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Unusual wedding dress thoughts.

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MakingTheGrade

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As a little girl growing up, I was kind of chubby, and my dad used to tell me how much I used to look like the beautiful girls of the Chinese renaissance era. So I grew up identifying with that image as romantic and beautiful so when it came time to wedding dress shop, I immediately thought of wearing a dress that was reminiscent of that time era. (Also, one of my first gifts to my fiance was a painting of one of those women, it's in the photo montage below).

I designed the dress, and had it made while I was in China. For the most part, I love it. My concerns:
1. I'll look really odd since everyone else will be dressed in the traditional western style
2. The top is actually a little loose, and if I raise my arms, it slides down a bit..and then a bit more..and then you see my boob, lol. I'm hoping heavy duty fashion tape will fix this, but I'm open to other ideas!
3. I've never ever worn a 100% silk dress before and am deathly afraid that I'll rip it to shreds. The silk is a extremely fine, I'm a little worried it'll get caught on things and develop a run (like in stockings). I was wondering if any of you gals had any trouble with the dresses? I'm debating changing into a reception dress because I'm afraid the wedding dress might be too delicate/high maintenance for all the dancing and reception madness.
4. I have no idea what to do for hair. The hair during that era was REALLY over the top, and definitely not something I could come close to replicating.

Anyways, picture time!

Dresscollage8109.jpg
 

jstarfireb

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Ooh, I love unique dresses! I think it''s really beautiful and will work nicely if you make the coral trim color one of your wedding colors (bridesmaids would probably look great in it; it''s actually a universally flattering color). For the boobage issue, I would take it to a good seamstress who can take the top in just enough. Can''t speak to the fabric since my dress is cheapo polyester. For the hair, I would do something sleek and simple, like a low chignon or French twist. Just my opinion though!
 

lliang_chi

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Agreed a seamstress will be able to take in the top so it won''t slip. I think it''s lovely for a wedding dress.
 

MakingTheGrade

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Thanks!
My only concern with taking the top in is that I don''t want under-arm-fat syndrome, lol. I also don''t know seamstresses in Philly, and I''m not sure how easy it would be to take in...

Also, I was surprised at how cheap silk is as a material. I had the option of making the dress out of silk or a polyester blend, and it wouldn''t have made a difference in price (500$). (I went with silk because the wedding is in August and I really don''t need to be leaving sweat stains on my dress!)
 

MakingTheGrade

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I just wanted to add a picture of the embroidery (details are my favorite part!)I''m amazed people can embroider this kind of thing by hand, I can barely sow a button on nicely, haha.

dressDetails00009.jpg
 

jstarfireb

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I can recommend you a fantastic seamstress in the Philly area if you''re interested (Roxborough to be exact).
 

elrohwen

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I love it. It's so unique and special. I don't really know much about fabric so I don't know if it would be a problem ... I think it would be a shame to get a reception dress though because then you wouldn't be able to wear it for as long. Maybe find a seamstress or something and ask their opinion on the fabric durability. Just ask the opinion of whomever you hire to take the top in a bit.
 

MakingTheGrade

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Oooo, I''d love a recommendation for a philly seamstress! I''m new to the city...and I''ve also never gotten anything altered (so advice on that line would be great too! I have no idea what this kind of alteration should cost?)
 

jstarfireb

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Sure thing! Look up Kathy Rippert of Rippert's Custom Tailoring and Dressmaking. She's at the corner of Henry and Roxborough Avenues. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post a phone number here, but she should be searchable. She specializes in difficult jobs like bridal and bridesmaid dresses.

Taking the bodice in shouldn't be terribly expensive. Let me show you a great example of before-and-after pics of myself in a bridesmaid dress. This had to be taken in at 3 seams (silly me for buying too big!). The whole job cost $50, no hem though.

Here's the before pic (sorry for the blurriness, and the threadjack for that matter; I promise I'll be done soon)...

jstar-before2.jpg
 

jstarfireb

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...and the after. You can see how dramatic the change was. Before alterations, I couldn''t even wear it without the straps...it fell right off of me! After, it fit like a glove.

