Tag Archives: John Hall dressform


In lieu of actual sewing (which has consisted of two zipper repairs and a lot of daydreaming), I bring you yet another post on old sewing-related junk.

Antique Dressform

Another of those home-town resources.

A long time ago, my mother bought a dressform.

Of course, being my mother, she didn’t buy it because she was sewing, and she certainly didn’t go down to Fanny’s Fabrics and pick up some wobbly new thingy.

No, she brought this lady home from an antique store.

John Hall Dressform (The other leg says John Hall but the photo wasn’t as good.)

Some googling turned up a patent from 1881 for a very much similar form. Although not a whole lot else other than some exorbitantly priced ebay listings.

Neck & shoulder adjustable

I’m fascinated by all the varieties of fitting you could get in this. Total height is adjustable (though short, at least at the moment.) Torso length is adjustable. The skirt could be umbrella’d in or out depending on the fashion. The shoulders are adjustable. The neck is a high, solid (but adjustable) piece, for aid in fitting high collars, I suppose. There are built-in measuring tapes at waist and hips.

Hip tape measure.

And, yes, she sits around in my mother’s upstairs hall, usually sporting a hat or something. I’d be too terrified to actually use her, that’s for sure.

If you dress it…

The patent has a further measuring tape at the bust, which makes me wonder if she might have lost one there, although there’s no obvious sign of one.



Filed under Sewing