Commissions are open!! (And FAQ!)
Updated: Jul 2, 2021
Hey everyone!! I’m excited to announce that applications for 2021 cosplay commission quotes are now open! The reception for commissions this year has been even more amazing than I could’ve hoped, and it’s because of all of your incredible support that I’ve been able to work from home during the pandemic and stay in the costuming business!
The Google Form to apply for commissions can be found HERE, and since it‘s been a while since I last opened them up, I thought I would answer some frequently asked questions that I’ve gotten over time!
Jump to a question:
Q: What kinds of things do you make?
A: If you take a look through my portfolio, you’ll see that I love making cosplays of all kinds! However, I specialize in sewing first and foremost, having lots of experience working with many different materials from my time working in theatre, TV, and dance.
Things I DO make:
Dresses and gowns
Outfits with unusual structures (I.E. Bride Tharja’s skirt/sleeves, Lunafreya’s collar, other understructures such as petticoats, bustles, and panniers)
Weathered/broken down clothing
Non-Canon designs (Only with screenshot proof of the artist’s permission if the design is not your own, even if you found it on Pinterest!)
3D printed components and small props
Things I DON’T make:
Full suits of armour
Complex mechanical/LED parts
Case by case basis:
Small armour pieces
Simple LED integration
Superhero outfits (depending on the materials required)
Q: Do you do pattern commissions?
A: Short answer: it’s uncharted territory for me, but if people are interested I’m willing to try!
I’ve surprisingly been asked this a handful of times and while I haven’t done pattern commissions before formally, I often draft patterns from scratch for commissions anyway, so I’m going to test out openIng commissions just for patterns, since sometimes someone wants to make the costume themselves but is intimidated by the pattern! In the event that someone wanted to commission a pattern from me, there will be certain things different from a normal pattern that I would sell in my store.
Firstly, instructions will be far more barebones than usual, with the assumption made that the client has a basic understanding of commercial pattern language and how to assemble a garment. More detailed instructions will be included for the less straightforward and “Google-able” parts, and my email and social media inboxes would be completely open for questions if anything needed more clarifying! Secondly, the pattern would be drafted or altered to the client’s measurements rather than being sent as a standard size. Thirdly, the pattern PDF will be watermarked with the client’s name and email to deter theft and unauthorized reproduction. If I find the time and there is a demand for it, I may also grade the base pattern into standard sizes, write more detailed instructions, and put it up on my store as I have done with other commissions in the past as long as it doesn’t contradict any NDAs. The custom sized pattern will remain just for the client who commissioned it and their own personal or production use, and won’t be sold to the public (Unless by some miracle they happen to have the exact same measurements as a standard size, which almost nobody is).
Additionally, patterns also take time not only to to draft but also to test out, so even though it’s only being made for one size, a custom pattern by itself could quoted anywhere from $400 USD to $800 USD or more depending on the number of pieces and how complex they are.
Q: Can I commission you to design or significantly redesign my costume?
A: Yes you can! Individual costume designs on their own would run $300 USD for three basic thumbnail sketches to pick and choose elements from + the final design render. Any additional edits or thumbnails will cost extra depending on the complexity, and you will also have permission from me to either make it yourself OR commission someone else to make it for personal use as well.
Q: Can you remake (Insert cosplay I’ve made in the past here)?
A: If it’s a commission build that I’ve done in the past, the answer is absolutely! I actually really enjoy doing repeat builds since I already know what I’m doing and will be able to improve on what I did last time! Unfortunately however, I won’t recreate most of my large personal builds such as Ferdinand or Arsene, either due to the fact that they were quite time consuming and the cost would be way too much for most budgets, or that they were a bit...... ok, let’s be nice to 2018 Cubey and call it experimental, shall we?
Q: Can you make a costume for my kid?
A: Yes, I can make costumes for children 3 and older! I don’t do custom patterns for children as I don’t have experience in drafting for them unfortunately, but I am absolutely able to make costumes that are comfortable for kids to wear and play in while still looking fun!
Q: Do you take commissions for non-cosplay related clothes?
A: Usually, I only do non-cosplay sewing commissions for friends, family, and film/theatre productions.
Q: How much do your commissions cost?
A: The quotes for each individual cosplay vary from project to project, however, it’s understandable that some will want to know how much a bespoke cosplay would cost, especially if they are used to ordering mass-produced ones online. My rate is $27 USD/hour of work for cosplay commissions, and shipping is included in all of my quotes. Therefore, a costume that takes a 40 hour work week to complete from start to finish, along with a hypothetical $200 materials budget, overhead costs, and shipping factored in, would cost around $1350 USD. If the cosplay uses a pattern or other assets I’ve used in the past or if someone else wants the same one at the same time, the labour costs will often go down if I can reuse the pattern or already know where to find a certain fabric.
