Saturday, February 9, 2013

Clarissa

Remember I mentioned I had bought something rather exciting, which I was dying to show off here??
Well, here she is!
Yesterday was Cassie's birthday, and I knew that she has coveted a dressmaker's dummy for a while.  Actually I have been searching in a lukewarm sort of a way for a few years; ever since her birthday two years ago actually (eek!)....  poor Cassie!  Well, this birthday is an important one so I got serious at last.  And I didn't want to settle for something tacky; I wanted to get her really nice one; solid, well made, classy, attractive; one to last a lifetime.  In my opinion, a good dress form is just about indispensable to the serious seamster.  And even if you're not, they can just look nice standing in the corner displaying a funky dress or scarf or necklace too!
Cassie has named her Clarissa.  She is the small Lady Valet,  from Wm. C. Jackson and Co; an Australian company.  She is height and width adjustable.  Isn't she gorgeous?!
 It couldn't have been easier, I put in an order, paid, and a box turned up a week later on my doorstep.  No fuss, no hassles whatsoever.
Well, no hassles if you don't count that it took me a few years to find her, that is!
My first port of call was to check out Dummies WA, the local business that made my own beautiful, solid-as-a-rock Bessie, who has appeared here on my blog loads of times.  But her maker has retired and the business is no more  :((
I looked briefly at the ones in Spotlight, but they only had some very ugly, very flimsy models, covered in dreadful bright red nylon.  Aesthetics are important to me; and of course you can make a stretch knit cover to hide a hideous colour; in fact I will probably make a cover for Clarissa too.  But flimsiness cannot be fixed!
So I ventured online.. scary stuff.  I'm nervous about purchasing something big and expensive online.  I prefer to buy local, deal with a real person, and have the thing right there and then; but I couldn't!
There were some really good European and British companies, which did not seem to post to Australia.  And probably would have been astronomical if they had.  I found a few really beautiful Japanese ones, but I couldn't work out how to translate the websites.
So I was pretty relieved when I stumbled upon this one.  She seemed perfect in her picture online, and she is!
Cassie is thoroughly stoked; therefore so am I  :)
Incidentally, Cassie is wearing here her own version of the Burdastyle 05/2010 sundress 114.  I made another version of this same pattern for her here, and one for myself here.
Please note: this is not an endorsement; although I am a very happy customer! and I did not receive any freebies or discounts.
Later edit: below, a better picture of Cassie's dress.  I forgot I had taken this one, from last Christmas :)

27 comments:

  1. Oh, I really want to get a dress form and Clarissa is really stunning! :-) First for me is to find a proper sewing room where I can leave one up all the time, then I can start looking. I'm hoping there's a company here in NZ which is as amenable as Wm C Jackson and Co.

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  2. Such a fantastic gift. My daughter is only 5, but looking ahead I feel like this culture of young women making things for themselves and defining themselves through their aesthetic choices, rather than just consuming and seeing themselves as objects to be clothed (or unclothed), is such a positive development. And this ( and of course your own example) is a really wonderful way to support that in your daughter.

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  3. YAY You did order from them! I knew you'd be pleased with the Lady Valet and that company was so good to deal with. Very quick to answer my enquiries and well, I got mine the next day but I am in Melb - but they were just lovely! Cassie looks happy with hers and hmm... I'm still thinking of a name for mine. :D

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  4. Wow, that's a great looking dress form. I've been using one that my sister found at an auction for less than $100. Nothing wrong with it, it does the job, but I think I'd be so much more productive if I had one of these (or so I could tell my husband when he protests at the price).

    Can you adjust the height of this one?

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    1. Andrea F; yes, she is height adjustable, and thank you for asking; I forgot to say anything about that in this post! so have now updated to include this information :)

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  5. Really really awesome! Clarissa is great and Im sure Cassie will enjoy her forever!

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  6. Belated birthday wishes to her. I can see that she is very happy with the gift. what a thoughtful gift. i also dream of owning a dress form someday :)

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  7. Lucky Cassie! Clarissa is lovely. A dress form has been on my wish list for the longest time. I can't decide on adjustable or fixed and, being short, most are too long in the back waist for me. Did you look at PGM forms? I have a half scale PGM form which I love but I really need a full size one too.

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  8. I know that Cassie and Clarissa will spend lot of quality time together resulting in lots of great outfits. Cassie's dress is lovely and I can see that she has your talent.

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  9. Many happy returns Cassie and you and Clarissa will be very good buddies.

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  10. I must confess - I am green with envy! I've never seen such a beautiful dress form... wonder if I can find something like that here in the states.... You have great taste!

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  11. What a lovely idea and Cassie looks delighted. I have vintage one that sits on our chest of drawers called Gloria, very tiny and unadjustable. Sadly I just have no room for a floorstanding dummy.

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  12. perfect birthday presi for Cassie and she looks so pleased with it.

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  13. It is lovely - just as you i have been searching, but I can just find the ugly ones too. If you can remember the homepages you found based in Europe, I would be happy to know.

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    1. I would also be grateful to know any names you found for UK companies Caroline.

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  14. Yes, she's a beauty isn't she! Twins with my girl, Lady who joined me about 18 months ago. You may need to cover her as I find things tend to stick to her making it hard to put things on her. Lady wears a nylon cami which really helps.

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  15. Oh man, what an awesome dress form. I had to buy a cheesy one, because I couldn't justify spending over 500. I keep hoping I can find a good one in a thrift shop or Craigslist.

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  16. what a lucky girl! i have a dressform, but it's barely more useful than a hangar as i can't get it to match my size. i'll have to splurge someday!

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  17. Looks lovely! Cassie's a very lucky girl.

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  18. Wonderful! I got a dress form when I was your daughter's age in 1968. My husband bought one for me recently from Joann's and you would just not believe the difference in quality. I think it's best to get the best quality you can afford. Incidentally, the name is great--the same as my grandmother's name who was born in 1898. Such a romantic name!

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  19. Happy Birthday Cassie! What a great birthday present - Clarissa looks perfect. Thanks for the link - I live in Melbourne and can't believe I didn't know about this company!! Thank you!!!

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  20. Happy Birthday Cassie and I hope you love using your dummy. Caroline, thank you for sharing where you got this wonderful dress form - I need a new non wobbly one and was wondering where to go to purchase one. I got a second hand cheapie years ago from Dummies WA when I lived in Perth, so thanks for your info about them as well.

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  21. i just got the same dressform! i am really happy with her. she looks good, is stable, and pinnable (well, if you slant the pins) i ordered from singersewingmachines in england, shipped to sewden, for the other europeans out there!

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  22. Clarissa belongs to the same family as my Bessie. Clearly Bessies branch of the family is somewhat *ahem* larger than Clarissa but I hope Cassie gets every bit as much help from Clarissa as Bessie gives me.
    Happy Birthday Cassie!

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  23. Lucky lady! She'll have so much fun with this. I wish I had more uses for mine--it's too big in almost every place. Do you use yours for draping or fitting?

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  24. This is beautiful with the natural fabric and wooden stand. I looked at the website and it seems to adjust to a wide range of measurements. I looked here only casually, but haven't seen any that worked for my measurements, oddly enough.

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