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Unread 11-05-2011, 09:23 PM   #2255
Mr. N
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 33
Name of Commissioner: StrangeLand Costuming/CapsuleCorp

Website/C.com gallery: http://www.strangelandcostumes.com/

Character commissioned and series/video game (please include if this was the entire costume, just a jacket, prop, accessory, wig, etc.): Ronoue Genji from Umineko no Naku Koro Ni. Item commissioned was a critical component of costume (tuxedo jacket with custom crest on it). Also, I commissioned bow-tie to match handkerchief color.

Links to picture(s) of your commissioned item: Tuxedo:
http://www.cosplay.com/photo/3087835/, Bowtie: http://www.cosplay.com/photo/3082931/ , Gallery link is http://www.cosplay.com/gallery/209348/

Timeline (how long your order took to process):

Initial inquiry for quote was May 14th, 2011. Officially contracted and commissioned on May 25th, 2011. Measurements were also sent in with the contract. Multiple e-mails were exchanged on a fairly consistent basis. It must be noted that I went overseas for ~1 month to Taiwan (June 8th, 2011 - July 8th, 2011) during the time that I was commissioning this costume since I was not able to have consistent internet access to maintain communication. Hence, the timeline would probably have been ~1 month shorter if I did not go abroad. In any case, she waited for me to be able to communicate again and possibly did planning on how to approach my item. Communication resumed July 8th, 2011.
Delivery was August 15, 2011 and I was able to monitor the shipping progress thanks to Delivery Confirmation Service. She made sure to keep within in my allocated timeline, with enough time for trying on the actual coat and clearing up any issues; I did inform her of my concerns on issues possibly arising during a discussion of shipping time. She very kindly offered to correct any possible fitting issues on her own time at no extra cost. I kept the jacket for about a week to gauge fitting. I informed her about said fitting issues (both in writing and with images). I sent back the tuxedo around August 23rd/24th, 2011. The adjusted tuxedo jacket returned around the end of August (8/30/2011-9/1/2011). The bow-tie had no major issues at all (on my end or her end). It was easy enough for her to do, and I only sent it back with the tuxedo jacket because there was a slight issue of its velcro coming off.
My original deadline (in the contract) was ~8/20/2011 or earlier to give time for fitting/issue correction. Thus, one might say that my actual deadline was more like 9/5/2011 due to the anime convention that I would be using this costume for was 9/9/2011.

Describe your Experience. Pros, Cons, Comments.

Pros: I must note that Strange Land Costumes was my VERY FIRST experience in commissioning any sort of costume item. Strange Land Costumes has very much met my own high personal standards about having an accurate and well-done cosplay (since I will not allow myself to cosplay a character if I am unable to do so accurately and in a "high quality" manner). Stace (the owner of Strange Land Costumes) definitely has the qualifications for a professional costume maker (and not just from having awards for her costumes). During the process, our discussion covered the actual material types used, the tones of the colors, and even the type of tuxedo jacket. Pricing was quite competitive compared to other commissioners when I was inquiring about commission quotes (e.g. one wanted $280 including shipping for the jacket to be made of wool like an actual tuxedo jackets, another had the price at $300 including shipping for the jacket to be made of wool). I spent ~$200 with Strange Land Costumes.
It must be noted that I did have the option of having the jacket made from uniform cloth to reduce costs, but my research into this along with my personal experience wearing formal wear determined that wool would be most suitable (especially since many tuxedo jackets are made of wool materials). CapsuleCorp made sure to match my specifications on color tones (particularly the golden One Winged Eagle crest, where we went as far as talking about the specific types of gold colors that I was seeking. She was even able to match the thread with my fabric color choice (Old Gold).). She also matched the color of the bow-tie to my handkerchief (which I did need to mail in since computer screen/printer coloration can differ).

When I actually got the coat, I was quite ecstatic to get it. The jacket felt and looked just like a tuxedo jacket does. The custom crest matched what I was expecting and hoping for. Even when I found that there was a slight fitting issue with the sleeves, I still very much liked it. As mentioned above, she did kindly offered to correct any possible fitting issues on her own time at no extra cost AND she kept her word. When I voiced concerns about the possibility of the repairs appearing "patchy" (since she told me that she would recut the sleeves if she had enough fabric), she clearly explained her approach:
My question: "I am certainly thinking about having the sleeves refitted since I am a little uncertain, but I want to ask one thing: will the sleeves look like they have been refitted (i.e. having sewing lines/markings that show they are made of two/multiple pieces instead of one whole continuous piece or put it into one word: 'patchy')?"
Her response: "Good news! I do have just enough fabric to recut the sleeves. If I hadn't been able to do that, I would have been able to fix the other ones without patching anything together - the secret is in that little flap that the buttons are sewn onto. By eliminating that flap and simply sewing the buttons on the sleeves directly, I could have let them out just enough."
I could probably keep going on, but the pro section would probably be too long if I did. ^_^

Cons: I cannot think of any at the top of my head. Does being a top-notch commissioner count as a con?

Comments: Reference pictures are always a plus for ANY commissioner. I believe that part of the reason that I received such an excellent item was due to my providing MULTIPLE reference pictures, allowing Capsulecorp to accurately create my item.

Final Grade: A+ (A++ if I was allowed to enter such a grade). I most certainly would commission her again for another item. She has immediately made my list of commissioners to consider first for any future commissions.
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