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Miss Bedelia: My New Dress Form

Miss Bedelia is my “new” dress form:  she is a gift from my dear aunt, who was kind enough to name her, too, thus sparing her the ignominy of an anonymous existence.  I’ve always wanted one of these, partly because they are such an artifact, but also because I simply wanted to know how they work — and if they are effective as other types.  Not that it matters — is there anything more iconic than this?

Mr. Noile recently helped me fit Miss Bedelia.  This was a non-trivial operation.  There are snaps down the center front and back, but, if you’re trying to put this carapace on by yourself, wriggling into it is, well, interesting.   Or, in my own case, nearly immobilizing.  Mr. Noile was preoccupied downstairs at the time, playing “Birdie” with our little cat Aldebaran, so rescue was not immediately at hand.  Aldebaran is our very bright, hyper-active young cat, and the entire household’s well-being depends on Aldebaran getting a daily workout playing Birdie.

There are no photos of me encased in Miss Bedelia.  This is at least partly because once Mr. Noile found his way upstairs, he took one look at me, wrapped as I was in a steel cage, and said “so it’s not just kilts, is it, now?”  which was a reference to my affection for men in kilts.  Which I assure you is merely in the interest of their (or, in this case, Mr. Noile’s) well-being, not some random perversion. Who wouldn’t want to wear a Utili-Kilt?  Particularly the one with all the (snap-able! removable! adjustable!) cargo pockets?

But I digress.  Mr. Noile agreeably pushed and pulled and generally mauled Miss Bedelia into (my) shape, and then unsnapped both sides.  That was, itself, a bit of a weird moment, as I shed two halves of myself, and watched them split off, all hollow and, well, empty of what makes me, me.

I quickly reassembled Miss Bedelia, and tried my nearly-finished red dress on her new shape.  Perfect!  Or as near as can be expected — the dress actually fits me a bit better, but Miss Bedelia’s form is plenty close enough  to work with.  Miss Bedelia will be best with woven fabrics, though, I can see.  The lumps and bumps made by her hardware might be a bit distracting, and perhaps cause some distortion, when working with knits.

She originally came with a set of adjustable rods which thread through loops attached to her center support, and with twill-tape-like ties to hold her shell to the shoulder support.  I was able to replicate the ties, of course, but haven’t quite decided what to do about the internal supports, though I’m kicking around a couple of ideas.  If I’m careful, they may not be necessary.

Because Miss Bedelia’s pedestal spelled disaster for my oak floors, I picked up a rolling plant stand from IKEA, guessing that it would work well.  As you can see, it couldn’t have been a better solution.  Miss Bedelia is very light, so moving her around the room is a breeze now, and no floors are harmed in the process.


Duct Tape Dummy

Easiest Dummy Stand Ever

“My Double” Instruction Booklet

A Tale of Two Dummies

Replacement Rods for “My Double” Dress Form

Read the post about the dress here:  Vogue 1088 and Burda 7658

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  1. joyce
    May 26th, 2012 at 12:49 | #1

    Just got a My double dress form with only one rod and found your fix to missing rods most helpful. And thank you for sharing your instruction book with us. Thank You

    • May 27th, 2012 at 16:29 | #2

      You’re very welcome, Joyce! Happy sewing with your new form!

  2. May 2nd, 2012 at 08:24 | #3

    I was given this very dress form over the weekend. I did a Google search and found your blog. I am pretty excited about learning more about My Double. I also found your instruction book which is most helpful.

    Don’tcha just love the Internet?

    All the best in sewing,


    • May 2nd, 2012 at 09:02 | #4

      Enjoy your My Double, Deborah! Yes, the Internet is amazing — new life to old things, huzzah, huzzah!

  3. Paula
    May 4th, 2010 at 12:21 | #5

    HI there! What a wonderfully beautiful dress form! How funny your husband is. Sounds like my husband! lol. I was wondering what kind of form that is and where I might be able to find one? I’ve been looking for something unique yet practical like this to help me with my sewing! Let me know. Thanks sweetie! And congrats on your new friend. lol

    • May 4th, 2010 at 20:52 | #6

      Funny, Paula! As to finding your own Miss Bedelia, you might try eBay or Craigslist, or even etsy, where odd things occasionally turn up. You might have to be patient, but I’ll bet one will turn up. Miss Bedelia is a “My Double” dress form, but that’s not very helpful, since Dritz is still making forms under that name — but the modern ones are very different. I’m thinking that you might do best searching under “vintage metal dress form” or something like that.

  4. Sue
    April 13th, 2010 at 09:33 | #7

    I love the dress.

    Can you tell me which pattern you’re using?


    • April 14th, 2010 at 10:31 | #8

      Hi, Sue — it’s actually two patterns; I’ll have a review up soon. The skirt is Vogue 1088 (fantastic!) and the bodice is Burda 7658 (it’s similar to the bodice in 1088, but has a full back). And I love it, too! I should be able to post the review by Friday.

  5. April 13th, 2010 at 09:31 | #9

    Actually I have never seen anything like that! At first I thought it was an artist interpretation of a fitting model. It’s beautiful, very Steampunk style too. How lucky you are. Wow.

    • April 14th, 2010 at 10:36 | #10

      It’s real, Lsa! I think I’d want it in my home even if I didn’t sew . . . you’ve hit on something else I love about it — apart from the cool mechanics, it really does look like something someone would sketch if it didn’t exist!

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