You want a new mannequin (dress form) but there are hundreds on the market and you don’t know which one you need. In today’s post I am going to explain the different types that are for sale and those that I recommend according to your needs.
Tailor’s dummy (or static mannequin)
The tailor’s dummies or static dress form, are the mannequins most used by fashion companies because they have standardized measurements and very good proportional measurements. I personally recommend them.
Then depending on your needs you will find different models, if you want to dedicate yourself to draping and corsets I recommend that you buy one that has the option that the shoulders collapse, that will help you to put the garment on and remove it easily.
Then you will also find some with or without legs. Using the same logic as before, depending on the garments that you normally make, if you make trousers, pants, bodies or even swimsuits, then buy one that has legs. If you usually only make dresses and tops, you will not need legs.
Adjustable mannequin (or multi-size)
The adjustable mannequins are those that have mechanisms (normally there are a few knobs around the mannequin), which allow you to expand the chest, waist, hip and neck contours.
I personally am not a big fan of these mannequins, for the simple fact that you cannot easily make the patterns on it. These mannequins are more focused on trying the garments fit and they are not anatomically very correct. I would recommend that you to skip them.
If you have a tailor’s dummy, you can make it bigger by adding some padding.
The most important fashion houses, usually have mannequins on a smaller scale and they usually use them for different reasons such as for designing drapes or to position the prints of the fabrics.
Some fashion schools also use them for their students to practice and that can save on fabric.
The right measures for you
In terms of measurements, it is very important that the mannequin you choose has to be able to adjust the height, if you are making a long party dress, for example, you will use it to stabilize the hem and make sure it is straight.
If you are making clothes for yourself to wear, try to find a mannequin with measurements that are most similar to yours. If you cannot find your exact measurements, which is normal, try to buy a smaller size because you can always make it bigger using padding techniques.
If you are buying this mannequin to create your fashion brand, then you have to find the mannequin that best suits your ideal client. It will not be the same if you make clothes for women in their 20s and for women in their 40s as their body shape will usually be different.
Avoid plastic! Just think that you need a mannequin that you can stick pins in and if it’s plastic, you’ll end up breaking it or the pins can’t get through it.
I personally like the mannequins to be very rigid as I find these easier to work with when I am designing on a mannequin.
Before buying, remember that in order for it to be a good mannequin it has to be made of a heat resistant material because we iron on top of the mannequin in order to give the garment a certain shape.
If you have come this far, remember to share this article on your social networks so that more people can learn how to choose the correct mannequin and any question you know where to find me.