Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sabrina the dressmakers dummy

I'd like you all to meet my dear friend Sabrina. Not only is she one gutsy broad, but she totally rules the clothes hanging in my wardrobe. Nobody messes with this mannequin!

Sabrina #1

Nah, seriously, I often get asked about my dummy, so I thought I'd tell you a bit about her. She's pretty darn old - I'd say she was a 60's or 50's model. A friend of mine spotted her in a garage sale one day. She knew I sewed, and would love a dummy, so she went over to the lady running the sale and asked how much she wanted for her. The lady said "I really just want to clear this stuff out - I'll take what you'll offer." Much to my friend's embarassment, she only had $1.65 on her, but the lady said "She's yours!" and pocketed the shrapnel, presumably happy to have a bit more space cleared more than anything.

So Sabrina, as I named her, came to live with me (I tried to pay my friend the $1.65 back but she wouldn't hear of it!) As funky as Sabrina looks, she's not really in good enough condition to be used as a true dressmakers mannequin. Most of her parts don't slot together very well, and last time I tried to adjust her, the bolt I was twisting broke clean off in my hand. So I mostly just use her for photos, or for letting garment pieces hang until I am ready to sew them again. She wears the cover (spencer I believe somebody called it yesterday) because it keeps her insides warm. Nah, I think it is to give a smooth line over her moving parts. She's definitely not like the new models where everything fits together perfectly!

So that's Sabrina. She's pretty old, and fairly useless as a dummy, but I wouldn't be without her. Besides she's always good for a photoshoot, or to even insert as a character in those daft stories I can't help myself from writing. If you were after a good adjustable dress form, though, the Diana models are very good. Tessuti Fabrics sells them, and will be more than happy to order in a size for you if so required.

I'm feeling bad that poor old Sabrina is sitting up there all naked. This is a family-friendly blog - I can't be having any nudey rudeys sitting about! Better put something on her quick smart...

Sabrina #2

...oh look! That Butterick 5601 is coming along nicely, innit? (hee hee!)


  1. Sabrina is a bit prettier than my old Sally despite the ravages of age. Sally is a modern, tacky and impractical. Love Sabrina's latest dress - its a good pink.

  2. This blog wouldn't be the same without your cool stories or your unique dressmakers dummy.

  3. Thanks Butterfly :)

  4. She's pretty spesh that Sabrina!
    I like the look of that pattern ;)

  5. It's the things that come your way/find, with a story behind them, that makes them extra special - great find!!

  6. Sabrina sounds like she'd enjoy a cuppa tea with my Glady's - Glady's is a bit more Gen Y but she respects her elders.

  7. She's a real beaut! And you're right, they're wonderful company in the sewing room (although my Miss Gertrude's stand keeps coming apart....).

  8. I've got one just like Sabrina, although I haven't named her yet...
    How do I adjust her to my size? I see all the screws inside but how do I manage to get to them? Would love some advice.


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