Dressforms from China?

So, through work I happen to know a guy who imports from China. A few weeks ago, we got to talking and I asked him if he could get a 1/2 size dressform. My thinking was the half scale forms are $130 or so online for one. There are three schools in Baltimore with fashion design programs — maybe he could start selling them here. So, he emails me the next day and says that he can get half size dress forms, sell them for $75 and still turn a good profit.  Dude. Later, he sent me an email with photos of the full-size dress forms and said they were going to send him a sample of that too. He wanted my opinion on the full size.  Clearly, I said get a full size sample of the dressform with the skirt.  When it arrives, if it’s a six through 10, I’m all over it. Trust.
So much for my ‘buy local’ new year’s resolution.
The supplier says all their forms are for tailors and sewers in fitting and pinning — not for display.
The one below is called ‘women’s form with skirt’
This one is called ‘women’s typical style’

Women's Usual Style
Women’s Usual Style

And this one is ‘woman’s whole body’, which I guess you would use for pants. 

'women's whole body'
‘women’s whole body’

Most interestingly, they call the chart below ‘American Woman Measurements’. I would LOVE to know what other countries they have and what those measurements are! Or maybe these are ‘American’ because they are in inches….

position\规格 4 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 16 18 20
颈 围 neck 121/2 13 121/2 131/2 13 14 141/2 15 151/2 161/2 17
胸 围 chest 331/2 341/2 341/2 351/2 351/2 361/2 38 391/2 41 431/2 47
腰 围 waist 25 251/2 25 261/2 26 271/2 29 301/2 32 341/2 401/2
臀 围 hip 35 351/2 36 361/2 37 371/2 39 401/2 42 45 48
肩宽() shoulder(single) 47/16 5 413/16 5 1/8 5 5 1/4 57/16 510/16 513/16 6 6 1/4
前长front 14 141/4 133/4 141/2 14 143/4 15 151/4 151/2 153/4 16
后长back 16 161/4 153/4 161/2 16 163/4 17 171/4 171/2 173/4 18
乳距 bust 6 3/4 6 7/8 7 7 7 1/8 7 1/8 7 1/4 7 1/2 8 8 1/2 9 1/2
背宽back width 133/4 14 135/8 141/4 14 141/2 147/8 151/8 151/2 16 161/4
档全长archives 241/2 25 251/2 251/2 26 26 261/2 27 271/2 28 28
大腿围leg 191/2 20 201/8 203/4 203/4 211/2 221/2 231/2 241/2 281/2 29
膝盖围knee 13 131/4 13 135/8 131/2 14 141/2 15 151/2 19 191/2
小腿围leg 111/2 121/4 12 125/8 121/2 13 131/2 14 141/2 18 181/2
内侧长inside length 291/2 295/8 293/4 293/4 30 30 301/8 301/4 305/8 31 31

Today in class we did dart manipulation using the pivot and slide method and how to add seam allowances. Both, interesting. I’ll try and post about it over the weekend.



  1. Ok, here’s a dumb question for you (my specialty for 09, it turns out):

    If it’s half size, how tall is it? Meaning, you can carry it to and from class or will you leave it there?

    Une très bonne affaire, IMO. Didn’t you say the school’s were $300 or something?

  2. What other sizes? Small a lot smaller. My dd, who is a size small or a 4 here, is a large in Korea. She’s lucky she can even find things to fit. Her friends who are not petite have problems finding clothing. Me too, how big is half size?

  3. The half size dress form is just used for drafting. It’s about a foot tall. They are about $130 online in the US.

    At school, we have those in addition to full size forms (men, women and children) in various sizes. The school’s full size forms are about $300+

    The forms above are full-size forms which my friend in China thinks he can get for around $100.

  4. Oh my. How can I get a full sized one!? This is amazing. Also – by the way – I have the same Morse Super Dial sewing machine you have 🙂 Don’t you just love it!!!

    – A long time lurker, and admirer of your fantastic work.

    • I LOVE my morse. My aunt bought if for me for my 30th birthday. I still use it for topstitching and bag construction. He hasn’t priced out the full size forms yet, but if they are decent and he can actually import them, I’ll let you know!

