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We offer no-obligation, free custom estimates. If you don't see what you're looking for in our catalog, simply send us an email with a link to an image of the garment you would like us to make for you and we will be happy to work up a price for you.


Sizing Information:

PLEASE NOTE: Our dress forms only go up to a 54" bust-at-fullest measurement (not bra size) and a 45" natural waist measurement. For sizes at 54" and larger, we have some options that will ensure an accurate fit. Please read on if your measurements fall within this range, or are hard-to-fit because of unusual measurements:

For those who are short-waisted or have a longer torso, or simply want to ensure a perfect fit, we recommend that you send us a duct tape double ( click here for some great instructions - you don't have to stuff it or get a stand. We only need the duct-taped shell) and send it to us. This will only cost you the price of a tee-shirt, a few rolls of duct tape and shipping to us. Be sure to let us know you want to do this.

If you have a unique cut to your garment, we also offer a mock-up service for $50 that will allow us to make a mock-up of your garment snd ship it to you for approval for fit and design elements. Please let us know if you would like to purchase this service.

Unlike other custom gown companies, we *never* charge more to construct a gown to a larger size, and any person, any size may purchase a mock-up service. However, we do very highly recommend that anyone with a bust measurement at or larger than 54" and waist measurement at or more than 45" to submit a duct tape double to ensure a perfect fit. Please notify us before ordering if your bust measurement is larger than 54" and we will be delighted to assist you with your duct tape double.

If you choose to order a gown at an over 54" bust measurement and do *not* create a duct tape double for us, you will not be covered under any guarantees of fit, and all alterations will be your responsibility. Remember: All sales are final. There are no refunds. For your own peace of mind, it's better to use the mock-up service than risk buying a gown that may not fit properly.

We will walk you through the measuring process to ensure a proper fit.

 

We construct our clothing using very precise measurements, rather than dress sizes. This is because dress sizes can vary from maker to maker. We can guarantee the exact measurements of an item, but we can't guarantee it will fit unless accurate measurements are taken. Customers need to obtain accurate measurements - this is VERY important and absolutely essential to a perfectly fitted garment. Always have someone take the measurement for you. It's very difficult to get an accurate measurement by yourself. To determine your measurements do the following:

About measurements we'll need -
***IMPORTANT: you can send one of two measurements:
A) If you plan to ALWAYS wear a corset under your bodice, put your corset on, and measure with the corset on - but be sure to TELL us that you are sending corseted measurements. Brides: You must wear your foundation garments when you take your measurements. This means that you need to purchase a corset, special bra, chemise or body shaper before you take your measurements. You must wear the exact undergarments you plan to wear under your wedding dress when you take your measurements because corsets, chemises, bras and body shapers will change how your gown will fit you.

B) If you do NOT plan to wear a corset, send us your ACTUAL measurements. Never send "guessed" measurements. Never send "hopeful" measurements. Never send a measurement of what you want the final garment to be if it is different from your actual or corseted measurement.

You must wear the same undergarments that you plan to wear under your gown when you take your measurements.

(Remember, we completely rely on you to provide us with very accurate measurements - if you send the wrong measurements, your clothing will not fit. If you are unsure about providing accurate measurements, have a professional bridal shop take them for you, and when in doubt, feel free to shoot us an email and ask. We'd be delighted to assist you any way we can.

MEASUREMENT CHANGES: If your measurements are going to change significantly from the time you place your order to your scheduled construction date, you must send us updated measurements before the scheduled construction date for your order. We understand that you must place your order well in advance of your event date in order to secure a slot in our schedule, and that sometimes measurements may change during the time between order placement and construction. We have no way to predict these changes. We can only make the clothing to the measurements provided to us, so if your measurements change, it is your responsibility to notifiy us immediately, every time the measurements change. When your construction date arrives, we will make the garment to the current measurements on file. We understand that your measurements may continue to change AFTER we construct the garment, but it's more important that you secure a slot in our schedule and have minor alterations done after you receive your order, than waiting to order and risk missing out on securing a slot in our schedule. We work hard to accommodate all sizing changes, but unfortunately, sometimes changes will occur after we have made the garment. Those changes are beyond our control. We promise to make your garment to the current measurements we have on file, but measurement changes *after* the construction date are not within our control and we cannot be held responsible for such changes in size.

BUST: With the foundation garment you plan to wear under your gown ON, measure yourself at the fullest point of your bustline. (Do not go by bra size) If you plan to wear a corset, measure with your corset on, but be sure to tell us that you're giving us a corseted measurement, otherwise your bodice will be far too small for you. If you plan to wear a special bra under your garment, put it on while taking measurements. You don't have to tell us if you're wearing a bra because bras won't cinch you like a corset will. We typically cinch bodices and fitted dresses at the bustline by 2-4", depending on your size, unless you send us corseted measurements. Corsets will have a cinch of 4+" at the bust, depending on your size. Bodices, fitted dresses and corsets must have a cinch at the bustline in order to do "lift" your assets. A garment made to the same size or larger than your bust measurement will offer no support.

WAIST: With the foundation garment you plan to wear under your gown ON, measure yourself at the thinnest point of your waistline. This is your natural waist, just below the base of your rib cage and above your hip bone. When you bend to the side, it's where your skin will crease. Again, if you are wearing a corset, measure with the corset on and be sure to tell us that you are sending us a corseted measurement.

Please note that most Renaissance and Elizabethan bodices (unless they are extended or Basque waist) end at the NATURAL waist (where your ribcage ends). These bodices should NOT extend down past the waist or over the hips. Bodices that extend past the natural waist are called a Basque waist, and are not correct for the Renaissance/Elizabethan era. However, for those who prefer longer bodices, we do offer a couple of long-line bodices in the BODICES section of the website.

