Get a Designer Dress for Less!

Have you found the perfect wedding gown – but it’s a bit out of your price range?  Or perhaps you’d like to buy a cheaper gown, and tailor it to make it your very own?  Or you just don’t plan to preserve your gown and would rather someone else enjoy it too?

To the rescue – PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com!  It’s a unique site to buy and sell wedding gowns – complete with sizes pictures and more.  Find out what your dress is selling for, whether it’s in your size and more:

http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/dresses/calculator

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Happy Veteran’s Day!

We have been so honored over the years to clean, restore and preserve some amazing vintage military uniforms.  Here are just a few:

Mary Larson – 1940’s Navy Uniform:

B4AfterLarson1  Mary K Larson in uniform-cropped (2)

 

Above you can see the before and after photos of her military uniform.  She also provided us with a photo of her during her service.  She was featured on Fox9 last spring for her service to our country.  You can watch the segment here.

 

 

Vintage Hat

 

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You can see the before and after of this hat.  It was hand cleaned and it was required to use several different cleaning processes as there were different textures and fabrics making up this hat.

 

 

WWII Bomber Jacket

 

WWII Bomber Jacket-half cleaned WWII Bomber Jacket Restored & Preserved

 

Above, the jacket was half-cleaned using our expert cleaning techniques.  Next to it is the finished jacket, on display in it’s preservation box.

 

Korean War Uniform – Cleaned & Preserved:

Korean War Uniform

 

WWII Veteran Uniform in Preservation Box:

 

 

 

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Thank you to all those who serve!

 

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Mpls. / St Paul Magazine’s Diamond Awards

Voting for Mpls.St. Paul Magazine’s Diamond Awards – People’s Choice has begun, and we need your help to ensure that St. Croix Cleaners’ Treasured Garment Restoration is recognized!

Treasured Garment Restoration is St. Croix Cleaners’ premier specialty cleaning division, specializing in the cleaning and restoration of delicate, vintage and specialty garments, including wedding gown preservation and alterations. Treasured Garment Restoration has been recognized by the Pioneer Press, Mpls.St. Paul Magazine, Fox 9 and WCCO.

To cast your vote for Treasured Garment Restoration, follow these quick instructions:

  1. Go to http://mspmag.com/Weddings/Diamond-Awards/
  2. Click on “People’s Choice Vote Now”
  3. Click on “Outstanding Bridal Alterations” and “Outstanding Bridal Preservation” (two separate awards – voting is open for each)
  4. Click “Vote” next to Treasured Garment Restoration

Thank you for supporting St. Croix Cleaners and Treasured Garment Restoration. We hope to see you soon!

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Steps to Re-designing a Vintage Gown

This is such a popular topic these days, that we’re re-blogging this post from earlier this year.  Here’s our “8 Steps to Re-designing a Vintage Gown.”

 

So you’ve received the heirloom wedding dress from your mother and have thought about wearing it.  But wait.. it doesn’t fit!  Or perhaps the style is just a bit out-of-date for your liking? Don’t completely turn down the dress yet – you might still be able to wear it, and make it your own!

Many brides these days are turning to vintage wedding dresses from their mother or grandmother.  It’s become a big trend over the last few years, and only continues to increase!  Think about it – wearing a special gown that embodies the strength, wisdom and compassion of the women in your family down the aisle on one of the biggest days of your life.  But where do you even start if this is something you just *might* be thinking about?

We’ve put together 8 Simple Steps to Redesigning Your Mother’s Vintage Dress to give you a better idea of what the process looks like!  The entire process can vary in the time it will take to fully complete your dress, and really depends on the amount of changes you are wanting to make, but it’s a good idea to start around 9-12 months out.

1. Is There a Possibility?

The first step is to bring the vintage gown to us so that we can determine whether there is even a possibility for you to redesign and wear it!  We’ll examine the fabric, beading, lace, examine any stains, and how it has been handled and preserved through the years (ie, was it placed in a box, or in a pile on the floor of a closet?). Depending on the gown’s age, we may need to work with our vintage restoration department to clean and restore it before working with it.  Sometimes the entire gown can be worn, other times, only parts of the gown or certain fabrics are able to be used for your gown.

