So, this is a post that I planned on putting up in June of 2015, thus the photos in my old sewing room. Something else always got in the way. Last year for my birthday, my family all pitched in and got me ... a dress form! I know it's old news now since I've been posting pictures using the form ever since I got it, but still. After using this form for a year I figured it would be beneficial to others to hear a review about it :)Gertie's review and Lauren's review that helped me make my ultimate decision: the Professional Female Dress Form with Collapsible Shoulders from The Shop Company.
The Shop Company form is very sturdy in how it's made, including it's heavy cast iron base. It has all the perks you want in a dress form - raised side seams and waist, a butt, a pretty yet basic colored fabric that is pin-able, a neck, a hem cage, etc. I went with the collapsible shoulder model because it seemed the better value to avoid the hassle of not being able to get things on and off the form easily (and believe me I use that feature all the time).
Gathered Back Experiment and the Plantain for My Mom, I would put the shirt on the form, then drape the trim around the neckline, then hand sew it in place. This way the trim was sure to have enough ease around curves and whatnot so it does not pull when you wear it like it might if it had been sewn flat.
One thing I've intended to do to my form but haven't got around to is to pad it out to be closer to my size. When choosing a size, I deliberately went a little smaller than my measurements just in case I ever lose weight so I wouldn't have to buy a new form. I knew I was going to have to add padding to most areas on a form even if it had my same bust measurement anyway since my waist and hips are larger than the proportions that they make on standard dress forms. So, seeing something on my form is certainly not a true representation of what it will look like on my body as yet. I've had so much going on in the last year that I just haven't wanted to devote the time to it yet (just like I say I will set up and learn my old serger, lol, one day ...) Because of this fit discrepancy, I've never used the form to mark a hem (since I have considerably more gut and booty than the lovely Bernadette here, it would hang differently on me). Even though it's not exactly my size, it still gets lots of use - plus you just can't deny that it makes for great garment photos at the very least.
So that's my dress form! If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask. In the meantime, I'll be here enjoying my pretty dress form :)