What’s this? It’s, it’s…
Have you guessed yet?
It’s my dressmaker’s dummy! Complete with old bra stuffed wonkily with socks. It lives in a corner of my living room, hence the drape. I don’t want visitors’ retinas being scarred by the above vision. I save that for my blog readers. You’re welcome.
So. A reader recently asked me to write a piece on dressmaker’s dummies. My experiences are pretty limited to this model, which I’ve owned for a few years. I have been lucky enough to be around some amazing dressmaker’s dummies whenever I’ve studied sewing, on this occasion at Central Saint Martins.
But back to my adjustoform. What is my honest assessment after several years’ use? It’s alright. It ain’t all that.
It’s light, which makes it very easy to move about. This is a factor worth considering, as I stand it on a table when I use it to hem.
It has a chalk dispenser for marking level hems, when the dummy is wearing a skirt or dress. This is useful. It would be more useful if the dummy didn’t have a derriere as flat as a pancake. My bum is round, I don’t know about yours! I have been known to pad the dummy’s posterior.
And that’s why it’s wearing one of my old bras beneath a cream cover. Dummy dimensions tend to be nothing like a real human’s. With my padded bra I can at least make rough checks that a bodice or shirt will close over my chest. I can also use the dummy to quickly check that a waistband will fit me, without tiresome disrobing.
But there’s no way I would use this plastic torso for detailed fitting. Even if I owned one of the uber expensive dummies, I still wouldn’t rely on it for specific fits.
A dummy is great for storing sewing on between makes. It’s useful to drape fabrics over and get a sense of their visual impact. It helps with blog photos. Yeah, it’s useful for the odd bit of fitting. And it’s a talking point for visitors. I’d be a bit lost without mine, but it’s not the best friend I’d call in a crisis. Not with those wonky boobs.
What about you? Do you swear by your dressmaker’s dummy or just swear at it?