Monday 27th March, 2017

every dress has a story custom made dresses

We love what we do here at Envious Fashions. Honestly, we do. We come across many different customers but sometimes we meet customers who totally knock us out of the park. In this particular case, it totally rocked our world with inspiration and admiration. In this blog post we’d like to share with you a customer story which we recently made a custom made ball dress for. We had no idea this ball gown had been arranged for by a young school girl’s aunty, of which the girl had been abandoned by both her parents in favour for a lifestyle of drugs. The aunty has since taken the girl in as her own and who knew such a decision has meant the two now enrich each other’s lives in so many ways.

In late November 2016 we received an email inquiry from a customer by the name of Steffy* wanting to know the costing to make a custom made ball dress. We received several styles to quote on and it seemed like it was just another customer that was shopping around.

A couple of the dress styles that were on the shortlist to be custom made;

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The final decision….being “THE DRESS”

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Steffy is a FIFO worker and she had arranged to get this custom made ball dress for her niece, Kaitlyn*. The thing about this custom order was that we arranged and communicated practically the entire process via email.

Our first impression of this ball dress when Steffy sent through the picture was “wow, a very extravagant but stunning ball gown.” We were a bit sceptical with this style initially as the skirt would require a very large hoop or petticoat for the dress to achieve the ball gown “poufy” effect. Typically we make a lot of formal dresses in A line, mermaid and flowy dress designs and this was our first custom made ball gown style dress. With all of our custom made dresses, we make every element from scratch so we had to devise a way to make the petticoat. We needed to ensure that it was made so that it could achieve the look whilst also being comfortable for the customer. Our initial hesitancy in making a Kaitlyn’s custom ball dress as big as the one in the picture is that it wouldn’t be feasible to be transported around in this dress style and also sitting down during the night. We agreed that the dress would be made as close as possible to the picture, taking in account comfort and practicality.

The custom dress was needed to be completed by March 10, 2017 which gave us adequate time to source the materials, arrange the dressmaking production and complete the custom ball dress.

Fast forward a couple of months and Kaitlyn’s custom ball gown was ready. We sent through a few photos of the dress to Steffy before the scheduled appointment to pick up the dress. Although Steffy was happy, the “puffiness” of the dress fell a little short of Steffy’s expectation and she was a little bit sceptical if her niece would love the end result of this custom made ball dress due to the fact that the organza skirt wasn’t as puffy as the picture. The thing that is unbeknown to many people is that depending on your body shape and height, the overall look of a dress can look different on from person to person. We assured that the ball dress modelled by our mannequin looks different because she is 175cm tall with a different body shape and when Kaitlyn wears it, it will look incredible.

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Steffy was on roster to work so she couldn’t be there Kaitlyn’s custom made ball dress fitting, however arranged for another guardian, Sunnye to attend in her place.

As Kaitlyn emerged from the change room, everyone in store gave a little gasp as to how gorgeous she looked. In our humble opinion, the ball gown looked even more flattering on Kaitlyn than the mannequin. Kaitlyn was curvier than the mannequin which made her body fill out the dress perfectly. She was also not as tall as the mannequin which in effect made the ball gown “sit” more bouffant than that on the mannequin which is how Steffy and Kaitlyn envisioned. She looked like a princess! Kaitlyn absolutely loved her custom made ball dress. The dress fit Kaitlyn was on point from every inch and we were amazed at how her ball gown suited her look and body so well.

She said she felt so pretty and princess like in her custom gown and it was exactly what she wanted. “At first when I saw the photos of the ball dress I was kind of sad as it didn’t look as puffy as the original style, but now that I see the dress in person and tried it on, I love it!!” said a beaming Kaitlyn . It truly is wonderful to see we can make a customer so happy to get the dress they want.

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“I was very hesitant and told her [Steffy] that she was crazy to get a custom ball dress made without any consultation and just working off a photo from the internet, but I still can’t believe you’ve done such an awesome job with the dress, it’s beautiful!” Sunnye commented.

Kaitlyn wanted the neck choker to be tighter so we got that arranged on the spot at our shop. Our experienced tailors managed to get that alteration done within 10 minutes. We had a very happy girl walk out of our shop with her amazing ball dress and that’s exactly what we strive for!

In the early evening of that same day, we received a text message from Steffy.

"Hey! Thank you so much! I can't thank you enough. I really can't. I cried in my truck at the photos I got sent! Every dress you make has a story and my little princess has a story that is truly shocking but inspiring. Her parents abandoned her and her two sisters for drugs. It got so out of control that police and the Department of Child Protection are involved. That little girl has seen things she shouldn't have to see and been through things no kid should have to. She hasn't ever just been a kid. So 2 years ago I took her in as my own, which would of being frightening considering she hadn't seen me since she was 6 and she barely knew who I was. This was a huge life change for her and me. I was 25 at the time and spending big every break because I had no worries and now I'm a mum to a teenager who is a massive stoner and never goes to school. Not only do I have to grow up but now I have to raise a child.

The school told me not to bother sending her to school and I said “no I will and you just watch her grow”. Guess what, she graduating with B grade! And I have grown up myself and bought a house thanks to her. She doesn't realise this, but she has made me a better person. I need her more then she knows it. I'm so proud of her.

That dress represents success, love, being proud and winning at life. That dress means more than anyone would know. I promised her I would give her the best life possible and give her everything she needs. That dress is her hard work and my love. And because of you, you made her dream dress a reality. So thank you! Thank you so damn much."

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This text message from Steffy really moved us. We were proud we made a ball gown that made a school girl very happy and a strong contender to win belle of the ball at her school ball but after knowing about the story behind this made us feel all the workmanship that went into Kaitlyn’s custom made ball dress has gone to a beautiful young girl that deserves the most stunning dress to wear, make memories and cherish at one of the biggest and happiest event of her life to date. From the outset Kaitlyn seemed like your typical schoolgirl, a bubbly and bright-eyed girl. We never could have guessed what she had been through and her early life. Sometimes things aren’t what it seems.

When you make a decision to have a child you’re also making the decision to be accountable for that child. You don’t abandon your obligation as a parent/s because you have “other plans”. Children shouldn’t have to sacrifice so that the parent can have the life that they want. The parent should make the sacrifice so the child can have the life that they deserve. Unfortunately not every parent steps up to their responsibilities and are too selfish to care. Steffy took it upon herself to embark on great responsibility for Kaitlyn but this act of empathy and love show Steffy’s selflessness and sacrifice of putting aside her carefree life to caring for an abandoned teenager. This marks Steffy’s journey into motherhood, whilst perhaps not the conventional definition of “motherhood” by birth but every bit in terms of responsibility, care and most of all, love.  “Motherhood is a choice you make every day to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…”

This is a story of amazing selflessness, personal achievement and proof that the choices we make determine our subsequent steps and journey in life and that our decisions can also ultimately change another person’s life. This inspiring story of Steffy and Kaitlyn is a testament that through hope, strength and love can get us through the very darkest of times, change us for the better and bring us new rays of sunshine into our lives. Every custom made dress has a story and this story is one that we have garnered much inspiration from and we trust will contribute to lifetime memories for Kaitlyn and Steffy.

If you're considering getting a custom made ball dress or custom gown for any other occasion please see our custom made dresses page for more information or contact us.

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of customer for privacy reasons.

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