SKIRTS: Are you wearing a hoop under your skirt? If so, you want to measure the length (from waist to hoop base) with the hoop and your shoes on to make sure we leave enough fabric for the skirt for you. If you're not planning to wear a hoop skirt, measure from your waist to where you want the hem to fall. Some people prefer their skirts to brush the ground, while others prefer their skirts to be ankle length. Again, it's all a matter of preference and you can decide when you receive your skirts the length to have them hemmed.

As stated on our contract: WE DO NOT HEM SKIRTS. Hemming is the BUYER'S responsibility. The only way to have a hem properly finished is for you to wear the dress and have it marked while you're wearing it.

The maximum length for all cotton skirts is 41". If you require a longer skirt, you should either submit a custom request form or order a satin skirt ensemble.

HIPS: - should be measured at fullest point of your hips.

Shoulder to floor is your shoulder tip to the floor, with your shoes on.

Shoulder to wrist is shoulder tip to top of hand (wrist).

Shoulder tip to shoulder tip is the outer edge of your shoulder bone, to the opposite outer edge of your shoulder.

Alterations:

PLEASE NOTE: We construct your clothing by using one of our four adjustable dress forms, set to your measurements, and if you submit one, we put your duct tape double over it to ensure the fit will be perfect. Every now and again a client does not fit the standard "dress form mold" or is over the 54" bust measurement and may opt not submit to us a duct tape double ( http://so-sew-easy.com/diy-duct-tape-dress-form/ ) (which we highly recommend). In situations like this, this is kind of a grey area. We don't require you to submit a double (though, if we continue to see abuse of this policy, we may eventually require it), so if you don't submit one to us, your garment may require minor alterations after you receive it.

If we made an error in sizing, we'll fix it for you at no additional charge. If the error is yours, we can't be held responsible for the error, but we will do our best to assist you. Please be certain that you're sending accurate measurements - and to be safe, always send a duct tape double to us. http://so-sew-easy.com/diy-duct-tape-dress-form/

Please bear in mind that the schedule will impact the turnaround time. Typically this type of alteration takes very little time, and can be done within a few days of receipt. However, if it's Halloween season, it may take longer to fit the alteration into the queue. Basically - if you have a problem with fit, just let us know. We always do our best to accommodate any problems in a way that's fair to everyone. Though, to avoid any fitting problems, please submit t duct tape double. It's always worth the time and money to ensure a persfect fit.

To avoid any complications, please be sure to order and submit your order form with enough time to allow for shipping your garment BACK TO ME, to have me do the alterations, and then ship it BACK TO YOU. This means that you should request a delivery date at least 4 weeks BEFORE your event, if not MORE, to allow for any possible alterations. We will NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE for any orders placed without enough time for alterations. This means that if you place a rushed order and only leave only a few days between your delivery date and your event, we will NOT have enough time to do alterations, and the cost to have any resulting alterations completed will be your full responsibility. We will not cover the cost to have alterations done, because even though we work with you to create a perfectly fitting garment, it is always possible that you will need them. If you place a rush order, you are doing so with the full understanding that if alterations are needed, we will not have time to do them for you, and we will not cover any costs for you to have them done. This is why it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to ORDER WITH PLENTY OF TIME TO SPARE so that we can complete alterations for you if needed.

If you submit inaccurate measurements:
We cannot be responsible to inaccurate measurements. We rely on you to provide us with your accurate measurements. Don't be intimidated: We will walk you through each step to ensure a proper fit. If you're still concerned that you won't be able to obtain accurate measurments, have a local alterations shop take them for you.

MEASUREMENT CHANGES: If your measurements are going to change significantly from the time you place your order to your scheduled construction date, you must send us updated measurements before the scheduled construction date for your order. We understand that you must place your order well in advance of your event date in order to secure a slot in our schedule, and that sometimes measurements may change during the time between order placement and construction. We have no way to predict these changes. We can only make the clothing to the measurements provided to us, so if your measurements change, it is your responsibility to notifiy us immediately, every time the measurements change. When your construction date arrives, we will make the garment to the current measurements on file. We understand that your measurements may continue to change AFTER we construct the garment, but it's more important that you secure a slot in our schedule and have minor alterations done after you receive your order, than waiting to order and risk missing out on securing a slot in our schedule. We work hard to accommodate all sizing changes, but unfortunately, sometimes changes will occur after we have made the garment. Those changes are beyond our control. We promise to make your garment to the current measurements we have on file, but measurement changes *after* the construction date are not within our control and we cannot be held responsible for such changes in size.

Mock-up Service/switching to "Duct tape double":
We are in the process of changing our fitting policies. We used to offer a mock-up service for $50, but several clients were confused as to how to fit the mock-up, and weren't able to do it correctly. So, we searched around for a solution and came up with this: http://so-sew-easy.com/diy-duct-tape-dress-form/
For the cost of a cheap tee shirt and a few rolls of duct tape, you can send us a duplicate of your body to ensure that you will get a perfect fit. We recommend that ALL brides do this and we recommend that anyone over 54" at the chest do this. If you choose not to do this, we can't guarantee a perfect fit and you may need slight alterations.
You need to get the duct tape double to us before we begin construction.

Ordering:
You may mail in an order (with cashier's check or money order) or order via our secure website cart system and use an e-check or credit/debit card for payment.
If you order through our website and pay with Paypal, you must have a confirmed mailing address.

Customer Invalid Email Addresses and SPAM filters: If you place an order through our website shopping cart system, and do not hear from us within 48 hours, it means you either entered your email address incorrectly into Paypal's database, you have a SPAM filter on that is blocking me from contacting you, or your email server is not working properly. If I am not able to reach you via email after you order, I will try emailing you repeatedly. If I receive a message telling me your email address is not accepting email from me, or that your email address is invalid, I will immediately issue a refund and cancel your order. You must have a valid email address when ordering from me, so that I can send you the list of measurments I need.

