If you’re a Sew4Home regular, you know we don’t traditionally present a lot of projects in the wearables category. Of course, there are all our super popular aprons and a few other easy items, but in terms of fitted garments, we tend to leave those to other experts. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t love to make things for ourselves in our spare time. And, yes, a) we do make things for ourselves (now and then) and b) we do have spare time (a wee bit), which is why we were excited to play with the My Double Deluxe Dressform by Dritz®. These beauties actually arrived at our studios a couple months ago, and we’ve been putting them through their paces, but saved our article until now in order to suggest that a Dritz® dress form just might be the perfect holiday gift for your favorite garment sewer – or yourself!
We are taller and bigger than in generations past, and although pattern Sizing has evolved throughout the years, changing as the population has changed, a generalized standard is never going to be able to be “just right” for you. For that, you need a dress form, which can help you fit and alter a pattern to your exact measurements.
The Dritz® My Double Deluxe Dressform has all the features of the standard My Double Dressform plus the added benefit of a second insertion point for the main pole that allows the form to be perfectly centered for gowns, dresses, skirts, etc., as well as to stand off-set to allow for fitting pants.
The dress form was super easy to put together. The only tool needed was a Phillips screwdriver to attach the finial to the top adjusting knob. Everything else slips into place with very little effort… didn’t even break a nail. The three-legged base is very stable, yet the entire dress form is surprisingly lightweight and was no problem at all to lift and carry.
How do you make adjustments?
First, decide if you want the pole position centered or off-set. Then adjust the height to your own approximate height. The pole is quite long, so it can accommodate taller people as well as longer items like wedding dresses and evening gowns.
Next, measure yourself. If you’ve never done this or if it’s been awhile, take the time to get some really precise measurements. You want the basics: bust, waist, hips, neck, skirt length, and pant length, but it’s also very helpful to have sleeve length, shoulder width, shoulder-to-elbow, and back width. If you are new to measuring, it helps to have a friend help you with the measuring tape. Dritz® has a good tutorial on how best to capture 13 key measurements.
Once you know your own measurements, it’s time to adjust the Dritz® My Double Deluxe to match. There are 12 rotating wheels at the bust, waist, and hips (front, back, and sides). All measurements are shown in both inches and centimeters.
Simply turn the wheel downward to increase the size and upward to reduce. Dritz® recommends working from the hip level adjusters up toward the neck. This will release any Tension on the body of the dress form and will make each subsequent adjustment smoother.
The neck can be adjusted by pressing in and turning the top finial. There’s also a handy little pincushion up top.
Finally, when the pole is in the center position, there is a Back Waist Length Adjuster knob underneath – near the base of the body. You simply reach up under to loosen this knob, then from the outside of the form, gently pull down the hip section until the back waist length matches your own measurements. Re-tighten the knob to set the position.
The Dritz® My Double Deluxe Dressform comes with quite a bit of helpful information on assembly and use. If you want to take a peek before you buy, Dritz® has a very good How to Use a Dressform tutorial at their site.
In addition to the adjustments that can be made with the wheels and knobs, you can also fine turn your dress form by adding padding to various areas for an even more personalized fit. You can use polyester Batting, bubble wrap, cotton wool, foam, even shoulder pads to make a creative padding. Dritz® has put together a very detailed tutorial on the best ways to pad as well as how to create a cover to better hold everything in place once done.
Is it just for fitting?
Your dress form will be your new best friend for creating the most professional fit for all your garment sewing, but it has other great uses as well.
Check the Drape of a fabric to see if it will hang correctly for the pattern you’ve selected.
Plan the placement of trims, appliqués or embroidery designs.
Style an outfit by draping coordinating fabrics to determine the best mix and match.
Store pattern and/or cut pieces in position on the form to more easily keep track of everything during construction.
Place a ready-made garment on the form to let wrinkles hang out or to more easily spot clean.
And as they say, so much more!
There’s also a Hem marker
The Dritz® My Double Deluxe comes standard with a Pin Grip Hem Marker built into the pole. There’s a measuring scale on the post that registers the height from floor level. Lock this in position, then to mark the Hem, slip the fabric between the plastic clamp, close the clamp, and insert a pin through the slot near the top. Open the clamp and repeat at intervals around the garment. Easy peasy.
The ultimate gift idea for any seamstress
You can find the Dritz® My Double Deluxe in small and medium options at in-store and online sewing retailers everywhere, including some of the big box stores. There are a variety of other dress form options from Dritz®, including more petite and more full-figured Sizing, as well as a child’s form. Visit the Dritz website to review them all.
And, can we just mention once again what a fabulous gift this would make?! It’s one of those items that everyone secretly wants if they do any amount of garment sewing, but might be reluctant to purchase for themselves. It’s not that it is outrageously expensive – we found options starting at about $150 – but it is something that can seem like a more “special” addition to your sewing space. We like to think about it this way: How much is it worth to get a more perfect, more satisfying fit?
Dritz® always has lots of fun new ideas and products to keep your sewing easier and more creative. To find out more, we invite you to visit their website or blog; sign up for their eNewsletter; or follow them on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
We received compensation from Dritz® for this project, and some of the materials featured here or used in this project were provided free of charge by Dritz®. All opinions are our own.