The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

My Mannequin Class

In my mannequin class, I use the foam form with the canvas cover model.  The form and cover are not cheap, and certainly not the cheapest model out there.  Here’s the description of the class and the form.

Today I was perusing around and found this ad:

Click the picture for more information.  Although it has many nice features, there are two that are lacking:  1.) you can not press clothes on this form, and 2.) you can not pin on this form.  There’s another serious problem with this form as well in that some of the crucial measurements – like height measurements (from bust to shoulder, bust to waist, back waist neck, waist to largest part of hip) are pre-measured and might vary considerable from what your body shape is.

This has long been my major problem with folks who purchase wedding gowns at bridal shops. There is unfortunately a bad practice of the shop ordering in the dress from the largest measurement which may reflect height measurements that are completely different than that of the client, hence requiring multitudinous altering – – almost remaking the dress to fit – – which is an additional fee that the shop collects on top of the retail price already paid.

This plastic mannequin does the same thing.  It presupposes that your height measurements will fall within certain ranges, and if your figure varies from that, then you’re just out of luck.

The finest of all mannequins is the Wolf Form, and it’s a gem.  It’s made to your specifications and it’s on a very firm base and is quite frankly worth the money – I think they are running around $700 or $800 now.  But even here there are problems. These forms can’t be adjusted.


I’ve had my foam model for almost 30 years.  And in those years my body has changed sizes.  I no longer have that svelte figure of my 30’s!  I’m in my 60’s and I love food (don’t get me near ice cream) and I show it.  But the great thing is that I took my cover off my foam model and refit it (every so often) and stuff it (yeah, I had to make it bigger), and voila:  I have a workable mannequin again with a shape that I can fit to.

There’s one more problem I have with the plastic model above, and that is that it costs more than my foam model.  So for less money I get a mannequin I can iron on, pin on, change when I change and is cheaper.

Hmmmmmm, this ain’t brain surgery!


  1. Do you have a video of fitting the cover on the form? I recently purchased the foam one and the instructions for adjusting the cover are lacking. I don’t live near you at all, so traveling is out of the question. Even a printed version with illustrations would be a big help, and downloadable would even be better. Of course, I realize there is a charge and am willing to pay for your expertise.
    Thank you,

    • Christine – I’m in the process of putting together a program right now. If it’s all right with you I’ve copied your email address and will email you. But even better – have you signed up for the free weekly report?….that way you’re on the computer and you will surely get a notice that way! Thanks, Claire

  2. Hi Claire,
    I know this is an older post, but I’m hoping you’ll see this anyways. I am planning on making the Uniquely You dressform and see that in your class description you suggest making your own sturdier cover. I would like to do that, and am unsure what kind of fabric “muslin canvas” is. Joann’s, etc. sells a cotton canvas that I would describe as duck cloth or drill. Their cotton muslin is a lighter weight cloth that is not as durable or stiff. Thanks for much inspiration!! Beth

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