Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dream Angels Rinoa duster review

Back sometime in 2008, I paid the website Dream Angels to make a customized Rinoa Heartilly duster and sleeve set for me.  Usually, I make my own stuff but finding the right rib knit fabric for Rinoa usually proves nothing short of impossible (unless you get lucky).  The other option is to hand knit it, but I didn't know how to.  I've heard nothing but good things about their Rinoa dusters so I decided to take the plunge and buy one.  Everything went great at first, I paid for everything, gave my measurements, and received my item within 2-3 weeks.  It looked beautiful, but I noticed right off the bat that it was not properly hemmed nor was it overlocked.  If someone is paying you $130 for a costume, you better hem it properly!  Of course, I contacted them and guess what?  She never returned my emails!  I've sent her several and never received a single reply.  I gave up, decided to make the best of it and try wearing it.

I wore this duster for a grand total of two times: once for a mini photoshoot and another for one day at a convention.  It was starting to look kinda dirty so I decided to hand wash it.  Oh my gods, was that ever a mistake.  In fact, just buying it was a mistake.  After just one gentle hand wash (with my very own two hands), the raw edges started to look like this:

Would you sell a costume this shitty to someone for $130!?  I hand washed it once in cool water and gentle detergent and this is how bad it looked afterwards.  Not only did it fray like no tomorrow, but it shrunk up quite a noticeable amount!!  I'm 5'10 and it shrunk up so much that it was small enough to fit someone that's 5'2!  I didn't even put this thing in the drier, either--I lay it flat to air dry.  In fact, while I was washing it, the water turned blue and there were tiny pieces of fabric all over my sink.

Then to start with, the sleeves were always too damn small.  I need them to be at least 11in. and you can clearly see from this picture that they are 8in. long.  It looked really stupid on me.

Because the duster had shrunk up so much that it was unwearable (unless I wanted to look really stupid), I ended up selling it off for less than half of what I paid for it due to the quality.  If someone is paying you a lot of money to make something, you had better know what the hell you're doing and if you don't, don't accept commissions!!  I can't believe that this company has such glowing reviews and feedback when their product is less than stellar.  You do not make and sell a custom-made item to someone with very visible raw edges, hems that are not properly hemmed, and most importantly, you don't sell something where you didn't pre-treat the fabric!

I cannot stress the importance of pre-treating your fabrics to eliminate any possible shrinkage or you'll end up with a garment that won't survive the wash.

My whole experience with Dream Angels has been an unpleasant one and I do not recommend commissioning them or Sakura Wigs.  I've had an experience with Heki-chan or whatever her name is around the same time I ordered my duster from Dream Angels.