Anyone who loves sewing their outfits or making clothes for fun knows that the best way to get the perfect fit is to use a sewing mannequin.
This is perfect for all types of clothing design, from simple patches to draping a gown. How do you find the best one for you as a beginner?
We’ve taken the stress out of this sometimes daunting task and did the leg work for you!
Here is what we’ve found:
Bonnlo Female Dress Form (Budget Pick!)
The Bonnlo Female Dress Form is a great stater form for any sewing lover looking to dip their toe into the art of clothing design.
The biggest perk of this dress form is defiantly the price!
At just $49, this mannequin body form runs more than half the price of other popular brands. This helps make it a clear choice for beginners who are not ready for expensive brands.
With this body form, you get a choice of four colors and two sizes. The biggest downside by far is the lack of body diversity regarding size options.
You can only choose between size 6 or size 4, which leaves a lot of different body types in the dust.
However, when it comes to height, you have many more options. You can easily adjust the height of this body form, so you don’t have to hurt your back while dropping on that fabric.
For this low price, how sturdy can it be? Bonnlo claims that this body form features an ultra-strong core that offers stability and durability.
This is great news for crafters who want to work with heavier fabrics like denim. Lastly, the lightweight styrofoam that makes this form will make it easy to transport and move from room to room.
How do people who have used this budget-friendly mannequin feel about it?
Here is a breakdown of the common pros and cons of the Bonnlo Female Dress Form:
- Soft-touch fabric
- Ships fast
- It feels cheap, and base breaks easily
- Lack of size options
- Pins slide out easily
- Not very sturdy
DE-LIANG Half Scale Dress Form (Budget Pick!)
The DE-LIANT Half Scale Dress Form is our second budget pick when it comes to finding the best sewing mannequin for beginners!
The number one reason this dress form is great for beginners is that it is regarded as a practice form because it is only a 1/3 scale of a regular size form. It is meant to help sewers get familiar with dripping and pinning fabric and create patterns.
This mannequin form is made of soft-touch foam that can easily secure pins and needles to keep your design steady.
At just $49, there is little risk that comes with giving this dress form a shot!
I love that this form comes with so many extras that help beginners get a great start to their next sewing project. These extras include scissors, pins, and even a tape measure.
The adjustable base is made from high-quality wood and is secured with metal braces to give it stability.
This is different from our previous budget pick, made from plastic that can often easily break. Those are a lot of big claims for a starter form, so how do buyers of this product feel?
Here’s is what we learned:
- Easy to assemble
- Budget-friendly price
- The metal stand offers amazing stability
- The form itself feels cheap
- Pins can fall out easily
- The measurements are not accurate
SINGER Grey Dress Form
When it comes to high-quality dress forms that are a perfect fit for beginners, none can beat the SINGER grey dress form.
You may at first be startled to see the hefty price tag at just around$179, but the amazing details of this dress form make the price well worth it!
The first difference between this mannequin and the budget picks is the materials it is made out of.
Instead of standard styrofoam, you have high-quality foam covered in 100% flannel. This offers more comfort and stability when you are pinning your fabrics.
My favorite part of the SINGER dress form is the way you can adjust the size. Using the dials on the side, you can match the dress form to the EXACT measurements you need.
This means that no matter the body shape or type, you can get a custom piece without ordering a custom form. Also, this dress form has a hem gauge which helps to take the guesswork out of designing your garment, which is perfect for any starter designer.
Also, this hem guard wraps around the entire form so that your hems can be even without using a straightening tool.
However, we know that claims are one thing, and opinions are another. So, how does this expensive dress form match up? Here is the roundup:
- Easy to set up
- Easy to adjust
- Clear instructions when it comes to the size-changing dials
- Sometimes shipped with missing parts
- It feels cheap for the high price tag
- Measurements run small
What Are the Best Feminine Mannequins?
The female form is a tricky shape to nail down.
There are curves, bends, and all of the amazing twists that make up a woman’s body. So, what is the best body form for someone who wants to make some banging feminine garments? The Sew You Adjustable Dress Form is the best mannequin for designing the female form.
