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Frequently Ask Questions

Vintage Lingerie Tips
“Rush” dresses and “How quickly can I get my dress”?
Has my package been shipped? Did you receive my payment yet?
Can I send you my own vintage (or new) fabric and have you make me one of your dresses?
Do you sell your patterns?
Suggestions, Ideas and Requests
Wedding dresses, super special occasion dresses
Exclusivity and, “How many other dresses will there be like mine?”
Do you use plastic or metal zippers?
Return Policies
Alterations on Whirlingturban's are especially easy
Alterations to Halter strap
Alterations and adjustments to Bodices
Bust and cup fit fine tuning, & what to do if the cups are just a little too big on you
I wrote to you a few weeks ago; why haven't I heard from you?
What additional measurement is needed for the Shaheen Dream "Tri-Strap" variation?
Can this strap style be made "button-in/button out" so that I don't always have to wear the straps this way?
Can I order my Whirlingturban Corselette or Whirlingturban boned-bodice dress a little smaller than my waist to get a pulled-in "corset-like" effect?
I am planning to lose weight before the wedding, so how can I submit my measurements?
Katherine's Vintage Foundation Secrets!
I want a Wing Bust style dress but I see you only make it in stock sizes. Do you have my size?


Rush Orders?

Like any company that uses a shipping or mailing service, or who ships internationally,we can’t make short-term shipping time guarantees that involve the aspects of the shipping process that are out of our hands, such as delays at airports, etc. But here is some information to help you to get an idea of when to expect your dress:

We cannot make custom-fit dresses that ABSOLUTELY must be received in any less time than 16 days from the time that all the information relating to your order is complete- the mailing address and all the measurements submitted correctly. Many times, submitted order forms arrive here with info that needs revision or clarification. We must review your order info and get back to you with questions, if we have any. Your order and fitting bio can be considered complete when we confirm to you that it is.

If you are buying a finished dress from the boutique and tell us it is urgent, it's possible you can have the dress in less than a week. Please ask!

Rush wedding dresses? We have gals that place orders for wedding dresses with us more than a year in advance to be certain of reserving their construction time here in our studio. However, depending on what you want and how busy we are, we have been known to work MIRACLES! Need a rush dress? Use our wedding dress inquiry form, let us know what you want and we may be able to do it!

Our air courier service usually takes only 5- 6 days to deliver from date of shipping! On a couple of occasions, it has taken 12 days. Twice in 8 years it took about 2 weeks, usually during some "international incident" when the U.S. suddenly tightened up their security suddenly. We cannot trace a package until it has been 2 weeks since we shipped it and has still not arrived, but we give you the tracking number as soon as it goes out, so you can check its progress online. We have never had a shipment lost!

If you have a deadline, please take all of the above into consideration, send us your deadline and we will do our best!

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Did you receive my payment? Has my package been shipped? Will you please let me know when it gets shipped?

We try to email each person when her package goes out or when we receive your payment. We are a VERY small company; please bear with us until we can automate these systems. Thanks for your understanding.

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Can I send you fabric?

Our customers send us fabric regularly.

Here are some things to keep in mind-

Dress construction techniques are developed for different fabrics. There’s more to making a dress look great than just having the pattern, and that’s one of the reasons “home made clothes” often don’t look as nice. Different construction techniques frequently must be developed for various fabrics and even the cut of patterns must be changed for different types of fabrics. There is a chance that the fabric you send us might need its own special techniques or pattern changes made especially to suit it, and the labor involved in that make the price unpredictable in advance. Especially with vintage fabrics, there are also issues with fabric delicacy, fading marks or flaws you may not have noticed before sending it to us, just simply not enough fabric for the given style, etc.

Bearing this in mind, you can still feel free to inquire by emailing us about your specific project.

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Do you sell your patterns?

No. We are continually refining, tweaking and improving our patterns. They are our “secret weapons”.

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Do you have suggestions for Whirlingturban? Style ideas?

We LOVE ideas for future styles! Send us a pic by email of your “dream dress” and, if we use it (assuming it wasn’t something in the pipeline here already) you may even get a discount on it as a thank you!

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Super special occasion dresses, like weddings?

