We Need To Talk About Commissions…

We need to talk about commissions.

Hello, lovelies. First off, for those who don’t know, I’ve been a costumer/cosplayer for about 15 years. I love this hobby and I’ve been able to turn making costumes into a successful business. I’ve been lucky. So today I want to talk about what you should really consider before you take on a commission, because while many of you are amazing, I’m seeing a fair amount on my feed lately that is not so amazing, and no one wants to be disappointed when they’ve paid out money – any money – for a costume. This blog is primarily aimed at people who sew, but can be applied to most skill sets. So lets talk about the basics – Foundation, Fit, Finish, Finance.

Foundation
Foundation skills! Can you sew in a straight line? Do you know how to interface properly, alter a pattern, when something needs to be lined and how to finish a seam? These are the basics, and there are always new skills to learn. Fortunately, there is YouTube! YouTube is a magical place for tutorials, teaching everything from how to paint a realistic metal finish on foam to how to put a hidden pocket in a Princess dress. Use these tutorials. Get good. Then get better. Practice.

Fit
This seems really obvious, but it’s amazing how awkward it is to learn and how often it is done wrong. While you may well be able to make something that fits you like a dream, you’re not fitting a commission on your own body, and your client will most likely not be there for the try on, take off, alter, try on runaround that teaches you how to fit stuff to you in the first place! This is something that is best practiced on friends, or through studying body shapes, because if you’re taking money off of someone for a costume then it needs to look amazing on them, not you. Where do they carry weight? Are they particularly tiny, but heavy in the bust? These are all things that can’t be taken just from measurements. Observe. Take time to do a mock up for alteration.

Finish
Can you hem straight? Is every button, crystal or ribbon going to fall off the second the thing is put on? Again, these are crucial points. Nothing makes a dress look worse than a bad hemline. If it looks like the client has just done it themselves, then why are they paying you? How a piece looks on is how you’re going to be seen as a commissioner. Take time, get it right.

Finance
There is no point making something for someone else if you’re going to get screwed financially. One of the benefits of taking commissions is that a few quid here and there while you’re learning is handy, and a good way to practice your skills. But you should be taking into account basic costs like fabric, how long it’s going to take you, and what you need to make back on that time. If you’re happy doing a 20 hour job for £30, fine, but just because that’s what you charged doesn’t mean you should take shortcuts. Do it right, charge appropriately, because your time is valuable.

Fly!!!
Fly, my pretties! If you can do all of that, (and lets be honest, not everyone taking commissions can yet) then you are ready. Make other cosplayers happy. Do a good job. Take photos and show other people how you did it.

Be part of the positive, lovelies. X

Etsy Store Now OPEN!!

Hey you guys, I’m really excited as I’ve just reopened my OddTogs Etsy store with a load of new pieces in it! When I’ve finished a commission, or a cosplay piece I’m always left with small scraps of fabric, so I’ve started to recycle them into cute flowers that can be clipped into the hair, onto a hat band or worn as a brooch!

So far I’ve got lots of Doctor Who pieces up, based on Five, Ten and Eleven, plus Rose, Idris and Clara. Please check them out and let me know on Etsy if there are any designs you’d like to see!

There are also lots of other cosplay designs, some original designs, a lot of raw edged tatty flowers (I love the look of these!) and soon I’ll do some bows.

I’m planning a few My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic inspired designs soon as well after my husband found some rainbow ribbon in my studio! I’ve been watching the show with my 4yr old son and have come to the conclusion that I am Rarity. She even wears my glasses.

Lots of love and much excitement!
Tors@OddTogs

Mace Windu

Mace Windu costume by OddTogs
#starwarscosplay #starwars #starwarslove #starwarscostume #macewindu #cosplay #cosplaywip #jedi #jedimaster #darkjedi #samuelljackson #commission #imadethis #tweed

Rose Tyler – Idiot’s Lantern Brooch

I refound this brooch in my studio today. A pink wash and a bigger stone and it’s almost perfect. Need to rock this look again! <3
#rosetyler #doctorwho #dwcosplay #cosplay #accessories #rosetylercosplay #thebadwolf #brooch #billiepiper (at OddTogs)

Bill & Ted at LFCC

Cosplay has been won for the day, everyone go home – Bill S Preston, Esquire finds his Princess. And she’s a total babe.

