Custom making ballroom dresses in China?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by tuxedosam, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. singndance

    singndance Well-Known Member

    Tinydancer, you guessed right....

    I have a dress from Rainbow Shiu that is nice, but I didn't get the Swarovski crystals, and that was my big mistake. It was my first dress, and I was sticking to a strict budget, but I learned quickly you get what you pay for. I thought Rainbow was very helpful, gave great service, and shipped quickly. The dresses I didn't like were not from Rainbow.

    I do buy my dresses custom now, and have had good success. I'm lucky to be able to do that.
  2. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Actually, no, I wouldn't have someone in China making my tailsuit. I would (and did) go to a tailor with a good reputation for making tailsuits.
  3. bjp22tango

    bjp22tango Active Member

    I think this is the one area where the leaders have more inflexibility of choice than follows.

    Tails suits have to be specifically built for the dancers body when in hold, and should show off the body line, with no restriction and no wrinkles. I wouldn't want to take a chance on that with someone who didn't specialize because there could be so many chances of it turning out ill fitting.

    Leaders don't have the option of using spandex (unless they are using the lycra/wool stretch blends available in stores these days) so the fit is everything.
  4. Standarddancer

    Standarddancer Well-Known Member

    checked Pearlly dress site, seems the pictures of sample styles in their gallery are unchanged since 2008, a lot of cupcakes ruffle dresses, sort of lack of variety. Probably you have to have great design ideas and being capable of communicate with them to let them know exactly what you want, this is the challenge part, not even sure how soon they can deliver a dress, or if they follow up if problems, and no price range on site which are even more confusing.
  5. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    I was in the process of ordering a dress from pearllydress a couple of months ago but they were very slow with emails and then their website stopped working, so I guess something's gone wrong?

    Got a nice used dress from dreamgowns instead and am happy so far :)
  6. leilaniana

    leilaniana New Member

    Thank goodness for this thread...

    One of the pro's at my husband's studio ordered a dress made in China from ebay - they only have a few different styles, and the best one is the one she has (which I don't want to wear the same dress to dance in the same upcoming showcase).

    Are there any other tailor made vendors on ebay anyone can recommend that they have ordered from recently? There seem to be several - one seller whose designs I like is baodanceshop.

    I'm also going to check out Rainbow Shiu, thanks to the recommendations here.
  7. bia

    bia Active Member

    leilaniana, I also got a dress from Rainbow Shiu that I was happy with. If you go to her non-ebay website, you'll see huge albums of designs. I combined elements from three or four of her pictured dresses, and it came out how I wanted, affordable and made to my measurements. Of course, custom takes longer, so whether you go that route depends on how fast you need it. The only thing I regret was getting the dull Korean rhinestones, but I was a poor student at the time, so I did what I had to.
  8. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine ordered an unstoned dress from her just recently and was somewhat disappointed. The dress came out too long. Although rainbow said she will pay for alterations or my friend can send it back to her and she will alter it and ship it back. But the skirt design is hard to shorten, it's a variation of cupcake skirt with several layers towards the bottom of the dress (has a bit of mermaid look to it). So my friend is trying to figure out what to do with it and find a local seamstress to do the alteration, if it will be too complicated for her to do on her own. I had same issue with a skirt I ordered from rainbow several years ago - it came out longer than I wanted, but since it was a latin skirt for social dancing, it didn't matter as much (I wanted it to fall above the knee, it came out an inch below the knee). But I won't try to get a standard skirt from her for this reason.
  9. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Tanya, can it just be shortened at the top of the skirt? Not seeing it, it's hard to make a guess at would work best.
  10. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Are you asking about her dress or my skirt? The dress cannot be shortened at the top of the skirt, because it has solid panels going from the top to somewhere above the knee. I think the latest idea was trying to put some ruching there and shorten it this way, but I am not sure if that will be the solution. Now that I think about it, both my skirt and her dress are off from the desired length by approximately 4 inches. Maybe that's rainbow typical length error.
  11. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    I did a group routine that a couple people insisted on us buying these custom made skirts for. All of them were about 2 inches bigger in the waist and about 4 inches longer than we asked for. I assume that the theory is if it's too big, you can alter it, but if it's too small, you can't create fabric that's not there.
  12. I got 2 dresses from rainbowshiu, and i've gotten multiple complements for them.
    The latin one (this red one in my avatar), fits pretty darn well. The standard one, I would agree, is slightly riskier. In my case the length still came out to be what I wanted it to be, but the body suit inside felt a little too long. Feels like she forgot to account for the weight of the dress. But for the price, I like them a lot.
  13. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    They probably are perfect until the weight pulls on the stretchy fabric and everything on the bias (or off the bias, I can't remember which one means diagonally) stretches.
    When I've made skirts for myself, and know that I've done all the math correctly, I'll start sewing it together and wonder why all of the sudden it's gigantic! Finally had that "I'm an idiot!" moment.
    Rainbow probably accounts for some stretch, but since most of her work is sent off, they probably don't get to see how much of a difference the stretch makes all that often to perfectly account for it. But hey, for the price, you can't expect perfection. :)
  14. TinyDancer109

