Hi! It seems last minute I know for sure. Leakycon is at the end of July. And I really really would love to have the anna dress from the coronation in the Disney movie frozen. I want it to look perfect. And I want it to be made with love, all the ones I found are coming from china and mass produced. I’m willing to spend 150-160 (I’m willing to be I really really don’t want to spend that much) it’ll be used for more than leakycon. Please please let me know if it’s possible for you or someone you know to do it. Thank you!
As a heads up, $160 for an Anna dress is really, really cheap. Really cheap. If you want something like her Coronation Gown made, if it’s done by someone in US/Canada (with love), you’d be looking at a bare minimum of $300. And that’s probably being really way too optimistic. It’s a complex dress, with a lot of fabric. It ran me close to $250 for my fabric alone, and while you won’t necessarily be expecting taffeta and velvet, I suspect you don’t want something made out of $2m satin either.
Keep in mind that ‘mass produced’ for a costume from China means ‘made by someone paid really terrible wages in horrible working conditions’, not ‘printed out by a machine’. To get something cheap, it has to be made cheaply: either in material, condition, or labor. If you want something made well for cheap not made in China, you either want to pay nothing for the time, or nothing for the fabric. You can’t sacrifice both. (And sacrificing either pretty much rules out the ‘with love’ part anyway’.
If Anna is totally a thing you want to wear, and $150 is your budget, the Chinese sellers seem to be decent enough quality, from the photos I’ve seen around. Otherwise I’d suggest upping your budget a lot, or look into making it yourself.
Best of luck either way!
We have a long post on this topic here, but I’m gonna be real blunt here to drive home Amanda’s point:
Minimum wage here in Canada is $10.25/hr. Now, sewing is a skill, a trained one, so really we should be saying $20/hr minimum, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll stick with $10.25 now. If you’re offering $160, that’s less than 15 hours to do it in, which is ridiculously tight… I mean, it takes about that long to do a simple fuku-style schoolgirl uniform from scratch without patterns, let alone a ball gown, but wait, that $160 will need to include materials!
Assuming we use really cheap stuff (unlike Amanda, who went mid-range) then we’re looking at at least $100 in fabric costs, leaving us only $60 in wages… but wait, that $60 needs to include cost of maintenance of sewing machines, supply-gathering time, travel time, and possibly postage! It also needs to include time answering your emails, sending progress pictures, double-checking measurements, drafting patterns, washing fabric, AND cutting fabric before we even get to the literal “sewing” part.
Which leaves us with…
Nothing, really. I might as well work a job flipping burgers or running a cash register, at least that way I’m coming out ahead for investing my time and energy.
Me, I wouldn’t charge a penny less than $10,000 for a perfect Anna coronation gown. Make it $20,000 if you want it on your doorstep within two months. There’s a reason why there’s basically NO ONE turning a profit or making a successful business out of cosplay –– barely anyone has an inkling of understanding of the value of seamstresses time, labour and expertise. You can buy your prom dress from F21 for $50, so why can’t you get a ball gown for $160? It’s perfect logic when you’ve grown up in a society that erases sweatshop laborers to the point where people can just assume these things just show up on shopping mall racks out of the aether, but it’s batshit insane to actually be asking people if any of them are willing to be paid essentially nothing for the sake of something you love.
You’re asking for perfection within two months for $160. Nobody is itching to make that dress so badly they’ll take that grossly underpaid offer out of “love”. You want it made with love, go ask your mama.