Adjustable mannequins might seem scary and a little confusing but they are actually really easy to use and can help when making your own clothes and costumes.
Mannequins are extremely helpful as they represent the body and shape you are working towards, this can help people who struggle to piece together parts of the pattern in the 2D format. I always find a mannequin more helpful as I can visualise the final outcome much easier on an actual form.
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 Celine Deluxe Dressmakers Dummy and I was blown away.
The Tailormade Small Dress Form from Hobbycraft was unfortunately not the best adjustable mannequin I had used in recent weeks. Unfortunately compared to much simpler and higher spec models such as the Celine Deluxe and the Adjustoform Dress Form it lacked in comparison.
Starting with the highlights of the adjustable mannequin it was well made and sturdy on the actual body itself. Made from very similar materials to the other adjustable mannequins, the main body was made from a plastic-like shell covered in soft thin foam and topped with a nylon fabric.
The mannequin was easy to assemble with a 2 part stand which connected and slotted in place, with 4 plastic legs to make up the main structure of the base. While the stand was a sturdy metal the legs unfortunately were plastic as therefore were a little unsteady on the carpet.
Unfortunately, the legs looked like they were already somewhat misshapen before I had a chance to put the stand together which was a shame. I think if the plastic was a harder plastic or even metal the stand would be much better and worth the money of the mannequin.
The stand also came with a hemming tool that was already attached and in place. This was a helpful tool to have though it did feel a little loose at times when using it. I simply put this down to the metal of the holder being a little out of shape.
Thought the hemming tool was more than accurate and sufficient to work with. There were also number markers on the bottom half of the stand, these were a great indication of where the hemming tool is.
I found this helpful as when working on a garment as you need to take it off and on again you can easily find your point to create a nice even hem.
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 the larger dials on the front were unfortunately harder to use. The markings for the sizing were a little unclear and were quite stiff.
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 create a wider neck, the also affected the body so be aware of that when using the neck function.
At the top of the neck there was also a small pad area that was made from soft foam, this was an inset pin cushion. This was a great feature as you often need somewhere to place your pins while working and this was a great place to find it.
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.
Overall the Tailormade Dress Form from Hobbycraft was well made and great if you are looking for a more budget friendly adjustable mannequin though I did feel like the dials on the front could have been replaced with the smaller cogs and made more discreet.