Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Restoration of Mildred My Acme Adjustable Dress Form

Bummer! As I was preparing to post about my progress on repairing Mildred, my Acme Adjustable Dress Form, I deleted the previous post. :( I will attempt to recap that post a bit before posting about the restoration below.

I was generously given her by a friend who overheard me daydreaming about one. These sewing gems are available for purchase in auctions, on  Etsy and on Ebay, but free is better, always.

Magazine Ad.
 She is made well of board, jersey and steel.

Mildred in here fully expanded glory.

She is well loved and has some damage.
It still has its' original label. 

I was apprehensive about dismantling her to make the needed repairs. Courtney at 24 Kites to Fly has successfully repaired Bertha, her antique dress form. Based on her success and advice, I had the confidence to move forward.


Damage that went completely through the board. It is held in place by the fabric.

I glued it together to stabilize it, but there are still holes to be filled. My initial thought is paper mache type pulp paste to fill and decoupaged paper to cover. Thoughts?  I will also recover the jersey fabric with something from my stash.

Soaking the nuts and bolts in vinegar to dissolve the rust.

Steel wool cleaned the rust away easily. Before on the right.
I will continue to attempt to bring her to her former glory. I am undecided if I want to keep to the jersey neutral or jazz it up with a print. I am also on the fence about the interior paper too. I have some lovely options that I can choose from. 

What do you think? Stay true to history or add my spin?

Happy Sewing,


  1. Awesome project, can't wait to see what you do with it!!!

  2. Have you finished? I am working on one myself and am hoping for since tips :)

    1. :) I have finished it! I will post the results shortly! Let me know what you think and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

  3. I just purchased one like yours for $45 from an estate sale. She was in great condition except one Nolt was torn off from the side. I took the piece off and secured it back on VERY successfully with a two part epoxy made especially for bonding fiberglass and metal. I'm sure this would work great for filling holes. It did seep through the fabric a bit, but cures smooth and hard.


  4. Need help. I purchased one of these and am unsure how to adjust it so it stays up. Does it need a special pin or something, or does it already have everything it needs and I just need to adjust form in some way.