More Than One Email Address: PLEASE do not email us from multiple email addresses. When people do this, we have found that they usually only check one of their email accounts on a regular basis, and when they ignore the other mailbox, the result is lots of missed or ignored emails. If there are problems and I contact you at the ignored address, you MAY NOT FIND OUT ABOUT THEM UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE. To avoid potentially disastrous outcomes and miscommunication problems, ONLY USE ONE EMAIL ADDRESS when communicating with us. This is the ONLY way we're able to track your order, and when you use multiple email addresses, it seriously complicates the tracking process.

Period of no response: If you place an order and I continuously email you with no response month after month, but your email address appears to be valid, I will hold your order for up to one year as a valid order. After one year, I will consider your order "abandoned" and you will forfeit all payments you have made and your order will be cancelled.

After one year, (12 months) of no contact from you, I will consider your order "abandoned." You will forfeit all payments you have made and your order will be cancelled.

Canceling an order: If fabric/materials have been ordered and we have scheduled a date for construction of your order, no refund will be issued and we will not accept a cancellation of your order. We reserve a date in our schedule just for you - and subsequently we turn away customers who could have been scheduled in that date, which is why we do not allow refunds for any order that has been scheduled and fabrics have been purchased.

Those who do not submit their order forms will receive regular emails from me reminding you to submit your order form. Because it takes time to send you repeated email reminders, and because Paypal deducts fees from your payment after 60 days, once those 60 days have passed (starting from the date you submit payment), NO refunds will be issued in any amount. If you need to cancel your order (provided you have NOT yet submitted an order form and we have NOT yet ordered your materials), you MUST cancel your order before 60 days have passed. After 60 days, no refunds will be issued.

Accepted forms of payment: Some of the items on our site have a "Buy Now" button, which will allow you to place an order immediately, and pay for it immediately. You can pay through Paypal, with either a credit card, or an e-check, but we will ship only to the confirmed mailing address that is listed on your payment invoice (see your contract for details on shipping policies). We also accept mailed payments of money orders, cashiers checks and for returning customers, we will accept personal checks (checks must clear before shipping). We also have a mail order form for you to print and mail with payment. However, payment through Paypal's secure site is the quickest and easiest way to order what you're looking for. If you are uncomfortable ordering via the internet, we completely understand. We will be happy to provide you with our mailing address to mail in a cashier's check or a money order. We do not accept personal checks - no exceptions.


Contact: You may reach me at info@verymerryseamstress.com


Time and scheduling for custom orders:
With elaborate custom orders, the time frame between initial contact and getting started involves a lot of communication and we're really going to get to know one another pretty well. By the time your gown design and fabrics have been selected, you can let us know whether you want to go ahead with your order. Gown ensembles more elaborate than the budget and peasant gowns, you should order at least 2 months in advance. For items with special-ordereed imported fabrics, you should order at least 6 months in advance. We're happy to accommodate rush orders when we can, but we're not always able to. During our slow season, most are shipped within six weeks of full payment received, but during the busy season orders take up to 8 weeks for simple items, or longer for more elaborate gowns. For Halloween orders, we are usually booked to capactiy by August. But, as mentioned, we are always happy to accept rush orders if we can - just ask!.

MEASUREMENT CHANGES: If your measurements are going to change significantly from the time you place your order to your scheduled construction date, you must send us updated measurements before the scheduled construction date for your order. We understand that you must place your order well in advance of your event date in order to secure a slot in our schedule, and that sometimes measurements may change during the time between order placement and construction. We have no way to predict these changes. We can only make the clothing to the measurements provided to us, so if your measurements change, it is your responsibility to notifiy us immediately, every time the measurements change. When your construction date arrives, we will make the garment to the current measurements on file. We understand that your measurements may continue to change AFTER we construct the garment, but it's more important that you secure a slot in our schedule and have minor alterations done after you receive your order, than waiting to order and risk missing out on securing a slot in our schedule. We work hard to accommodate all sizing changes, but unfortunately, sometimes changes will occur after we have made the garment. Those changes are beyond our control. We promise to make your garment to the current measurements we have on file, but measurement changes *after* the construction date are not within our control and we cannot be held responsible for such changes in size.

Rush orders: We love them! Just let us know when you need it, and if we can fill it, we will!

RUSH FEES: During busier seasons, these rush order policies MAY be added if we're booked to capacity. Otherwise, we will be happy to fill your order without rush fees. , Please email us before placing a rush order to make sure we can accommodate your delivery deadline. If we are booked to capacity, the following rush fees may apply:

If you need the order in less than one week: a rush fee of 30% of the order cost, plus overnight shipping costs. 

If you need the order in less than two weeks: a rush fee of 15% of the order cost, plus overnight shipping costs.

If you need th order in less than three weeks: a rush fee of 10% of the order cost, plus overnight shipping costs.

Deposits & Payment Plans:

Once we've worked out all the specific details for your custom gown, for orders over $200, a MINIMUM deposit of 50% must be made before we can purchase fabrics. This money will be used to purchase all of the materials needed, and the cost often exceeds the deposit payment, therefore the deposit is not refundable under any circumstance. We would not buy this fabric if it weren't for your order, so the deposit is a sort of "insurance" for costly fabric purchases. We must be paid in full before we can add your order to the schedule and before we begin work so be sure to submit your final payment with enough time for us to make the gown and to allow for others in our queue ahead of you.. You may break up payments and do a payment plan, but we can't start the order or add your order to our schedule until it has been paid for in full - so please keep that in mind when considering your delivery deadline.

Example: If you're getting married in October, which is our busiest time of year (Halloween), by August our schedule is usually booked through to November. So, in order to accommodate a reasonable delivery date (which should be in September to allow you adequate time for hemming), you will want to submit your final payment well before mid-July to ensure that you will have a slot in my schedule. Of course, some years are busier than others, so I can't always exactly predict the date by which my schedule will be full, but if you're cutting it close, please email me to see if my schedule can accommodate your delivery deadline and your payment plan schedule.

You may also use Paypal's "Bill me Later" option and spread out your payments through Paypal. They'll pay us up front, though - and that will allow you to get your order in our queue much faster.