Kathy will be doing my wedding dress alterations as well (just straps and a bustle though).

jstar-after.jpg
 

Winks_Elf

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Is there any chance of getting more of the red material and having a local seamstress add a wide border to the top of the gown? The top part is a little low, thus the boob exposure when you raise your arms. It''s too short in the bust (but looks fantastic if you don''t raise your arms!).

Stunning gown, I may add!
 

MakingTheGrade

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Wow! Doesn't even look like the same dress! Thanks!
Hopefully she can lend me a hand. :) How early do you think I should go get it altered? I still have 5 months to go (and I'm in the process of slimming down and toning up so my measurements are probably going to be unstable for the next few months, although my chest measurement probably won't change much I guess?)

As for:
"Is there any chance of getting more of the red material and having a local seamstress add a wide border to the top of the gown? The top part is a little low, thus the boob exposure when you raise your arms. It's too short in the bust (but looks fantastic if you don't raise your arms!). "

I thought it was too short too!! But the dress maker kept saying "that's just how low wedding gowns are these days", and I guess I just went along because I figured they new more about it than I did (I very very rarely wear formal or strapless dresses). Unfortunately, I can't get more of the fabric...but I might ask the seamstress is she has a complementary red fabric that might do? I don't know, I'm really pretty clueless about dresses and dress alterations.
 

jstarfireb

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Regarding timing, I think it's customary to do the first fitting about 4 months before the wedding, so you're coming up to a good time. (ETA: you never know about weight loss; they say the first place we gals lose weight is in the bust.)

I also see how the bust is fitting a little low; however, you may run into problems hiking it up because of the band below the bust. All the more reason to go to a good seamstress. You could also ask a professional about the durability of the fabric.
 

Tuckins1

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Oh my. It''s one of the most stunning dresses I have ever seen! Truly. I would have the top taken in a little bit and wear that sucker with pride!!
 

MakingTheGrade

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Thanks JStar you''ve been a great help!

Yeah, I have no sisters and my mom and my entire family live on the other side of the world, so I don''t really have anyone to turn to for these girly questions (certainly my fiance is little help, haha) So thanks again!
 

Lynnie

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Making: Beautiful gown! I love the colors, too!!
I am also in Philly, and could recommend someone in the NE area of the city if you like. I was a BM, and the dress shop messed up and ordered me a size too small, and I didn''t pick the dress up till the week before. I was FRANTIC. My seamstress saved my A$$, and took pieces from the shawl to make it bigger. $75 and she did it in 2 days.

About the weight loss thing... I''ve lost 25 lbs in the past 2 years, and sadly, my chest is 1 whole cup smaller. I miss my boobies! It''s like that commercial with the cartoon couple.


Love your dress, though. Do you have a link to your BM''s dresses?
 

iheartscience

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I LOVE that dress! I second taking it to a good seamstress to get the issues with the top fixed.

And I am also deathly afraid of armpit fat! (And back fat if it''s too tight on top!) Hopefully that will motivate me to stay in shape for my wedding!
 

MakingTheGrade

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I appreciate the compliments, I've been feeling self conscious about the dress lately as I realize that other people will be seeing me in it, lol.

Any other seamstress recommendations would be great just in case Kathy's overbooked or something comes up!

A rant on armpit fat: AHHH!! It's so odd! I don't for the life of me know how to get rid of it! I'm fairly fit (I run 10 miles a week on average and hit the gym 5 days a week, etc) but it will NOT go away! Seriously, the armpit fat and my butt are my top 2 aesthetic reasons for working out (neither of them seem to be getting smaller, and yet my bust is shrinking it seems, bah! I don't know how, but I just know that somehow men are to blame for this, lol)

I actually haven't picked out BM dresses, I'm actually not picking them at all. I only have 2 BMs (I just started grad school so my college friends are all over the US right now, so I decided it'd be more manageable to just have 2BMs that at least live in the same tristate), and I'm letting them pic their dresses, just so long as they're red.
 

jstarfireb

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The thing about armpit "fat" is that it''s really not fat, just a small amount of extra skin that allows you to do stuff like raise your arms. Think of it - if you didn''t have a bit of extra skin there, you wouldn''t be able to move around without uncomfortably stretching your skin!