#cosplay #rapunzel #billandted #Disney #disneycosplay #disneyprincess #lfcc2015 #costume #proposal #convention (at London Film and Comic Convention)

Star Wars – Jedi Youngling

So while I’m getting my son dressed my husband has put the New Hope soundtrack on in the background. The moment my son picked up his lightsaber the Force Theme came up in the background and I swear my husband choked up.

Mama’s Little Jedi is gonna kick Anakin’s ass.

Costume and Youngling made by OddTogs
Photo and Youngling by AMW Photography

ECCC 2014 – Hiccup Meets Toothless

oddtogs:

libraryghost:

Toothless at ECCC with ashinan and mumblefox.

Part threeeeee!!!! The most heartwarming of all!

Toothless: Mumblefox

Hiccup: oddtogs’s son, Tristan. Adorable! 🙂 

The tiniest, cutest Hiccup ever and Mumble basically stole the show. Probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, and he was SO EXCITED TO MEET TOOTHLESS and it was SO GREAT and she was SO GREAT and cute with him and everything was GREAT. I have so many pictures of them, it’s a little bit ridiculous. At one point, mumble “flew” him across the room on her back, and it was the best thing ever. I’m still not recovered.

My beautiful boy meeting his dragon!

Daphne – 70s Style!

So my much-loved Scooby Gang was one of my most popular costumes of last year. Considering Shaggy & Velma put their kit together for a drunken night out, Daphne was put together in 2 hours by me on the morning of our first event as a group and Fred bought his kit on eBay, it goes to show that time spent does not equal popularity in the cosplay game!

So having said all that, this year Fred and I decided that since we were Fred & Daphne-ing during the day at the SciFi Weekender that we’d have a night out as well, and of course that means new outfits. 70s outfits!
I loved the dance scene at the end of the second live action movie and wanted to do something along those lines, with a classic Daphne look to it. 

I decided to go with a flared sleeve, a draped bodice and short skirt. I really like Gellar’s sash, so decided to incorporate that into the dress as a belt and sash, in an accent colour. The belt was also shaped in an assymmetric curve. There are certain things I favour in design, skirts that are longer in the back for example, and that is one of those things.

 
This was my colour palette – The purple was found on a shopping trip in London. It was a two-tone glittery fabric with a pink shine to it that was completely perfect for what I was going for! I lined the bodice with purple dress lining.

The sequin fabric was a pink/lilac found on eBay.

  
Daphne is always very fashion-y, if that’s even a word! I wanted this outfit to be well accessorised but practical for dancing. For the life of me, I can’t remember what bra I wore underneath this, but I’m fairly certain the dress was fixed to it. I wore pink hold ups, which had a really nice weight and colour to them. The shoes were purple/pink paisley Irregular Choice Cortesan shoes and were goddamned perfect!! The heel was low enough to dance in and the flowers were a beautiful little detail. I found a pink sequinned clutch as well.
I knew I was going to use my regular Daphne wig. I am absurdly proud of it, as it was one of the first that I’d really gone to town on, and I love it. So I sparkled it up with a headband in the belt fabric.
I had two options for a necklace. It needed something, as the dress is cut so low, and my original thought was a beaded choker. When the thing arrived though it was massive, it could actually lap my neck twice! So I bought a chiffon scarf in the same green as Daphne’s, wrapped it with the choker so the large beaded chunk looked like a pin, and went with that. It created a really nice line, in keeping with Classic Daphne.
The makeup for this was done by my gorgeous friend Heidi! It was quite a clean look for my skin, then heavy metallic green eyes and lips in a vaguely Studio 54 style. When I redo this outfit (and I will!) I’ll get a better shot of the style.
I also bought a cheap faux fur cape in purple that turned out to be the best idea ever. It was really easy to throw on and set everything off really well! Here you can also see my big, chunky ring, a birthday present from my friend Jessica that turned out to be perfect for this –
 
Freddles wore mostly the same kit as regular Fred, with an amazing blue paisley shirt. In classic Posh Twat style the white jumper was draped over his shoulders when he wasn’t wearing it.
And finally – 

ECCC 2014 – Hiccup Meets Toothless

oddtogs:

Toothless – mumblefox – takes my son Hiccup for a flight at Emerald City Comicon!

Check out that grin. This right here made his life!

Toothless costume by the amazing Mumblefox

Hiccup costume (and Hiccup) by www.Facebook.com/OddTogs/

Never get tired of seeing this! <3

Hiccup & Toothless – Lancaster

oddtogs:

Hiccup – How To Train Your Dragon Cosplay

Costume by OddTogs
Toothless by Jemma Pritchard
Photo by Andy Webster

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