2. Let Our Designer Get to Know YOU!

Darcy, our Wedding Gown Designer, would love to learn more about you, your likes, dislikes, things you are drawn to, so that she can get a better idea of what you might like.  This step usually includes sending Darcy pictures of other dresses you like – whether it’s parts of a dress (ie. the neckline, or a certain type of beading).  It can also help to share a Pinterest board with Darcy and some of your overall ideas for the wedding, pictures of architecture or places, or any beautiful images that you really feel drawn to!  Darcy is then able to draw a few sketches and come up with some ideas for transforming the gown into something you would love.

3. Meeting #1 – Talk Design and Take Measurements

Next, you’ll set up a second meeting with Darcy to see what she has come up with.  She’ll usually have a few ideas and options for how she thinks you would love the gown to look.  You can then edit the designs from there and talk more about your preferences.  During this meeting, Darcy will take your measurements as well.

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4. Show Actual Changes on the Vintage Dress

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Once the final design is agreed upon, Darcy will use your measurements to mark up the vintage dress to show where changes will be made.  This could include safety pins, bits of fabric, or ribbon to show the changes.  At this time, the dress will be altered a little to fit your earlier measurements – this could mean the dress might get cut in certain areas, but not always.

 

 

 

 

5. Meeting #2 – First Fitting

You’ll set up another meeting with Darcy to come in and see the dress as it is marked up.  You will try on the dress to make sure the measurements are accurate and that everything is lined up in the correct locations.  This is the moment when you can begin to really visualize and see the dress becoming YOUR dress!

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6. Sewing

This is where Darcy begins to sew your gown – to place lace or fabric in different places, and to fit the dress perfectly for you.  Throughout this period, she may be in contact with you for minor tweaks or other measurements.  This is your dress, and you want it to be fabulous!

7. Final Fitting

At your final meeting with Darcy, you get to see the final result!  You are able to try on your dress, make sure it fits, and to show it off to all your best girlfriends!  If there are any minor tweaks to be made, we make sure to leave a little time to complete them.

8. It’s Wedding Time!

Once your gown is complete, we press it to perfection, and give it to you for your big day!  You are going to look beautiful!

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St. Croix Cleaners and Merrick Inc

Merrick, Inc is based a nonprofit corporation out of Vadnais Heights that works with mentally handicapped adults to assist them in taking part in a job in their community. St Croix/White Way Cleaners have been working with Merrick, Inc for over 17 years to provide jobs. This opportunity gives these individuals the skills and ability to build relationships, participate, and work towards something. The skills they acquire can help them with their future goals and bring them closer to their community as well.

St. Croix/White Way employees’ check the clothes in, clean, press, package, and then it is up to the Merrick team to deliver the garments back to the customers. They go to the West 7th street location to pick up the cleaned items and deliver them to the doors of the customers and also pick up more items to be cleaned.

There are currently 8 Merrick employees working as delivery helpers ranging from ages 25-late 50’s and on average have been with the company for 13+ years.  John, a St. Croix Cleaners employee raves about how much love and respect each individual gives their co workers and how much he enjoys working with them. He sees them four days a week and says to never having once had a problem with the deliveries.  Their hard work has gained them all a very well respected place in the St. Paul community.

A former crew associate says “With the length of service all of the crew members have on the crews is a testament to how much they enjoy their job and the tasks they perform.  Cindy has been a job coach for White Way/St. Croix cleaners for 14 years, Amy for 7 years.  There are a number of businesses whose employees know the clients by name and will socialize with them for a few minutes when dropping off and picking up clothes.”

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Grand Re-opening

Our Grand Avenue location is back up and running! Here is a peek at what we’ve been working on…

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Come in and check it out. The look is the only thing that has changed. You’ll still see the same friendly faces and get the high quality, eco-friendly service you had before.

MON – FRI: 7AM – 7PM
SATURDAY: 9AM – 6PM

678 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN  55105
(651) 291-1683

Stop in and celebrate the Grand Re-opening with us!

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Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

The search for your wedding dress can be overwhelming and sometimes frustrating.
Before you go shopping for your wedding dress, check out some of our guidelines to help you in your search.

