28 November 2008

Meet Clementine

About two years ago, I first started sewing seriously.  It was so frustrating to fit garments on myself while they were under construction!  I knew Wolf was The Dress Form of Choice and I scoured the Web for a form my size.  I even sent off for Wolf's catalog, and their closest form was a good inch or two off from my measurements in bust, waist, and hip, with a price tag of $625 + 100 for shipping from New Jersey.  Custom forms cost $1200!  Luckily, I took a patternmaking class and learned enough to work out a ton of fit problems with my personal sloper.  Then I got taped up in a paper tape dress form, which was useful for fitting but un-useful for draping for many reasons.  I scoped out the local Jo-Ann and Hancock stores and their forms were all adjustable, but did these weird things like splitting down the center front and back.  I was told that, for draping purposes, these forms aren't helpful because you can't pin into them well, and there are no stylelines defined (and how do you find center front accurately when it's somewhere in a 1-inch gap?).  Kind of makes sense.

I was making do with my paper tape form until earlier this year, when Martha from the Uniform Studio posted about a new dress form she'd just bought and linked to information about the Ebay seller she'd purchased it from, called DisplayFashion.  If you've never seen Martha's blog, I'm not sure I could accurately describe her work except to say that I am very drawn to her choices, from color to cut (am I talking about diamonds here or what?) and really everything in between.  

Anyway, I clicked through to the dress form section of DisplayFashion's Ebay Store and was stunned to see that their forms were priced from $249 and they had a form that was nearly exactly my size in every measurement!  I had a very thrifty moment (these days they are few and far between) and told myself to wait till my birthday in late summer, and if I still didn't think the paper tape form was cutting it, I would buy it for myself as a birthday present.  By the time summer came and I was deep in the heart of refashioning, I felt how much I was missing by not having a working form to drape on.  My birthday came and went and life got busy and I finally ordered the form at the end of October.  It arrived shortly thereafter, and I finally got around to putting it together last week.

 It is really exciting to have a form that matches my measurements so closely!  After photographing her today, and then dressing her in my latest shirt refashion (haven't posted this one yet), it is much easier to capture the detail of the garments I want to share on her.  Which is great, so I don't have to take pics of my grumpy morning mug much longer!  LOL.

Clementine's shoulders are collapsible and she spins 360 degrees.  All her stylelines are clearly marked, with little pins at the critical draping points.  She's got the cage at the bottom, a wheeled base, and a foot pedal to raise and lower the form.  These are basically all the bells and whistles you'd get with a Wolf form, at a fraction of the cost.

Martha was kind enough to respond to an email I'd sent her over the summer about any drawbacks to this form, and the only thing she mentioned is that the padding is a little thin when pinning, so you have to pin at an angle.  I've found that's absolutely the case on my form, too, and I'm great with pinning at an angle, so really, no problems!  

I hope this is helpful for those of you in the market for a new dress form.  Let me know if you have any questions -- I know this is a big investment for an item you don't get to touch and feel.  (Unfortunately, they have two other models of forms I have no experience with, but if you're looking at this one, I'll tell you everything I know.)  Also, it's worth mentioning that DisplayFashion has added a "Make an Offer" option to most of their forms, and I strongly encourage you to make an offer if you've decided you want one!
On a final note for the night, I've been messing around with the blog details a bit.  The color theme is quickly headed toward periwinkle.  The human calendar and robot clocks are fun for me but might just clutter the already-cluttered landscape -- I'm so good at that!  :) -- so they may not stay for long.  More importantly, I have added to the sidebar a list of all the blogs I frequent, which includes those of My Homies.  It is such a convenient way to keep track of and display them, so hopefully this works in the long run.  Hope you're all having a great weekend!


  1. Your dressform is beautiful! Mine is one of those ugly ones with the split down the middle and the stupid dials!

  2. Pete and I love the human calendar! Keep it!

  3. Congrats on the new dressform-- can't wait to see what you drape out with it!

  4. congrats! That's really cool! I'd love to have my own Clementine....but uh...I would also love a new camera right now. Oh, so many wants..


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