We apologize, but we are not ever able to ship a gown before it has been paid for in full - No exceptions.

We offer interest-free payment plans and are happy to work with customers on the time-frames they require. The following rules apply:

1. There is a non-refundable deposit of $100 for all payment plans. This goes toward your purchase, but if you cancel, you lose the $100 deposit. As always happens, this rule has had to be implemented because a few bad apples ruined it for everyone else.
2. This rule is by Paypal, not me: After 60 days, any payment you make it no longer refundable. Please bear that in mind when you sign up for a payment plan and be certain this is a purchase you are definitely going to make. After 60 days, your payments cannot be refunded.
3. After one year of no communication, your order will be considered abandoned. It's okay if you need more time, but you need to stay in touch with me.
4. Please bear in mind that your fabric costs may fluctuate,or the original fabric you requested may not be available any longer if you take too long to complete your payment plan. You will be responsible to cover any increase in costs that may occur during the time you're paying for your order.
4. We cannot place your order in our queue until it has been paid for in full. Please keep this in mind when working out your payment plan schedule. If your event is in October, because our schedule tends to fill up to October by August, you will need to have your order paid for by late July in order to reserve a slot in our schedule for October.

TWO PAYMENT PLAN OPTIONS:

Option One: when you're ready to submit the payment through Paypal's invoice (which I will send you), choose Paypal's "Bill me later" option.  Paypal will send me your payment in full, which will allow you to have your order placed in my queue as soon as you submit your order form to me.  If you have a tight/strict delivery deadline to which we must adhere, this is your best payment plan option because it allows you to pay for your order in full, and make payments to Paypal over an extended period of time.  Paypal will bill you over a period of time and I believe that they set up a scheduled payment plan that will require a specific payment amount that will be due by a specific date. There are no refunds for this option.  It's the more strict of the two options, but is the best option for those who have a specific delivery date by which they must receive the order.

Option two:  If you have no delivery deadlines and wish to break the payments up over time, you can set up a payment plan with me. Please note: I don't send any reminders for this option, so you'll need to set up a schedule on your own and submit payments without reminders.  This option is not a good one for anyone who has a set delivery deadline, so if you have a fixed date by which you must receive your order, I recommend going with Option One instead of Option Two.  For this option, you can pay as much as you want, over any period of time - however, if you change your mind halfway through the plan, there are no refunds, so please be sure you really want to follow through on the purchase.  I've had a few people submit a dozen payments, then change their mind. For me to go back and refund each payment is an absolute nightmare that takes weeks of arguing with Paypal to accomplish - and quite often Paypal won't issue a refund because time restrictions have passed.  Neither payment plan option offers the ability to issue refunds after the payment has been submitted, so if you're on the fence about the purchase, please refrain from ordering until you're absolutely certain this is a purchase you wish to make.

Shipping: We ship most packages Priority Mail via the US Postal Service. We charge shipping and handling, based on the amount spent. If you use our online shopping cart system, the amount due will be tallied at checkout. If you want to purchase shipping insurance, please ask for it and we will invoice you for the cost.

Overnight shipping is available to customers within the US, and is calculated by weight and service. If you require overnight shipping, you will be charged actual postage (we will email you with an invoice when the package is ready to be shipped). You must let us know you want this service.

Non-USA customers: Out -of-country charges are shipped via either Priority Mail or Expedited Priority (depending on your budget and timeline) and is a flat rate charged at checkout. If your order consists of several boxes, we will need to invoice you for each box. please note that while this method of shipping is usually delivered within 1-2 weeks, it is not guaranteed by the postal service to be delivered within any specific time frame. If you require immediate delivery, please consider purchasing a guaranteed method of shipment as your method of shipment, which is costly, but will guarantee that your package will arrive by a specific date if you have a strict delivery deadline.

Guaranteed Expedited Priority shipping is the only guaranteed method of shipping overseas and we will be happy to ship using this service for you if you would like to cover the cost. If your order must be received by a specific date, this is the only method of shipping that the USPS will guarantee for packages that must be delivered within a narrow time frame. If you place a rush order, this is the only reliable method of shipping available to our out-of-country residents.

Import/Duty/Taxes: You are responsible for ALL import/duty/taxes associated with your order. We will not lie on customs forms. It's illegal, so please don't ask us to do it. If you refuse to pay these fees when the package reaches your country, we will not re-ship it to you until you submit another payment for re-shipment costs. Do not ask us to pay these taxes. We have no control over them, and these fees are not our responsibility, they are your responsibility.

Changes:
PLEASE DO NOT RETURN YOUR ORDER FORM UNTIL YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT! Once you return your order form, you may not make changes to fabric choices or colors, or to your order. We buy the fabrics as soon as we receive your order form, and we are not able to return these fabrics and supplies. Our suppliers have very strict no-return policies. Once you chooce your fabric, and we buy it, the only way you can change your choice is to pay for another garment. So please, be absolutely certain of your choices when you return your order form. We cannot allow changes once you submit your information. If you decide that you absolutely must make a change to your order, we will be happy to work with you, but there may be additional charges for fabric changes or design changes.

Returns/Repairs:
Due to the custom nature of these items, We cannot accept returns.

DO NOT RETURN ANYTHING UNTIL YOU OBTAIN A RETURN AUTHORIZATION NUMBER FROM US! If you ship anything back without contacting us and obtaining a return authorization number, your package will be returned at your expense. You MUST have a return authorization number written on the outside of your package, or it will be refused.

If we make a mistake, we guarantee to fix it, or in the case of gross misrepresentation where the item is flawed beyond repair, we will be happy to replace it. If you find a flaw in craftsmanship, you must contact us within ONE day of receipt of the item to report the flaw. After we approve the return, you must mail the item back within two days of contacting us. If you wait to return the item, we will not accept it. There are no exceptions to this policy, so from the date you receive the item, you have four days to get it back in the mail to us or we will not accept the item, and we will return it to you immediately. Once we receive it back, we will either repair the item, or make you a new one. If we made the error, we will be happy to cover Priority Mail shipping back to us if you provide us with a receipt.

