When you can’t sew or create your own cosplay, finding someone to hire for a commission can be a stressful ordeal. Where do you look? Do you have friends that could recommend someone? Is Etsy OK to use? You have a million questions and not all the answers. You don’t want to get ripped off and you don’t want to receive a bad product. I’ve had both of these happen in the past. It’s a learning experience to be sure. As I started to follow more cosplayers and nerdy types, one name kept popping up. That name was Lauren of Castle Corsetry. I could see right away that she produced quality items and because she runs a shop on Etsy, I could even read some reviews and feedback from past customers.
As I looked at more of her work, I could tell she was someone I wanted to use. I was nervous though. Would she be out of my price range? Was she even taking on projects at the time? I had emailed professionals in the past and always suffered a bit of sticker shock. I understand why the prices are what they are, but that doesn’t change the “holy shit” factor. I was worried as well seeing how the cosplay I wanted was kind of original. USO Hawkeye was of course based on the USO Ladies from Captain America but had changes to fit my theme. Once I emailed Lauren though all my worries went away! She was very responsive and was up to the challenge of the design. She made sure I was included in every decision she made, from the patches to the color choices. Let me tell you, the hardest thing to figure out was what to do instead of the stars. We thought about everything from arrow pins to some sort of patch. Obviously we got it worked out! She was quick to answer any questions I had but I trusted her enough that I didn’t feel the need to email her too often. Oh and another thing that I loved was she had her own measurement sheets! She emailed them to me and I was able to find someone local to help with the measurements and I sent it right back. As someone who doesn’t sew, measurements are a scary thing. If just one measurement is off, the entire fit could be wrong! Her sheet was beyond helpful in this step.
Once I received my dress, I knew I had made the right choice. The dress is beautifully made! There isn’t one aspect of it that isn’t finished to the highest quality. The fit? Like a glove! I’m not going to lie, putting on a costume for the first time is always nerve wracking. Will it fit? Will certain areas maybe not fit? What about length? But as soon as I zipped it up, I felt amazing. It was perfect. I could feel my confidence skyrocket and I knew wearing this in San Diego would be a great experience. Oh and don’t get me started on the hat. It was the perfect size for my head and had loops for pins to help keep it in place. It’s little things like that which really mean a lot to someone like me who has no idea what they’re doing.
I’m glad I came across Lauren/Castle Corsetry and that she was available to work on my project. I received a ton of compliments on it which is a great feeling. Of course I made sure to drop her name anytime someone asked about it or paid a compliment! As someone who’s still new to this but has already had one bad experience with a commissioner, she was a breath of fresh air and made the entire experience painless this time around. I know if I ever need anything created again, she’ll be the first person I contact.