Adjustable mannequins aren’t essential when making and designing clothing but they really can help especially if like me you struggle to visualise the 2D element of patterns.
I always like being able to use a dress form to help me visualise the garment in the 3D form as it is intended and will be once made. While this doesn’t require the mannequin to be an adjustable one, I always find it can help massively.
Adjustable mannequins are few and far between but it doesn’t always mean there isn’t any worth buying on the market. On my hunt for the best adjustable mannequins, I came across the Sewing Online Adjustable Dressmakers Dummy and was pleasantly surprised.
The Sewing Online Adjustable mannequin was one of my favourite mannequins I recently had the pleasure of reviewing. It was one of the mannequins that ticked 90% of the boxes and were affordable, to say the least.
It is a very similar style to both the Celine Deluxe and the Adjustoform 8-part mannequin as they each have 3 cogs on each side of the mannequin to change the size.
First I appreciated that there were 12 dials in total, 3 on each major surface of the mannequin, the front, back and both sides.
The cogs on the 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 great feature of the mannequin was the adjustable neck, simply push down and twist to widen or narrow the neck.
I did like that at the top of the neck there was a small patch for storing pins while working, I do feel however that it could have been better and more stable as I think over time it would lose its hold on pins and be worn away and useless.
A feature of the 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.
While it was a little on the stiff side to adjust I took that as reassurance that when reducing the length the form would stay in place and not drop or move.
The actual form was made from a lightweight plastic-like material covered in thin foam and topped with nylon. The foam layer paired with the soft touch nylon was easy to use, pin through and hold onto.
I liked the structure of the body as it was easy to work with, on and around. I found it stable and I felt like once the fabric was pinned onto the form I wouldn’t have to worry about the fabric dragging or pulling on the body form.
The stand of the 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 and 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.
I much preferred the base on the Celine Deluxe Adjustable Mannequin as it felt more secure and easier to pack away quickly. While the legs of the stand are not the breaking point for this mannequin I feel it could be improved and be better quality compared to the actual form of the body itself.
A feature I did appreciate was the addition of the hemming tool, this allowed me to create an accurate and even hem all the way 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. Though the numbers are useful to help keep an accurate placement of the hemming tool.