Carl, I know how you feel, having done similar work in the construction industry and having been similarly screwed for it. We have come up with an honorable solution, which is "consulting". We will work with a customer to find out and tell him everything he needs to do on his own, and develop plans, but we expect to be paid very well for this service. Typically the goodwill engendered by being the rare exception who will willingly do this work is rewarded by being thought of when other projects the customer doesn't want to attempt to do himself come up. I know, as Mr. Kabbaz stated before, that the bespoke shirtmaker expects to take a loss on the initial fitting and pattern making, so that he may make a profit on the future quantity of shirts a customer orders. This is similar to our taking a raw set of blueprints, doing take-offs, getting solid bids and fleshing out a detailed project specification, and then hoping the customer will go for the project at our bid price. If the customer doesn't go for it, or his stock options drop off (thank you MS), etc., all that time, effort and money we put into it is lost as a cost of doing business. Similarly to your experience, we have had some clients come back after deciding to hold off on the project indefinitely, to do it with us as they were impressed by our preliminary work. What we have done with some clients where they are more upfront about wanting a preliminary feasibility study done only, and don't try to fool us into thinking we may be doing the whole project, is to either agree on a fee for the initial work which covers our time, or agree to do it on a time-and-materials basis. For someone who considers himself an artisan above being a businessperson, this may sound abhorrent; however, for a company with "kids to feed" as you said and not enough clients at a given time to keep everyone busy, these projects are sometimes worthwhile for us to do. We do consider ourselves to be artisans and the quality of our product reflects that (along with the fact that probably 95% of our business comes from referrals). However, we are pragmatic enough to realize that such a deal is within our acceptable limits, as long as it is done in an upfront manner from the beginning. As I said, these customers are typically very satisfied, having been honest with themselves and us from the beginning, and these projects may lead to referrals for more similar work or for more typical jobs where we work from prints to a finished product. In short, JD, I think if you are completely upfront about it with a shirtmaker from the very beginning, and expect to compensate him much more highly than his first-shirt price, in order to make up for the profit lost in his typical "bid" shirts, IMO it is an ethical idea. Whether the shirtmaker will be offended anyway, or whether it is a practical idea, I can't tell you. What I will say is that I had a similar idea myself, though it would more likely involve my having a "close" shirt altered and then sending it over to be copied, rather than asking for a pattern. And for the costs involved, the only worthwhile step I can see in your step 2-3 process would be the sewing on of good MOPs after the shirt is delivered. Personally, I would do this myself or enlist a seamstress to do it to my specification. I don't see any benefit to the handsewn work, especially for the cost involved. Good luck.