Author Topic: Who do costume makers usually charge?  (Read 2674 times)

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Offline Acheron

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Who do costume makers usually charge?
« on: November 21, 2008, 05:47:00 pm »
Some of my friends (for some bizarre reason) want me to make costumes or costume parts for them, and I was wondering how much people who do that sort of thing usually charge?

I was thinking the cost of the materials, the pattern, and hourly minimum wage ($7.95), or is that too much?
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Offline oslapedo

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2008, 06:07:58 pm »
I never really understood why some people charge for cosplay on an hourly basis. How do you monitor such a thing? What if someone went purposefully slow just to get more hourly pay?
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Offline myalchod

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2008, 08:48:33 pm »
Some of my friends (for some bizarre reason) want me to make costumes or costume parts for them, and I was wondering how much people who do that sort of thing usually charge?

I was thinking the cost of the materials, the pattern, and hourly minimum wage ($7.95), or is that too much?

At least that.  There's a whole lot of discussion on this subject over on cosplay.com worth looking at.  Skilled seamstresses and tailors definitely charge over minimum wage, so it's a matter of considering how much you think your skill is work.  It's amazing how much time goes into something, though if you charge an hourly rate, you're going to want to not only log work hours but update them regularly -- easy if it's friends in the area.  It's your call if you want to give them a "friends" discount.  If the hours start to climb up, they can always help you out to mitigate that, right?  Estimating as best you can in advance how long it'll take would be good for both of you, to give them a ballpark.

The only people I've done cosplay 'commission' for have been my family, and it's been as much gift as commission.  I'm doing an Edward Elric coat and wig for my sister next year, and the deal we made was that she pays for the materials and helps out some in exchange for my doing it -- but that's family.

And oslapedo, sometimes people charge hourly because it's hard to gauge sometimes how much work will go into a cosplay -- what's deceptively simple may take hours, and then you sometimes have fittings that require changing things completely or the like.  Things like progress logs and regular updates (photos or in-person) help monitoring.  As for someone going purposefully slow, that's an ethics thing, but word gets around very quickly in the cosplay community, and I'd like to think that someone like that would get smacked pretty quickly.

Offline tofutakeout

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2008, 10:29:33 pm »
all I'm going to say is usually you need to charge a little more then how much it took you to make the costume. then you actually make a profit for yourself. that's why so many costumes on ritzy sites seem to cost like, $300.
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Offline Acheron

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2008, 02:04:54 pm »
I never really understood why some people charge for cosplay on an hourly basis. How do you monitor such a thing? What if someone went purposefully slow just to get more hourly pay?
o.o; Well, you look at the clock and write down the time when you sit down to work on the costume, and when you stop, you write down the time again. Repeat until you're done.

Uh, I guess wage theft could be a problem, if your tailor is a dick... Not, uh, being a dick, I would take as much time on someone else's costume as I would on mine.

@Myalchod: Thank you for your input! I was definitely thinking of less than minimum wage for my friends, but if I was going to do it for others...
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Offline nikkiolie

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2008, 07:42:22 pm »
some times it cost more to get the materials than time it takes to make it. So keep that in mind.

Offline Sugarlat

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2008, 09:02:35 pm »
Oh I'm actually opening a cosplay shop with Dana hopefully sometime soon
We'll commission cosplays for a price right here in the awesomeness of portland.
My mom opened a new shop right next to jack and the box across from art media and she says that I can take the back room as our business.
I ish chatted with Dana and she'd down for it too XD

Offline nikkiolie

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2008, 09:57:59 pm »
well good luck with that. I would come to you if I had money >_>

Offline Sugarlat

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2008, 10:00:15 pm »
Lawl it's okay, thanks anyway!
some people came up to me during Lite and asked me to comission and my mom was opening this shop so I was like "alright, I guess XD"

Offline nikkiolie

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2008, 10:01:47 pm »
I may ask your help with one of the costumes I want to do. I need to make a dress and I have NO sewing skills.

Offline oslapedo

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2008, 10:02:27 pm »
I'm already commissioning something from Dana, and I probably will from you too someday Sugar :3
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Offline Sugarlat

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2008, 10:04:51 pm »
I've sewn all my cosplays ^_^
I'm even making an Agito/Akito [/one orange and one blue] for the hell of it XD
I might want to cosplay the blue one someday and just sell the orange one.
I made it in a medium o-o

Offline nikkiolie

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2008, 10:10:55 pm »
So over the summer I may have you make a dress for me. I really want to do that cosplay but I don't really want to tell anyone yet just in case I don't end up doing it. ;D

Offline Sugarlat

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2008, 10:36:18 pm »
I see I see, pretty cool. Then we should chat sometime XD

Offline nikkiolie

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2008, 08:56:34 am »
Yeah. we should ;D

Offline CC3

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2008, 11:49:16 am »
Oh I'm actually opening a cosplay shop with Dana hopefully sometime soon
We'll commission cosplays for a price right here in the awesomeness of portland.
My mom opened a new shop right next to jack and the box across from art media and she says that I can take the back room as our business.
I ish chatted with Dana and she'd down for it too XD


Is that the Art Media near Borders because if it was I would love you forever!

Offline Kuro_Chi

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2008, 10:24:11 am »
for one u have to charge them how much all of the material cost.

then u have to charge them a certain amount that u feel is reasonable based upon the difficulty of the costume.

i don't make costumes but i have a lot of friends who do. so i know a bit about it. lol
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Offline StarryShay

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2008, 10:28:43 am »
Oh I'm actually opening a cosplay shop with Dana hopefully sometime soon
We'll commission cosplays for a price right here in the awesomeness of portland.
My mom opened a new shop right next to jack and the box across from art media and she says that I can take the back room as our business.
I ish chatted with Dana and she'd down for it too XD

I might come to one of you for my Vocaloid cosplay, I have no sewing expirience at all. >>;

Offline Sugarlat

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2008, 07:02:45 pm »
Is that the Art Media near Borders because if it was I would love you forever!

No i don't think it is
It's the art media on 82nd, across the jack and the box where my mom's shop is next to it
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 07:05:56 pm by Sugarlat »

Offline pinkrandomattack

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2009, 08:46:48 pm »
id say if you feel that you're still in the apprentice/journeymen level of skill as far as your sewing goes approximately minimum wage an hour is good, maybe hacking off an hour here or there if you mess something up and have to go back (or if you're not satisfied with the finished product, i know im kinda hard on myself).  though people can get kinda whiny about the price sometimes you just cant undercut yourself, its not fair to you (even if the economy does suck monkey butt).
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Offline Gourry Gabriev kun

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Re: Who do costume makers usually charge?
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2009, 01:57:58 pm »
Is that the Art Media near Borders because if it was I would love you forever!

No i don't think it is
It's the art media on 82nd, across the jack and the box where my mom's shop is next to it
*Gasp* Your mom own's that place? AND you do commissions? I might have to drop by and pay you a visit! Or, email, since I've been running around all over the place looking for a job AND going to college. But, I live SO close to that area! Do you know where the fire department is? I live right across the street from it! xDD
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