However, it is a bit pricey at just $119. The thing that stands out the most with this Dritz model is 100$ customizable.
It features 9 different rolling wheels that allow you to adjust the bust and hips without skipping a beat.
I love the pincushion located right at the neck of the body form so that you don’t have to go searching for pins while draping the fabric. The expandable metal pole allows you to move the form up and down depending on what is most comfortable for you.
The biggest downside is that it only comes in two sizes, small and medium. Even with the adjustable knobs, it does limit the size of the form you can use, which isn’t ideal for bigger gals.
While this Sew You form is regarded as a top seller, the reviews are rather mixed regarding the functionality and quality of the mannequin.
Users love how sturdy this mannequin is but find it difficult to adjust.
This could be because there are several complicated dials to turn to get the right shape. So while it is a top seller, beginners may have a little more trouble navigating it.
What Brand Has the Best Masculine Mannequins?
One thing that isn’t talked about much among the sewing community is male mannequin forms.
This could be because the fashion industry has always favored the female form, making finding a more feminine form easier to find. That doesn’t mean there is a great male form out there for beginners, especially.
The TSC Professional Male Dress Form is the best masculine mannequin form for any sewing level. Just be aware that this comes with one of the higher price tags at $369.
However, you will find that male dress forms run higher than female ones.
This form is a 3/4 body design, which means that there is a chest and torso to work with and partial legs. This is perfect for tailoring suits and pants, which is one of the main reasons for such a need for a masculine-style mannequin.
That is not where the cool features end! I love that this male form comes with collapsible shoulders and arms so that you can customize the size right down to the size of your arms.
Unlike other forms that use plastic, this form has a cast iron base which means that no matter how hard you work on the form, it is not going anywhere!
I think the biggest downside to this male mannequin is the price.
Sure, it has a lot to offer in designing masculine clothing, but do the features make up for the nearly $400 price point? I’m not so sure, and others users of this product are not either!
While it is hard to find negative reviews for this product, the one thing that was pretty common throughout reviews was that the price was too high.
When you have a product that is not as widely manufactured as the female version, you don’t have many other options.
What Brand Has the Best Realistic Mannequins?
If you are more of a visual crafter who needs to truly visualize how your garment will look on an actual person, the GINMAON Mannequin Body Form is what you need!
Starting with the head down to the toes, everything about this dress form is made completely resemble the human form.
You can even fit your mannequin with a wig so that you can completely visualize what you may look like. The price isn’t all that bad either which came as quite a surprise to me.
With most high-quality forms topping out at around $200, this natural form is a steal at just under $65!
With the realistic form, you also get a metal stand that helps keep your project steady while pinning on your materials.
However, since this is a “one size fits most” style of mannequin, you won’t be able to customize it exactly to the size you need, which for me, is the biggest downside.
You can customize everything else, even down to how to pose your mannequin, which makes it great for both pinnings and displaying your garments once they are completed.
How Much Should You Really Pay For a Mannequin Form?
If you’re like me, the final decision of what mannequin dress form is best for me comes down to one simple thing the price!
How much should you pay for a great mannequin form with so many different styles and brands on the market? There are three general tiers to consider.
The $20-$40 range will include standard forms that traditionally are not the best for people who want to embark on a long-run sewing career.
Some of these forms have little function other than just being a great way to display your designs. While you will be able to drape and pin fabric, you may find that the lack of customization with the size and the stability of the base won’t take you very far.
I tend to like the mid-ranged mannequin forms a lot better. I find that you get more bang for your buck because not only can you customize the size, but they have been proven to last for much longer than cheaper brands.
A great mid-range mannequin form can run anywhere from $60-$120. Lastly, you have the high-end side of things.
As we’ve seen, specialty mannequins like the masculine ones can run a great deal of cash.
However, it is important to remember that specialty forms are purchased for a specific reason, so in that case, you get what you are paying for. For me, I can’t wrap my head around paying as high as $400 for a foam-covered mannequin.
So, to answer how much you should pay for a mannequin form, I would say that you shouldn’t pay more than $150!