    TinyDancer109 Well-Known Member

    hmmm, that's odd... must depend on fabric she uses, because the smooth dress i once bought from her (pictures earlier in this thread) fit like a glove. both the body suit and the skirt are perfect. the skirt is made of chiffon... does that make a difference?
  15. DancinProf

    DancinProf Member

    Off topic, but does anyone have experience with Aida's practice wear or costumes? A friend of mine was looking at some of the practice stuff, which seems (at least on the site she looked at) cheaper than, e.g., Chrisanne, Espen, DanceAmerica. But we wondered about the quality. Any reviews?
  16. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    I just received my first dress from rainbow. It fits like a glove. I'm very pleased with her work.

    I'm dancing silver at the collegiate level, so I did want a gown, but I'm also poor and a student, so I didn't really want to spend that much money.

    I paid $240 for a plain, unstoned dress. The pattern seems quite simple, and I had her make it in a bright green. I think that when I do advance past the syllabus level, the dress will look lovely if I stone it myself.

    While you may not be able to compare the $200-$300 dress to dresses 10x as expensive, the dress is of great quality. It is a great place for a beginner to shop for a first comp/exhibition dress.
  17. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    I recommend Ballroom in Motion in Augusta, Georgia for beginner dresses. Teena Marie runs the studio and has an extensive line of "starter" dresses with stones. You can also pay extra to have more stones added. My first dresses for smooth were from her and over the years, I restyled them and then finally resold them via a consignment shop for 50% of what I paid. Many of the studios have consignment shops and there is also Encore Ballroom Couture for rentals and sales. They are a vendor at many of the comps - just saw them at Capital. The top ballroom dress designers have "trunk show", consignment and sales also on their web-sites. I once bought a Strictly Come Dancing UK costume from ChrisanneUK website for $1000
    I loved the idea that was expressed earlier about just going up to a dancer in a costume you admire and giving her your phone # for a future sale. One of my dance friends did this at Ohio last year and ended up with a gorgeous yellow Standard dress that had been worn twice.

    I personally have dresses now from Deirdre of London, Elle Designs and ChrisanneUK. I have found that they fit well, move on the floor and showcase my dancing. They have also held their value for resale.

    "Dancing has to come from the heart." Bitter Moon, 1992
  18. MissKitty

    MissKitty New Member

    I have two dresses from Rainbow

    both Standard.

    The first I got last year cost me $190 US dollars unstoned, and it arrived within three weeks of ordering. It fit like a GLOVE and could not possibly have fit better. I get LOADS of compliments on this dress.

    My second I got a couple of months ago, and cost me $240 US dollars unstoned. It also arrived within 3 weeks. It almost fit perfectly, the bra cups needed a slight adjustment and I replaced the clear elastic straps with high quality dark tan elastic. The adjustments cost me all of about $5 and 30 minutes to do.

    I stone the dresses myself with Swarovski and Preciosa, and both times I shaved about a cm or so off my measurements. Considering the fabric is stretch Id rather it be a little tight than baggy.

    Of course the dresses are no where near the quality of the more expensive dresses but at a fraction of the cost, and all some of us can afford, they are really great value.

    I am happy with mine and will continue to order from Rainbow in the future.
  19. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    How many gross of stones did you put on them?
  20. MissKitty

    MissKitty New Member

    My first has 15 gross so far but I plan to add to this.

    The second has only 5 gross because I wear it with some completely encrusted accessories I have which I made for my purple latin dress (belt, bracelets etc) if you include the accessories then you could say its more like 30 gross. I thought with the accessories so heavily stoned that more stones on the dress would be overkill (if there really is such a thing with our dresses?)

    :)

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