We make lots of wedding dresses. Let us know if your dress is for a special occasion and together with you we will create a "ship by" date well in advance of the date to make time for possible alterations, shoe shopping, etc. If you are interested in a wedding dress, we will give you a wealth of information based on the ones we have done in the pas!

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How exclusive is my dress? Is it one of a kind?

We use our dress patterns over and over again, and keep building our style selection. The thing that gives your dress its identifiable personality is the fabric, color, print motif, its individual fit to you and the customized details you choose.

Our fabric sources have very limited stock per motif. Often, there is enough for as little one dress per motif! We generally make from one to five dresses from a given fabric, which we sell WORLDWIDE and they are almost never not the same style or size.

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Do you use plastic zippers?

Our dresses are reproduction dresses. Many identify the age of a vintage dress by the presence of a metal zipper. Mostly we use plastic because of they are readily available to us here in all colors. If you want a metal zipper please request it and we'll tell you if we have one in the right length and color or you can send us one to use on your dress.

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Return Policies

Whirlingturban individually-custom-tailored items are not returnable, exchangeable or refundable.

We've been fortunate to have remarkably few problems with customers unhappy with their purchase.

Some Whirlingturban items that are purchased ready-made or by specific, standard size and not custom-fit are exchangeable. Those items would be clearly described as exchangeable on the accompanying description of the item. If you are unsure, please look at the return policy in the section of our store in which you are shopping.

Whirlingturban Bombshell Boutique items (only) are fully returnable if unaltered, subject to the Boutique Return Policy. Wedding dresses and custom mades are not.

If we do make a mistake with your order, or if you are unhappy for any reason, please do contact us!!! We are here to help and certainly want you to be happy. We'll evaluate each problem on a case by case basis and will make an effort to resolve it with you. We will basically bend over backwards for you! Any problem must be explained to us via digital pics. We will describe to you what pics we need and how to send them.

At our discretion, we may opt to refund, replace, repair or offer a discount on future purchases, but you will have to pay for return shipping.

Although we strive to deliver a dress that does not need any fine alterations, with woven, form-fitting dresses, the need for fine-tuning alterations cannot be regarded as an error on our part.

The Bombshell Boutique (non-wedding) items are fully returnable (when returned promptly and unworn) and subject to their own return policy- The return policy is clearly stated in the description area for items in there. If we alter them they become non returnable.

The Wedding Boutique ( non-custom wedding dresses) items are not returnable and subject to their own return policy- The return policy is clearly stated in the description area for items in there. Get a loaner dress instead- it is fully returnable and subject to its own return policy.


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Most alterations on Whirlingturban's are especially easy

We know how expensive it can be as well as how difficult to find a qualified alterations person. We fit our custom made dresses just as perfectly as we can from a distance.
(We’ve had lots of experience working from measurements, before starting Whirlingturban, when we worked with stars who tend to be inaccessible for fittings!)
So, after fitting our custom made dresses to you as carefully as possible, we then carefully plan the spots that may need fine-tuning. We construct those areas so that they are quickly and easily-accessed, and quickly and easily-adjusted. Whenever possible, we design the alterations so that can they can be performed by a person with the skill level readily available at a dry cleaner!

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Halter strap

All dresses come with a removable halter strap so that you have the option of wearing the dress strapless. The halter strap is affixed in the classic vintage manner by buttons inside the bodice and buttonholes on the strap ends. PLEASE be sure your halter strap is tight enough for maximum flattering support! Use the multiple buttonholes on the strap, or if necessary take a minute to adjust the placements of the buttons inside the bodice. Some larger-busted gals may find they prefer the move the strap to the top of the cups for more support.

For very special occasion dresses we usually hand-stitch in the straps so that extra buttonholes will not be showing in wedding photos, for example. You may need to adjust these on your own for a perfect fit but it is VERY easy to do.

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Bodice Adjustments (For our elastic paneled bodices)

For a seamstress that speaks English well, this written explanation should be very understandable. If not, try to understand the principles here and then explain them. This technique is not a common one so your alterations person might “do it the hard way” if you don’t give them OUR instructions.

