What dress form should I buy?
Here are some key things to note when buying a dress form and why.
1. Get a form with collapsible shoulders.You'll have a really hard time getting garments on and off if you don't. Trust me. This is a very big pain in the neck if you don't have a way to get the garment on and off when working on it.
2. Get a form as close to your size as possible.
Go ahead and take your measurements according to the form company's sizing chart and get the closest size possible without going over. You can also get one form between two sizes you use a lot and make a "skin" for the larger size that you use often.
Which brings me to number 3.
3. Get a pad set.I used one of these for the first time last Summer and it saved me a ton of time building out a shape from scratch, and it also allows you to jump up in size in a more symmetrical way. If you can, go ahead and just spring for the kit, it will last forever and you'll be glad you did.
The only thing that was not great about the kit is the "skin" that comes with the kit. It had a very narrow opening at the bottom which made it difficult to fit.
4. Get a form that you can raise and lower easily and has a heavy stand that rolls.The adjustable forms you get are great if you need something to start out, but if you get one, make sure to make or buy something to weight the bottom or you'll end up flinging it around any time you go to turn the form and work from another angle.
5. Get a form with legs if you'll be making lots of pants and or dance wear.
You can't drape pants on a standard form, and once you work on a form that has legs and is suspended from the top you'll never be able to work without one after that. They are really great for using when dying or distressing and you need the garment to be on a body to spray the dye. Just make sure you cover it well with plastic first!