Mission Accomplished! I Found Another Vintage Hearthside Dress Form!

Sisters side by side
I have been looking for a second adjustable vintage dress model for some time now, I need to have a dress form for in the Kitchen, (Our Kitchen under canvas that we have at Events).

I plan on doing some sewing while we cook as well as showing and selling a few handmade dresses and other garments I no longer have a use for. We are generally set up far from our living quarters during an Event, so it will save me hauling the form back and forth everyday.

I had been watching ebay and wasn't very pleased with what I saw, most forms were in pretty ugly shape and going for prices and shipping that far exceeded my budget.

We had to make a trip to Minnesota to get our Home on Wheels looked at for warranty purposes, so this put me in striking distance of some of the best Vintage and Antique stores in the Twin Cities.
Making adjustments

We finally ended up in Hopkins MN, a sleepy little berg just outside Minneapolis proper that has some of the best antique and vintage offerings around all within a few blocks of each other.

Every inquiry we made was met with the same answer, nobody had any or they had just sold the last one they had. A couple places had cheap mannequin display props they offered us that were cheap and flimsy, (and all size 4 or so).

We also saw many of those wire hinged types that were sold out of the back of women's magazines that you just slipped into and reshaped the cage around you, (then somehow got out of without warping it out of shape again).

Maybe this would work for someone with a lot of patience, but I never was impressed with something that looked like a torture device that even when properly fitted would be a booger Bear to work with.

What I needed was durability and the ability to adjust the size accuratley. Like the Hearthside size C I already use and love dearly.

Little here and there...
We had already been to several stores and called many others, we were just about to give up when we walked into a little Mom & Pop place called "Auntie Em's" in Hopkins. 

We were met at the door by "Auntie Em" herself and yes, she did have an adjustable  dress form, there it was right next to where she was standing, and it seemed like it was almost jumping up and down like an eager pup at the Pound, saying "Take Me! Take Me!"

I couldn't believe my eyes! it was a Hearthside!

We quickly undressed her and found out to my delight that she was a size B! This was just what I was looking for! And it was in amazing shape!

This was just too good to be true, since I have lost weight and plan on losing a bit more, my size C is actually an inch too large for me in the hips lately...but I know it well enough to make mental adjustments when I stitch something up something on her.

Finally just right!
We were also surprised at the price, lets just say that I didn't have a chance in heck of finding one at this reasonable a price in good condition on ebay and then I would have had to pay shipping too.
We gladly threw down the cash and brought her home, I spent about half an hour adjusting her to my size and was surpized how easily it went, the adjusters were like new!

I then considered making a custom sewn cover for her to cover the gaps, (especially at the waist where the gap is the most troublesome for pinning), but in the end, I just folded paper towels into a long sash which I wrapped neatly around her and then used masking tape to stiffen and secure the toweling to the gap in the dropped waist. I then "borrowed" one of my Husbands T-shirts and slipped it over the form as a covering I can pin to.

I intend on making a custom garment or two for a few of my Lady Friends this Winter in Florida, so it doesn't make sense to make a fancy permanent cover to have to take it all off in just a few months.

Paper towel and masking tape sizing..
All ready to get dressed up and go to work!
Eventually I plan on custom covering both forms with a special quilt I have that has seen better days but I am loath to part with. The quilt is a nice thin summer weight with even padding through out and means a lot to me, so I'll have my girls all dressed up even when they aren't and I'll make it capable of being slipped off if I have a job to do that requires resizing one of them.

I feel very blessed to find the exact dress model I was looking for and in great condition to boot! My husband says it was meant to be and he even named her "Beth"!

He sure has come a long way from grumbling about there not being enough room in the RV for even one dress model, he now knows how happy it makes me to have a project mounted up and ready to work on! He has even done some repairs for me to keep my girls looking and working well. I have a jewel for a husband who supports me in my passion to design and recreate historic clothing and I love him dearly, for it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    So by pure luck and no effort on my part I was freely gifted a size B dress form exactly like this. I am thrilled and i love it. However looking online theres not a lot of information on value? and since you seem to know something about these dress forms i was wondering if you could point me toward a replacement value (mostly for insurance purposes)?



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