My fancy-schmancy new dress form

I have a pretty cool dress form, and I’m not really bragging–I’m just totally jazzed about it. I got to go down to Washington, DC–my old stomping grounds–to this great little sewing studio/school called Bits of Thread in Adams Morgan.

At this studio, the owner and her partner have developed a really cool process for creating custom dress forms that pretty much 100% replicate your ACTUAL body. That includes your posture, your body proportions, and all your circumferences from neck to knee–and all your lumps ‘n bumps. I’ve only had it since February and already it’s been 5 times more useful than my standard professional dress form (which I never really found much use for, except as a display piece).

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My custom dress form is a DittoForm. It’s made by scanning your body with a 3D imaging camera and then it’s machine-carved from foam. It is WAY cool. There’s an article all about it in the June/July 2016 issue of Threads magazine, so go check that out!

What’s so great about this custom dress form service is that it’s much more affordable, low-effort, and much faster than getting a custom professional dress form made. It isn’t perfect, but it’s so much closer to perfect than anything I’ve had before.

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Yep. That’s my body. Gloriously imperfect and damned hard to fit.

 

I’ve done the Duct Tape dress form thing, and my experience with it sucked. It always titled on its curtain-rod pole and Christmas-tree stand base. Plus it expanded a bit in some places when filled with foam, and collapsed in others. And it wasn’t pinnable, or sturdy, or easy to move around despite being very lightweight. *Sadhorns*

I’ve owned a set of Fabulous Fit fitting system pads to make my other dress form resemble me, and my brain just froze every time I tried to start putting the pads in the right place. I know lots of other sewers have had great success with that system–it just was too much for me, because my shape is vastly different from a standard dress form: shorter, squatter, rounder, and asymmetrical. I’m not even sure the FF pads in one set would be enough.

I wanted a really low-effort, relatively affordable way to get a very close copy of my body, and DittoForm is it. It came out of the box, and I was a little spooked by how… ahem… ACCURATE it is. Like, I-don’t-want-to-leave-it-unclothed-in-my-living-room-when-company-comes-over accurate. (And that’s actually a possibility because my apartment is mostly a big open space, my sewing room is small and awkwardly sized, and the whole thing basically gets turned into a sewing studio when I’m in the throes of creation on more than one project at a time. So both dress forms live in my living room most of the time.)

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Super-realistic shape and proportions. You can even see a bit of my asymmetry here in the way the form’s right shoulder (on the left of the photo) is a bit squarer than the left shoulder, which slopes a bit more; that’s my scoliosis showing.

 

Anyway, I’m looking forward to actually using a dress form now, when before it was this big thing sitting in the corner taunting me with its un-usefulness. Yay!

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7 thoughts on “My fancy-schmancy new dress form

  1. That does look disconcertingly realistic, but seems much more useful than standard forms. Can you pin to it without it deteriorating?

    • It IS disconcerting. The form is made out of polyurethane foam, and it has a jersey knit cover, and yes it is pinnable. Time will tell how well it stands up to lots of pinning, but poly-U is very durable generally. It compresses a teeny bit and bounces back, so it’s pretty resilient.

    • I finally received mine this week! I’m so excited! I really appreciated your review since it helped me to make up my mind about getting one.

  2. This is so late but I couldn’t find a contact e-mail for you so I hope you see this comment lol. How is your dittoform holding up? How is working with it? There are so few reviews online and I would love any more information you could provide from having used it for a bit. Thank you!

    • Hi Dani! Sorry for my very delayed reply. It holds up very well, but to be honest I don’t pin into it a lot. I don’t do any draping or anything like that. Mostly I find it useful for fitting myself through the back, because of course that’s where I can’t see/mark/pin etc. on my own body. For front fitting I prefer to use my own body, because frankly my bust line and fullness changes depending on what bra I’m wearing and my front torso fullness (um, belly fat) changes from day to day and morning to evening and sometimes I wear shapewear that smooths things out a bit and change how clothes fit. I can fit on myself very well for the front. But anything around the shoulders and back is better done on a form, and that’s where this form really helps because it’s so accurate. I don’t necessarily use it for every project, but when I need fitting help, it’s there. To my mind it’s well worth the investment, even for only occasional use. If you’re going to have a dress form, then one that copies your shape exactly without having to put in a lot of time and effort padding it yourself is the way to go, IMO.
      I hope this helps!

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