I posted a WTC on the sales comm and was contacted by clarice , and I was impressed with her portfolio. So I carried the conversation over to email and eventually we decided on a price point and a design. I made it a point NOT to give her a deadline (I am planning things waaaaay in advance) but she was prompt with everything and responsive. Here's a timeline of events:
9/29/10 - Initial email with budget (US$200 - US$250) and style.
9/30/10 - Discussion of materials (she was SUPER patient with me and explained all the different choices).
10/1/10 - She sketched out the style I described.
10/2/10 - Price settled at US$210.
10/4/10 - Measurements requested (I delayed sending them due to RL work.)
10/6/10 - Deposit paid (US$50).
10/8/10 - Measurements sent.
10/24/10 - Update on materials (w/ pictures of lace and fabric).
11/12/10 - Bodice draft mailed to me to try on.
12/7/10 - Bodice returned (late because of exams on my end).
1/14/11 - Progress pics (bodice).
2/3/11 - More progress pics (skirt).
2/26/11 - Progress pics (bodice decoration).
4/20/11 - Final dress pics.
5/2/11 - Invoiced for remainder of fee + shipping (US$170).
5/6/11 - Dress shipped.
5/9/11 - Dress received!
In total this is about 8 months of working time. It's alright for me because the wedding is still a year ahead and I made it a point to stress how there was no deadline for this commission. Furthermore her constant contact, plentiful progress pictures and fast communication reassured me.
My picture! Photographs really do not do this dress justice. It's heavy (REALLY heavy), well-made and just feels so silky and amazing to put on.
The lace and the chiffon overlay. I requested both materials and I'm pleased as punch with them.
One problem I had with the dress was that the chiffon came to me stained in several places:
On the hem.
And right smack in the middle of the bodice.
I wasn't too concerned about the hem (because you can't photograph it normally unless some weirdo decided to take an upskirt or something) but I WAS concerned about the bodice, but I contacted clarice and she told me several things to try (which I haven't because I needed to take photos for this review lol).
I'm going to try spot treating and then washing (it's handwashable! score!) so wish me luck! It still doesn't bother me all that much though in its current state.
And you can't really photograph the bodice stain, which is great.
Gratuitous. It's so lovely and thick!
The straps are fastened with buttons, which is great because the dress is so heavy that the straps are actually a little too long. Easily fixed though.
I'm a sewing noob so this all looks good to me, but I thought these interior construction shots would be useful for people who know these things :P I just spotted the two stray threads; again it's not really a big bother because they are teeny and I ONLY found two of them after pawing the dress up.
PS. If I don't reply to your comment it's because I feel weird thanking people for clarice 's efforts lol. She deserves all the credit :D