in pin cushion
  • Adjustable back waist length
  • Adjustable height

All the Details

  • 9 adjustment wheels at bust, waist, and hips + 2 auto-set dials at bust and waist
  • Adjustable neck
  • Built-in pin cushion
  • Adjustable back waist length
  • Adjustable height
  • Pin Hem marker
  • Plastic base and feet with telescoping stand

What We Like

  • Adjustable measurements and height
  • Lightweight
  • Expanding neck

What We Don’t Like

  • If you’re a curvy girl you might need a different dress form
  • Dials can sometimes get in the way of pinning

Our Verdict

This is a great, affordable choice for home sewists. For the price point, it does a great job. It’s our top pick for best dress form in the lower-priced category

#2 Professional Dress Form

Adult Female Size 8 Half Body Professional Dress Form Pinnable Mannequin for Sewing with Right Arm #SIZE8
  • Professional female half body dress form (size 8) with cast iron base
  • Our dress form maker’s come equipped with collapsible shoulders
  • Adjust the height of the female dress form by pushing the foot pedal on the bottom of the base
  • Surface pin-able form
  • Watch how easy it is to assemble on our YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nzD5c3C-Hw

All the Details

  • Professional half body dress form
  • Collapsible shoulders
  • Includes right arm
  • Adjustable height
  • Heavy cast-iron base on wheels

What We Like

  • Easy to assemble
  • Collapsible shoulders
  • Pinnable linen surface
  • Very Sturdy

What We Don’t Like

  • The height mechanism can stick

Our Verdict

This is a great choice for a dress or pattern maker. The heavy-duty frame and stand will withstand years of use. The surface is made of linen and is easy to pin on. This is our choice for the best dress form at a more professional level.

#3 Torso Display Dress Form with Fabric Choice

Female Mannequin Torso Body Dress Form with White Adjustable Tripod Stand for Clothing Dress Jewelry Display, White
  • 1.LIGHTWEIGHT – The mannequin is light weight and easy to move around.
  • 2.Sturdy Tripod Stand-The bottom tripod base and stand is made of painted pine wood which is solid and durable enough to serve longer time and strongly support the whole mannequin.
  • 3.Height adjustable – adjustable Tripod Stand can reach 51 to 64 inch.
  • 4.Great for Display-You can use it to display your products in a window, on a counter, on a tiered display shelf, or on the floor. Ideal for sweaters, T-shirts, jackets, dresses, blouses, tops and accessories.
  • 5.EASY TO ASSEMBLE & DISASSEMBLE – With the installation instruction enclosed in the product package, you can complete the assemble or disassemble in minutes without any tools.

All the Details

  • Female mannequin torso dress form
  • Comes in various colors/fabrics
  • Adjustable height

What We Like

  • The fabric choices are fun.
  • Easy to assemble

What We Don’t Like

  • It might be a bit too lightweight, but you can’t beat the price

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a mannequin to use to display purposes, this is our top pick. It’s affordable, sturdy and easy to use if you’re photographing clothes for Poshmark, Etsy, etc. The choice of fabrics is a nice feature that makes it feel more personal.

#4 Dritz 1751B Twin Fit Dress Form

Dritz 1751B Twin Fit Dressform with Tri-Pod Stand Adjustable Up to 63” Shoulder Height, Medium, Grey
  • Grey foam-backed pinnable polyester cover
  • 12 Auto-set dials squeeze and turn
  • Adjustable neck, bust, waist, hip, back waist length
  • Pin cushion on neck with optional wood finial
  • Pin hem marker attachment

All the Details

  • 12 auto-set dials
  • Adjustable neck
  • Adjustable back waist length
  • Adjustable height
  • Pin Hem marker
  • Metal support pole has a ruler
  • Folding tripod base

What We Like

  • This style of Dritz dress form is available in the largest range of sizes
  • Easy to use and adjust

What We Don’t Like

  • The tripod legs can be tricky and can tip over if not set up well

Our Verdict

This Dritz dress form is another good choice, especially if you need a dress form in a large size. It’s nearly identical to our cheaper #1 choice Dritz Sew You form.

#5 Adjustoform Lady Valet Dress Form

Adjustoform Lady Valet 8-Part Adjustable Dressmaking Dummy Small FG202
  • Bust measures 84-104cm (33-41 ins). Waist measures 61-81cm (24-32 ins). Hips measure 86-106cm (34-42 ins). Back Length 38-43 cm (15-17 ins). Height (Max) 182cm (72 ins).
  • Eight-part body with 12 adjusters give precise body measurements.
  • Features polished wood stand and matching neck cap.
  • Use to hang clothes to brush and keep them in shape.
  • Includes a two year guarantee.

