Review: eShakti, revisited

8 May

Here be another product review for I wasn’t 100% thrilled with the first dress they sent me (honestly, it ended up getting donated because I just COULD NOT deal with those arm holes), so after they contacted me, I decided to give them a second chance.

For those of you who don’t know, eShakti is an online shop that sells a variety of cute lady clothes (not just dresses, there are skirts and blouses floating around there as well) in sizes 0-36, as well as offers inexpensive customizations for your size and certain style options (such as adding sleeves, shortening the hemline, etc). The prices are reasonable, and it’s definitely a good option if you normally have problems fitting into straight sizes, since you can adjust the measurements to correspond with *your* body.

Eshakti dress

This is the contrast poplin trim dress (unavailable now, sorry!). After the deal with the last dress, I was careful to choose something that-
1. Could easily be adjusted at the shoulders;
2. Was 100% cotton
This one fit the bill, and it was pretty cute, so I requested it and it was promptly shipped to me. I’m just going to say this now – I’ve been waiting to photograph this dress for a couple of months now. Why hasn’t it made it to the blog sooner?

Eshakti dress


I KNOW I just made like short short short BUTTCHEEK shorts, but shorts and a full-skirted dress are two entirely different beasts, if you will. I just can’t feel comfortable in a big skirt that only needs the slightest gust of wind to expose even more leg, you know? So I had to wait, and figure out my undergarment situation. And also buy a new bra – you can’t tell too much in these pictures because I’m wearing a strapless, but the straps are pushed way more toward the center than a standard bra. This means you cannot wear a bra with straps with this dress – the straps end up side-by-side. I needed a new strapless bra anyway, but man.

Eshakti dress

Anyway, back to the dress! It IS pretty cute – I love the nauticalness, and it looks equally good with bright yellow (or even brown!). It has pockets, as evidenced by me not taking my hands out of them at all. The quality is acceptable – nothing terrible, but nothing groundbreaking either. The back has elastic to accommodate more sizes (which honestly, kind of drives me crazy. If this is made-to-size, then why do you need elastic?). You can’t really see in these pictures, but there are some sweet tucks and covered buttons at the bodice. CUTE.

Eshakti dress

Eshakti dress

I do NOT understand how this dress came out so short, to be honest. I’m 5’2″ – I don’t think I’ve ever had an issue with a dress being too short on me. On my last dress, I requested that the hemline hit above the knee – and it’s knee-length on me (figures). So for this round, I chose “short dress.” And woohoooeeeooo is this dude short!

Eshakti dress

So what do you do with a too-short dress that can’t be let out at the hemline and cannot have length added (thank, stripes!)?

Eshakti dress

You make matching bloomers and pretend like it’s a playsuit set!

(Oh god, this picture is probably going to end up in sooo many Flickr spank-banks, ughh, the things I do for you guys haha)

Colette Madeline bloomers

Remember these? These are the Madeleine mini-bloomers, a free download from Colette patterns. Yep, free! I love these things and I knew they would go perfectly under this dress – the skirt is full enough where the bloomers don’t add bulk, and they’re cute enough where I don’t mind a wind situation now.

I used a remnant from my local fabric store, and pretty navy/red ribbon to tie it in with the dress.

Colette Madeline bloomers

I love the way the elastic looks at the waistline – and it’s sooo comfortable. Like wearing pajamas. I totally wear these are pajamas, btw.

Colette Madeline bloomers

Pretty sweet, huh?

Eshakti dress

I’m still not totally sure on my feels for eShakti at this time. They definitely need to add a skirt length measurement in the dress descriptions, because that would help when determining how much to shorten or lengthen if you are customizing. At least the sizing is much better this time – which I consider a personal victory with the size of my bust vs ribcage. So yay for that, I guess!

~*~Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post, although I did receive a sample to review & keep. All opinions on this product are my own.


