Singer Sewing Centers — 1946


There’s a lot going on here, but the thing that stands out for me is the mention that it was possible to go into one of these stores and get a custom-made dress form: “Molded-to-you Singer Form. Yes, we can make an exact duplicate of your figure and save you from tedious dress fittings. Molding takes only 30 minutes. Form complete with adjustable stand, only $19.75.”

How did they do that? After a bit of looking around on the internet, I came across a woman’s account of what the process was like for her and her mother, in about 1946 or 1947: “[W]e both went to the Singer shop and had personal forms made for ourselves. I remember that they were expensive, but well finished and were made by heating some sheets of copper colored material (HOT!) and then smoothing onto the body with their hands after dipping them in what looked to be soapy water. From that point on took about three weeks longer for the experts to finish them with stands, etc.”

I’d love to seem some old footage of that process, if it exists. And, it was pretty expensive for post-War Americans. Today’s equivalent of 1946’s $19.75 is about $230.00.

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