Customizing My Dress Form

I did a lot of research on dress forms before making a purchase.  For my price point, PGM seemed like the best buy.  I chose the 601 model with hip in a size 2. It’s slightly smaller than I am in the bust, hips, and waist. The size 4 didn’t match my measurements either so it made sense to purchase one that was slightly smaller then pad it out to my exact measurements. Kenneth King wrote an article for Threads magazine (Issue 161) that describes one way you can customize your dress form.

When I attended the moulage class at The Sewing and Design School, I hired Kenneth to customize my dress form.  He took some measurements and padded it out using fusible batting. The batting was layered and fused together to fit my exact dimensions. Then he stitched up my moulage in cotton coutil fabric for durability.  The moulage became the cover for my dress form. Since the moulage fits my body like a second skin, it helped show the differences between the dress form and my figure.  Kenneth added layers and layers of batting until the dress form matched the moulage.  (Click here to read more about making the moulage.)


Hover over each picture for details.  Click to enlarge.



The collapsible shoulders are still functional but the padding stays in place.  In other words, the shoulders will collapse as they were designed to do but the padding that has been attached to the top of the shoulder stays put.  Its fully functional, pinnable, and customized to my body.  I’ve already used it to help me adjust the fit of pencil skirts and blouses.

If you’re considering customizing your dress form, check out the Threads article I mentioned above.  You can do it yourself or enlist the help of an expert.



  1. Jennifer | 16th Jun 16

    What a unique experience. So interesting! So he fused the batting directly to the form? I wish I knew that existed when I bought mine!

    • lablaylock | 17th Jun 16

      Thanks Jenny! Yes, he fused the batting directly to the dress form and stitched it in some places. If your dress form is smaller than your body, you can apply this technique as long as the form isn’t adjustable. If I gain weight, I would simply remove the moulage and pad it out some more. Now that I think of it, this would be a great option for anyone sewing maternity clothes. Not that I’m thinking of having a baby lol.

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