48 Responses to “Review: eShakti, revisited”

  1. puu May 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    i think the style of it is great, and i love that you took it the extra step by making the bloomers. that was definitely a perfect choice to make the garment feel comfortable and wearable.

    • LLADYBIRD May 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      I definitely feel more comfortable in it – and almost wait for the wind to pick up so I can show them off, ha πŸ™‚

  2. Alex in California May 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    You are a sewing maniac. I envision you at your sewing machine sucking down Red Bull.

    • LLADYBIRD May 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      No Red Bull for me! Coffee, on the other hand…

  3. Eleanor (undeadgoat) May 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    Just spitballing here, but a few reasons to elasticate a made-to-measure dress could be so that if you gain or lose a little weight, suffer some indigestion, or are in the first few months of pregnancy you can continue to wear it! I’m thinking about diving into the world of back-shirring for myself this summer for at least some of the above reasons.

    • LLADYBIRD May 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

      Good points, I hadn’t thought about that. I guess I just see shirred/elasticized in store-bought dresses and immediately assume they did it to cut corners, haha. Obviously that’s not always the case!

  4. missparayim May 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    The dress is cute, but those bloomers make the outfit!!
    I’ve been curious about this company, but since I started to sew, I haven’t bought many dresses. It kind if feels like cheating, for some weird reason. Plus I find myself getting pissed off at stuff I probably wouldn’t have noticed before (the $18 dress I bought in New Orleans to save my jeans from street “wetness” was not cut on grain, and the print wasn’t even close to lining up at the seams). Sorry for the tangent…

    • LLADYBIRD May 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

      No, I totally understand and I feel the same way πŸ™‚ Other than the jeans I bought in January, I haven’t bought any new/non-sale clothing in several years. I’d rather make it myself so I can fine-tune the fit and get it in the fabric I like.

  5. Isidore May 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    I was really excited about eShakti the first time you posted because I’m at a size in between regular and plus sizes and having something made to my custom measurements sounded great. I ended up putting in 3 orders with a couple garments each and returning them because of sizing issues. Some of the items I ordered a straight size 18 off their size chart, and the actual garment measurements (on a non-stretch garment) were 4-6″ smaller than the body measurements on the size chart. (!) The ones I ordered custom were not made to my measurements – for example the armsynthe was inches smaller around than the arm measurement I gave, but the rest was too big. They took the returns, but I was still upset that they don’t refund the shipping or customization fees when they item was obviously not made to my measurements.

    There were also really awful drafting issues in my size range. I ordered a top with a draped neckline, and while the product photo showed it as being very modest and only hanging down a few inches below the neck, on me it hung down to my waist, basically exposing my entire front. I can imagine what the drafting problem was – they probably scaled the drape up from a small size based on the bust measurement ratio, but since the drape hangs from the shoulders and the shoulder measurement doesn’t get that much larger in the larger sizes, it ends up hanging down super far. (It should have been scaled up according to the shoulder measurement.) It just seems like their drafting is very inexperienced and the garments don’t ever get compared to a real body or even a dress form. This was a straight size 18 garment – it could have been put on a dress form to check the drafting.

    Sorry to vent – I just see a lot of bloggers recommending eShakti for people who have trouble fitting into regular sizes, but all the bloggers I’ve seen are thin and probably fit straight sizes. As someone whose sampled the plus sizes, I say – don’t do it! Their garments fit worse than off the rack.

    • LLADYBIRD May 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

      Oh wow, no, I’m glad you posted this! It’s true that I do fit better in off-the-rack than many sizes, although I still need to make adjustments – at least I have that option, you know? I didn’t realize the plus sized stuff was so skewed, but it makes sense if they are scaling the patterns to accommodate the size instead of redrafting the pattern for plus sizes. Just because someone is bigger in a couple of areas does not mean they are bigger ALL OVER. I’m sorry you had such a shitty experience 😦 Hopefully some others will find your comment helpful, at the very least.

