Dress forms are a new concept to me in my expanding sewing knowledge. If you are thinking about purchasing one in order to drape or fit your own clothes, I am right there with you. In my research to purchase one, I found out that they are very expensive. I searched all over the internet on making them and may still just because it looks like a lot of fun. One day my husband and I were walking through an antique store and because I had been telling him that I really wanted to find a dress form he was on the hunt. I asked the proprietor if he had any and he said not currently but would contact me if any came in. My husband told me he found something that said dress form on it in the book section. I went over but immediately felt my heart drop because this is what he found.
As you can see it was a really thin box but it was clearly marked dress form. The picture even showed one. I told him this can't be what we are looking for but I pulled out my smart phone and looked it up. I couldn't find a lot of information on it but the price was $20 so I bought it. Once I got it home and looked inside this is what I saw.
There were a lot of flat pieces. It looked like a puzzle that needed to be put together! My mind started racing surely this isn't what it looks like? But yes it was supposed to become a fully functioning dress form. What a treasure to find tucked away in that antique store and for such a great price. After all of my research online I couldn't believe my good luck. The original instructions were intact. I did have one neck piece that was missing as well as the stand and brads to put it all together.
I can hardly imagine the expertise it took to draft this little wonder. My limited information from the paperwork enclosed shows it is an Adjust-o-Matic Dress Form. I believe it was offered by the drop ship catalog company Harrison Hoge. From what I can ascertain they are still in operation but have changed their market to encompass fishing merchandise. I can not find where they still hold the patent to this model but at one time their name was listed at the US Patent office.
I was able to put this together within a couple of hours and it was so much fun. When I was finished the search for a replacement stand became a priority. I went to another antique store and found a music stand. It was fully adjustable on top and bottom so the dress form would slide right over it. I used some rubber pieces where the shoulders would sit so the weight of the form plus material would not cut into the cardboard. I have a slideshow below with several pictures of the instructions and my alternative stand. I would love to see this go back into production because I know many of you out there would make use of it. Maybe this will put you on the hunt for your own Adjust-o-matic dress form that is in an attic somewhere or on the back shelf of an antique store waiting to be used and loved!
I hope you enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift