Making a Cover for a Dressform

Making an easy cover for a dressform

Her name is Bertha, and she came in the mail last week. Bertha and I have a something in common, like dress size. Though I’d like to think that I have a good head over my shoulders.

I always wanted to have a friend like Bertha, to sew some nice clothes together and play dress-up. But friends like Bertha are expensive, so when I found I could have her for less than $100 plus shipping, I decided it was time.

Making a cover for a dressform

This is Bertha when she came to me. She’s an adjustable dress form, a very basic one. She’s no pinnable (bummer), and is covered in some ugly gray flannel on top of her plastic frame. You can see the gaps where the adjustable plates join, on top of that, the gaps are more pronounced after I adjusted her to my size (I am bustier). I needed to do something about it.

The process was simple, and the photos self-explanatory.

Making a cover for a dressform

1. Pin some stretchy fabric (Jersey or ribbed knit works best) along side join, stretching as needed. Then mark the cutting line between the pins. Cut piece. Repeat for the back.
2. Join the two pieces with with overcast machine. Serge the hem with looser threads.
3. Pass a thick cotton tread through loops in the hem.
4. Tighten and gather  fabric at the bottom. Tie the threads.

Hello, gorgeous!

This is the second cover I made for her, following the same process.

While Bertha is not a pinnable dressform, the two layers fabric (the pink one is underneath) means I can pin fabric to the new cover in a pinch. So it’s not only a matter of looking better.

I can now also wash her cover when necessary, and now that I see how easy this was, I can buy other fabrics and make new covers any time. This may be the easiest DIY cover for a dress form yet.

Bertha hasn’t said anything about her new looks (she’s a shy girl), but I can tell she looks happier. What do you think?

Aunt Clara
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{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Sian June 23, 2015, 2:47 AM

    Hello! I know this is a pretty old post now, but this tutorial was exactly what I was looking for and I just wanted to let you know that I think it’s GENIUS that you use the serger threads as a channel for the gathering hem. I’m going to have to try that technique! You should be proud that your work is still inspiring people.

    • Aunt Clara June 23, 2015, 7:00 PM

      Thank you so much. In case you wanted to know, Bertha is holding up beautifully and the cover looks as beautiful as the first day. :)

  • Prabha jain November 8, 2012, 12:59 PM

    I m craft lover person ,always keen to watch new ideas.

  • Anonymous July 21, 2012, 4:39 AM

    Hi, Thanks for the tips. This will help me greatly. Thanks ever.

  • Anonymous May 4, 2012, 2:15 AM

    This is awesome. I have been looking for a black jersey cover for my dress forms, and so I thank you for posting this.

  • Tara Miller May 2, 2012, 6:16 PM

    (Under statement of the month) THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous November 22, 2011, 9:22 PM

    Love it – Thanks for tutorial.Dee.

  • katrinna louise January 7, 2011, 8:10 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been searching the web up and down for a tutorial on how to cover my dress form. Now, I finally have a use for mine (which is too big for me, and I've been unsuccessful in selling). My fabric wasn't quite stretchy enough; however, I made it work by adding a zipper to the back – since I'm only using the dress form in photos that will have the front visible. It looks awesome!

  • Aunt_Clara August 4, 2010, 1:49 PM

    Thanks all. The pink "skin" is growing on me. It looks so much better than what she came in with that pink is a huge improvement.

  • Rubyred August 4, 2010, 8:03 AM

    Hello!I think Bertha looks lovely in pink! Love the sweet hearts you made for your daughters room too!Rachel x

  • Anji* August 2, 2010, 11:46 PM

    A definite improvement.. I like the sound of floral print, I'm sure Bertha does too! It's great when an aesthetic improvement is also a functional one too..

  • Anonymous August 2, 2010, 7:22 PM

    Very nice! And thanks for the source information. -EJ-

  • Juliejaz August 2, 2010, 3:24 PM

    Bertha has a very pretty butterfly necklace and she does look happy and content in pink – instead of the gray ☺.