All the Details

  • 8 part body
  • 12 adjustment dials
  • Polished wood stand
  • 2-year guarantee

What We Like

  • Neutral fabric body
  • Sturdy wooden base
  • Looks more like a piece of furniture

What We Don’t Like

  • Sometimes one of the 8 body panels can pop off

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a dress form that is functional and also looks good in your home, this is a great choice. The polished wood stand makes it feel more like a piece of furniture and less like a sewing tool.

#6 13 Dials Adjustable Dress Form

Sale
Blue 13 Dials Female Fabric Adjustable Mannequin Dress Form for Sewing, Mannequin Body Torso with Tri-Pod Stand, Up to 70″ Shoulder Height (Medium)
  • Fully adjustable dress form for use in sewing projects or as a display piece.
  • 13 key adjustments (bust, waist, hips, neck/back) provide a perfect fit.Allows you to personalize the form to match your body measurements.Foam Vacked Nylon Cover for Easy Pinning and Marking.
  • Measurements: Bust = 33″ – 39 1/2″, Waist = 25″ – 31 1/2″, Hips = 34″ – 40″
  • Adjustable Neck: Height Adjustment lets you customize the dress form to your height in a snap.
  • You can return the item free shipping,if it is unsuited.Top-Rated Dress Form in the market. Purchase with confidence, free feel to check out adorable reviews.

All the Details

  • 13 adjustment locations
  • Adjustable neck
  • Adjustable back waist length
  • Adjustable height
  • Hemline gauge
  • Metal support pole has a ruler
  • Plastic stand

What We Like

  • Easy to follow instructions
  • Easy to assemble
  • Good range of sizes

What We Don’t Like

  • Pins must be inserted shallowly

Our Verdict

This is a good value for the money. It’s easy to assemble and use. The large size comes with a more sturdy base, so if that’s the size you’re looking for, this is a good choice for the best dress form.

#7 Roxydisplay 12-Dial Adjustable Dress Form

(JF-FH-8) ROXYDISPLAY 12-Dial Fabric-Backed Large Adjustable Dress Form with Base,
  • (JF-FH-8) 1. Fully adjustable dress form for use in sewing projects or as a display piece.
  • 2. 12 Adjustment Dial (Bust, Waist, Hips) provide a perfect fit.
  • 3. Foam-Backed Fabric Exterior allows you to easily pin dresses, skirts, tops and patterns.
  • 4. Height Adjustment lets you customize the dress form to your height in a snap.
  • Color: Wine. Size: Bust 40” to 45.5” Waist 31.5″ to 37” Hip 40” to 47” Neck 13.5” to 19”

All the Details

  • 12 adjustment wheels
  • Adjustable neck
  • Adjustable back waist length
  • Adjustable height
  • Hem marker gauge
  • Plastic base

What We Like

  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to adjust to your measurements

What We Don’t Like

  • Plastic base isn’t very sturdy

Our Verdict

Another solid choice for a dress form at a decent price. Very similar to the others we reviewed. Good choice for the home sewist, but probably not rugged enough for a professional environment.

 

#8 Full Body Professional Dress Form

All the Details

  • Professional full body dress form
  • Collapsible shoulders
  • Includes right arm
  • Heavy cast-iron height-adjustable base on wheels

What We Like

  • Collapsible shoulders make for easier shoulder adjustments
  • Full body

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavy
  • Requires more space than most dress forms

Our Verdict

If you’re a professional dressmaker, pattern designer or tailor, this most expensive choice may be the best dress form for your purposes. It’s high quality and should last for years of daily use.

#9 Display Mannequin in Black

Mannequin Torso Manikin Dress Form 60”-67”Height Adjustable Female Dress Model Display Torso Body Tripod Stand Clothing Forms
  • ✔【CHOOSE HEIGHT QUALITY MATERIALS】: The mannequin is made of high-density foam, stainless steel tube and solid wood tripod. The sturdy mannequin torso frame can be matched with all kinds of clothing, Perfect decoration between dress form and home decor .Mannequin mannequin torso manikin.
  • ✔【FIND YOUR SUITABLE HEIGHT】:This mannequin has an adjustable knob,mannequin torso height can be adjusted 60-67 inches. Turn the knob to find the height of the dress form that suits you. The manikin can work well with you.mannequin body mannequin dress form.
  • ✔【PERFECT FEMALE MANNEQUIN BODY FORM】: The size of the mannequin is standard, The dimensions of mannequin each part:chest 34.6”;shoulder15.75″; waist 25.6″; hips 33.8″;Neck 12.5”, the dress form is great for widowshop displays, photography and home decor.Mannequin mannequin torso manikin.
  • ✔【CLEAN AND TIDY FABRIC】: The surface of the mannequin is covered by clean and tidy fabric, stretchable cotton cover perfectly attached to the mannequin torso body, We will remove inferior dress form with glue.Mannequin manikin mannequin torso.
  • ✔【EASY TO ASSEMBLE & DISASSEMBLE】 : The mannequin is very light and can be easily carried and moved. the mannequin torso installation instruction enclosed in the product package, you can complete the assemble or disassemble the mannequin in minutes without any tools.Mannequin dress form body mannequin.

