Condo Blues: How to Repair an Adjustable Dress Form

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

How to Repair an Adjustable Dress Form

Lola, my trusty adjustable dress form mannequin, has been through some wear and tear. Her cover is peeling and her base is constantly falling over. It's no wonder, really. After so many years of being poked and prodded with pins I’d be a bit tipsy and unglued too.

Poor Lola.

Lola is still usable and I especially rely my dress form’s adjustability and functionality for commissioned sewing projects. She just needs a little makeover and refurbish that keeps her adjustable and not as a decoration. 

 DIY dressmaker form makeover

The sewing mannequin's plastic dials are difficult to adjust and need attention too.

 To renovate my adjustable dressmaker mannequin I decided to start at the bottom and work my way up.

I had several DIY solutions in mind to keep my dress form mannequin form from tipping over and tossed them out of the window when I found this sturdy rolling replacement dress form base. (Disclosure: I have included affiliate links for your convenience.)


how to repair a flimsy dress form base
Hi everyone Lacey here! The replacement sewing form base Lisa bought is compatible with many different types and brands dress forms.

The Dritz base was easy to assemble. Lola no longer tips over and the castors make it much easier to move her around my sewing room. The castors lock so the dress form doesn’t try to roll away when I’m stabbing it with pins.

To keep my dressmaker form’s adjustable dials in top shape, I simply lubricated them with a small squirt of WD40. You can buy WD40 here.

But it's not just base of the sewing dress form that needed an upgrade. My Twin Fit dress mannequin is an older version that doesn’t have some of the fine size tuning adjustments that were added to the current Twin Fit Dress Form model here, and required some padding in the waist to get the perfect fit.

I created removable and adjustable dress form padding by wrapping and safety pinning folded scrap fabric around my sewing form to add an extra inch. If you need more custom pads for your dress form, I recommend this Adjustable Body Form Padding Set that has several size pads for hips, thighs, tummy, and bust.


how to pad a sewing dress form
I pinned the pad in place in case I need to remove or add to it for future sewing projects.

I hoped I could take my dress form apart to reattach her cover but it proved to be a futile effort. Luckily I found an even easier solution and bought this replacement mannequin fabric cover. Its velvet texture not only adds a touch of elegance, but also helps keep fabric from slipping while I'm working on a project. And best of all, I can easily lift and replace the cover to adjust Lola's dials as needed.


diy adjustable sewing dress form makeover
Save this makeover tutorial to your Pinterest forms for later! Share it with your friends!

I store my sewing mannequin in a corner of the room under a super fancy dust cover – a vintage Qipao blouse that I thrifted and loved to wear until it became too damaged to wear. With this cover, I can keep Lola dust-free and looking her best for yeas to come. 


diy sewing dressmaker mannequin dummy dust cover
All done and looking much better!

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