Kind of in a sticky spot about how to handle a situation that just came up.
Back in mid-January I announced plans to make Homestuck fursuits. A local was super interested but she didn't have any money at the time but told me she would in a few weeks or so. We met at a furmeet and she sat down with me for a few hours; we discussed the fursuit then, she tried on one I had brought and was very satisfied. I told her that, because she's accepting my design, I would like to have the project completed for a convention in early July so all of the fursuits can be worn together. She agreed to this.
It's now the middle of April. I've asked her only once about a payment and she got very upset, saying that there was a convention that weekend and she didn't have the funds. Twice before this had she messaged me first and claimed that she would contact me shortly with the full payment.
It's not so much that I'm bothered that she's slacking off on the payment, but this convention is coming up fast and I need to start now to have it done in time for then. I'd hate to play the bad guy and tell her that I need to make the suit and offer it to someone else who is interested but I feel like 3-4 months with no payment is too much.
Yes, I have offered her a payment plan. In fact I've mentioned it several times, all of which she declined because she said she'd be able to pay (again) soon.
Am I really just biting off the wrong end of the stick here and waiting too long for something that will probably never happen? Should I offer her a date to collect at least SOME funds for it so I can at least start on the project?