Oh, is the trim on your dress red? It looks like a coral pink on my monitor!
 

MakingTheGrade

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I think some people have more armpit skin/fat than others though..my mom for one doesn''t have the same problem as I do :/

And yes, the trimming is red :)
 

VRBeauty

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Wow! What a unique and beautiful gown! I especially love the shawl and sleeves (I assume that''s one piece?). They''re elegant and versitile. Most likely the fabric is woven, so it isn''t going to run like stocking (which are knit). It could be prone to snagging though... your seamstress would be able to advise you on this.

I can''t advise you on alterations, except that you might want to consult with the seamstress earlier than usual in just in case.... in case she thinks it would be best to get extra matching fabric, for example.
 

MakingTheGrade

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Hmm..that might not be a bad idea. Maybe once the snow clears up I''ll take the dress to the seamstress :) First I have to buy a dress bag to transport it in (the one I have now is see through, and I can''t let the FH see the dress while he''s driving me to the tailor!).

I think david''s bridals sells those right?
 

Deelight

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Date: 3/2/2009 11:23:53 PM
Author: MakingTheGrade
Hmm..that might not be a bad idea. Maybe once the snow clears up I''ll take the dress to the seamstress :) First I have to buy a dress bag to transport it in (the one I have now is see through, and I can''t let the FH see the dress while he''s driving me to the tailor!).


I think david''s bridals sells those right?

Bridal stores or Ebay should sell garment bags :).

Your dress is beautiful, I really like it :D.
 

FrekeChild

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I love your dress!!! I''m so happy to see something besides white and ivory on these threads!!! Mine is silver...

And I think the story is great, and it fits you so well!!!
 

allycat0303

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I think your dress is gorgeous!!!! Honestly, I don`t think it will be TOO out of place with western dress. It has an asian flavor to it, definitely, but I would not have immediately pegged it as being a renaissance dress. (And I am asian!). As for the hair, I wouldn''t worry about making it exact replica of the hair in that area, I would probably go with a modern hairstyle. I guess to avoid it being a *theme* wedding attire.

And you are definitely not chubby now!
 

RLG

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I love your dress! I would agree about adding a piece to the top. The fact that it is red and not coral might make a match much easier to find.
 

Winks_Elf

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Date: 3/2/2009 6:55:39 PM
Author: MakingTheGrade

I thought it was too short too!! But the dress maker kept saying 'that's just how low wedding gowns are these days', and I guess I just went along because I figured they new more about it than I did (I very very rarely wear formal or strapless dresses). Unfortunately, I can't get more of the fabric...but I might ask the seamstress is she has a complementary red fabric that might do? I don't know, I'm really pretty clueless about dresses and dress alterations.
Bullcrap! Having to worry about one's charms spilling out of a wedding gown is far from in vogue! Just looked at your gown again, and perhaps a really rich gold crepe backed satin would really compliment the embroidery in the red fabric! It's a simple thing to do, and shouldn't cost more than $70 to have done, plus about a half-yard of fabric (and the CBS usually costs about $9 per yard). You may even be able to match the red. I don't know what state you live in, but if there is a major city nearby you may be able to get samples.

You can also try contacting www.dragonorient.com for some chinese silk samples, if you have enough time. That's where I'll be getting the little girls dresses for our wedding.
 

MakingTheGrade

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Thanks for the great suggestions! I''ll definitely bring them up when I talk to the tailor. I''m planning to call Kathy sometime next week (Thanks again Jstar!), and hopefully get a consult and see what my options are.

Honestly it''s not TOO bad, at worst if I can''t do anything about it, I''ll get some tape, lol. Ideally I can just get it to fit correctly that I don''t have to worry about keeping my arms pinned to my side all day.
 

Clairitek

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MakingTheGrade- I just wanted to pop in and say hello to a fellow Philly PSer!
I also wanted to compliment you on your beautiful, unique wedding gown!

jstarfireb- Thanks for posting a reputable Philly seamstress!
 
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