Saturday, September 2, 2006

The dress saga draws to an end

I think I'm about due for an update on this cold, windy, rainy day (I hate how the wind is shrieking outside my window). And on this day that hurricane Ernesto is passing through, my Dear and his GM (sans brother) are delivering a pig and some pastries (plus chickens and coconuts) and a butt-load of money. This is the dowry thing that I vehemently opposed but gave up on in the end. And all I can do is sit upstairs b/c the debate over whether or not I can see all this has teetered in the direction of I'd better not be seen. I'll post how this all finally goes down. But for now, I owe an explanation on what happened with my dress, the bane of my existence. Brace yourself, it's a long story....

I was supposed to pick up my dress on Tuesday. Seeing as how it was never ready the eight other times I either called or visited them, I didn't expect much difference this time around except that I have just over a month left and their excuse of "you have time" would really not hold water with every passing day. However, I called the week before to make sure, even though she "promised" it'd be ready by the end of the month when I went to see her 3 weeks ago. So when I called, they scrambled around a bit to find out whether it was possible, I heard some mumblings and the answer was yes, it will be ready. Unlike the other times, I didn't get a runaround answer so I was fairly confident/excited/nervous that I may finally be in possession of my dress. I think I even had a spring in my step as I walked there. The seamstress was all smiles and cheery when she saw me (very different from our last face-to-face) which made me less mad when she couldn't find my dress hanging on her racks. No, it was on her sewing table b/c she was NOT DONE! She said it'd be definitely done the following day (to which I lied and said I was busy so I needed it today b/c I really don't want to be traveling back and forth) or she could try to finish it up tonight and I could try back an hour and a half later. I asked her what else she needed to do and she muttered something incomprehensible but I think she meant she needed to do everything I had asked her 5 months ago b/c she hadn't worked on it since I last saw it. Grr! I didn't want to wait that long (nothing around there to do except for a Starbucks when I had plenty of work to do at home) so I headed downtown dejectedly, with the "promise" that I could pick it up anytime tomorrow. (On a somewhat bright note, I found a $20 bill on the floor, which I debated with myself on whether or not I should take it.)

The following day, I headed uptown again after work and I waited 15 minutes or so for the seamstress to appear while some doofy guy (her son?) played around with his new digital camera. When she finally came out, FOR ONCE the woman recognized me, understood my plight, and simply brought my dress down from the rack and had me change into it. I slowly unzipped the bag and examined the dress. From the front it looked normal. Then I flipped it to the backside and... gasp! It was not a horror show! I didn't have to go berserk and sit in the corner rocking back and forth, lamenting the day I stepped into Pinpoint Bridal! I looked at the side -- oh, it was beautiful!! I looked at the other side, oh, it was nice too!! I crawled into the dress (instead of stepping into it b/c it's a tight squeeze past my hips) and attempted to zip it up (I still need to lose a pound or too, darnit!!). When I walked out and looked at myself in the mirror, I didn't hate my dress anymore (still don't loooove it, like most everyone else does theirs) but I was satisfied. I was shown the bustle (a very simple one with a single button) and she made other adjustments (lowering the position of the bustle b/c it was so high it fluffed up in the back) and pinned in bra cups so that they can be sewn in. I changed out of the dress and she went to make these changes by hand while I waited.

Meanwhile, a million ppl decided to come in and ask about this or that, including this very annoying woman with a high-pitched voice (who incidentally is getting married on the same day as me) who wanted to check whether her dress was ready a week early (ha! does she know who she's dealing with?). To stretch my patience further she didn't have the ticket number so that they couldn't easily find the dress amongst the hundreds they have hanging. When they eventually found it, she saw they had done absolutely nothing with it either but they "promised" it'd be ready next week (poor woman, I feel your pain!). After half an hour or so, the seamstress was finally free to go back to finishing my dress and I finally tried it on again and everything was as good as can be.

At the beginning of my dress search, even ordinary dresses garnered oohs and aahs from onlookers (maybe that was false, maybe it was the newly-engaged glow) but ever since then, no one has had the same reaction with this dress (other than the day I bought it and I think it's quite nice and I like that it is different). Oh well.... I packed my dress up in a large shopping bag (to the horror of the seamstress, until she realized that I still had to clean it) and went on my way. I dropped the huge thing off at BM's office (she actually has an office with a door that locks!) so that I didn't have to lug it back and forth. The following day, I brought the dress to Little J Cleaners around 20th and Park during my lunch break and left it to be cleaned. That was the easiest part by far. They were very attentive, looked at the dress, quoted me $170, and proceeded to note the details of my dress for their reference. The person who recommended Little J to me suggested that I don't have them press it (b/c my dress is so delicate), so I told them so, with the option of coming back a few days before the wedding if I couldn't get it pressed by a friend of a friend. They were very accomodating and I can pick it up next Thursday! Whew, such a relief (and extraordinarily easy)!!

We'll see how the cleaning turns out but for now, my review of Pinpoint Bridal is B-. I am satisfied with how things turned out (not perfect, but workable) but I think they have many things that need to be fixed. 1) They have serious commitment issues -- this charade was dragged out for many months and caused me much agita! If things aren't possible by a certain time, don't promise me that they will be, only to disappoint me and waste my time (the worse one being showing up at this inconvenient location only to be turned away). I think in general, seamstresses take a long time so no matter where you go, I advise you to say you need it at least two weeks before your actual date. 2) There are communications issues -- their command of the English language is limited and at times I couldn't understand what she was trying to tell me. 3) The worse offense of all -- the man (her husband?) who works there and sometimes answers the phone. At first I liked speaking to him b/c he speaks better English and I could actually get answers out of him but he's one of those sleazy ppl who tells lies to appease you or is extra nice when he needs your cooperation but whenever I would tell him that I need the dress NOW he'd give me stupid excuses like "you have time," "you don't need it now," etc. Excuses are one thing but I don't like how patronizing (in a mean way)/condescending he was. Aside from these issues, her work is decent (I think it's easier/less headache when you need simpler things done, not refurbishing) and her price is OK. Just remember you should pad your due date with them so they don't screw around with you.


Anonymous said...

I came across your blog accidentall while doing searchs for my own wedding (which is up in one month!) Just want to let you know that I really enjoyed it a lot, and completely sympathize as another Chinese bride. ^_^

Vivs said...

Hi. I just left my gown at PinPoint this afternoon, seriously. I left the store disheartened, because I thought it was not labelled clearly among the racks of dresses, and would eventually be sold at 50% off. Plus, I was afraid that I would be extremely overcharged, given my quote of $140, since my "receipt" did not include a price and was not in english. What are your thoughts on grabbing my dress in the next week and running from the shop?

just r said...

Hi Vivs,
$140 doesn't sound so bad -- what kind of work are they doing to it? You know, despite all my gripes about Pinpoint, I think my case was more complicated because I needed repair. Two friends went to Pinpoint after me and got their dresses back in time without any complaints.

Vivs said...

I'm getting the sides taken in, and pads in the chest. Thanks for the advice, and it is a relieve to know that your friends did not have similar trouble. Thanks for your blog, as I am a chinese bride myself :D