    • zendegy July 30, 2013 at 8:00 am #

      YAY!!! Finally an honest review of eShakti. My experience was AWFUL!! I ordered skirts – how much can you mess up a skirt – for myself and my daughter, included our measurements, and they managed to mess both up in the two ways possible, waist AND length.
      Worse still, is their customer service. Their responses were beyond slow and held no note of authentic concern for my disappointment.
      Ugh. I am just SO disappointed – okay, at this point, kind of mad – about the whole experience. Nice to find I am not the only one, since the blogs I follow raved about them without reserve. Maybe eShakti was more careful with the garments that they knew would be reviewed on a blog? Hmmm…
      Next I will try Jibri.

    • JIW November 30, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

      I have had mixed results from eShakti. I’m plus size in-between so was pleased to find them. I had 2 custom shirt dresses between size 22-24 that I customized and they fit beautifully. Then I tried a 3d that had some embroidery and had to send it back twice. I didn’t reorder the third time. But I now have 3 dresses, a skirt and gauchos that all are custom fit and fit beautifully on my disproportionate plus size frame. The materials and sewing are beautifully done on all the garments, and fit me well. I found that customer service folks are great and gave me a lot of help with sizing after I had problems the first time. None since. (I’m 5’2″ about size 20W on top and 22W on bottom just to you know. weigh 220#).

  6. Becky May 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    I thought from the first picture that they were culottes. Wouldn’t that be cute!

    • LLADYBIRD May 9, 2013 at 8:49 am #

      That would be cute! I thought about converting them but the skirt is too short to properly cover my butt haha!

  7. sewcookgardenrepeat May 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    I love that a dress review turns into another sewing post! Love the bloomers!

  8. Gjeometry May 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    This is quite a cute dress! I actually like that it’s short, a nice change from the 1950’s style we are seeing everywhere. You can do what you did, wear a cute pair of shorts or even leggings. How do those straps feel? I think if it were me, i may unattach and move them further out. They look to be too close to your neck.

    • LLADYBIRD May 8, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

      They are definitely too close, hence why I have to wear a strapless bra with it. I considered moving them out but upon inspecting the way the bodice is sewn, I think it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

      • Gjeometry May 8, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

        Ah, ok yes. Sometimes, it’s just faster to make a whole new dress!

  9. Adrienne May 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    I wonder why in the world the dress ended up being so short? The bloomers are a great idea, but I agree, there should be a length measurement included. I have received 2 pieces from eShakti, and the skirt length does vary.

  10. rainwitch May 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Are you/have you tried wearing tights/pantyhose with the bloomers? Can they be worn with trousers? Loving the pattern and your version, but I feel the cold and it’s rare I’ll be out with bare legs.

    Thanks so much!

    • LLADYBIRD May 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

      Well, I live in Tennessee where it’s hot and humid for most of the year, so I wear more dresses with bare legs than I do pants or tights. However, I don’t see why you couldn’t wear these with tights under them. They might be too bulky to wear under pants, unless your pants are very loose.

  11. goodbyevalentino May 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    It’s cute Lladybird but your clothes are cuter. πŸ˜‰

  12. CGCouture May 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    Whoa, that is definitely a short skirt! Glad you could save it with those cute bloomers, I had forgotten all about that pattern. It is a shame about this company, it sounded like such a good idea….

  13. AW May 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    I ordered a dress from them in a regular size, then returned it to get the same one as a custom size. I kept it (because I had to), but it didn’t turn out right. One of the buttons fell off the first day I wore it and one of the sleeves was a good 2-3 times larger than the other. I had a tailor to fix it (it was beyond my sewing skills at the time), but eShakti wouldn’t cover the cost, which I thought was disappointing on a customer service level. I’ve worn it a few times since and recently had to fix the sleeve myself because a huge hole opened up on the seam where it attaches to the dress. They do have some cute dresses, but not cute enough for me to try again.

