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Message Board > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > RTW Wedding Dress Prices ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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RTW Wedding Dress Prices
kowgiirl.up
kowgiirl.up
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Date: 6/19/13 2:40 PM

I've been doing some homework this morning on fabrics for making a dress for my youngest daughter. I stumbled upon some ebay auctions that have complete dresses for as little as 100 bucks!

Seems to me that I couldn't make a dress for that much money. Now, I'm wondering why I would even bother to sew one (besides the enjoyment of the project) when we can buy one ready to go?

What am I missing? (scratching head)

------
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MilongueraThreads
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MilongueraThreads
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In reply to kowgiirl.up <<
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Date: 6/19/13 3:03 PM

Well, you can wander over to oncewed.com or preownedweddingdresses.com and take a look; you can find some new with tags or sample gowns for much less than retail.

Most used gowns might have things in them like bustles and cups, which can cut down on alterations (unless you want a different bustle). Some gowns also have some extensive alterations (sweetheart necklines, cut sleeves, etc). The gown I was interested in was perfect (in style) just as it came for me, and it was disappointing to look on the used websites and see used gown after another than had the sleeves trimmed or the flower applique on it removed.

Some people have the gown extensively altered to be much smaller than the label size (or shortened), so even if you know what size you are, there's no telling exactly how it will fit.

I'm preparing for my November 2013 wedding, and I purchased my gown from a bridal/formal wear boutique. I ended up going with them because:
They gave me 20% off my gown, which ended up making it marginally more expensive than most of the used gowns on the above sites. I was also able to order it in white, which suits me better than ivory (most gowns sold these days are ivory, which translates into most used gowns being ivory).
They also are giving me a 15% discount on anything else I buy from them; I ordered my bridesmaids dresses from them and saved ~$80 by doing so.

I didn't buy an expensive gown; it's poly (or rayon blend) charmeuse with a nylon/poly reembroidered lace overlay. I don't think too many people can appreciate the *real* thing, because many used listings say that the slip is silk.

Some things are worth "throwing money at". Someone on here made a beautiful organza ruffled ballgown that you can find retailing at David's for around $1000. You can't make that style for less than that once you account for all the work in sewing the layers on.

I totally advocate looking into getting a used gown, and if you want a couture piece (like Lazaro, Monique Lhullier, Claire Pettibone, etc.), it's definitely the way to go. But just know that people do alter these things and they can change a lot from what the original designer had in mind.

MilongueraThreads
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MilongueraThreads
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Date: 6/19/13 3:05 PM

And another thing:

If your daughter doesn't want something elaborate, white or ivory bridesmaids gowns are significantly cheaper. You can also find stunning white evening gowns in the formal wear section of department stores for much less than what bridal salons would have you believe. My future sister-in-law went this route, and you couldn't tell that her gown wasn't a "wedding" gown.

kowgiirl.up
kowgiirl.up
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Date: 6/19/13 3:32 PM

I should have stated in my original post that these dresses on ebay are new, not used. That is the reason for my big shock. I thought wedding dresses were WAY more than that to buy.

Now granted, the ones that I was looking at come from China (per the auction) so I don't know how that comes into play as far as actually getting one. Might be hit and miss thing.

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Universal Deluxe Zig Zag from the 60's
Singer Quantum Stylist 9960
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Date: 6/19/13 3:40 PM

Ahh. Those ones.

Some have had good experiences buying those new eBay wedding gowns from China, others haven't. Keep in mind these are all knock offs and not the real branded thing, if that matters to you. If you decide to go this route I'd recommend looking into a vendor who has been well-reviewed online, not just on eBay.

carry
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In reply to kowgiirl.up <<
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Date: 6/19/13 4:32 PM

I made a silk satin dress.With the silk crepe lining and underlining it cost about $350.All the extras another $50.Alencon for a full underskirt for the trumpet skirt bottom another $100.This was my copy of a $5000 designer label.But it was even prettier,fit perfectly[no alterations to pay]and was an unusual pale gold color Compared to the many heavy poly satin gowns I've made,iSilk is really so beautifully light.The bride felt like she was wearing a comfortable silk slip.We could have gotten something for $500 but this was for my daughter and really this was a way of surrounding her with my love on her wedding day.

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In reply to kowgiirl.up <<
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Date: 6/19/13 10:03 PM

My now DDIL ordered a "China Dress" in early 2012 and was one of the ones to have a very bad experience. The dress came and was not at all like the photo and the materials were not the ones advertised in the listing. It was poorly constructed and some seams not completely stitched. Trims were falling off and everything was very cheap quality despite the "promises" of the listing. It was unwearable and was returned -- which was a hassle. Ended up going with a locally purchased dress from a bridal shop (which had its own headaches).

I made the flower girl dresses as well as vests and ties for the guys -- would have gladly made the bride's dress but she didn't want to "put me out".

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Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
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Kwaaked
Kwaaked
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Date: 6/19/13 10:10 PM

Because I can't find an orange wedding dress.

Michelle T

Michelle T
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Date: 6/19/13 10:20 PM

I have only made one wedding dress, my own. 21 years ago.

I had time to sew, not money to buy new.

My entire cost was about $100.00. I rented an under skirt, which saved a lot of time and money.

When my dd gets married she will need a custom dress. She has a unique figure than is not accommodated by rtw. Whether I make it or we have it custom made we will have to see when the time comes. She is only 14 now.

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ryan's mom
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Date: 6/20/13 6:50 AM

26 years ago I sat around doing muslins and sewing my wedding dress. The dresses I liked in the bridal magazines were gorgeous, opulent styles and heavily beaded. I couldn't touch a dress like that financially. It would probably have been $8000-$10,000, some much higher. We're talking serious beading and sequin work.

I took me a year, but I made my own dress complete with hand beading and sequins all over the place. Worked on that dress with virtually every minute of spare time I had, piece by piece, before assembling.

So why did I make it? I was a poor college student who wanted a ritzy, expensive dress (with plenty of lace overlays and thousand upon thousand of beads and sequins) and couldn't afford designer price tags. There are plenty of wedding styles that are affordable, and then there are styles that will never be in one's price range. I chose the latter and worked my butt off to get it done in a year's timeframe.

Total cost of the dress was probably somewhere around $200-$300. The labor cost in regard to my time? I don't even want to think about it lol. Let's just say I highly appreciate beading and sequin work done by hand. I lucked out on the cathedral-length veil. My boss lent me her daughters that they had made for her wedding, and I hand stitched it to my pearl and rhinestone headpiece.

My daughters will NEVER wear it. It is an 80's work of art lol, and typical, fashion-wise, of that time period.

------
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Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing/Embroidery Combo Machine: Janome MC15000. Sewing Machines: Elna 740, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

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