On March 31st I contacted clobbao and asked him about this skirt. I asked several questions, specifically about shipping and custom sizing. My waist was 97cm (it's now 96.5) and my hips were 125 (they're now 122). I knew I was losing weight so I wanted the elastic to fit over my hips, but have a minimum relaxed waist measurement that was fairly low, both so that the skirt would stay put on my waist and also so that I wouldn't be unable to wear it. (I'm losing weight I gained due to illness because I'm recovering, which means that unlike a person who is dieting, I don't know actually what my goal is--just that I wasn't fat before I got ill and hopefully I won't be forever.) I didn't think this was going to be a big deal because I have skirts that are made like that--my Meta skirt fits fine, and yet it would also fit someone the size I was before I got sick. I also wanted the skirt to be a little longer.
I was told that I'd have to pay extra for this, presumably because it would take more fabric (hahahahaha RIGHT--wait till you see this) and I was OK with that--and that it would take more time. But the email I got back suggested that my waist was 125 (!!) so I wrote back to correct that and also mentioned the following concern:
"I hope we can avoid cutting through the middle of a printed panel."
I also specifically asked if there were any problems with the print running or rubbing off on things and clobbao said he'd never heard of any. He also told me "Some times they would mess orders up if the customer has too many requirements. So far, all the plus sized skirts all went well. You just need to let me know your waist and the expected skirt length, I'd like to think it will be fine. If your current waist is 96cm, they won't make the absolute max of the waist 100cm."
At that point I was a little @.@;;; because I sew myself and if I were making a custom garment for someone else I would want to know how big their hips were, whether they were planning to lose weight, and so forth. And yeah I know they don't speak English but I figure clobbao speaks Chinese and should be able to explain this right?
HAHAHAHAH. On April 1st I paid for and placed the order, which was unfortunately 19 days before this was posted, or I'd have known better. I still had hope after that was posted though (I had to, I was already committed) that that would be an unusual experience.
On the 25th of April and the 24th of May I asked about it, still not shipped. It shipped on the 20th of June. I had also specified that I wanted airmail, NOT EMS, because I work in a neighbouring city and the post office doesn't open until a half hour after I'm supposed to be at work, and it closes a half hour before I can get home, and if my neighbours' signature isn't good enough, then I have to take off work to get packages.
It arrived on the 7th of May, sent Registered with signature required. So I had to take off work and when I got to the post office I had to wait 2 hours for them to find it. My supervisor was FURIOUS.
Then I got it home. The packaging was nothing more than some plastic sheets wrapped around the skirt and taped down so tightly that it took me five minutes to find a corner that looked safe to cut open.
I wanted the extra length. But look how FLAT it is. The second tier is hardly gathered at all.
As you can see, it fits me so badly without a petti that there's no point even trying to get one under there. I don't know how this happened. I gave them my measurements and I checked last night to see if they had changed, and they have--I've LOST weight since I ordered it.
Enjoy this closeup of some loose white threads (I guess because the fabric is only black on the front, since clearly it makes more sense to print black on white fabric instead of, idk, printing this white design on black fabric?)
More loose threads, a stain and look at that mismatched seam!
Mismatched seam #1
Mismatched seam #2, because clearly making a rectangular tier out of one continuous piece of fabric would be too easy or something.
Can't rub THAT stain out with a fingertip, clearly. Or maybe it's faded, idk.
My petti doesn't even fit inside this skirt WITHOUT my ass in it.
The print's already wearing off the ruffle and I haven't had it on for more than five minutes (I mean where the hell would I wear this thing?)
So much fail. I don't expect replicas to be equal to brand quality. I do expect a skirt that I paid $50 for to be worth $50. I have tops and jeans from Walmart that look a thousand times better than this.
There is no way in hell that I'm paying out of my own pocket to ship this thing to China. I'm not spending another cent. I asked him to get me more fabric and he says there's none to be had. He hasn't offered to fix this in any way, though he said originally in earlier emails that if there were problems of course he would fix them. I don't even trust DOL to fix this. I know they can make nice things, but this skirt looks to me like some of the more horrendous hand-made items I've seen on Regretsy.
I will probably never order from him again and I will almost certainly never order from DOL again through any agent. He more or less admitted in his email that the situation was a complete surprise so I am pretty sure he didn't even look at it before he sent it to me. I'm waiting 24 hours for him to respond to the PICTURES to see if he says anything else. Then I guess I'll talk to Paypal Advantage.
So what should I do with this mess if there turns out to be no recourse? I've considered taking the four un-ruined panels out of the cloth and using them with pieces of black cloth to sew another skirt, but since it's only printed black and the printing is lousy quality, I'm pretty sure it's gonna fade to grey.
I've heard the recent delays in DOL orders are because they moved their factory and hired more people. Clearly they're hiring from Milanoo.
Update: clobbao has agreed to refund $23 and says he checked the waist but didn't think to check the hips. I'm somewhat mollified but he also said this about DOL:
"For custom plus sized Dream of Lolita dresses, I will only ask for bust, waist and overall length of the dress. This is what Dream of Lolita's tailors will use for when making custom plus sized dresses. If you have a longer torso, the shoulder to waist measurement will always be ignored. And if a customer has a big bust and a smaller waist, say bust 130cm and waist 100cm, it's likely the bust of the dress will be 135cm and the waist will ended up being made 120cm."
I have asked him to tell other prospective custom size DOL buyers that they habitually ignore extra measurements because I feel this is a crucial piece of info that will affect our buying decisions. :(
Update 2: One of the girls at our meetup wanted to buy this even after I showed her all of the flaws in it, and it looked a great deal better on her than it did on me, so I sold it to her for $15.