Endless Waiting For The Dress Form To Come In… (And Rant)

When I read the Teach Yourself to Sew magazine I picked up along with the sewing machine, it had an article on how to make your own custom dress form from duct tape and an old shirt. I dismissed needing one after asking advice to the group of sewers in Ravelry . The people who answered me there sewed successfully for years and years without one so I put it out of my head. I found a vintage dress that I am obsessing about re-creating from a picture. I call it my “dress impossible.” Hours I’ve spent trying to drape fabric on myself to try to get the look of it have proved frustrating beyond belief. I’ve jabbed myself with pins, pinned the fabric to my hair, and bra accidentally… It’s been a disaster… and a waste of time.

After reading the duct tape forms caved in eventually, I looked into the adjustable dial dress forms. I found the model I thought fit best with my measurements at the Joann Fabrics closest to me. I called them, and asked if they had the model and size form I wanted. Someone on the phone said they DID in fact have it, and that it was back with the rest of the forms! I went right up to the store as happy as can be. I couldn’t find it. I asked an employee and they couldn’t find it. Then I promptly got redirected to 3 more employees who couldn’t find it. The last employee told me to talk to the fabric counter about special ordering it to come into the store. I waited in line there for 20 min before the woman there said they couldn’t do that at the fabric counter. She told me that special orders are taken care of up at the registers, so up I went, still irritated, but still happily telling myself that they were willing to make things right by getting it in. The girl there at the counter got all the personal information from me that she needed, and told me there was going to be a $30.00 extra fee to get it in!

THAT was the last straw. After being blatantly lied to on the phone, having someone sick volunteering to drive me because my car was out of commission, wasting the gas to drive all the way up there, then being passed off to just about every employee working at the time, AND having to wait in two lines for a total of a little over a half an hour to be told: “We need $30.00 extra.”


I had found the same dial form they told me they had in stock before I made the phone call to Joanns. It was on a different website for less money and free shipping, but I had been willing to spend extra money to pick it up in person because it could be damaged in shipping. It also would have been nice to have had it that night since it was “In Stock.”

Honestly I am a very easy-going, and polite person, and it takes a lot of bad treatment by store employees to make me loose it. I lost it at the cashier though. By the time I got to her and she said those magic words, it set off the yelling and crying, I was so frustrated at being so badly treated. I was NOT nice to the cashier who honestly didn’t deserve it, since it was her co-workers fault. She was just the last in a long line of the worst customer service and rude people that I’ve ever experienced in a store. If Joann Fabrics wasn’t the only fabric store around here, I’d NEVER go in there again. Sadly, if I want fabric, I’ve got to shop there… I miss Hancock Fabrics…

Maybe Joanns was a blessing in disguise? I did some more research and found the almost all of the dial forms either didn’t hold up, fell over easily, the dials broke, or the stands bar popped through the forms body after a year or so… That led me to researching the display dress forms that looked like this:

I decided against one of these, only because of many reviews from people saying that collapsible shoulders were the way to go since we humans wiggle our shoulders to get into tighter fitting clothing. This form would work for a time, but wouldn’t be ideal for all I want to eventually do with it. I thought long and hard at that point about getting a professional type form. It’s a little more money then the dial forms, and a lot more money then the form above.

I decided spending a little more money now would save me money in the long run so I’m going to buy a dress form with collapsible shoulders from The Shop Company, (when my size comes in) I can use it not only for sewing, but to display clothing for pictures, and use it also for my knitting and crochet.

She's lovely though isn't she?

This is a picture of the form. I wish the form size I needed was this small, mine is going to be quite a bit bigger! She’s lovely though isn’t she?

In the time I spent debating what form to buy, and who to buy it from, I was kicking around the idea of naming my dress form.  Someone in a different post brought up naming their form after a loved one so that person will always watch over them. This touched me, and when my dress form comes in, I will name her after a family member so she will always be there watching over me and will help me out when I need her. Until she’s ordered, and arrives, I won’t finalize the name so I won’t jinx anything.

Hopefully I will have no more bad luck, and they will get in my size soon! I really wanted to buy from this company because they’re a small company, and they did a lot of work advertizing themselves shamelessly in blogs, and around the internet. Their “How Not To Use Mannequins” page made me laugh. Their inability to get merchandise in a timely manner if it’s not in stock is not really impressing me right now, but one of the owners has been nice enough to me so I’ll stick out the wait for now, and see how long it takes.



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