  5. I’m interested in purchasing one of these half scale forms so I would appreciate a follow up if you can spare the time. There is another source for these (PGM) for $109, the problem is the base. It’s decorative. If one wanted to drape a long fitted sheath, the decorative base would prevent it.

    Btw, I think PGM has the lowest priced forms on the market but you get what you pay for. I think they’d be fine for enthusiasts since most will be padding them anyway. I bought a men’s form from them and it’s okay but not as sturdy as the Wolf form’s I’d been accustomed to using.

    The top of the line form is made by Alvanon. Here’s an entry I wrote on their features. I realize these are very pricey (@$2,000) but a lot more goes into these -other than design- than any other form. For one thing, the company bases the measures of their forms on sizing studies they’ve conducted in various markets. The form I have is based on the results of a study in England, where over 10,000 women were scanned. Traditional dress form companies use the ASTM guidelines, evolving the base size according to increasing weight gain of the “average” size but the ASTM data is very outdated. The exception of course is Alvanon but also some Japanese manufacturers.

  6. I agree with your “buy local” resolution, but you are allowed to go outside local when you can’t find what you want here. You’re not going to be able to buy something like that locally so it’s okay. (I’ll justify it because I’m lusting afer one myself, just don’t know if I can do it right now).

  7. My Dutch linnen covered 1/2 scale dress form measures :bust 44,5 cm, waist 31,5, hip 54,5
    A 1/2 scale dress form is handy if you want to try out some draping ( no need to use large amounts of fabric) and to try out some designs from the book “Pattern Magic” the basic pattern in this book is also drafted on 1/2 scale size.
    Drafting ½ scale patterns is a good way to learn this skill. If you learn to draft a pattern from scratch you can use your own measurements. A ½ scale ruler is a handy tool to use.

  8. Have you considered getting a My Twin form, a form that is molded on you? It’s said to make the solution of fitting problems much more intuitive.

    That’s on my wish list.

  9. I bought a woman size 12 or 14 dressform about 2 years ago based on measurements provided. it’s a nice form. I bought a little small so I could pad up where I needed. Well, the boobs were a few inches too low which made it unusable. In addition, the shoulders were far too sloped, so if I padded the shoulders to the right (non)slant, the boobs were even lower. I sold it on Craigslist to a costumer last month.

  10. What a deal. I bought the full size w/skirt from a NY distributor and pd.$550. It came w/30 pads in various sizes and a spare muslin cover. I’ve been very happy w/it. It seems true to size. I’m a 14 (6’tall) and it’s been a great help. I’d have loved to find it for less, but wouldn’t give it up. You’re lucky you found a great deal

  11. hi Celia
    sorry. i messed up the last comment. could you please give me the contact address of the 1/2 scale dressform supplier in china? I am dying to buy one. i would be very grateful indeed as i live in India and it will cost me quite less to import from China.

    • Hello,


      I would also be interested in the supplier contact details. The only half sizes I can find in the UK are £300, else I have to ship from US.

      I would like to get a UK size 6 (half a UK 12) dress form for my pattern cutting course and there are 15 other students who would be interested too.


  12. Hi,
    I would love to get all the info I can from you about this supplier I am a Fashion student and I would love to be able to draft on the half scale but have been unable to because I haven’t been able to buy one, because they are so expensive, as well as being unable to use them at school because my school only has 2 half-scale forms that are kept in the closet. Because there aren’t enough to go around we can’t use them. Please let me know as soon as possible.


  13. hey!
    i think at this point everyone is interested in the supplier’s website or contact info, as am I. Can you please share with us.

    • There may be a solution to this soon (as I haven’t been able to find one either). I’m not at liberty to say more than this but there is a new *accurate* half scale form that will be launching soon. I’ll update this thread when I know more. I will also say that because this is a new product, it doesn’t mean it will always be available so if one is interested, they’d better buy in the event it is pulled from the market due to lackluster sales. I plan to buy as soon as they come available.

    • Hi Myra,

      Sorry if it appears I am not ‘sharing’ with ‘everyone’ from this 3 year old post. I do not and have never had the supplier’s information. So, there is nothing to share. My contact never followed through and I am no longer in touch with them.

      I am closing this post for comments to eliminate any further confusion.

      Comments on this particular post were going to an old email address that I infrequently check.

Comments are closed.