Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Alchemy for Arshela

See this little dress? This is the dress I ordered off Etsy for my little cousin Arshela who is unofficially serving as our Head Flower Girl. No, I haven't decided If I'm putting that title in the program yet, so she's still unofficial - lol. What happened was, remember those adorable flower girl dresses I found at The Children's Place? The ones that were $25, but by the time we ordered them, they had gone down to $18? Well, one look at the dress ordered for Arshela proved that her's would be too short. She's long and lean, so the around part is rarely an issue. Its the length. And for her, extra length is always appreciated.

At this point, the dresses were no longer available on the Children's Place website, so I knew it was time to exercise my original option: having the dress made. And I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like. White (like the other little girls) with a teal sash (like the 'maids). In my mind, Arshela's dress would be the imbetween point, and the dress that brings the ladies dresses together.

As I mentioned earlier, I turned to Etsy. I used their Alchemy function, which basically lets you put in a request for an item. Any and everything can be requested: jewelry, clothing, wedding stuff, artwork, you name it. How it works is you set up a request, outlining what you want and providing as many details as you know, including how much you want to spend. After you complete your request, Etsy sellers (think: members that have stores on the site) bid on your project, outlining their store policies, the details of the item and the sale, and the projected cost. You can also designate how long you have your request is active, as well as shut your request down when you think you've gotten enough bids. At that point, the choice is yours. You have conversations (think: emails on the Etsy site between you and the seller) to ask further questions or get more details, and (hopefully) ultimately find a seller that can make your item.

I went through the Alchemy process with Arshela's dress, and I was very specific in my request. I wanted a solid white cotton dress that looked like the other flower girl dresses, and a teal satin sash to adorn it. I wanted the cost to include the material and labor for the dress, and I would send the satin material for the sash. Its the same material that were making the table runners out of that matches the 'maids dresses marvelously. I was looking for the best price and spent some time looking through potential bidder's sites to see examples of their work. I ended up going with Cissy of CissysSewnSew. She was a dream boat to work with and made exactly what I wanted.

Here's a closeup of the bodice. The benefit of having the dress made is that I was able to provide Cissy with Arshela's measurements, and it be made to fit her: long and lean. She's bound to grow a little between now and October, so we added a little extra to accommodate that.

I love this little dress on so many levels. I love that it bridges the gap between the big and little girls. I love that it was budget friendly. I love that it will be long enough. I love that it looks exactly like I imagined it would. I love this little dress so much that I almost wish I had all the little girls' dresses made.


Thankfully MamaP took the lead and arranged with Granma to get Arshela's measurements. If it weren't for her, or if we had to do this times 4, it would have been a much larger undertaking. And maybe not quite worth it. Overall, I am very happy with the way this dress situation turned out. I'm even happier to check female bridal party attire off my list. And trust, all a bride in the double digits (87 days to go) wants to do is check things off her list.

Checkety check check!


  1. wooooow!! I can't believe you were able to to that online!!! awesome!!

    and i like that there's a link btwn big and little girls ;-)


Since you stopped by, you should say hi! Feel free to leave your $.02! ♥