We are not responsible for damages after the customer receives the item and are under no obligation to make repairs once the garment has left the studio. We absolutely will not issue refunds for items that are lost in the mail when being returned to us. For a few extra dollars, it's worth it to buy peace of mind and have the item insured. There are no returns for color variations - we clearly list all of our color matching policies on this page, and when we sent you the order form, you return it stating that you have read and agree to our policies. We do not offer refunds or returns on color variations, or ANY frivolous complaint. If color is important, please send us a swatch to match your fabrics with.

The reason for this policy is because many people who order gowns plan to wear them for one special event, thinking they can fraudulently treat our custom services as a rental shop. We've had people wear the garment to their event, then attempt to return it after the event is over. Custom-order gowns are not costume rentals and unfortunately, a few bad apples have spoiled it for others. For that reason, we have been forced to adhere to this policy very strictly. We will not make any exceptions to this policy. Once you buy it, it's yours forever and we will not accept it back, except to repair it or to exchange it for a new one. We do not offer refunds for custom - made garments.

HALLOWEEN ORDERS: We've found that some Halloween customers are the worst abusers of costume shops and seamstresses, and we frequently have people who wait until a couple days before Halloween (after their party is over) and attempt a refund. We do not accept any orders back for refunds - these clothes are custom made to your precise measurements, and cannot be returned for a refund. If we continue to have customers attempting to return custom made garments, we will have no choice but to refuse all Halloween orders from now on. Please don't ruin it for everyone else - if you order from us, be prepared to follow our policies. We will not accept ANY garments back for return. If you want alterations because of an error WE made, we'll do it - but you have to follow the same contractual guidelines as all other customers.

If you take your garment to another seamstress for alterations, we will not pay for it. You always have the option of having us take care of alterations for free if the error is ours, or for a minimal charge if it is a customer erro - be mindful of your schedule. If you place your order without enough time for alterations, you do so with the understanding that we will not be able to do alterations for you. If you take your garment to another seamstress, we will not be responsible for alteration costs incurred by having any garment altered by another company. Once altered by another company, we will absolutely not be responsible for damages - and once altered by another company, the garment will be no longer be considered our responsibility, and the garment will no longer be accepted as a return for repair (or any other form of return, for that matter.)

"I didn't know the garment was ___________!"

If you're not sure of what you're ordering, please ASK US. We're happy to explain everything you want to know. We assume that if you come to us with a picture or a special request that you know exactly what you're ordering. If you don't, then you need to tell us that you're unfamiliar with what you're ordering, and we'll be happy to explain it to you.

If you're ordering from the website, we write thorough descriptions about every garment we sell, noting every detail. Please don't blame us when you fail to read the item description.

Before you order, ASK. We can not issue a refund when you email us and say "it's not what I expected." You should educate yourself somewhat about historical clothing, especially about the item(s) you order - this way you won't be surprised when you recieve your order. We answer all emails in a timely manner, so don't buy it until you know what it is you're ordering.

For example: Partlets, (most) chemises and peasant shirts are *very* full - they are not a tight, fitted garment. We make them full because quite people often have to pull the sleeves through slashes on their gowns - and that requires a lot of fabric. If you want a fitted chemise, ask us to make you a custom chemise. If you want a period-correct garment, ask us to make you one.

We've had people (who aren't familiar with historical garb) receive their partlets and then email us complaining that it's not a tight blouse and it "won't work for nightclub events." We've had people order chemises and leines complaining that they're too "full" when that's exactly how they are supposed to be.

Also - you have to wear your foundation garments - chemise, corset, etc - when measuring for your outer garment - bodice, overdress, etc. If you purchase a bodice first, with uncorseted measurements, and then LATER order a corset, your bodice or overdress is not going to fit you the same as without them, because your measurements WILL be different. Please don't complain to us if you order your clothing out of the correct order. You simply need to wear your foundation garments when taking your measurements or your clothing is not going to fit you properly.

Please ask questions before you order, or take a bit of time to understand what you're ordering. Historic clothing is *very* different from modern clothing and different from "costumes" and we want you to fully understand what you're ordering. If you come to us and tell us what you want, we're going to assume you KNOW what you're ordering unless you tell us otherwise.

We're *very* honest people and we will disclose anything you want to know about your order. If you're confused, tell us. We will explain with more details. We never "hide" anything about our garments, we're always happy to explain out construction proceedures and materials used. However, customer ignorance is not something we can control, and we have no idea how much knowledge you posess with regard to historical clothing (and we certainly don't want to offend anyone by rambling on and on about something they may already fully understand). If you don't know, ask before you order, because unfortunately, we can not issue refunds because the customer failed to understand what they were buying.

Fabrics & trims:
We work with our own supply of fabrics and fabric suppliers, and cannot accept orders with customer-supplied fabrics for liability reasons.

For website orders: Most descritptions on the website include what comes with each package. If your package includes TRIM or a BELT (or other accessories), we will offer you your choice of color for trim and then we will select the exact trim for you. If you require a very specific trim, you must contact us before you order and ask to see samples, then choose your trim. Most of the trims pictured on our website are one-of-a-kind trims and have been discontinued, so we can't offer those specific trims. If you require a specific fabric for a belt, you must contact us in advance and approve the fabric. If you don't, we will select a fabric for you in the color you request. If you require specific trims (trims that are not currently in our stock), there will be additional charges for trim upgrades.

Fabric Budget:
For packages with cottons - please look at the list of available colors. We will use our supplier for these fabrics
For packages with brocades, silks or decorator fabrics: for the prices of packages on the website, you are allowed a budget up to $10/yard for fabrics. You may select fabrics that cost more than $10/yard, but you will have to cover the price difference.
For other fabrics: Please contact us for an estimate.