To adjust the bust, waist or hips on the dress, you can take out the zipper, and adjust the extra fabric down the back of the dress, and replace the zipper. Do not allow the alterations person to attempt to adjust the front of the dress, except at the strap as described above. This takes almost as little time as replacing a zipper which is the second most common alteration there is. So it shouldn't be expensive. As long as the directions here are understood, only moderate "dry-cleaner" level alteration skills will be needed.

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Another easy way to fine-tune the bodice fit at bust and waist:

Open up the WAIST seam only in the area you need in order to get to the ENDS of the strips of elastic in the bodice side back. You may also have to PARTIALLY open the zipper in the place where you need to adjust. These elastic strips are like "drawstrings" and we have left them a little long just so that they can be adjusted easily.

Release the vertical bodice seam that secures the ends of those strips of elastic, doing so only only in the area you need to adjust.

"Draw up" or release the strips of elastic, as needed, to tighten or loosen the dress, only where you need to do so.

Restitch the side seam that you released in order to re-secure those elastic ends.

Restitch the waist seam.

Restitch the section of the zipper you needed to open, if it was necessary.

This alteration should take no more than one hour. Zipper replacement is the most commonly requested alteration and is generally very inexpensive. As long as the directions here are understood, only moderate "dry-cleaner" level alteration skills will be needed.

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What to do if the cups are just a little too big on you:

Some gals find they get the extra oomph they need by wearing a bra under the bodice.

With our without a bra worn in addition to our already "super built" bodices, "cookies" are small push up pads that are sometimes put into a removable pocket in the lower part of a bra or else can be purchased by themselves (well, in a pair) in a well-stocked bra store or web store.

They are not “falsies”. They are about the size of a small cookie (imagine that!) and all they do is to push some of the flesh curve on the under side of your breast to the upper side of your breast, so that the breast clings attractively to the upper part of the bodice.

Push up pads do the same thing but just tend to be a bit larger. They have different shapes, some also pushing both the outer lower breast AND the middle lower breast up.

The best thing to do is to try them on with our dresses, since we do our best to design our “BUILT” bodices so that they are both the dress and the bra. Take that dress right into the foundation department, ask the clerk for some push up pads and cookies, and go in the fitting room to and see what works best for you with the dress.

Whirlingturban assures you (with considerable authority) that this is what makes the Hollywood glamour queens what they are (or appear to be.) It’s that little bit of extra effort and expertise more than it is “extra generosity doled out to certain dolls from That Big Production Line In The Sky”!

So, take the time and invest in your shelf!

And don’t forget to use tiny safety pins or hand tack those cookies or pads in place with needle and thread before nights of abandon on the town!

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Q: I wrote to you a few weeks ago; why haven't I heard from you?

A: Once in a while we experience email loss here- both incoming and outgoing; it's so frustrating!!! If you don't hear back from us within 4-5 days, it means that we did not receive your email or that our outgoing email to you got "absorbed into cyber space." Please always write back if you don't hear from us because we would never knowingly ignore you!

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Q: What additional measurement is needed for the Shaheen Dream "Tri-Strap" variation?

A: If we have made a dress for you before, please put on this dress and send us the measurement from top of right cup to top of center back. (Or you can obtain this measurement from your test dress, if you are ordering one before a wedding dress is made.)

Strap Measurment Diagram Strap Measurment Diagram Strap Measurment Diagram

If you don't have a Whirlingturban dress to use as a reference point, we will make the straps in a standard length. They will be sewn in by hand and will be very easy to adjust via hand-sewing. It is important that you adjust these straps precisely for a beautiful fit.

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Q: Can this Tri Strap style be made "button-in/button out" so that I don't always have to wear the straps this way?

A: No, this will prevent the straps from laying flat and sleek against your body for this style. However, if you wish to remove the 3 straps at some point by taking out the hand-stitching, let us know and we can make the dress so that you can later wear your dress with one of our regular, single button-in/button-out sweetheart style halter straps.

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Q: Can I order my Whirlingturban Corselette or Whirlingturban boned-bodice dress a little smaller than my waist to get a pulled-in "corset-like" effect?

No! If you order your Whirlingturban dress or corselette smaller than your actual body measurements, your dress or corselette will not fit you. If you can get it zipped, the zipper will probably break.