All the Details

  • Female mannequin torso dress form
  • Foam body
  • Adjustable height
  • Painted wood stand

What We Like

  • Simple and elegant design
  • Easy to assemble
  • Lightweight

What We Don’t Like

  • Black fabric cover can show lint in some photographs

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a display mannequin for your clothing, accessory of jewelry sales, this is a good choice. Great for window displays, photoshoots and home decore use.

#10 Display Mannequin with Wood Stand

SONGMICS Female Mannequin Torso Body Form with Adjustable Tripod Stand, Medium Size 6-8, 34″ 26″ 35″, for Clothing Dress Jewelry Display Photography Beige UMDF01BE
  • FEMALE MANNEQUIN BODY FORM: Medium size, torso height 26.9″; shoulder to shoulder width 15.8″; bust 34.2″; waist 25.9″; hips 35.2″, great for windowshop displays, photography and home decor
  • ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT: The height of this dress form can be adjusted from 56″ to 77″, great for skirts as well as wedding dresses, evening dresses and gowns
  • STRETCH COTTON JERSEY: Stretchable cotton cover perfectly attached to the torso body, can be easily removed and washed
  • SOLID STAND & TUBE: Wood tripod stand and stainless steel tube supports heavy-weight clothes such as wedding gown, garments, furnishing and decorative materials; steady and durable
  • EASY SETUP: No tools required, you can finish the assembly in minutes

All the Details

  • Female mannequin torso dress form
  • Polished wood stand
  • Adjustable height

What We Like

  • Easy setup and assembly
  • Classic look with the jersey cover and wood base
  • Height can be adjusted to accommodate gowns and evening dresses

What We Don’t Like

  • Very lightweight and the design of the stand can cause it to tip if used with heavy garments.

Our Verdict

This is a top choice for a display mannequin. It would work great for photography, home decor, and shop displays.

Extras: Dress Form System Pads

Dress Form System, White, Medium
  • Available in S, M, L, XL
  • It works with any dress form style from any dress form brand
  • The pads are soft and have a Life-Like touch and can be stretched to adapt to any dress form
  • 100% pinnable pads make your dress form adjustable
  • 17 contoured molded pads address all body areas on a dress form

All the Details

  • Pinnable pads make any dress form more adjustable
  • Available in a range of sizes
  • Soft pads feel lifelike
  • 17 contoured pads for most fitting needs

What We Like

  • Includes fitting lessons to get the most out of your dress form pad kit
  • Important addition to a dress form if you have a “non-standard” sized body (Ha! Who does?)

What We Don’t Like

  • May not include enough pieces if you are a curvy girl

Our Verdict

A dress form is only helpful if it accurately reflects your body. These dress pads can make almost any dress form just like you. It can take some trial and error to get it right, but once you do, you’ll have a real 3D representation of your body.

Looking for the best dress form for your individual needs can be confusing. Here's what you need to know to choose a dress form just perfect for your creative needs.

What is a Dress Form?

The best dress form isn’t really a must-have sewing accessory, but it is a really-nice-to-have addition to your sewing space, right along with your trusty sewing machine and your best sewing chair!  I sewed for years before I got one second-hand from a sewist friend – and I have to admit, it really great if you are a garment sewist.

A dress form is simply a 3-D representation of your body.  Some dress forms are custom made to your exact measurements, while adjustable dress forms let you turn a few dials to come up with a pretty good representation of your own measurements.

You can make pattern adjustments, easily mark up hems and generally see how everything will come together and look when finished.

Dress Forms vs. Mannequins

Dress Form

A dress form is made to represent your body, usually from the neck to just below the hip.  They are usually constructed of a soft, pinnable exterior which is mounted on a metal or plastic frame.  Dress forms are also called dressmaker’s dummies.

Mannequin

A mannequin, or what you’d find in a retail store, is made to represent an average entire body.  You’ll notice child-size mannequins, along with adult mannequins. Old Navy even has a dog mannequin. 

How Do You Use a Dress Form?

There are several ways to use a dress form, from making clothing for yourself to showing off your creations.

Garment Making

If you sew clothing, you know how important it is to check for fit at the various steps in construction.  With a dress form, you can see your creation on a 3D body shape, without constantly having to get dressed and undressed to try it on.

It’s great to be able to see your garment from different angles, without having to contort yourself in front of a mirror.

Most dress forms come with a handy hemming tool which is a lifesaver if you’re turning up a hem on a dress or skirt.