**Fabric Substitutions: Sometimes we have to subsitute fabrics when your first choice is not available. We will email you pictures of other options before we order the material, but it's always best to select one or two 'back-up' choices in case we don't hear back from you in time for your construction date (please be sure to check your emails often in case we have a question for you).

Fabric and trim Color: We offer clothing in a variety of colors and designs, and when you order, you will be asked to name your color choices. If they are not available, we will contact you for an alternate selection. Basic colors cottons/satins are always in stock. Fabric links are listed to the left in the menu. Please use links to make your selections of available fabrics. If you are working with two different types of fabrics for a bodice and skirt set, (such as a royal blue twill bodice and a royal blue satin skirt), please note that the shades of two different types of fabrics will not be the same hue. For that reason, we recommend choosing complimentary, but different colors when working with different types of solid colors. Trims and brocades will be used, but because stock is constantly changing, we will use what is currently in stock, unless you require a specific trim or belt brocade. If you require specific trims (trims that are not currently in our stock), there will be additional charges for trim upgrades.

Grommets, Lacing cords: grommets are standard, two-piece grommets and while we can sometimes get silver or black grommets, they are not always in stock. When we can't get these colors, we will use gold. We do not guarantee grommet color. You can upgrade to different closures (hand-sewn lacing holes, etc), but there is a fee to do so. This fee must be paid in advance, and must be requested before you submit your order form. All laced garments come with a very basic, functional cotton lacing cord (available in three colors - white, ivory or black). You may upgrade to decorative ribbon lacings if you prefer, but there is a fee to do so. The lacing that comes with your order is not decorative, it's merely sturdy and functional. We select this cord because most of our customers are faire patrons and need a long-lasting, sturdy lacing cord that's not going to break after many wearings, which is why we use this specific cord - it's the sturdiest stuff we could find - but it's not "pretty," lik a grosgrain ribbon is. Bear in mind that if you go with a decorative ribbon, the metal grommets will wear on the ribbon and cause it to snap over time. Unless noted, our skirts are all drawcord-style to accommodate fluctuating waist sizes and give the width needed for most historical skirts.. If you would prefer a fitted waistband, just let us know in advance and we'll be happy to accommodate your needs.

**Color Matching - We can NOT gaurantee specific color matches. What this means is: If you need us to make your gown in a very specific color, for example,to match a pair of shoes you already own, apologetically, we can't do this. We do, however, offer dying of dupioni and silk or cotton velvet and can acheive just about any color you desire. Bear in mind that while we will work with you to select a dye color from our supplier, the reaction of the fabric to the dye may result in a color slightly darker or lighter than the dye image.

Damage during shipment: Once a garment leaves the studio, we cannot be responsible for any damages caused. However, you have the option of purchasing insurance for your package - if you want this, let us know and we will give you a price for shipping. If you have purchased insurance and damage occurs during shipment, please contact us immediately and we can file a claim with the USPS - you must save the packaging in order to file a claim, so don't throw the box away!

Damage after you receive your item: We will not be responsible for any damage done to this gown once it leaves our hands. This includes, but is not limited to: dry-cleaning errors, any errors made by other seamstresses who may alter the gown, dirt, tearing from improperly wearing the gown, use of harsh chemicals on the gown, problems arising from negligence (including boning issues). Our cleaning instructions are only to be used as suggestions - CHECK WITH A PROFESSIONAL BEFORE YOU HAVE YOUR ITEMS CLEANED and do what THEY recommend. We are not professional drycleaners, and to be a fabric care specialist requires very specific training and licensing - which we do not have - so some fabrics may require more delicate cleaning. If in doubt, ask a professional. Do not machine wash anything with grommets or boning.

Ready to wear items, SAMPLE gowns: Are sold at DRASTICALLY reduced prices and therefore are sold "AS-IS" with no warranties, refunds or exchanges to be issued. There are absolutely no exceptions to this policy.

Items will not be shipped until they are completely paid for - there are absolutely NO EXCEPTIONS to this policy.

We are happy to accept personal checks from returning customers. New customers must submit payment via Paypa, cashiers checks or money order. Credit card payments and e-check payments may be submitted via Paypal.

Danger, Danger!
Sometimes boning will come free and give you a jab. Sometimes you'll run up a mucky hill and trip over your skirts. Remember, you're wearing this stuff at your own risk. We can't be held responsible for any injuries resulting from wearing garments we've made for you.

Care of your garments:

We use basic guidelines for recommended cleaning and care of your garments. HOWEVER, we will not be responsible for dry-cleaning problems. It is the customer's responsibility to find a reputable cleaner and have them TEST clean the garment in an inconspicuous place before cleaning. We're not responsible for your garments if they are ruined by your drycleaner. We will be happy to help you with fabric content, but the bottom line is you will have to take your garment to the drycleaner and ask them the best way to clean it. We're experts at sewing, but not at specialized cleaning (you must be licensed to offer fabric care advice) - so we leave it up to the cleaners to decide what's right for your garment.

Choose a cleaner who is a member of IFI, the International Fabricare Institute.

Take your clothing to a cleaner who is experienced in cleaning elaborate costumes and clothing. Then ask if they are a member of IFI. (If you don't know of any, call local theatres, colleges and ask them who they take their costumes to).

Ask your dry-cleaner to test ALL fabrics, trims and beads before they clean them in an inconspicuous place. Some trims and most beads won't hold up to harsh chemicals, and will need to be removed before cleaning.

Different types of stains will require different types of cleaners - make sure your dry-cleaner knows what they are dealing with. A grease stain is going to be harder to remove than a cool-aid stain. Tell them so they can clean it appropriately.

Have your dry-cleaner test for "bleeding" problems. If you've got a white dress with bright red trim, you don't want pink "bleed" spots on your white fabric.

NEVER, EVER, EVER go to the cheapest dry cleaner in town. Pay the extra few dollars for better service.