    • LLADYBIRD May 9, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      Oh wow, yeah, I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t want to revisit them after that experience, either! Sorry it was so shitty 😦

  14. thewanderingfisch May 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Despite the unfortunate length, the dress looks super cute on you, and the bloomers are great. I love that pattern, and have made a couple for me and for a friend. I didn’t have the best of experiences with eshakti’s customization either. The length is great, but the bust and sleeves are far too big (which, with a wrap front, could be dangerous). I didn’t bother returning it. I plan on fixing it myself, but I haven’t figured out how just yet. This dress had the shirred back as well.

    • LLADYBIRD May 9, 2013 at 8:53 am #

      On my first dress, the bust/waist were too big as well. I figured it was because I’d messed up a measurement somewhere, but it looks like that’s more of a problem on their end.

  15. aem2 May 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    That skirt is certainly short. Does it reach beyond the tips of your fingers, young lady?

    I’m now thinking, what with this outfit and the bloomers and yesterdays short shorts, that you need to arrange some vintage pinup shots. Include one with your bike. They would be so adorable!

    • aem2 May 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

      I should add, I was thinking along the lines of the less risquΓ©e ones. Although I’m sure you would rock the let-me-show-you-my-garter-belt-as-I’m-laying-out-this-picnic look, too. πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD May 9, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      Just barely!! I can still wear it to places that use the fingertip length for the dress code, ha πŸ™‚

      A pin-up shoot would be fun! I might pull a bunch of awkward faces the whole time, though, hahahaha. Nowww who wants to take photos of me? Anyone? Anyone?

  16. Jeanine May 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    That dress is supercute despite the shortness and I love your bloomers. But what I really wanted to say is that I will now be a loyalreader for your use of “spank bank”. Lmao!!!

  17. Nay May 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    Sooo cute! “Spank bank” lol!

  18. soisewedthis May 8, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    I was just thinking about recommending this company to a friend for bridesmaids dresses, so I appreciate your honest review. It still might be worth considering but now I think I’m a little more on the fence about it. But it would be better than me having to sew 8 bridesmaids dresses, amirite πŸ˜€

    • LLADYBIRD May 9, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      Oh god, don’t sew 8 bridesmaids dresses. I think you might need to take one for the team in this case… and buy. Hahaha. I sewed ONE bridesmaid dress and it made me want to dieeee, can’t imagine powering through 8!

  19. Marlene May 8, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    You are absolutely too stinkin’ cute. LOVE reading your blogs.

  20. Jenna LeDawn (@kittycatstevens) May 8, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    listen. . . this pattern is free. and it is a beginners. and i have been wanting to learn more about elastic since my last project. and my sewing manual is at your house. . . ALL SIGNS POINT TO SEWING DATE?!?!?!

    ps. totally love how you get away with flashing the internet and calling it a sewing project πŸ˜‰

    love all of this! (and i super appreciate such an honest freaking review!)

    • LLADYBIRD May 9, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      YES PLS!!! You know I’m always down πŸ˜€ Let’s make cute lil bloomers together omg

      • tia May 9, 2013 at 10:36 am #

        Can I say how jealous I am of you & Jenna’s sewing dates. I’m with Jenna, elastic gives me fits. UGH! Cute little tiny dress though. Thanks for the review. Was thinking of buying a dress for my 5’9 daughter but never mind.

        • LLADYBIRD May 9, 2013 at 10:42 am #

          Definitely give that pattern a try – it’s a simple pattern (two pieces!) and the elastic goes through pre-sewn channels so it’s very easy to adjust and sew in πŸ™‚

          Or you can just holler and I can give you a little elastic help – I see you’re in Nashville, so it could actually be in person if you wanted it to be!

          Speaking of which… I want every 40s pattern in your shop, god. All so amazing.

  21. Philipppa May 9, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    I actually think this dress looks really cute on you. I don’t buy RTW much (except thrifted of course!!) but it was still interesting to read about your experiences.

  22. Kristen May 9, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    I am cracking up at how many more views your bloomer flashing pic has than the others. Spank bank indeed.

