Hello, and thank you for viewing my commissions page! My name is Caitlin, also known as Adaria. I have been sewing for over ten years and I am professionally trained as a costume designer and costume craftswoman from High Point University. I graduated in December 2012 with my degree in Technical Theatre and since then have run my own business, Adaria Designs, through Etsy starting in early May, transitioning into a fully functioning website for orders at http://www.adaria-designs.com. Prior to, I designed costumes for our local theatre companies! I am very proud of my work and always looking forward to new challenges proposed to me by my wonderful clients.
If you want to see in-progress photos of costumes I have worked on in the past, or follow me while I work on yours, I have a more casual Facebook!
Finally, you can also view my full portfolio and website if you so desire!
Now, onto information about my work itself...
What To Include When Contacting Me For A Quote
Know that I will most likely not be able to give a quote on the initial email, as I ask questions (see below) to get an accurate read on just how long it is going to take me to complete your commission.
- Due Date; I want to know when you need this costume by. Please be aware that while I request at least a six-week advance notice, I do NOT take rush orders and, most likely, my schedule is booked. It is best to make the request WELL IN ADVANCE of your convention, party, photoshoot. I have lost more customers because they're making requests for Halloween costumes five weeks before they need the costume by, and I already have others lined up with payments in hand and committed due dates.
- Budget; What are you willing to spend on this costume? Be realistic with yourself, and consider your financial situation. I will do all I can to make you the costume of your dreams, but please realize this is not a cheap hobby and if you want it done cheaply, I am sadly not the commissioner for you. I cannot make an Anastasia Ballgown for $300 with the way materials cost and the time it takes me to build the perfect pattern to your measurements and then build the final costume. I am fast, but I cannot beat the clock.
- The Character/Costume/Wig; Please tell me the name of the character and what they are from. I need this information for my personal records, whether we go forward with a contract of business or not. I also need this in case I want to look up more images of the character and do research beyond that which you send me--which is always.
- Character Variation; While your pictures will help me understand what you're looking for, there are in some characters minute details that come with different variations! If you want to be Rogue from X-Men, please do your research and inform me of which version/timeline/universe/publication year you would like. "I would like a Rogue from X-Men" will result in my asking, "which Rogue?"
- Images; Always send images. The more photos you have of the character from any and all angles possible, the better I can serve you. The chances are, despite my vast knowledge of anime, manga, and video games, I don't know who you're requesting, so I can't say, "oh well I know she has a cross on the back of her shirt, it just hides underneath her hair." You need to tell me, or show me in photos, if that is a part of the costume you want. If I don't see it, it doesn't get made.
- What You Want/Need Made; You want to be Sailor Moon? Oh, but you only want her shiny Super Sailor Moon wings? Check. You want to be Miku, but you only need her shirt? Got it. You want a costume of Lilith and need everything from vest to chaps and the pants underneath? Can do. Tell me what you need!
- Additional Information; Anything you find important that I need to know. I think some things to keep in mind, but are not necessary, are your size, if you're crossplaying/gender, any kind of disability or situation you are in which would require an alteration of the costume, etc.
What To Expect When Emailing Me
I like to get all of the details up front, before I begin working, and so when you send me a request, I will reply as quickly as I can with a list of questions that come to mind while I do a bit of research on the costume. It is likely you will get "a book" in response, as I am very thorough, so please keep this in mind when you're contacting me. I am not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants commissioner. I want to know every detail, every stitch you want me to put into your costume. It is yours and I am merely the hand crafting it. Now, I realize not everyone knows or understands the process of sewing and creating clothing, which is also why I ask so many questions. We don't always think about the construction process, especially if we do not know where to begin or what that entails. I will work out with you everything down to how you will get into the costume, if it's complicated. At the time of writing this, I am in contract with a client looking for a ballgown, which will consist of a corset, crinoline, and the dress itself which will come in two parts. We have discussed how she'll dress underneath, how she'll put the costume on, and how she will move in it--and she doesn't even have the costume yet.
I want you, my client, to know exactly what is happening as if you were making this for yourself. I wouldn't have it any other way, either.
The following information is a basic layout of how I go about quoting and pricing commissions:
- I currently charge by the hour. Price varies based on difficulty of costume, prop, or wig. Labor hours are estimated and includes travel and shopping for materials, and the build of the costume. The cost per hour itself depends on the difficulty of the costume.
- I request a $100 non-refundable scheduling fee, which holds your place on my schedule. This $100 will go toward my labor (about 4 hours worth, which covers my time in research and shopping), but will not be returned to you should you have to cancel. (It is unfortunate I have to ask for a holding fee, and say these things, but I have been canceled on and as such have had to take measures not to lose money.)
- You are responsible for the payment of all materials; fabric, thread, etc. If, for example, I make an estimate of needing $100 in materials, and only spend $80, the remaining $20 will be put toward my labor, and you will have to pay less in the end!
- You are responsible for the payment of shipping and handling.
- There is a 2.9% transaction fee that Paypal charges to be used, which I also require my clients to pay. When I send an invoice to request money, it will include whatever that percentage is.
- Finally, I require the payment for materials quoted plus half of my labor estimation to be paid up front. If I estimate $100 in materials and 20 hours in labor, I will request $227 (includes transaction fee). Likewise with the non-refundable fee, this is largely required now due to my having lost money in the past on canceled sales midway in production. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Your $50 holding fee will come out of your final payment, so rather than say paying for a full 10 hours, you would only pay six! Know that I am a flexible person, and if you request a costume that is going to take 100 hours, and cannot pay for 50 hours up front (because that is a lot!) I fully understand and I am happy to work out something else with you that is in your price range.
The following are images of some of my recent cosplay work. Again, you can see my full line of work at http://www.adaria-designs.com!