Help me Design my Engagement Dress! (And apologies for life story!)

Right. So I'm not officially engaged... in fact, I'm temporarily living in a small village on the other side of the world to other half. However, he mentioned something about our house party planned for my holiday back home in Feb being an engagement party (which he deinied when I picked up on it). Also, he keeps saying "well, we would be married by now if you hadn't gone off to live on the other side of the world". He also said he was thinking of getting me a ring in September, when I had my last holiday. I decided to test him the other night when he was talking about a friend's engagement ring over Skype (to mock me, I think, as he knows I want to get married... grrrr...). I grabbed the opportunity to say "well, when the time comes, you know what I like... platinum or white gold with a square solitaire". Then he went silent for a second before delivering a witty comeback. Now, I always say I like silver. And he always buys me gold... either because he forgets or because he prefers it (or both). I don't feel I can complain as he has very nice taste in jewellery (although I really don't like gold) and I always thank him profusely for the nice gifts.... but I just knew that if he already had a ring, it would be in gold, despite the catalogues I tried to leave hanging around the house before I left (subtle, moi? Well look, it has been 7 years, so I'm not a total bunny boiler). So I think that slight silence was an "err.... whoops" moment from him.


With that in mind, I have continued my obsessive looking online for wedding dresses, which started when he used the word "engagement" to describe our party. But then a thought occurred. If I get engaged next month, I will need a dress for my engagement shoot. I cannot buy the dress in Feb, or during my next holiday in July, as I will have no time. I will also be super busy when I return for good this autumn. However, if I already had the dress within a few days of my return, then I could have time to do a shoot with the two families, and maybe a trash the dress style shoot in the country near my house (to be used as 'teaser' pics for wedding invites etc... I have a few friends in mind who are really good photographers, and it would be so much fun!). Then the shoot wouldn't be a hassle. Also, after spending the past year in muddy linen trousers and shapeless tops, I would love to be able to wear something nice. I've never owned anything nice or expensive looking that wasn't second-hand. Plus, if I don't get engaged, I can either save it or dye it another colour, right? It would also give me the chance to test DressilyMe and see what the quality is like in case I want to get a wedding dress from there. But I would need to order very soon. So with that in mind...


Right So I m photo 3256101-1 I would like this top. But which skirt to go with it? Bear in mind that this will be a short dress... around knee length or just below. Should I go for:


1. Classic, clean lines. This will look good, but... I only get to do this once, right? So what about something more fancy. It's still a favourite though. Plus I could wear it again... many times.


Right So I m photo 3256101-2


2. This sort of rugged look will be great for the trash the dress style shoot... but would it look a little strange if it were only knee length (image has been cropped to show you what it would look like)? I like this one, too.


Right So I m photo 3256101-3


3. Another safe option. But would it look a bit strange with that top? Plus, if I was going to play it safe I might prefer option 1.


Right So I m photo 3256101-4


4.The actual skirt which goes with that top. Nice enough, but meh.


Right So I m photo 3256101-5


5.Something totally crazy, like this, but altered a bit to be less mental? Would that even work? How would you do it? I think this is far too "bridal". Just putting the idea out there though.


Right So I m photo 3256101-6


6.Something else crazy, but maybe too fussy? Not sure. Once more, this is a crazy idea... I just thought I'd put it out there for kicks. But if anyone thinks it would be OK, with some changes, say so!


Right So I m photo 3256101-7


I just want to have some fun with it, really. It's like playing dress-up with dolls when you were a kid... only better! Any ideas? It's probably going to be 1 or 2...

Posted on January 4, 2012 at 1:48 am
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Thanks everyone... and I'm sure your time will come jelbee... have you ever talked about it?


Anyway, I got the dress a few days ago, in a DHL package. First impressions:


The Good: Dress is properly made, boned, and lined. Plus it fits! Hooray!


The Neutral: When I tried it on, I thought "oh no! The length is wrong!". Then I thought "hang on, didn't I deliberately ask them to make it longer for a reason?" Went and got my petticoat, tried it on... length was perfect. Phew!


The Bad: I asked for a less shiny satin to be used, and the satin was just used inside out. Now, I wish they had told me this before, because I would have preferred the shiny look to the texture of the liner. Lesson learned... be careful what you say in emails!


There are a few careless errors in the ruching at the front near the bottom, visible in the earlier pics posted here (which I may unpick and redo myself). I commented on this before, and was told they would come out after a good steaming. Nope. That irritates me... when they have obviously spent so long making the build and the corsetry right, why let themselves down with a careless mistake which would have taken them 5 minutes to sort (and which will take me a lot longer to correct)?


The box pleats at the front aren't quite right, and I won't be able to correct that mistake because there isn't enough spare fabric. Basically, they are missing a central pleat in the middle of the skirt (visible in the earlier pics). I should be able to correct the look of the pleating though, with minimum hassle... I just need a few liner stitches to make them pop properly, and then hot iron and a tiny spray of starch. It'll look fine.


MY FAULT: I was not prepared for how white the dress is. It is white white white. I looked at it, and thought... I can't use that for engagement shots! It looks a bit over-eager and bunny boiler (sort of "I've been waiting years for this and now I'm going to wear a white dress ALL THE TIME"). OK... so I'll dye the dress with Dylon... now, there's no care label, but I assume it's polyester satin as most China dresses are. They say polyester can't be dyed at low temperatures (and I would not recommend a high temp wash for polyester). But... what they say isn't strictly true... you can dye polyester with standard dye, it's just that the colour will be a lot lot paler on polyester. So I thought... perfect... all I want is a hint of caramel, cream, or beige just to take the white edge off. Put it in to pre-wash at 40... and immediately a load of dark purple marks came up around the waist gathers... the pen marks which they have used to mark the seams, and which are supposed to come out in the wash. These didn't... but they are only visible when the dress is wet, so I presume they must react with water. Anyway, I thought this was a seperate issue, so I shoved in a load of beigey dye... er... which reacted with the purple pen marks to create a very light pastel pink. I quite like it, actually, but it's not the right colour for engagement shots. I think I can fix it though... I'll just use a pre-dye first, which I hope will remove the purple, and then re-dye to beige. The dress is fine at 40 in the wash, which I suspected it would be... even though they claim that polyester is dry clean, my experience is that wellmade dresses are fine on a 40 delicate cycle (as are men's suits... put them inside a pillowcase for added protection!).


So... I will come back to you in a few days with final pics, after I re-dye and make corrections!

Posted on February 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm
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Stupid double/triple post... sorry!

Posted on February 16, 2012 at 9:22 pm
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Stupid double/triple post...

Posted on February 16, 2012 at 9:24 pm
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