Custom can mean anything from the simple alteration of a measurement to change it to what you cannot find in a catalog all the way to creating magnificent and intricate costumes from raw cotton.
Custom Garb will be one of those times when you may want to consider getting more intimate with a sewing machine yourself. Thirty years ago the selection was not what it was today. As a result, I still have an all black robe that was made from a general fabric pattern then sewed with some alterations to fit what I needed.
Whether it is a cloak, cape, dress, pants, or shirt, if you want to make your custom clothing and are willing to put the time and money into it, then you can do so. Find a pattern that is as close to what you need as possible and get going!
Maybe instead you take existing piece and alter them! You can sometimes hire seamstresses from your local fabric stores if you are looking for an in-person option, as opposed to on-line.
Custom Garb is going to cost more the off the rack, especially if you are ordering it instead of crafting yourself. I would ask you to keep in mind that the hourly rates people spend sewing and cutting fabric for custom pieces is horrible and you are really getting a good buy!
If you are not paying more for your custom pieces, you either have someone is being nice to you (lucky you, go with it!), or you are getting poor quality (maybe knowingly!). You are going to pay more for poor quality custom then you will for a poor or even medium quality off the shelf piece. Except the custom work is going to fall apart just as quickly. So instead consider that if you are going custom, pay to have quality work done that when properly taken care of will last you a lifetime rather then for a couple of events. Take pride in knowing you are supporting true artisans and family businesses at the same time.
Before you started shopping for custom garb, you should have already exhausted all your off the rack options. If not, do so. Even if it is the quality you are after, you can buy high-quality off the rack options at similar or lower cost than custom. More importantly, it is much faster!
Bookmark links to pieces you find online when doing this research that is similar to what you are looking for.
In some cases, you may be able to contact the seller and ask them if they can make alterations. Resellers, distributors, may or may not have this ability, and it may even vary within their product lines. If you are working with the tailors themselves, they will be a lot more likely to make changes as well as more extensively. It doesn’t hurt to ask and how well they communicate with you can be a good indicator of whether it is someone you want to do business with.
Finally all that failing, that is when you should contact someone who offers full custom services. When you contact them include those links to similar products, details of the alterations you need to be made, and applicable measurements. Do not forget the type’s of material and colors you want as well. If you want help picking things out, that is ok! Just be sure to let them know that in the relevant areas.
TIME, TIME, TIME! Custom Garb Takes Time!
I am not going to say that if you have very little, and you have a huge will and a lot of money, that you can’t make things happen. Anything is possible!!
To avoid yourself stress, allow as much time as possible. You will never stop adding to your favorite custom outfits and I still consider new pieces for mine decades after I first started putting them together.
Allowing several months or even starting a year in advance will ensure you get exactly what you want at the best price possible.
I am not going to try to list a lot of places to go shopping for custom pieces. With “custom” haveing such a wide range of needs the list would just be too long. With some patience and Google research, you should be able to find what you are looking for.
While The Caverns Store is not currently offering custom needs (I do hope to be doing so in the future), we have a lot of knowledge on the topic. If you visit our store and use the contact form with what you are looking for (those examples would be great!), we will gladly help point you to some possible places.
If you would rather look for an intermediate to handle everything for you, we can certainly do that for a commission of the overall sale.
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I, Stile Teckel, Hereby dedicate this guide to the Shroud of the Avatar Convention. AKA SotA Con. A huge thank you to those involved with the convention who approached me with the idea of creating this guide, as well as providing suggestions and feedback.
This guide has been provided by:
The Caverns Store
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