Slipcover Your Dress Form: A Tutorial

Years ago I bought a dress form. If you’re sewing for yourself, a dress form is essential. I mean, unless you like trying to apply and remove a garment from your body repeatedly and suffering pin injuries like a human voodoo doll. There are lots of ways to make one that fits you perfectly. I didn’t opt for that because 1) I’m lazy and 2) in post-pregnancy nursing mode at the time, I liked the idea of an adjustable dress form. I already get annoyed by multiple sizes of clothing in my closet and finding things that fit NOW, so I wasn’t going to create or buy a one-size form. So I was definitely into the idea of adjustability.  Let’s talk about a finishing touch of your own – a slipcover for your dress form!

What I didn’t (and still don’t) love about adjustable forms is the look of them. Blue, burgundy or grey most often. And robotic looking dials. I don’t want to look at those. I want to enjoy studying the garment I’m working on. So I made a “skin” for my Marjorie and posted about it here. Since it’s been a few years, I’m sharing the update. Here she is! She doesn’t look like she’s aged a bit, does she?

crafterhours dress form slipcover skin adjustable

I used a super stretchy jersey, so the shape isn’t complicated to cut or sew. I stole these graphics from my original post. Just one pattern piece, cut two on fold. I didn’t even finish the bottom edge of Marjorie’s “skin”, the jersey just pulls together enough underneath that it’s not visible.

Serge or stretch stitch them together. The term “easy peasy” is not quite easy-sounding enough. The hardest part might be choosing a stretchy knit to make your slipcover.
Here’s Marjorie showing off her abs. I’m totally jealous of them.
crafterhours dress form slipcover skin
I think this is worth doing just to enjoy your own work. It takes about 5 minutes and possibly $3 in fabric to do.  But – I see lots of blog posts where the original form is as much on display as the garment that the post is about – and when it’s a less than attractive dress form I get overwhelmed by my desire to jump through the screen and FIX. IT. Let people soak up the beauty of what you’re working on! Give them a nice, neutral background! Or if not neutral, one that somehow complements your style. Or even your sewing area. We sew to make things our own, right? Let’s make the dress forms our own, too!
crafterhours slipcover your dress form


    • says

      Assuming you’re using a knit with good stretch, an inch smaller than the width of your dress form at its narrowest and an inch or two longer than its height.


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