Using a fixed mannequin when sewing is incredibly useful as it can give you a realistic base to work from when sewing together a garment.
However, using an adjustable mannequin for sewing is even better as you can alter this to the exact body measurements you are looking to work to.
While there aren’t many adjustable dressmaker dummies to choose from, it’s still very important to pay attention to the small differences between those available such as;
This way you’ll be able to buy the best adjustable tailors dummy for your needs.
To showcase the differences, I went ahead and purchased the five most popular, highly-rated adjustable dressmaker dummies currently available and compared them to help you decide which one is best, and which one is right for you.
1. Sewing Online Adjustable Dressmakers Dummy
In my opinion Sewing Online has the best dressmakers dummy, due to the simplicity of the form.
The cogs on the Sewing Online mannequin are very easy to use and adjust, they are firm enough that when working you won’t simply move them accidentally but not so tough that they are hard to move when needed.
Another feature of the Sewing Online mannequin that I found extremely useful was the ability to elongate the waist simply by pulling down the bottom half of the torso. You can then simply push back up to readjust.
The stand of the Sewing Online mannequin was simple and easy to put together with a four-point leg system. These came separately and required slotting into the tube of the stand to create a stable base.
The stand though fairly stable was a little wobbly on my carpet so I would take this into account if you are looking at buying this mannequin. However, you can buy alternative stands if you prefer something more stable.
Another added feature of the Sewing Online adjustable dummy was the addition of the hemming tool, this allowed me to create an accurate and even hem around my dress. The bottom half of the stand has inches and centimetres marked out to allow you to use that as a guide.
However, due to the base being adjustable in 2 places these measurements won’t be fully correct in length and so may give you incorrect readings. However, the numbers are useful to help keep an accurate placement of the hemming tool.
2. Adjustoform Sew Simple 8 Part Adjustable Dress Form
The Adjustoform mannequin is very easy to put together and even came with an instruction sheet. The body form itself was already together so all you needed to do was assemble the base and stand.
The Adjustoform mannequin itself is made up of hard plastic covered with soft foam and nylon material. The foam allows you to pin easily to the dummy and work with ease.
The mannequin is made up of an 8-part system to allow you to adjust the bust, waist and hips along with the neck, torso length and height of the mannequin.
There are 12 thumb cogs on the mannequin to allow you to adjust the measurements on both sides, front and back. The neck also has a push-down button that opens up the neck perfect for constructing blouses and shirts.
What I found that let the Adjustoform mannequin down was the stand and base were a little flimsy.
The base is made up of 4 pieces of plastic that slot into a round barrel to create a supportive base. While the concept is good unfortunately the plastic bars were a little on the flimsy side and felt unstable.
While the base may work fine on a flat surface such as wooden flooring or laminate, it may be a little more unstable on the carpet, especially thicker carpet.
I found the hemming tool on the Adjustoform dressmakers dummy to be extremely useful though the measurements on the bottom half of the stand are a little confusing as these wouldn’t be accurate once the dummy is moved higher or lower.
However, if you are looking to create the same level hem each time on a project you can use the lines and numbers as a guide to creating that accuracy. I would however still use a tape measure to make sure the length of the hem is what you wish it to be before cutting/hemming.
3. Celine Deluxe 8-Part Adjustable Dressmaking Dummy
The Celine Deluxe mannequin is one of the best adjustable mannequins for sewing given the different dress sizes you’re able to purchase it in and the amount of adjustments you’re able to make.
The mannequin also boasts a three-leg adjustable base as well as a sturdy stand which you’ll want when pinning.
The Celine Deluxe mannequin base was easy to set up and adjust the height in multiple places which meant I could maximise the most of the stand when needed.
Meanwhile, the legs of the base are very similar to a tripod system in that they collapse together so they can be folded and packed away quickly and easily.
The structure of the Celine Deluxe adjustable mannequin was made from lightweight plastic covered in soft thin foam and then covered with a soft nylon fabric.
