#1. "Do you sell patterns for your ____ costume?"
No. I have considered making patterns for the more popular ones, but the reality is that it would be a big investment of time in learning the technical side of scaling patterns to different sizes, buying the software, figuring out how to publish it, etc, and very little chance that I'd get anywhere near enough sales to make it worth it - especially since most of the costumes I get inquiries about are from shows where selling patterns could create licenses issues in a way that custom making single customer commissioned replicas does not. Plus I'm simply not interested - I'd rather spend the time creating new costumes than fussing over math, software and legalese.
#2. "You didn't include _____ info in your blog post. How did you do _____?"
When I make my blog posts, I do my best to include the relevant information, as well as any steps in the process that are unique to that costume. I won't, for example, explain my duct tape pattern drafting or my dental floss gathering tips in every post. I also, due to time constraints or whatever, don't always manage to talk in detail about where I got my fabric, etc. I'm not getting paid for any of these, just giving you a peek into my process because it's fun and shows what I can do to potential clients. If you have a question on a newer post, I may be able to answer it, however if it is from more than a year ago, likely I won't remember specifics about sourcing items (which usually aren't still available anyhow). Also, if it's something I have to dig for, I likely simply won't have the time, especially if I'm away from home and reading your message on my phone. So while I will answer a question if it can be done quickly and easily, I can't promise to answer everything. I do take note of what questions get asked most often, however, so I can make sure to either update posts if necessary, or ensure including that information on future posts.
#3. "I love your blog!"
Thank you! I'm sorry if I didn't respond to your lovely message. I have unpredictable health issues, so when I'm well, I need to focus on my commissions rather than answering sewing questions. I'm also a writer, so I spend all that other time I have writing on the computer...and get burnt out typing. This means that sometimes I get simply wonderful, encouraging messages from readers that mean a LOT to me - but I don't have the chance to respond. Please know that I do read everything that comes to my inbox, and every time someone tells me that my blog inspired them, it totally makes my day. I wish I could have a long conversation with each of you geeking out about costumes, but it's just not feasible to fit into my life. It does keep me going, however, and often encourages me to be a little more regular with my posts, so if you send me a message and don't get a reply, but see an increase in blog posts, please consider that my 'thanks.' :)
#4. "Will you do a tutorial about ____ costume?"
My photo diaries are all based on the costumes that I make for customers or myself. If it's not a costume that has been commissioned or that I personally want to own, I will not be doing a post about it. Why? Costumes are expensive and time consuming, and I don't get paid for these blog posts.
#5. "What sewing machine should I get?"
I am not a sewing machine expert, but I personally own a Husquvarna that has served me well for 13 years. If you are serious about wanting to sew, that's what I recommend. If you're just starting out and want a cheaper model, I would advise looking at a Janome (Jay NO Me) or Brother machine. I've had good experiences with owning models by these companies and Janome consistently is recommended by seamstresses as an excellent model.
Do NOT buy the cheapest model of any of these machines (unless you want the Janome mini as a travel or child's machine - that's a great little model). Going up just one step price-wise will get you a much less stressful machine.
I do NOT recommend getting a Singer machine, unless you're going for one of the more expensive models which I have heard good things about. I've never used a cheap or moderately priced Singer that I've not had a lot of stress with.
DO get one with a top loading bobbin. That is the #1 source of frustration for new sewers IMHO and will save you a lot of grief.
If it's a serger you want, check out this post.