First, I shopped in Spotlight - a veritable supermarket of sewing/craft paraphernalia in NZ and Australia. I asked the girl (yes, she was a girl, not a woman) behind the counter where they sold "dress forms"... a blank stare. "You know, dressmaker's dummies."... a slow dawning of recognition... "Oh, you mean mannequins [no, not really] - we don't sell them here".
Great, a warehouse dedicated to sewing that does not sell sewing equipment. Okay.
So I tried TradeMe (like eBay). I had a choice of expensive direct imports from China, or a second hand one, for a dollar, with dials that are rusted up. Hmm.
Try again. There was an ad in the NZ Herald for a sewing shop in Onehunga Mall, about 500m from my house. Singer dress forms on sale for $299 - believe me, this is a good price. So I popped in on my lunch break.
Like most local independent stores, the sellers are helpful and keen to please. We discussed which model I needed - the 150, or the 151. These refer to the size range. The smaller is a 10-16 (pattern sizes bear NO resemblance to actual clothing). The other model is a 16-22. I usually sew a 14-16, with some attempt at what I call a BBA (big boob adjustment). I can't just sew larger sizes, as then the rest of the measurements are too large.
So we decided upon a smaller model, which should wear one of my bras to fit. I can tape on extra padding too. If you get a model too big, there is not much you can do to adjust it.
As I was signing the credit card receipt, some random lady said "You know that model won't work for you, you'll definitely need the larger size" and sailed on out the door!
How rude! The retailer and I stared at each other, stunned, with horror in our eyes. Unbelievable... have you ever had something so rude and unexpected dealt to you?
The plus side is that I have the dress form I wanted. She is wearing a slip, because it seemed rude for her to stand in the lounge room with nothing but a bra. And then the slip looked like a sack, so I put a belt on. Once the belt was on, Kat 2.0 seemed partially dressed, what with the slip and belt. So I had to put a necklace on her.
The down side - I still feel bad about that awful woman! I think she probably audits peoples shopping trolleys too. Bitch.