1. Set your budget. 
Going in without a budget can be a recipe for disaster. You may end up leaving the store spending way more than
you can afford on a dress. Go in with a price in mind and leave a little wiggle room to ensure you’re happy with your purchase.

2. Have an style in mind
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This is when Pinterest can come in handy. Go online and cruise around looking at different styles that interest you.
Then when you go to your appointment you are educated on the look you’re going for. 

3. Buy a dress that fits or is slightly bigger
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Even if you plan on loosing weight, don’t buy a dress that is too small in hopes of dropping a few pounds.
If anything always go bigger. Then if you do loose weight it can always be altered to fit you but adding fabric is difficult.

4. Keep an open mind
More often then not, the style you want may not be the style you end up with. Even if you have a style in mind, stay open to other styles. Other looks may look better on you than you thought!

5. Bring backup

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Most importantly, bring a crew of close friends who will share their honest opinions with you.
Support is vital when choosing the dress for your big day. 

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Wedding Veils 101

 

We’ve cleaned just about every style of wedding gown and accessories you can think of. If you’re lost on what style veil you want you’ve come to the right place.
The diagram below shows a few ideas of the various styles you have to choose from. When choosing, make sure the style is in sync with the style of your dress as well. You want to choose a color that is either exactly the same or slightly lighter than the dress. It looks best to not go darker. Longer veils are the most common, however today many brides are choosing the vintage look with shorter veils like the birdcage or blusher.

Veil

Here are some great example of some vintage looks we’ve seen

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These are two ideas if you’re looking for a shorter headpiece or veil. On the left is a gorgeous floral headpiece. On the right we have the birdcage mentioned above.

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If you want to go a little longer so you can still flip the veil over your head, the shoulder length is a great way to go as well. Its short enough for it to not get in the way and is a style many brides are going to today.

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The cathedral veil is a gorgeous, longer set veil that has a lacy or more detailed around the edge

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Lastly, this version can come in various lengths. It has a very mid 20’s, Gatsby feel to it which some brides love to use as a vintage and classy touch to their wedding outfit. This look is often called the Juliet Cap.

 

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Bridesmaids Dress Themes

If you need help getting started on ideas for your bridesmaids dresses, start here! Bridesmaids are meant to compliment you on your big day. Having a fun theme among the girls can make the wedding day more fun, meaningful and of course, memorable. See if any of these ideas are themes you could use!

1.Different colored dresses in the same style
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Having different colored dresses can be a unique way to satisfy all bridesmaids.
If you choose to do this you should pick a palette that makes sense together and compliments the theme of your wedding as well

2. Same colored dresses in different styles
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OR you could do the complete opposite and let everyone choose a style that better suites their body, but in a color approved by you.

3. Statement items
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Even if you do all decide on different dresses, you can pull all the looks together by having one common statement piece.
This could also serve as your gift to your bridesmaids. whether its a headpiece, necklace or even some kind of fancy footwear.

4. Have a common item among the bridesmaids AND groomsmen
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We’ve all seen the wedding party theme where they all have the same sunglasses or socks
Maybe you wont do this idea, but you can find your own way of bringing the entire party together.

5. Have an overall theme, let them choose the dress
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For example you could choose the roaring 20’s or maybe another decade.
This way everyone can find a way to represent themselves in a unique yet similar way.

 

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Quick Fixes for Wedding Day Disasters

With all the stress building up to your wedding day, having something go wrong the day of can drive a person insane. So here are a few quick ideas to fix unexpected problems that may arise!

Chalk– Have a stick of chalk with you in case of emergency stains such as salad dressing, wine, or food falling on to your dress. Just lightly cover the stain with the chalk. That way you wont have the wet mark from trying to remove it. Then later you can come back and try getting rid of it or bring it to us!

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Rings– Worst case scenario, the man of honor forgets the rings. Instead, use a close family members rings or someone you admire for the ceremony. Then later you can exchange them for your rings later on.

Missing Bouquets– If the flowers you ordered came in and you wound up one short, take one of the table decorations and create a make shift bouquet. Another idea is to break up the bouquets that did show up and create smaller ones so everyone has the same one.

Your Dress Wont Fit– Bring extra safety pins and an emergency sewing kit. You can also bring extra accessories to cover up any unexpected splits and stains.

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