Additionally, if there are options such as making something out of a different material or multiple interpretations of a design that could potentially change costs, I will absolutely bring these up so we can work within your budget! Just know that most of the time, the labour costs are the biggest expense.
Q: But why is it so expensive? I saw a similar costume on the internet for way less!
A: Believe me, I would love it if I didn’t have bills to pay and I could just make beautiful things for everyone for every budget! However, even disregarding the ethics of mass-produced clothing nowadays, the reality is that I don’t have access to all of the specialized factory equipment, the fancy computer software, or the teams of people that textile factories have, I’m just one lady working out of her basement studio.
When you pay for a custom made cosplay, you’re not only paying for the costume or a custom fit, but you’re also paying for the expertise of a costumer who cares about making clothes that look good on many body types, finding the right fabrics to represent a character, and cares about bringing an artistic vision to life!
Q: How does payment work? And do you do payment plans?
A: Yes, I do payment plans for all of my commissions! All transactions are done via PayPal invoices in USD for American clients and CAD for Canadian clients. Each invoice has a minimum amount to be paid upfront (usually 1/5 to 1/2 of the quoted price depending on how much it is) to cover materials and initial labour costs. Once this first payment is made, I will order materials and start working on the commission as soon as possible, sending periodic email updates at each stage of construction. Once the amount is paid in full and the cosplay is completed, I will confirm your address and ship it to you through either UPS or Canada Post.
In the past I’ve made concrete timelines for making payments with clients, however, given the current economic situation, I recognize that this is not possible for everyone, so instead I’ve opted instead to communicate more with clients to make sure all payments are being completed within a reasonable timeframe.
Q: What if I change my mind? Can I ask for a refund?
A: It depends. Generally, the initial deposit is non-refundable since it often goes straight to materials, as well as the labour and time involved in sourcing them and breaking down the design. However, life does happen, so there is a (non guarantee-able) chance you may be able to get a partial refund depending on how far along construction is on the cosplay.
Additionally, some protections are in place in the unlikely event that a client ghosts a project. If a client goes more than one year without emailing or messaging back, the project will be considered cancelled, the appropriate amount will be refunded if the project hasn’t yet been completed for whatever reason, and I will go about finishing and finding a new home for the cosplay. However, there will be multiple email warnings and reminders before this happens, so as long as you stay on top of communication you ideally shouldn’t have to worry about this happening by accident!
Q: When will I hear back from you?
A: Since Canada has just started distributing COVID vaccines to frontline healthcare workers with more to come, I’ll be answering commission requests and taking on projects on a month by month basis to keep my schedule flexible in the event that union costume work becomes more available as the year goes on.
Before the start of each month, I will go over the submissions I have received (starting with newer ones first) and send emails to people with their quotes and more specific details. If a project is outside of the scope of what I can do (I don’t take full armour and prop commissions, for example), I will let you know as soon as I can so that you don’t have to be in limbo and can find another commissioner easily. If you do not hear from me within 4 weeks of sending your application in, this does not necessarily mean that I’m not interested in your project, it just means that I wasn’t able to fit it in that month! If you are still interested in commissioning me after those 4 weeks have passed, I highly recommend sending me a short email (email@example.com) saying that you’re still interested so that I’ll remember for my next round of emails!
I’m aware that this isn’t the most ideal solution for taking on requests, however I also have a predicament because nobody knows what work will look like in the coming year! In the end, this method of taking requests will likely change and evolve as time goes on and I learn what works and what doesn’t!
Q: How long will your commissions be open?
A: As was mentioned in the previous section, I will be taking on commissions until I get the Covid vaccine and can look for union work again, so if you need time to save up for a down payment, you have time to do so!
Q: Are you able to work under an NDA?
A: Yes I can! While I usually post my progress and behind the scenes pictures to social media to promote my business, I’ve also worked on a number of theatre productions and TV shows for large networks, and I am extremely familiar with and respectful of each production’s individual non-disclosure rules. As such, I am open to discussing and signing NDAs for costume commissions of all kinds, whether you are a costume designer, a director, a public figure, or any other individual who wants control over when the costume is posted to social media.
Q: I have another question, but it isn’t covered here! Where can I contact you?
A: You can go to my contact page to either send me a quick message directly or to find my email and social media handles, and I will respond to any questions you may have as soon as I can!