After the PoP Nightfall fashion show event, I, like many others, fell in love with the I do Declare Sacred Heart dress. It was absolutely stunning on the model and looked incredibly opulent.
Model photo from I Do Declare's Facebook page:
When it was announced that orders would be taken for the dress I jumped on it! I thought it would be perfect to wear to an upcoming trip at the end of September in Moscow. I placed my order on April 11th, 2015 for both the dress and the hat after starting to request the items on April 6th. I initially paid for the hat in full and half the amount of the dress for deposit. I was told there would be a 3 month wait time, which would have gotten me the dress at the beginning of July. As this was an intricate handmade dress, and I had until the end of September to wear it, this was no problem for me and I fired off the deposit.
The price breakdown was as follows:
I sent in all of my measurements and chose the hat lace, which was so delicate and beautiful! The hat is made to sit on the back of your had and stays in place with a comb. You can see how my hat varied in the lace from the model photo above. This lace definitely suited my personal style. And this is actually the completed hat which arrived to me, but I'll get to that part next
This is when things started to get interesting. Once we hit the 3 month mark I inquired about how the dress was going. Certainly if more time was needed that would be fine as long as it made it to me in time. Kelsey said she had been very busy and had not had time to work on it yet, but would begin right away to make sure I had it in time. There was another girl who I am friends with in France, who had been having the same problems with timing and getting her items, and she eventually was offered a refund because Kelsey was too busy to make it. I am assuming she was overwhelmed with orders since the dress is so beautiful. I persevered on.
In the third week of August I was told the dress had shipped. I did not receive a tracking number but was told it would be there the following Tuesday. By Thursday it had not showed up so I contacted her again. That's when things started to get very weird with UPS. Apologies for all the caps, but I think it is worth noting for this review.
At this point she took a photo of the box contents for me to ensure it was correct, which it was, YAY!
And then she graciously shipped it overnight to me. Luckily the tracking worked and it actually showed up at my house! Now let's get to the dress itself-- When I opened up the package there was a note inside apologizing that she had switched out the fabric for the dress. I'm not sure if they had run out of the original stuff, or not, but I was scared until I opened it up and saw it. I actually LOVE this version of fabric better than the original so I was very happy! As you can see the sleeves still have the old tapestry fabric, but if you compare with the original model photos the bottom one is different. This version is different from the two others I have seen out in the wild in photos or in person, so that was pretty sweet.
Please note I am not a seamstress nor do I have sewing skills, so I cannot really comment on the construction of the dress. I have taken some detailed images so you can see and make your own conclusions
This is a heavy dress between the tapestry and velvet. The fit was perfect, the measurements were spot on to what I needed which is always a relief when you do a custom order with someone. The wrists themselves are very, very tight so it takes a bit of pulling to get it on, but I've spoken with another dress owner and she says that the tapestry fabric stretches out a bit and it gets easier. There is lacing on the sleeves to make them looser as well to get it on.
Her custom brand tag is very cute!
The lace heart is see through, as expected, but is very beautiful. Such a great dress detail.
It seems that there are multiple layers of lace hand sewn together to make up this part of the dress:
Here is the dress inside out so you can see the lace heart in total from the back:
The inside of the sleeves had a lot of loose threads going on, but they were easy for me to cut off:
One of the arms looked a bit of a mess but I've trimmed up the threads and cleaned it up.
Here is the inside of the skirt with the lining pulled up, it's so beautiful:
And the hemline
Kelsey did include one of her very cute Poupee coin purses with the order which was very sweet.
Here is a quick try on of me in the outfit, as usual I will post a grand photo on daily_lolita after I wear it at GLF in Moscow.
The dress is absolutely gorgeous, despite taking a very long time to get. I got it in time for my event, which was the most important part. I did feel like there was a bit of a lack of communication on the process. I wonder if I would have been updated had I not messaged her in late July to see what was going on. I imagine she is just very busy with commissions and her job. Knowing that some people had to cancel their commissions and get refunds is a bit troublesome. I am definitely glad that I held out for mine though because it is beautiful. I am very excited to wear it to GLF.
For the labor involved in making such an intricate dress, and the fabrics I do feel like the price was on point. Also as a note mine did come with the cord belt but I forgot to photograph it, whoops!!