I get a great many enquiries about custom made dance costumes and as it takes a lot of time to deal with each one I thought it may help me to progress your query swiftly if you could give thought to the following.
Generally, when I make a custom made costume, there are a number of steps involved:
- I will need to ascertain what you want, how you want it to look, what sort of style you want, whether you want a leotard, unitard, cat suit or a national dance or character costume. Sometimes it is easier if you just call me, my mobile number is 0789 1978774 and I am happy to speak to clients, it can sometimes save a lot of to-ing and fro-ing. If I am not available please leave a message and I will call you back as soon as I can.
- It is always helpful- if your dance teacher has given you guidance or a photo or a sketch (no matter how rough!) – to send that through so I can see the way you are thinking.
- I will need a rough idea of age/size/
- We cannot and do not aim to compete with mass manufacturers. We supply a personalised and bespoke service and if your costume involves lots of different fabrics/trims you should be aware that we pay retail prices for these and that we also have to pay for delivery of materials. It is very unlikely that we could ever make a solo custom made costume for less than £90 (unless it is very simple) and our most complicated piece cost £300. Our pricing is based on a combination of material costs and how long I think it will take to make your costume at a reasonable rate for a skilled dressmaker. You should remember that before we can start to sew your costume we need to have sourced all materials, created the bespoke pattern that we will be using and cut all the pattern pieces out. We are not Primark!
- I will need to know the date you need the costume for and you should allow as much time as possible, much better that you have it a couple of weeks before a performance so that your child can show their dance teacher and have a dress rehearsal wearing their new costume.
- We will need to agree details, before I can give you a firm price.
- It wastes your time and mine if you are less than forthcoming at the outset about what you want when you make contact as a price is only firm once we have agreed all details . We cannot “just add a collar on” or “stick a bustle on”, such changes may require the creation of a totally different pattern and the purchase of additional fabric as well as more sewing.
- I do not stone costumes as they drop off and we are not willing to send something out that may shed stones, it is possible to stone a costume yourself and you would at least then have spares for when they drop off! We do use a lot of hologram foiled fabrics which are super sparkly and avoid the downsides of stoned costumes(stone drop off and very heavy if heavily stoned) but these are expensive.
- I will send you a detailed measurement request so that we can be sure your costume will be a perfect fit (so far 100% perfect fit for all custom made costumes) along with guidance on taking those measurements.
- You will then be sent a detailed e mail setting out what we have agreed to make for you and the date it is to be despatched by, this will contain a payment request. The e mail will specifiy that if your payment is not received within a specified time period we cannot guarantee your despatch date (we cannot get on and order fabric for your costume unless we have received payment for obvious reasons and so your delay will cause delay to us) . If you are ordering a solo costume we will request payment of half your deposit up front , we will then make your costume, liaising with you as necessary, send you photos when it is complete, at which point you make your balance payment and we will post your costume out to you (always by signed for service).
- On many occasions we have been discussing costumes with potential clients and we have reached a point where we have received a large group booking or several people have committed to having a costume made and paid their deposits and we have had to say to those potential clients (particularly those who have not come back to us but who have hoped that we are keeping space in our diary blocked out for them in any event) , sorry but we no longer have the capacity to make your costume in time for that festival/competition. Orders are only confirmed upon payment of deposit and we only take a deposit once we have agreed all details. This happens most in Jan/Feb and Sep/Oct .
- We can accommodate PayPal payments but we have to pass on this cost to you as we are charged by PayPal as a small business, this is 3.4% plus 20p. If you wish to pay by PayPal please ensure that the address you have registered with PayPal is the one that you wish to receive your parcel at as we have no discretion in this regard, items paid for using PayPal have to be sent to the PayPal address.
- With groups, as we can only offer discounted prices where we can order fabric wholesale (all in one go) and will also often need to commit to additional staff to help with your order we cannot take on these commitments without having taken payment for the whole group upfront. We always make one costume first to make sure you are happy before we proceed with the rest. We also prefer to make one of each size that you will need and send them so you can then order the rest by size. We have never had any problem with group orders , they have all been a perfect fit and everyone has been happy. I have included many customer reviews on our website. I can supply you with a copy of t&cs if you are thinking about placing a group order.
- Finally, we enjoy a great relationship with our customers, many of whom have become regular customers of ours. We want your costume to be perfect and as the parent of a dancer I understand all that is involved in preparing for a competition/festival or audition.
- If having read this you would like to discuss further then please get in touch so we can discuss your costume(s) 🙂