 

FAQ

Question: Will you make a gown for me using my own fabrics?
Answer: Unfortunately, we have a very strict policy against using customer-supplied fabrics. This is for a couple of reasons - but mostly because we know what fabrics are most appropriate to use. We've had a couple of catastrophes where customers sent very inappropriate fabric and we wound up having to ship everything back because it wouldn't work. Plus, we can't assume liability for fabrics sent to us. We prefer to purchase fabrics ourselves, so that if anything happens to it, we can eaasily replace it at our expense and not feel horribly guilty about it. ;-)

Question: Do you have a physical store I can visit?
Answer: No. We work from a small studio that isn't set up for public visitors. It takes a lot of $$$$$ to have a storefront, and we prefer to keep our prices low by not having storefront overhead.
We also have special business insurance that does not cover in-person fittings.

Question: Can we meet in person?
Answer: Unfortunately, no. You must have special business insurance to work with people at your place of residence, and since we work with people all around the world, we decided to work only via email/internet and not offer in-person fittings. This saves us a lot of money on insurance costs, and in return, saves YOU a lot of money. If you require in-person meetings, which I can understand in some situations, you should definitely visit a local seamstress in your area.

Question: I have this sketch, photo, link, portrait, idea - can you make the dress?
Answer: Absolutely! Send us links to portraits, your sketches, movie gown pictures - as long as you can provide us with clean, clear images, we can reproduce any gown. However, please note: If you re-draw a dress you found from another website - you probably will *not* be able to capture all the necessary information in your sketch, so if you have an actual picture from a magazine, pattern cover or portrait, just send us the picture or a link to the image. That's the BEST way for us to make your dream gown - and we really can make ANY gown.

Question: Do you have a phone number so I can call you?
Answer: At this time, we do not have a physical storefront, so, to keep prices low, we don't have a business phone. We've been in business for almost two decades now, and have successfully completed all of our transactions exclusively over the Internet. We also prefer to keep all correspondence in the form of emails, so we can have a record of everything discussed. We're happy to offer you a link to our eBay feedback, where we have been buying and selling for over ten years and have well over 2000, 100% positive feedbacks.

Question: Can you send samples of fabrics?
Answer: We are a fairly small gown design shop and in order to keep our prices as low as possible, we do not keep samples of all fabrics in stock. However, we can send you a swatch of your fabric once you've ordered and we've purchased fabric for you. But if you want to see examples of certain fabrics before you order, the *best* way to get ideas for your gown is to visit your local fabric shop, decide on the fabric you'd like, and then contact us to order your gown. We can get any fabrics you choose - but by doing the research on your own time, rather than having us do it, you won't have to pay a deposit in advance.

Question: What would I look like in this type of gown?
Answer: As much as we'd like to, we really can't help you on that one. Our best advice is to shop around and try on similarly-styled gowns. If you're shopping for corsets and aren't sure that you'll be comfortable in one, take a trip to the lingerie store and try one on to see how it feels. Ask your friends for their honest opinions and take it from there. We're happy to help you if we can, but your friends will be able to give you in-person advice, where we would not be able to.

Question: I want to get this style gown, but I think the colors and design elements might look weird together. Can you help?
Answer: Absolutely! If it's weird looking, we'll tell you! We're definitely not shy and when YOU look good, it makes US look good, so we definitely want you to look like AHHHHH-MAY-ZING!

Question: I want to order several items, will I receive a discount?
Answer: Our prices are as low as we can possibly keep them without losing money. Whether you order one or six of any item, it's still going to cost the same for us to make it. You would have to order many dozens of one item in order for us to receive a reduction in price on fabrics. If you DO want to order dozens, and WE are able to get a discount on materials, then we'll *gladly* give YOU a discount too!

Question: What if I get the gown and it doesn't fit?
Answer: We very rarely need to do alterations. We make every gown custom made to your precise measurements, but we're human, and if we have made an error, we want you to know that we'll be here to fix the problem. Just ship it back to us with notes and pins and we'll work our magic and alter it for you for free. This service is only available to people purchasing new gowns, with the gown being made to the measurements the customer has submitted. Customers must contact us within 3 days of receipt for arrangements for alterations to be made.

WEIGHT LOSS: Unfortunately we cannot offer free alterations to those who have dieted and/or lost weight after receipt of the gown. We can only make clothing to the measurements you supply, and we guarantee the garment to fit based on those measurements. Further weight loss will obviously result in a too-big bodice, and in situations like that, alterations are not covered.

MEASUREMENT CHANGES: If your measurements are going to change significantly from the time you place your order to your scheduled construction date, you must send us updated measurements before the scheduled construction date for your order. We understand that you must place your order well in advance of your event date in order to secure a slot in our schedule, and that sometimes measurements may change during the time between order placement and construction. We have no way to predict these changes. We can only make the clothing to the measurements provided to us, so if your measurements change, it is your responsibility to notifiy us immediately, every time the measurements change. When your construction date arrives, we will make the garment to the current measurements on file. We understand that your measurements may continue to change AFTER we construct the garment, but it's more important that you secure a slot in our schedule and have minor alterations done after you receive your order, than waiting to order and risk missing out on securing a slot in our schedule. We work hard to accommodate all sizing changes, but unfortunately, sometimes changes will occur after we have made the garment. Those changes are beyond our control. We promise to make your garment to the current measurements we have on file, but measurement changes *after* the construction date are not within our control and we cannot be held responsible for such changes in size.

PREGNANCY: As much as we wish we could make magic clothing that will expand and shrink before, during and after pregnancy, we can't. Nobody can predict how much weight someone will gain or lose during this exciting time, so all we can do is make the garment to the measurements you provide. Grommetted lacings will offer some flexibility, but every person is difference and every pregnancy is different. I gained over 60 pounds for both of my pregnancies, and afterward kept some of that weight on. I went from a size 6 to a size 10. Other people gain only 20 pounds and have no problem returning to their pre-pregnancy size.

