Thank you for sharing your story. It was good to hear that they willing to compensated you with a new free dress at the end. I just called my credit card centre, after 50 days of waiting, they told me they got my refund (total amount I spent on the dress and postage fee) and deposited to my account!
I guess getting the dress make from Overseas (Asia countries) is cheaper but it is not easy. What I learnt was: make sure to lodge any problem with the dress straight away to Paypal, ebay or credit card, let them to chase the seller. Do not delay.
I want to make couple more competition dresses but not sure where I should get it make after my last experience. Surely the price is more affordable than local dressmaker from Asia countries. Have you found another dressmaker to make your dress now?