What is a Dressmaking Mannequin?

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  • Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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A dressmaking mannequin is an essential tool to help a designer create clothes that look good on and off the body. It can also help the designer get an idea of how to cut the fabric according to a certain shape without always having to rely on a live model. This is especially helpful when you are creating a piece for yourself. When developing the vision of the clothing, the designer can figure out where to make improvements according to how the clothing fits on the mannequin.

The dressmaking mannequin can have several different appearances. The mannequin can just be a woman’s torso or can also have a wire extension on the bottom to make it longer. The mannequin is attached to a thin pole with a standing base. Some of the mannequins are made entirely from wire or wood. The typical dressmaking mannequin is made from a solid material that pins can stick through.

A dressmaking mannequin can have a variety of different attributes including having shoulders that are wider or narrower. In addition, it may have shoulders that are collapsible. Instead of some mannequins having a buttocks that is a solid rounded form, some may have a buttocks more true to the form of a female to give the designer a more realistic view of how the dress will fit around a woman’s natural curves.


The color of the dressmaking mannequin can vary depending on the designer’s preference. To some, the color may not matter. To others, they may want a form they can display as an accessory in a room, such as in a sewing room, so the color of the mannequin may be one that complements the other décor colors.

A huge feature of a dressmaking mannequin is to have it be adjustable. Dials at specific points can allow the designer to create specific measurements instead of one standard size per mannequin. This is especially helpful when designing custom pieces. The dials will usually be at the bust, hip and waist area as well as the neck and back. Dressmaking mannequins come in many sizes, such as small, medium, large and extra large, as well as some that are specifically plus-size forms.

A dressmaking mannequin comes in so many shapes, forms and sizes that it is nearly impossible for a designer to not find the perfect one. While each one is usually in the hundreds of dollars, there are still some that are perfect for the budget-conscious. With so many varieties of mannequins, there can be a variety of beautiful dresses for women of every shape and size.


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