CINCH: Please note that almost all of our women's outer garments - especially bodices, corsets and some dresses - are designed with a cinch - meaning it will be smaller than your actual measurement in order to give you the appropriate lift and support. A bodice that is loose is not going to fit you properly and will offer no support at all. My average cinch is between 2-5 inches. If you require more or less, just let me know. Unfortunately we cannot be responsible for customer errors in measurements,

Question: What if I get the gown and I decide I don't like it afterall
Answer: You should be absolutely certain that you want the gown you're ordering when you send us money because we do not offer refunds or returns on any custom-made garments. Try on gowns of similar styles and make sure you like how it looks. We cannot accept a return on a custom-made gown simply because you've changed your mind. Afterall, we're making this gown *just for you* and it will be very difficult to sell it elsewhere. Few people have exactly the same measuremnets, color preferences and design choices. Please be sure you *really* want this gown before purchasing it.

Question: When should I order my gown?
Answer: It depends on when you need it and how elaborate the gown is. If you're ordering a wedding gown, order it as soon as possible, with at least 6 months between contract submission and requested delivery date. Some of our more ornate fabrics have a two-six-month waiting period during shipment. Standard turnaround time for simple garments (bodices, chemises, peasant ensembles etc.) is 6 weeks during our slow season and 3+ months during our busy season - but check with us if you are in a rush. More elaborate gowns will have a longer turnaround time, especially if we have to mail order fabrics. There will be times during our busy season when we will have to stop accepting orders for high court and elaborate nobility gowns. We do an EXTREMELY large volume of peasant gowns during the summer and fall, so if you want something elaborate, it's always best to order early, or during our "off" season, from December-March. As always, ask us what our schedule is like if you're concerned about an upcoming deadline. If we can't make it in time, we would rather send you to another seamstress than risk not meeting your deadline.

Question: I ordered something from your site through Paypal. How do I let you know what my measurements are?
Answer: Every time I receive an order notice from Paypal, I contact the buyer, send a contract, which lists the measurements, fabric choices and color choices I need. We'll walk you through everything. :-)

Question: Is your payment page a secure site?
Answer: Yessssss, without a doubt. We've been using Paypal now (as buyers AND sellers) and have never had any problems with their secure site. If you're hesitant to purchase through Paypal, we do have a printable order form and you can mail in a money order or cashier's check.

Question: You've got cool fabrics. I want to order some.
Answer: Apologetically, we don't sell any of the fabrics with which we work.
We have our hands full sewing clothing, and don't have enough time to resell fabrics, too.

Question: Can you send me a printed catalog? Do you have more pictures of Gown XX?
Answer: In an effor to keep our prices low, and be kind to our Earth, our website is our only catalog and all the pictures we have are located on our website.
We also try to conserve paper, so we will never be printing a paper catalog.

Question: Why isn't my deposit refundable?
Answer: Your deposit is made only after you are absolutely positive you want to order. It's a commitment between the seller and the buyer - a promise to complete a transaction. Once we receive your deposit, we purchase supplies, which we normally wouldn't buy without your order. If you cancel your order, we cannot return the fabric, so unfortunately, we have to be reimbursed for the fabric purchase. We do not send the fabric to you if you cancel the order, so please be absolutely certain you will be going through with the transaction before you send your deposit.

Question: Can I do a payment plan?
Answer: If your gown is over $200, absolutely - but we can't purchase fabrics for your item until we have received 50% of the full amount due, and we can't begin working on the order until it has been paid for in full. Be sure you have paid the final balance with enough time for us to construct the gown - for example - if you place your order 8 weeks before your event and the gown will take four weeks to make - be certain that you have paid the balance due in full AT LEAST four weeks before your deadline! We do not send reminders - this is your responsibility to make sure everything is paid for with enough tiem to make the garment!

Question: What if I get my gown and then lose weight after a few months?
Answer: We'll be REALLY happy for you! With laced garments, there is some flexibility with regard to sizing. However, once you receive the garment, try it on immediately. If it doesn't fit and we have made an error in sizing, we'll alter it for free - just ship it back to us within the week you received it and we'll take it from there. If you lose weight after receipt of your order, your best bet would be to visit a local alterations shop. We do charge for alterations after a certain timeframe, and the cost would be more expensive than visiting a local tailor's shop, and we don't always have time to fit paid alteration requests into our schedule.

MEASUREMENT CHANGES: If your measurements are going to change significantly from the time you place your order to your scheduled construction date, you must send us updated measurements before the scheduled construction date for your order. We understand that you must place your order well in advance of your event date in order to secure a slot in our schedule, and that sometimes measurements may change during the time between order placement and construction. We have no way to predict these changes. We can only make the clothing to the measurements provided to us, so if your measurements change, it is your responsibility to notifiy us immediately, every time the measurements change. When your construction date arrives, we will make the garment to the current measurements on file. We understand that your measurements may continue to change AFTER we construct the garment, but it's more important that you secure a slot in our schedule and have minor alterations done after you receive your order, than waiting to order and risk missing out on securing a slot in our schedule. We work hard to accommodate all sizing changes, but unfortunately, sometimes changes will occur after we have made the garment. Those changes are beyond our control. We promise to make your garment to the current measurements we have on file, but measurement changes *after* the construction date are not within our control and we cannot be held responsible for such changes in size.

Question: I want to start my own costuming business, will you send me lists of your fabric suppliers, pattern designs, customer's emails and any other information I'll need to get started?
Answer: We will never give out the email addresses of our customers. We protect their privacy and will never share this information with anyone.

We don't sell our designs, our supplier lists or anything other than the items for sale on our website. We have an exclusive contract with Simplicity Patterns and can only sell our patterns to them.

Finally, the only way we can give up our hard-earned tricks, tips and secrets is if you want to pay us to teach you. If you would like to hire the Very Merry Seamstress as a consultant to help you start a business, a price can be negotiated, but you will have to pay for transportation, food, lodging and all training. Learning how to become a professional designer isn't something that can be learned overnight. It's a lot of hard work, time, researching and training. Our best advice is to do what we did: Go to college for costuming and start promoting yourself to everyone you know.