1910s | Dress Forms | Vintage Sewing

An Edwardian Mannequin

December 9, 2012

This is not a new project but I’m planning on making a new one for decoration so I’m trying to recall what I learned from the last one.

I bought this Edwardian dummy pattern at Atelier Sylphe Corsets. The pattern is very precise and comes together without tweaking. For me, the instructions were enough but I wont recommend this for a beginner. The fabric is thick cotton twill, upholstery fabrics probably works the best. I recommend lining the neck, arm and bottom plates with cardboard for a clean look. I filled my dummy with polyester filling which worked OK but the material is to lightweight and it took ridiculous amounts of filling to get an even shape. There is a reason people used straw or sawdust originally. Next time Ill try something else. Over all this is a nice looking, unusual pattern.

Here it is again with a corset on. My first try on an Edwardian S-shape from a free pattern. The pattern was published in various home sewing books the years around 1910. This is a quickly made, single layer corset with only six bones on each side so its not very supportive but works well for testing the fit. The Corset is made for me so its a bit big for the dummy.

  1. Try Great Stuff spray foam insulation. You can buy it at Home Depot or the like. It will make your dress form sturdy, but you’ll still be able to pin in it.

  2. I’ve been curious about Atelier Sylphe’s antique dress form patterns for a while now, so it’s great to see this review. I wonder whether there’s some synthetic alternative to sawdust..

  3. I made a mannequin from the Atelier Sylphe victorian pattern Ref: VIC, and filled her with flushable kitty litter made from corn cobs called ‘World’s Best Cat Litter’. WHY? you may ask … I had a couple bags on hand and it compresses densely unlike plastic or foam pellets. It’s heavy, but it doesn’t squish when you put a corset on her.

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