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MAN-nequin … when a Man needs a Stationary Squire!

Ok, that title sure was fun, but the serious issue here is that sometimes a man (or woman) needs a special way to store and display their armor.  Well, it could happen!  And actually it has. But first, we start at the beginning.

Anyone who sews knows that unless you are a specific size range, you will need to make adjustments to a mannequin (dress form) for it to reflect your dimensions. Also, try as I may, I have had no luck finding a Male form that is adjustable.  Let’s take this one step farther as well. Most female adjustable forms only adjust to a certain size and even the XL forms will not accommodate the dimensions of many mature women. I assume men’s forms would pose a similar problem.

The men’s form below would be way too flimsy for the purpose – and never allow for proper construction of a larger man’s garment

So, when I started sewing Faire-Ware for my husband and son, I had to become creative. Overall, one of the largest issues I have is stability due to height and structure.  My family’s men-types are both about 6’4″ tall and as any seamstress knows, the taller you make your mannequin, the more unstable it becomes.

In reality, they do not extend any where near the height needed which is an issue for creating garments.

So while I am dealing with the creative side of utilizing a male form, my husband, Terry, notices a problem for his needs as well:

How best to store his most cherished garment and armor pieces.

Because we have a large master bedroom and the decor’ lends itself to the look of a medieval boudoir, displaying our garb seemed like a fun way to decorate except….

The mannequin he used kept falling over!

Luckily, we ran across a very robust and sturdy torso form at a local flea market which we picked up for a very reasonable price ($5.00 – yea it was a steal).  This torso had the proper body dimensions, but was lacking any stand structure.  So, Terry rose to the occasion and designed a multi-use stand that works in the following ways:

  • holds up the torso with enough strength to allow for under garment, surcoat and full armor to be attached – without falling over!
  • is designed to be the perfect height – it wears the garments in the same manner that Terry would
  • has additional uprights to store his Son of Sandlar boots between fairs
  • Can be filled with sand to provide further weight and stability
  • the stand came at a total material cost of $35.00

As you can see from the following images, the actual construction was very simple and the finished product looks great!

Prior to assembly, measurements were taken to ensure that this MANnequin best emulated the height of my husband.  I measured in the back from the floor to the top of his T-shirt collar. This ended up being the finished height of the stand from floor to the top of the back of the MANnequin.  Now his armor looks amazing!

His Sandlar boots are protected and have their own place to rest between uses.
His Sandlar boots are protected and have their own place to rest between uses

When a picture is taken of this stand next to one of my X-Large women’s mannequins, it is easy to see how they were lacking.

There you have it, problem solved.  The last bit to do is to paint the PVC black so it blends in and looks good in the room.  The contrast in these images served well to show how everything was designed.

If anyone would like the actual dimensions from this project, just give me a holler – Terry is happy to share!


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