plumvs (plumvs) wrote in egl,

Surface Spell 2 blouses review

Hopefully this review will be of some help to lolitas looking to order from TaoBao.

It's not my first time ordering from TaoBao but my first time ordering lolita items. I was looking for some inexpensive blouses and decided on these 2 Surface Spell tops:
1. "Flower and canary" rose embroidered blouse in size XL, black
Pin-tuck chiffon classic blouse in size L (it's loose-fitting), black

I put an order in with the Chinese deputy that I've been using for a few months:

Cost is as follows:
- subtotal for the blouses: 473 yuan
- domestic shipping: 9 yuan
- commission: 5% of total order price

International shipping:
- weight of the blouses: 0.5kg
- EMS shipping for 1.8kg of stuff (blouses+wigs I ordered): 320 yuan
AIR shipping was also offered and is much cheaper for light-weight items, but I've never used it before since I always order heavy stuff orz.

Time frame:
- order date: July 6th, 2011
- received by my deputy: 2-3 days later
(the shop did say that their standard sizes are all in stock)
- shipping request sent: July 13th, 2011
- received by me: July 18th, 2011

1: XL sizing wasn't even listed on the page! But I measured the one that I got:
bust: 94
waist: 76
shoulder: 36
I think it fits me just fine, albeit slightly smaller than I thought. 
2. Bust is at least 100 unlike what their sizing says.

Quality of materials:
1. Fabric is a thin and slightly shiny cotton? polyester? there is no material tag. The shine is a subtle shimmer, some of you might be familiar with it, some of you may not like it. It's probably less noticeable on white fabrics? Anyways, it doesn't bother me very much. I think it looks better under fancy dresses than under simple pieces.
2. The chiffon fabric is comfortable but less soft and breathable than the one IW uses on their summer blouses. So this SS blouse is not suitable for the summer.
I like the laces used on the chiffon blouse but not the eyelet ones on the embroidered blouse. Also the tulle lace on the embroidered blouse is lower quality than that of IW. Buttons... they match the blouses well but are the cheap kinds.

- I'm still learning about sewing/drafting, so I can't judge fairly. But the pin-tucks look straight and the top-stitching is even, So I'm satisfied. The buttonhole on the embroidered blouse is too small, and the buttonhole on the chiffon blouse is not properly sealed.
- There is an error on the embroidered blouse where one of the front ribbon is sewn through another layer of the blouse. We all know these small Chinese businesses usually don't do QC on their items. =_= It took me a quick snip to fix so not a big deal.

Last and most importantly, photos:

"Flower and canary" rose embroidered blouse
(finished product uses slightly different design than the stock photos, but this change is noted on the ordering page so it wasn't unexpected)

Front lace details

Pin-tuck chiffon classic blouse
(neck ribbon not pictured orz)

Embroidered blouse worn by me

Small sewing mistake on the embroidered blouse

P.S. I was generally happy with my purchases and will be keeping these blouses after making some changes to the embroidered blouse. However, I'm annoyed that SS don't have stock photos of certain colors, sometimes they just photoshop the white colored one o.O

P.S.S. For those who want to order custom-sizing, I really do not recommend these small Chinese businesses. It takes considerable drafting skills to make clothing that fits various body shapes well. And most of these businesses don't have the skills nor the desire for this kind of effort. Their aim is just to crank out products as quickly as possible and survive on the market. You've been warned!
Tags: *surface spell, review product: blouses/cutsews

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