Sometimes gals try to order Whirlingturban dresses too tight because they they want their dress snug. They are afraid we make the dresses with "ease". "Ease" is the term used for the extra fabric allowed in the circumference of the garment which makes the garment bigger than the body in order that the garment will be comfortable to wear and easier to fit on a variety of bodies.

Whirlingturban dresses fit very snugly; they are not cut to fit a variety of different bodies like most modern "off the rack" garments. Please don't "lie" to us to achieve a snug fit, or for any other reason. Always give us 100% accurate measurements and information and then we'll work with you to achieve the look you want!

If you want a corseted look you will still need a corset or waist nipper. Our dresses support you but they do not perform the function of a genuine corset.

If you have a corset or waist nipper that you intend to wear with your Whirlingturban dress, use it to take the measurements you send us for your dress. Tell us you are using one or we will be getting back to you telling you the measurements don't look correct. (Virtually no one has a waist that is 5 inches less that their underbust measurement without using a corset-like garment!)

Strap Measurment Diagram

If you don't own them already but want get the right "hard-working" undergarment(s), tell us and we will help you find a good one that suits your dress and purpose. Check out Katherine's Vintage Foundation Secrets at the top of this page!

Be sure to send your body pics wearing the waist nipper or other special undergarment you plan to use under your Whirlingturban dress! This type of garment does NOT make you the same but smaller- it shapes you differently! If we don't know you are using such an undergarment, we will not cut your dress in the same way we would cut it to work with your body-altering foundation. Let us achieve a more perfect fit for you by letting us see the contours we will be working with!

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Q. I am planning to lose weight before the wedding, so how can I submit my measurements?

A. The majority of brides fluctuate in weight during the year before their wedding, so we are accustomed to dealing with this.

For the sake of planning and our dress discussion, we need to know the present measurements that we request, beginning with preliminary measurements. You can find a list of those here: We often need the body pics to complete the estimate for the dress and to answer your questions about style, foundation garment and detail recommendations. You can find the instructions for sending body pics here:

Even if you lose a lot of weight and work out, you will still be you and we can still get a lot of information about you that will help us plan your dress from “before” pictures. Many of your specifications will not change such as having an extra-curved small of the back, being long-waisted, your height, etc.

As long as you keep us informed about your size changes, we can adjust the fit to reflect these changes up until the time we send your dress which is generally about 5 weeks before the wedding. If there are any changes after that, your local alterations person can make those changes for you. You should always be prepared with a local alterations person before you receive your dress. Expect fine-tuning, even if you have ordered a test dress since, on this day, you want everything to be as perfect as humanly possible! Have your alterations person all pre-interviewed and lined-up so that you can feel completely relaxed about your dress. Our dresses are specifically designed to be easy to alter.

If you send your first set of measurements and body pics a long time before the wedding and you’ve changed by twenty pounds or more, or you’ve purchased new foundation garments that re-shape you quite a bit, you can submit a new set of body pics right before we start sewing. Remember, his is about getting the most personal, beautiful fit possible; it isn’t drive-thru dressmaking! It’s only a digital camera and an email! Take the extra time! This really is how movie star gowns are made. It takes patience but the results are SO worth the effort!

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I want a Wing Bust style dress but I see you only make it in stock sizes and only for up to a C cup. I am a D or DD.

The pattern that we use to cut the Wing Bust style dress has an “average" contour/“degree of curve” cut into the bust. It is possible with your larger cup size that your bust would push the cups forward in a way that looks pretty. It is also quite possible that if you wear a strapless bra under the dress it would help this contour work on you. But we can’t *guarantee* this pattern for your cup size.

This is a very difficult pattern from which to change the cup size. If we custom-made a version of this pattern specifically for you it would be expensive and only practical if you were budgeting for a wedding dress. (Not one of our less expensive wedding dresses).

We do have quite a few Wing Bust dresses cut with large cups for bustier gals. Here is our current size range:

If you want to try one of our Wing Bust bodices dresses to see if it will work on you, borrow a loaner!

I want a Whirlingturban dress but your custom-fit dress prices have gone up. What can I do to make the price affordable?

What we suggest is to find a dress the style and basic size you want in our Whirlingturban Bombshell Boutique!!! The prices there are actually about half our custom made price!

Once in a while if you are a standard size we can make you the dress you want at a Bombshell Boutique price. Call our rep and ask!

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