I had a custom make competitive dress made by Latino. I am very unhappy with their product. The pattern on the dress was made totally different from the photo and was poorly attached on the dress. After paying the postage for sending back the dress to fix the problem, it did not fix the problem but ended with two different sleeve shape. I contacted them via email many times and called them as well but they still did not want to fix it. Never never use them, even it highly rated on e-bay!
I feel for you! I ordered a smooth gown from Rainbow Shui. I asked IS THE MATERIAL color "EMERALD" GREEN LIKE GRASS? They told me yes. Who new China has Kentucky Blue Grass!?! The dress is TEAL. On top of that none of the teal colors match, the satin skirt, the body of the dress or the sheer sleeves. I did not have the dress stoned, I prefer to do my own stone work. The body of the dress is covered in glue marks.
They ended up telling me to pick a different dress and they would make it for me for free.
With the TEAL smooth gown I ended up getting sheer black stretch material to put over the torso of dress. This lets the sleeves blend in much better. I just have to sew on my appliques and get the dress stoned, but WHAT a mess!!
I have a dress maker that I take photos of the dresses I like to her along with the material and she can recreate them. I got caught up this time in the photo and the price listed. What came was NOT the same!
Thank you for sharing your story. It was good to hear that they willing to compensated you with a new free dress at the end. I just called my credit card centre, after 50 days of waiting, they told me they got my refund (total amount I spent on the dress and postage fee) and deposited to my account!
I guess getting the dress make from Overseas (Asia countries) is cheaper but it is not easy. What I learnt was: make sure to lodge any problem with the dress straight away to Paypal, ebay or credit card, let them to chase the seller. Do not delay.
I want to make couple more competition dresses but not sure where I should get it make after my last experience. Surely the price is more affordable than local dressmaker from Asia countries. Have you found another dressmaker to make your dress now?
I do have a GREAT dress maker, shes from Russia and use to make competition dresses. Shes not cheep, BUT I'm not paying the price of the dresses sold at a comp. Depending upon the season - wedding time or Prom time her shop is spilling over with girls! LOL good for her!!
As I stated before I look on line for styles I like. Sometimes I find a skirt on 1 dress, sleeves from another dress and a top line from a 3rd dress. My lady can combined all my likes from these down loaded photos to one dress.
We have an industrial area where I live so I head out to the fabric district and search the spandex rooms to get my material. (A word of caution....pay attention to the weight of the material!!! I got so caught up in the color my 1st time out I didnt realize I had purchased swim suit grade. It worked in the costume, but didnt flow as nicely.) Also depending upon the cut of the dress, my dress maker will have me get a bra to sew into the dress. There are NO costume malfunctions when the dress is attached to YOU! Also if youre a bit heavy chested its really nice to have that bra support.
I do my own stone work. I really like The Rhine Stone Guy at of FL. They have been VERY helpful to me in the past. They are VERY honest about the grades of stones on the market and what they sell. I would recommend you get one of their stone sample cards. The stones are on a clear plastic that can be put over the material so you can see what looks best. I had a card one time that was on a black background. It was REALLY hard to work with. Also when you need to repair a costume, replace missing stones, it's nice to be able to measure the stones so you know what size to order. http://www.rhinestoneguy.com/rhinestone_sample_card_and_rhine.htm
Thank you very much for your helpful tips. I normally look for ideas online as well, but haven't met a dressmaker can make ballroom dress. We have N't got rhinestone guy shop in Australia. I brought some Swarovski from Hong Kong last time when I was there for holiday. I used some on my last competition dress and It looks so good.