Custom Style

Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

FAQ

How long have you been a seamstress (AKA are you sure you know what you are doing)?
To put it simply, I’ve been sewing for 30 years personally and half as long professionally.  So, long enough to have done a little bit of just about everything.  =)

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I would like to request something custom – when & how should I contact you?
Three months up to a full year in advance is best.  Please contact me as soon as you start to consider a custom project so that I can answer any questions and we can make plans that fit both your schedule and mine.  Occasionally, my calendar will allow me to squeeze in a last minute project, but please be aware that you will be charged a rush fee if I am able to accommodate your short notice.

The best way to reach me is through the “contact” page of this website using the email address or form provided.

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I don’t live in the Dallas, Texas area.  Will you make me a dress if I send you all my measurements?
I need so many obscure measurements (especially if I’ve never seen you in person) that I don’t trust just anyone to take them correctly.  Even a professional seamstress needs a mock-up fitting after measurements are taken to insure a proper fit once a pattern is drafted.  I prefer at least one face-to-face fitting but (depending on the project) I’m sure that we can work something out.

I have no problem sewing for you even if you live elsewhere, however, please know that you will be responsible for any necessary alterations needed on the finished garment.

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Do you do alterations?
Sorry, I do not do alterations or repairs of other companies’ clothing or home décor.

Please see Alterations – What’s the Big Deal?

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What is a mock-up?
A mock-up (or muslin) is a test garment made from an inexpensive fabric (typically muslin fabric or a cotton bed-sheet) that allows a seamstress to test the fit and style of a pattern before cutting the garment from the final, more expensive fabric. Mock-ups also allow a person to see a “draft” of a garment on their own body and make minor design changes.

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Does a custom dress cost less than store-bought?
The simple answer is no, a custom dress is rarely less expensive than store-bought. A custom dress usually costs at least as much as a store-bought dress, and may even be two to three times as much.

Custom labor and quality handwork cost money. Many people expect a handmade dress to cost less because they are able to choose fabric at a price they feel comfortable spending. Sometimes this type of thinking allows the client to justify spending twice as much on a nicer fabric. The only flaw in this reasoning is forgetting to account for the cost of labor. If you plan to buy expensive fabric, you should be willing to pay at least the same amount for the labor. And unless you have incredibly expensive taste, the labor will often cost more than the fabric.

The best way to budget for a bridal gown, for example, is to plan to spend at least 10% of your overall wedding budget on your dress. In any case, if you are on a tight budget, it is best not to purchase fabric or supplies before finding a seamstress. A professional seamstress can help you calculate exactly how much fabric is needed and which type and price range you should focus on. You may discover that some dressmakers already have a stock of supplies or are willing to do the fabric shopping for you.

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I’m trying to save money, so I already bought a pattern (it’s really simple!) and all the materials you will need.  Can you make my dress inexpensively?
While I understand everyone trying to save money, having something custom made is not always the best way to save.  And I have rarely found that a client truly has “everything” I will need in way of supplies necessary for a project.

Please see Does a custom dress cost less than store-bought?

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You charge a lot more for sewing than someone else I talked to – why?
I have been working professionally for enough time to realize that my skills are valuable and I cannot afford to work for free.  I price my creations by estimating how long a project will take & how much materials will cost.  I will gladly work within your budget in order to come up with a fair and reasonable price that works for both of us.  Contact me and we can discuss any details at no cost.

(see also Does a custom dress cost less than store-bought?)

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Do you have anything already made for sale?
I am currently working on a handful of items that will eventually be available for purchase in my Etsy shop at CustomStyle.etsy.com – all future pre-made creations will be for sale there.  Look for information & updates on my blog.

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Will you add a link back to my website/blog if I link to you?
I truly appreciate any links to my blog, but please do not make requests for mutual link exchanges.  I prefer to be the judge of which links pertain to my followers, without simply playing the link trading game.

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May I share some of your photos/projects on my blog or Pinterest pinboard if I link back to you?
Sure!  I am flattered that you like my work.  All I ask is that you give me proper credit for my photos and do not re-post huge sections of my writing.

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