Here is is, the really depressing part... If Money is the root of all evil, then talking about money is the next worst.

How it all works - You call, write or Email me with a request. You say "I want something that looks like this, but with that, and these kind of sleeves, etc." We write back and forth discussing what you want, what fabrics, what colors, what size, what details, ad infinitum, swapping pictures and sketches and such until we BOTH agree that we both know what you want. I give you an estimate. If you don't fall over in a dead faint and change your mind about getting the outfit, then I send you a contract, sketches, swatches, and full description. You look it over, decide if there's anything left out, anything you want to change, etc. If you like what you see, you sign it, copy it for your records, send it back with the deposit. (More about that below.)

Keep in mind, all prices are negotiable, and I do love to barter. (Remember - the digital camera most of my pictures were taken with came in trade for future garb, custom patterned from a picture he'd seen.) Right now I need a mini-van and new furniture! And yardwork.... and a tiller.

The total cost of any outfit is supplies + labor. Supplies aren't just fabric, they include interfacing, boning, zippers, lacers, trim, .... sometimes belts and wire and stuff. Costs vary, and I'll always try to get the best prices, but if you want something specific, it can raise the price. Fabrics make a lot of difference to labor - if you insist on velvet, remember that as beautiful and wonderful as it is to wear, that's how much it sucks to sew. (It creeps...) Again, fabric can cost a week's wages, and trim more, or you can get creative and find it cheap. A well-designed outfit in broadcloth looks better than a badly chosen, ill fitted one in brocade.

Here's a few key points from the contract I send out to my prospective customers after numerous calles and emails, .... Many thanks to Margo Anderson of One Tough Customer for the original I started with - she has a great website and is a hell of an artist.

Victoria Williamson (hereafter referred to as "Maker") will provide a design sketch, fabric swatches, and description. This design remains the property of Maker. Duplicating or copying in any way is an infringement of copyright law.

(I know, I know, it's part of the legal bull...but it's necessary sometimes to cover yourself just in case.)

(Client's name) (hereafter referred to as "Client" ) will sign and date the sketch and this agreement. At this time the design is approved and finalized. If design changes are requested after this approval, additional charges will be made.

Designer will provide swatches and samples of all fabrics and trims before purchasing.

The terms of payment are as follows: $_____, payable as follows: One half, to be considered a non-refundable deposit, payable on signature of this letter. One fourth, at first pattern/prototype fitting, one fourth upon delivery. (State sales tax of $____ is not included in this amount, and will be due upon the final payment)

I send you an estimate once we have a set idea of what we're making. I will want to make a muslin test dress before I cut your brocades and satins, because this is probably the first time I've sewn for you AND I don't have you close enough to say 'Hey come over here and let me check this'. I always make a prototype of a pattern if there ANY way to do it, because if you're going to have a mistake, better to have it in something that cost $1 a yard instead of $10.

Final payment is due upon notification of completion prior to delivery. While payment signifies acceptance of costume as completed, Maker is aware that certain aspects of fit, comfort and utility are sometimes not evident until after extended wearing. Therefore, Client may return costume for reasonable adjustments at no extra charge, within a period of two weeks after delivery.

Costume is guaranteed for normal wear and tear for the period of one year. Alterations due to weight gain or loss, and repairs necessary due to negligence or abuse, will incur additional charges. Under no circumstances will delivery be made without payment.

Next - "Forms and Measurement pages"