As a crafter, having an adjustable dress form is a great investment. That being said, they can be expensive! The good thing is that we don’t have to break the bank in order to get one. While many dress forms range from $300 – $500 (or more!), this list includes options at a fraction of the cost.
Affordable Adjustable Dress Forms
Adjustable dress forms are a great tool for any crafter that makes clothing. Whether that’s with fabric and a sewing machine or crocheting and/or knitting handmade garments. Sure, you can find one at craft stores like Joann and they do frequently go on sale, but even then they are expensive. Not on sale they range from $299 – $499. Ouch!
The only place I have seen these sold in-store is at Joann. Your options otherwise may be a local fabric/sewing shop, an estate sale, or go the easy route and order online. Specific links and the cheapest options are outlined below.
Having a “pretty” dress form or mannequin like these is nice for photos, but sometimes you just need to see how something is actually going to fit on a human being. The white mannequin that I have, pictured here and named Catherine, is so disproportionate that having her model anything other than a scarf is, quite frankly, deceiving.
The perks of having an adjustable dress form are numerous. When you set the measurements to your own bust, waist, and hip measurements, you are able to “try on” the piece to see exactly how the garment will look on your own body. Love that!
It’s a great thing when you’re making something for yourself while also seeing which areas need altering/tucked, or otherwise adjusted. Or, for example, if you are working on a top or dress for a friend and you dial in their measurements you can work without them having to try it on frequently. This is particularly helpful if that person lives outside of your area.
With an adjustable dress form you will take your own bust, waist, and hip measurements, then turn the dial to that inch or cm. There are different sizes of dress forms, and each size spans several inches of body measurements.
Before investing in a dress form, take your own measurements of those three body parts. This will ensure that you are buying the right size for your body shape. Having one of each size so that you can create for a multitude of sizes would be even more ideal, but for most crafters it would be an unnecessary expense.
Where to find inexpensive Dress Forms:
Best deal by far is for this adjustable Dritz Dress Form on Amazon, especially if you have Amazon Prime for the free two-day shipping. As noted above, make sure that you are purchasing the size that includes your own measurements.
Available online only, Michaels does have sales and offers free shipping since they are so expensive. This is not my favorite option #1 for the price, and #2 waiting for the shipping (when Amazon has free two-day shipping with Prime).
Walmart does have a more affordable option if you can find them in stock. Not the best regular price but they do put them on sale often and offer 2-day shipping.
I personally bought this one on Amazon. To be honest the reason I didn’t go for the less expensive Dritz brand above is because I plan to use this dress form in photos going forward and I wanted the neutral color of the gray instead of the green as a backdrop.
Always keep an eye out at estate sales, garage sales, Goodwill, etc. You could also do a quick search on Etsy (like this) and find some in the $150 range.
Do you have a favorite mannequin or dress form? If you come across a deal be sure to let me know so I can update this post! 🙌