Saturday, 8 October 2011

Mad for mannequins

The process of setting up an Etsy store has had me thinking a lot about photography and how a good camera, natural looking lighting and attractive props can make a world of difference. 

I have a decent enough camera and I’ve invested in some good lighting, but prop-wise I currently have a Diana dress form. She’s fully adjustable, you can stick pins in her, she has a hemline guide…a good performer all round really…

…the only problem is, despite Diana’s functionality, she’s just not pretty! Her natural red cover clashes with almost everything I make, her black polyester cover is so icky and shiny and she has a cheap plastic stand! 

So I’ve decided to treat myself to this affordable beauty with a wonderful cast iron base from London Mannequins:

My French White Mannequin is out of stock until the middle of the month, but I think she’s worth waiting for. London Mannequins also have some other beautiful yet affordable mannequins that’d I’d love for decorative purposes, but probably wouldn't be appropriate for showing off my makes.

What I’d really, really, really love though if money was no object, is any mannequin from Vintage Style Mannequins. I'm in love with them! They are so special and vary between the functional and the decorative. Here are a few of my absolute favourites that are sold, thus eliminating the chance of a delirious, midnight spending spree:

Do you have a mannequin / dress form / dressmaker’s dummy? What’s she like? Is anyone else obsessed with vintage ones or am I a bit weird?


  1. Thanks for the link to London mannequins--they have great prices and the mannequins are so lovely! What a great idea!

  2. no Marie your not weird unless that makes two of us!! the mannequins on that website are gorgeous, I'd love to own all of them but in the real world I've got a supafit adjustable one, same colour as yours and a standard plain white with a wooden base to take photo's with.

  3. The shabby roses on the cast iron stand are fabulous - and they really should look fabulous shouldnt they?!

  4. I love the vintage ones too!! So no, Marie and Sarah you guys aren't weird ^_^
    I don't have a vintage dress dummy though. My hubby snagged me a thrifted one for a fabulous price. She's not adjustable and she's a bit smaller than I am but she still works like a charm.

  5. I didn't know there was much choice out there for a mannequin. Sadly I have champagne tastes and that Vintage Antique Wolf is so pretty. Good thing, like you said, it's sold out.

    A mannequin will make your collars pop so nicely. Your photos are going to look awesome.

  6. Ha! Finally, I've re-found the tutorial I thought I'd pinned to pinterest on how to take a new mannequin and vintage it up! Instructions are here and if you get around to doing it before I do then please do post the result, I'd love to see what it looks like!

  7. Wow Tors, this is incredible! Thanks so much for sharing!!! I might just have to give it a go, although I'd feel bad doing this to a brand new dummy...looks amazing though!

  8. I have 3. I have one from Vintage Style Mannequins which I use for display. I have an antique early 1900's mannequin which I also use for display. I have an adjustable mannequin which I use for sewing and fitting. It was an inexpensive model and sometimes the dials area annoying to move.

    A vintage bust statue would be great for displaying collars. Or what about those styrofoam wig-heads... you could decoupage it, or cover it with fabric?

    A Tripod made the world of difference for me :)

  9. Why not make a floral cover for your Diana? Find a floral knit fabric and pull, pin and stitch. Then you'll not only have a fabulous looking dummy but a practical one too. If you don't stretch the fabric out too much it could still be adjustable, to a point.

  10. Sarah Elaine & lsaspacey - thanks so much for your brilliant ideas!