Meanwhile, the base of the mannequin was very easy to pin to and I found it easy to work quickly and efficiently with the form.
There are 12 dials in total to adjust the bust, waist and hip measurements of the mannequin. Each of the dials was easy to use and adjust – even just using one hand which is handy when you have your hands full!
One feature I especially liked was that each of the dials had clear measurements marked on the inside so don’t have to keep guessing and measuring to get the measurements you need.
A great feature of the Celine Deluxe dress form was the 2 different hemming tools provided, one of which was attached and a separate in which you can use instead. The attached hemming tool was more than efficient and easy to use.
Another great feature of the Celine Deluxe mannequin is the adjustable neck, the button on top pushes down and turns to allow the neck to open up.
This feature is great as it allows the user to use the neck as an accurate measurement and it creates a realistic form when using the rest of the body. There is also a small patch on top to use for sticking in your pins while you work.
4. Tailormade Small Dress Form – HobbyCraft
The tailormade small dress form from Hobbycraft came with the mannequin together and the stand ready to be assembled with handy instructions.
The dummy is made from a hard plastic shell covered in thin foam and topped with a nylon fabric.
The body of the mannequin was made up of 9 cogs on the back and both sides and 2 larger dials on the centre front. These controlled the adjustments of the body measurements at the bust, waist and hips.
The smaller cogs placed on the back and both sides were easy to read and use whereas the larger dials on the front were, unfortunately, harder to use. The markings for the sizing were a little unclear and the dials were quite stiff to turn.
I found the 2 larger dials at the front contradictive as they were placed on the bust and hips and nothing was available to control the waist from the front so I feared this would give inaccurate measurements overall.
A feature which I found useful was the ability to adjust the neck with a button which you press down and turn to open, this also affected the body measurements so be aware of that when using the neck function.
Another great feature of this mannequin was the adjustable waist height, you could lengthen the distance from the bust to the waist by pulling down the bottom half of the mannequin. Unfortunately, when I went to push back up the bottom half it was a little tricky to get it to stay.
The stand was fairly simple to put together using 4 plastic triangle-shaped leg pieces that slotted into a barrel-like shape at the base of the stand.
These created a good base for the mannequin but unfortunately, I did find these were a little flimsy and wobbly. However, you may find that the stand works better on hard flooring compared to carpet.
In addition to the stand, there was a hemming tool included, this was already fixed onto the stand and came with an adjustable range.
Though a little flimsy in places it was more than adequate for hemming skirts, dresses and coats.
5. Female Adjustable Dressmakers Tailors Dummy Mannequin
The Female Adjustable Dressmakers Dummy was very similar to the Tailormade at Hobbycraft mannequin in terms of style, base and stand and overall look.
This adjustable mannequin is made of an 8-part adjustable system controlling the bust, waist and hips along with the neck, torso and height. The body form has 9 smaller cogs on the sides and centre back and 2 larger dials on the centre front.
While the smaller cogs on the back and sides are easy to use and adjust the larger dials on the front are a little harder.
This may be because these are more accessible and more likely to move when working, however, I found them harder to work around as they were large, bulky and took up a lot of the pinning room I would require.
The dials on the centre front of the adjustable dummy require you to push in the white part and turn to make adjustments, this required me to hold the body with one hand and use the other to turn the dial.
Meanwhile, a feature I found useful was the adjustable neck which was easy to use by turning the button on the top of the mannequin to open.
Alongside this, there was also the added patch of soft padding at the front of the neck that was perfect for storing pins.
Another great feature of this dressmaker’s dummy is the ability to lengthen the torso at the waist area and retract again. This is perfect for those with longer bodies or just to give a more realistic measurement of your body form.
The mannequin is built to stand on an adjustable height stand made up of a 4-point leg system. The base of the stand is made using 4 legs that connect using a barrel-like anchor to hold everything in place.
Once the legs were in it was very secure though overall it was a little wobbly. However, you can purchase a separate stand to fit the mannequin.