Back From China

Hello Everyone!

First, thank you for all the congratulations on my recent engagement!!! We ended up taking a las minute trip over the Labor Day holiday weekend to see my parents in Florida.

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Pass A Grille Beach in St. Pete, FL

Sitting on the lanai, (thank you Debbie Cooke, I had no idea what that thing was called) by the pool, we read every single comment out loud. There was a lot of squealing of delight on my part πŸ™‚ It was so fun to hear from long time internet friends, real life friends and from those of you who delurked. Β I am sincerely overwhelmed and touched by your outpouring of congratulations. Jordan, for sure, knows there is a whole community rooting for us!

Two weeks week ago (the Tuesday after Labor Day), I left for a two-week business trip to Shanghai and Xiamen in China. My colleagues and I were incredibly busy with work meetings and work meals.

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But, I had to get back to the South Bund Spinning Market while in Shanghai.

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Long time readers may remember that the market is mostly for buying custom made clothing.

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For instance, this dress is a knock off of a dress worn by Kate Middleton. Their price, pre-bargining, custom fit, $100.

This Burberry copy was $80

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But, I was focused on buying laces. My plan was to buy fabric in Shanghai and have it sewn in Xiamen. Prior experience told me construction prices would be half.

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These guipere laces are stunning at stall no 398. They are similar to Prada and Versace. And, after bargaining, $15 a yard. I may have overpaid. But, you lose perspective!

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They’ve been turned into three lace dresses (cream, red, and purple), one of which I will wear for my rehearsal dinner.

Here is the cream lace mid construction

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If I lived in China, I would have everything custom made. Period.

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I also bought several meters of each of these laces to make my wedding veil. For 20 yards I spent about $20. I want a finger tip, one layer veil edged in lace. I saw them going for $300 US. That, is bananas. I’ll use the savings for my shoes. The first and last are my top contenders. I will use the second and third to practice.

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I am now back home after 40 hours of travel from Xiamen to Shanghai, Shanghai to Detroit and Detroit to Baltimore and, incredibly jet lagged (hence my 4:00 a.m. posting)

I’ll get the four shirts, two suits and three dresses I had made on the dressform and post some about that process and the food I ate. Oh, China has changed since I went three years ago and I’ll bore you with my thoughts on that too!


  1. Hi. I’m a bit late to the party, but CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement!! I’m so, so happy for you!! I’ve just caught up on my blog reading, so apologies for the late sentiments. Very best wishes for your future together. Rachel UK XXX

  2. I didn’t leave a comment prior to this because there were so many! I couldn’t find the comment section. I am a lurker, too. I wish you the very best. That young man should know, I hope, that when you accepted him, he hit the jackpot. I wish you both all the happiness, all the time.

  3. How exciting. So cheap to have clothes made for you in China. Yet you can choose some beautiful fabrics. Last time I was there I had 3 suits made from gorgeous wools. Sigh…I want to go again.

  4. I spent 8 weeks in China for my honeymoon, and none of the stall vendors could understand why I wanted to buy fabric but not have it made into something!

  5. Welcome home! I’m looking forward to reading more details about your trip … sounds so interesting. And next time you come down my way, we have to meet up!!

  6. Please do ‘bore’ us with all the details! I’d love to hear how China is changing – I spent a year teaching English in Shenzhen (next to Hong Kong) in 09-10 and I fell in love with the Middle Kingdom πŸ™‚ I didn’t know anything about sewing back then, but was amazed that I could get cheap, custom-made clothes to fit my 6ft frame – in any pattern and fabric I could find! Pretty sure that sparked the idea that I could do it myself and I eventually found my way to a sewing machine when I came back. And yes, I’m a lurker too πŸ™‚ Congrats to you both on the engagement! Can’t wait to see what that beautiful lace turns into!

  7. So you’re getting some sleep,right?! Looking forward to seeing the garments and hearing your thoughts on China. Glad you’re home safely!

  8. How do you do it ALL? Jetlagged. No, You’re in L O V E nirvana!

    btw your laces are divine. And am looking forward to your impressions of China three yrs later. Thanks!!

  9. Congratulations on your engagement! just catching up with my blog reading now, so just read the good news.

  10. Congratulations on your engagement — and I can’t wait for your next post! How exciting — and energetic to get all that shopping and clothes-making done!

  11. I missed the original announcement, so congratulations to you (and, especially, to your beau) on your engagement!

  12. My son Josh goes to China on a regular basis; he’s even been to Shanghai twice in the last year. But, ask him to buy fabric? No, not going to happen. Aside from the fact that he knows nothing about fabric he has terrible taste, or at least not compatible with mine.
    Do you have a wedding date? Oh, and what happened to your parents living in Panama?

  13. By the way, with prices for Guipere lace going for $75 and up and usually up, you got some gorgeous lace for very little money. Pat yourself on the back.

  14. And $20 for 20 yards is bananas too! That’s extraordinary–what a find. I think the middle lace is gorgeous for what you’re describing.

  15. Holy cow! You were in Pass A Grille! That’s spitting distance from me. Now that the bridge there has been replaced we no longer have to call by radio to have the bridge lifted when we want to head out into the gulf. Anyway, you were extremely close to Jay’s Fabrics over here in South Pasadena (but you probably already know about that store). The selection is overwhelming and very much wasted on me but I’m still amazed at what they have. They are celebrating their 54th year in business and everything is on sale!!! Congratulations on your exciting news, and best wishes for a long and happy marriage.

    • It was my first time there! It’s gorgeous. My parents are in Hernando County so I’ve never made it down to this side before. I will have to check out Jays next time I am in the area!

      Sent from my iPad

  16. Lovely stuff! And congratulations and best wishes if I didn’t express them already. Meant to. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see all your wedding finery.

  17. Congrats on the engagement! The lace kinda reminds me of the Dolce & Gabbana ads, I think its very pretty. Can’t wait to see the final dress.

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