  23. Emmie May 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    I’m sure you have too many followers to be nominated (because you’re kick ass), but I nominated you for a Liebster Award on my blog x

  24. Flav May 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    I love this dress……………

  25. Tina C. May 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Sorry to weigh in so late on this post (I’m a few months behind on blog reading) BUT… eShakti is not my favorite. I’ve ordered three dresses from them, only once successfully (the other two I returned because they did NOT fit correctly and one was in a color so far off from what was pictured online that I just could not stand the “real” color). The third time I took advantage of an offer for free made-to-measure services. The dress I got fit great but the fabric (a cheap cotton poplin) was so ridiculously stiff after three washings that I rarely wear the dress out and about.

    To top it off, their costumer service is THE WORST. The first two dresses I ordered, as mentioned, I had issues with. So I emailed them and patiently waited for a response. When I didn’t hear from them within 10 days, I emailed again. Another week goes by and I end up having to call. At that point, the rep I talked to pretty much admitted that yes, the person in charge of email is really lackadaisical at her job. Thankfully she was able to help me sort it but man, nearly THREE WEEKS after my initial complaint.

    Then this past April I called them with a question about a dress my friend had added to a short list of potential bridesmaid dresses. I had to call because I had placed it in my checkout “bag” and a mere hour later it was removed (not the first time this has happened to me either–on a prior order I had TWO dresses removed within three hours of placing them in my “bag”). I called to see what the deal was and the person on the phone was all “oh… sorry… that happens a lot. Just means we sold out. You can try back in a week or two to see if we have it but yeah… sorry.” It’s still not back over a month later so I guess it’s gone for good.

    In all of these cases, I was never once given any sort of assurance or recompense (which is pretty normal–if you call with a legit complaint with a lot of companies, they’ll offer you a percentage off your next purpose for your inconvenience. Not eShakti).

    Frankly, the customer service and the lack of guarantee that a certain product is going to remain on the shelf make this company not worth my while. I can see how others may be willing to put up with eShakti, but I am not.

  26. missjoiedevivre May 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    The dress is OK. But the bloomers are freaking gorgeous! Just goes to show, Lladybird>RTW. And what Lladybird makes, I love!

  27. AnnD September 6, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Myself and a friend each ordered two dresses from eShakti and the experience was so bad that I’m hesitant to order online anymore. I won’t go into all the details, but essentially: the “custom ordered” dresses were about 2 sizes too big on each if us; we were unable to get any satisfactory response from their Customer Service; in the end, they would not pay for us to return the dresses or, in fact, take the too-big dresses back. They did offer to send us completely new dresses, but when those came, they too were too big. It took six months, dozens of emails back and forth between us and their factory in India, and unexpected duty costs to end up with 4 unwearable dresses and a considerable dent in our wallets. What’s more, when we posted a criticism on a customer review site, they removed the comment…obviously you only see glowing reviews on their website for a reason. I cannot underline how much I would discourage anyone from ordering from this company.


  1. Completed: The Briar Tshirt (with Bonus Thurlows!) | LLADYBIRD - May 21, 2013

    […] For fabric, I used a beautiful, soft grey linen that I got from my new favorite local fabric source, Muna Couture. Muna’s shop is actually a dressmaking shop – and she makes some pretty incredible ball gowns and wedding dresses – but she also sells fabric. Not just fancy dress fabric (although there is plenty of that, and it is AMAZING), but also basic stuff for daily wear, like wools and linens and prints. I got this remnant from her and it was *just* enough to squeeze out some shorts. I love that they’re linen – so breezy and nice for summer! They do wrinkle a bit with wear, but not too bad The white lining is fabric leftover from my Madeline bloomers. […]

  2. Blog Browsin': Lladybird Sewing Blog The Life Nostalgic - June 26, 2013

    […] You can lurk her closet here. Some of my faves are here and here and here. […]

Yay, comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: