new tool: half size dress form

I ordered a half scale dress form to work on while I design my pieces, because I figured it would be faster and save me material to iterate on a smaller scale. It came in the mail yesterday and I’m so excited to work with it! In addition to saving me time and money, I think it will also be mentally easier for me to be less precious about details while experimenting, knowing that I’m working on a small scale prototype and not a final piece.

I’m not finding much information out there about considerations or process when using a half size dress form, other than work by the legendary Madeleine Vionnet. I’m just going to dive right into it and record what I learn here.

in dressmaking, found, updates


  1. It’s surprisingly small – just a little freaky!

  2. yeah, i’d say it’s definitely freakier than my full size form :)

  3. Hi Kim

    I am looking at purchasing a half scale form for all the reasons you expressed, just curious to find out how its been working out for you?

    What are the major positives and what are the negatives with your experience

    look forward to your reply

    Happy New Year


  4. hi marcellus!
    the biggest positive for me is how little time and fabric it takes to experiment with ideas on the half scale form. you can literally use scraps to create something, and since there is no possibility of wearing something so small, i can rip apart and redo things quickly and without hesitation. full scale muslins feel wasteful to me now, im more interested in spending that time and fabric on something wearable.

    there is really only one negative i have experienced so far: the form i purchased has a stand with only three legs, and it is very easy to tip over when extended to it’s full height (i usually work with it on the ground, not on a table top). it also takes a bit of planning and calculating to translate the finished small scale design to full scale, but i feel this is a small price to pay for the benefits you get.

    to be honest, i have not used the form as much as i thought i would so far, just because i have been working more from pattern drafting than draping lately. however, when i do work with draping it is very quick and helpful to mock up designs on the little form. hope this helps! happy new year :)


  5. Sophy,

    I am looking for a half scale form like the one you pictured. Is this the one you bought and if so, where did you get it?


  6. Hi Teri, yes this is the one I bought. I purchased it on Amazon from a seller called “sewing supplies”. I paid $99 plus shipping which came to about $111. Hope that helps!

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