18 October 2013

My New Workroom Dummy

For the past few months I have been looking for a new workroom dummy with more realistic measurements (size 12-14) that my usual industry sample size 8.  It's great for the clients but useless if you want to work in more realistic proportions.

Don't get me wrong, I love my workroom dummy.  She is a great shape for clothing with a soft bust shape and a round derrière.  Unfortunately the company that made and sold these in Australia has closed, so I was reduced to trawling ebay for possible offers.  

There is one other supplier of new dummies in Sydney but a combination of high prices and unrealistic body shape really puts me off.
So back to ebay...  And there is was (below), a great shape with the fabric still in good condition and a very realistic price (no stand).  So I grabbed the 'buy it now' option and headed west to  pick up my treasure.

What a surprise when I arrived at the warehouse and measured the dummy to find that (with exception of the waist, of course!) she is a good match for my hip and bust measurement.  Happy days!
And she also has a great shape with reasonable bust shape and rounded derrière.  So many of them are flat. :/

So now I have to deal with the fact she has no legs.  Lucky, lucky me to have an inventive/practical boyfriend willing to help me solve this problem.  A quick trip to the Salvo's (large local charity store warehouse) and we found a slightly unique but quirky bar stool that became our stand.  I think it was already some strange hybrid with a cream vinyl seat on this slightly vintage four legged base?!  

The best part being that under the seat there is a sturdy metal plate that we fashioned to fit the bottom of the stand.  Some repair was needed on the stand with worn, wobbly joints and drill holes.  Once glued, reinforced and screwed we were ready to attach the dummy to the stand.

We were really happy to find that the fibreglass in the base of the dummy was made deliberately thick to stabilise the much finer fibreglass mould of the body.   That gave us a strong layer for the timber plate we added to take the screws from the seat plate.  A wonderful, improvised building process.

In this final photo you can see the finished product and the discarded cream vinyl seat.  I love this fascinating hybrid combination of furniture and workroom dummy.  So very, very happy. :))


A final problem remains - now that we have two dummies in the studio I think we need to name them to reduce confusion.  Any ideas?
The new dummy on the left is Size 12 and the original dummy on the right is a generous Size 8.

Feel free to comment with your suggestions for names for our girls. :)


  1. The modifications you have made are brilliant! She's just beautiful.


  2. Thank you so much. I do enjoy a good bit of re-use/recycle. ;)

  3. Nooooo.... And anyway the 'plump' one matches my measurements. :/

  4. Miss petite is Constance or Ethel... the new girl is Sophie, or... Veronique?

    Loving your Blog! It's years since I last stood in worship at the pattern table, imagine my surprise at feeling the urge to return. Well done

  5. In reply to Donna Gordon I have to say I love Ethel for the petite stand and Veronique for the new girl. Thanks for the contribution. :)

  6. Did the names stick? Great reuse! Love it!

    1. Yes they have. Ethel Eight has stuck for the petite stand (actually size 8). But I think I need a name that rhymes well with size 12 or reuse for our new girl. Do you have any suggestions? :)

  7. You should name your size 12 girl Imelda.

    1. I love Imelda for the size twelve! Thanks Leigh. :)