Mini Stuffed Dress Form Pattern

I’ve made yet another pattern for DIY mini dress forms. This one has a very nice shape and is my favorite. These tiny dress forms are so cute!

My goal was to make a sewn and stuffed mini dress form with a shape that was both well-defined and attractive so that it could either be used as a decoration or for flat patternmaking and draping practice. I’m quite pleased with the result. I figured out how to add an internal fabric support piece to help it hold its shape, and it has a built-in tube so the dress form can slip over the end of a dowel. The base and armholes are stabilized with cardboard.

I included patterns for three sizes in one pdf: small (1/4 scale), medium (1/3 scale), and large (1/2 scale). Since people have been asking about making full-scale dress forms using my half-scale dress form patterns, I also included directions for scaling up the pattern to life-size, if you want to try it. The pattern is now in my Craftsy and Etsy shops.


Posted in Half-Scale Patternmaking and Sewing, Patternmaking, Sewing
12 comments on “Mini Stuffed Dress Form Pattern
  1. Fadanista says:

    Thank you for posting this. I’ve always wanted a mini dress form and they are so expensive to buy. I might have a go at making one.


  2. PattiJ says:

    Thank you for this “to scale” dress form. I teach kids classes and would love to be able to make some in kids sizes. Perhaps a tutorial for us patternmakers on how to draft a “to size/scale” dress form?


    • Leila says:

      I started with a basic sloper pattern, but there were many revisions before I got the final shape right. A child shaped form should be much easier. I think a sloper pattern that was drafted from measurements (with no ease) would give you a pretty decent shape for a child. Or, if you have a cooperative (bribe-able) kid handy, you could drape a sloper directly on them. A no-pin “draping” method is to wrap them in several layers of commercial grade PVC plastic wrap (e.g. Stretch-Tite, or the stuff you can buy at Costco or a food services supply store) or duct tape over a shirt, then cut it apart at the seam lines.

      I found the key to getting a good shape for a stuffed fabric form is having a piece cut to the desired profile shape that is sewn to the center front and center back seams on the inside. You could trace off the profile shape from a picture of a child, then scale it appropriately. To get the shape of the neck piece, I wrapped plastic wrap, then duct tape around an actual person’s neck.


      • PattiJ says:

        Thank you. I’ve been studying your directions for this dress form and really like what you did. And, yes, I especially like the center profile piece. You do wonderful work.


  3. […] I enjoy it just for the sake of making it, why not? This time it was PattiJ’s comment on my Mini Stuffed Dress Form Pattern post that got me started on my latest dress form obsession. I had already been wondering if the […]


  4. Andrea L says:

    Hello! I just bought your stuffed dress form pattern, and I wanted to ask if it is possible to adjust the dress form to closer to my measurements. What pieces can or can’t change in order for the dress form to work? Thanks!


    • Leila says:

      You should be able to make slight adjustments without too much difficulty. I would suggest printing at a slightly smaller or larger scale to get the bust measurement you want, then adjust the waist and hips. You should be able to add or subtract a little along the princess lines and the side seams without causing problems. Major adjustments would be difficult, though. If you make any changes to the size of the base on the bottom of the dress form you’ll have major alterations to deal with, so keep the base the same size if you can. Keep in mind you’ll have to adjust the seam allowances if you print to a different scale.

      If you skip making a hole in the bottom so you can mount the form on a dowel, the following would not matter. If you print the pattern at a different scale, the markings on the center support for the tube will be the wrong size. I’d suggest you print out a second center support piece at 100%, then adjust your markings for the slit on your center support piece pattern to match those on the pattern printed at 100%.


  5. Nawal says:

    Hi. I love your dress forms and made the half-scale (which came out great thank you!). I also have the pattern for the cover for the paper dress form, which says in the document you can use it to make a stuffed dress form as well. I would like to make that dress form but in full scale and was wondering if you have any other suggestions to stuff it with or to make it sturdier to hold it’s shape, something that’s maybe sturdier than scraps of fabric? Thank you


  6. Leila says:

    First consider how you are going to mount it. If you are putting the stuffed cover version onto a dowel, find or make a tube or pipe to fit around the dowel. You can make a cardboard tube the right size by wrapping poster board around the dowel and gluing it as you wrap it around, then taping the end down. Once you have a tube, you’ll want to make it a bit wider, so either tape another tube on each side, or attach it to the center of a piece of wood or something that is about half the desired width for the waist. Then you could wrap this in something like bubble wrap, quilt batting, fleece, thin foam, or an old blanket until it is not quite as big around as the finished waist (you want room to reach your hand in so you can stuff around it).

    Just FYI, in September 2016 I replaced the version of the cover pattern my Etsy and Craftsy shops that has instructions for stuffing it with one that only has instructions for using it as a cover for the paper dress form. At the same time, I added another stuffed half-scale pattern that is a modified version of the cover pattern which comes out to a better shape when stuffed.


  7. […] Luckily I happened upon Leila’s website Grow Your Own Clothes, where she has a great tutorial about making your own half-scale mannequin. I then saw that she has a pattern for a sewn and stuffed on on Etsy. I thought that would be a bit weird, but having taken a good look and having done a lot of work on fitting clothing to the body I realised I could make that! I bought the pattern – thank you Leila for putting it out there, and assembled the materials. […]


  8. Hi Leila, I made the mannequin. I have written about this on my WordPress site if you would like to take a look. Love the pattern, its very clever. Thank you. I plan to encourage my students to make one for themselves.


  9. Alex Mosleys says:

    Hi great reading yoour blog


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