Sewing for Others

If you love sewing for family and friends who don’t live nearby, an adjustable dress form can be dialed into their measurements, so you can get a look at how your garment will fit on the faraway recipient.

Pattern Design

Even if you’re a beginning sewist today, you may want to branch out in the future and start creating your own patterns.  A dress form allows you to see where seams, necklines and construction details need to be. You can use the best dress form to drape fabric over to see just how it will hang on a 3D body.

Display

My dress form has my almost completed Papercut Patterns Meridian Dress on display.  I need to hem it still, and it’s too cold to wear it now, but I LOVE seeing it staring back at me when I walk into my sewing space.

Different Types of Dress Forms

There are different types of dress forms depending on your needs.  In order from most inexpensive to priciest, here are several types.

Display Dress Form

A display dress form is a lot like a mannequin.  If you just want to display garments, this is the cheapest and simplest option.  These are not adjustable, so they aren’t helpful with fitting, but they work fine to show off a finished garment.  

Adjustable Dress Form

An adjustable dress form has several dials that allow you to adjust common measurements like bust, waist, and hip to reflect your measurements.  They usually can be adjusted for height as well. These are a good low-cost solution if your measurements fall into one size category.

Professional Dress Form

This type of dress form is much more costly.   These forms usually have lots of features you might need for professional dressmaking like collapsible shoulders, adjustable height, and are on casters to make them easy to roll around your workspace.

When choosing a professional form, choose one that matches your smallest measurements so you can add padding if needed.

Custom Made Dress Forms

Custom made dress forms are made to your exact measurements.  There are even some services that actually do a computer scan of your body to create a 3D replica that is precisely the same as your body.

DIY Dress Form

If you’re just starting out, you can even try DIYing your own dress form with duct tape.  Threads Magazine has a great DIY dress form tutorial. So grab a friend, some scissors and a couple of rolls of duct tape and make your own.

Why Would You Choose a Dress Form?

Garment Sewing

The most obvious reason you might look for the best dress form is you want to sew garments and want a 3D model of your body for pattern alterations, fitting, etc.

Photoshoots

If you take a lot of photographs for your creative business, a dress form can be a welcome addition to add ambiance to your creative space.  Dress forms can be used to show off all kinds of garments, from scarves to dresses, and accessories and jewelry to make them much more attractive than a simple flat lay.

Display

The simple mannequin-style forms are a great way to display clothing if you have a store or other retail space.

Alterations

Alterations are much easier when you can drape your garment over a dress form.  Seeing how the fabric hangs and lays makes it easier to do simple alteration jobs like hemming and repairs.

A Dress Form Probably is Not For You if…

You anticipate your body shape and weight changing a lot in the future.  While adjustable dress forms can be tailored to your body, they can only go so far within a size range.   If you plan on gaining or losing a significant amount of weight, you probably should postpone the purchase of a dress form until your size is stable.

Important Features to Look For in a  Dress Form

Type

Before you buy, decide on the best dress form type for your needs.  Will you need adjustable features, or are you just looking for a simple mannequin to display your accessories

Number of Adjustments

Most adjustable dress forms have dials at the bust, waist, and hips.  The more expensive models have multiple dials at each location.

Available Sizes

Check the manufacturer’s specs before you buy to make sure your measurements are covered in a standard size.

Cover Material

If you plan to use your dress form for display, make sure the cover is a color you can live with for display and photoshoots.

If you plan to use your dress form to make alterations, make sure the cover is durable enough to withstand constant poking with pins.

Construction

Make sure the dress form you choose is constructed to withstand the use you expect.  If you’re going to be using your form in a business, you may need a more stable and durable model, than if you’re going to use your dress form occasionally in your personal garment sewing.

Tips for Using a Dress Form

  • If your dress form is adjustable, take your measurements:  hip, waist, bust, neck
  • Set the adjustments to match your measurements.
  • Adjust the height to represent your height
  • Read the instructions to figure out how to set up and use the hemming tool.
  • You can pin directly to the form
  • Make sure to remove any pins before removing the garment so you don’t cause any rips or tears in your fabric.

Summary:  Our Top Picks at Each Pricepoint for the Best Dress Form

The Takeaway:  Which is the Best Dress Form for Me?

The best dress form for you really depends on how you want to use it.  Are you looking for something that looks great in photoshoots or displays?  Or are you a seasoned sewist that really wants a quality form to represent your body in 3D?  Will you be losing or gaining weight in the future so you’ll need an adjustable dress form?

Decide on where you are in your sewing journey, your goals, and your budget.  Then take a look at the choices and look at the specs of the best dress form for you. 

Once you bite the bullet and get your own dress form, you’ll wonder why you waited so long!

Happy creating!

How to pick the best dress form whether you're a serious sewist, a newbie maker or just want to display your creative makes for photography or a shop window.