What sort of things can I send to be reworked?
I will try to work with any clothes or textiles that you send - these are mostly woven, but can be jersey and knits too (such as sweaters)
Can I ask for specific details?
Yes for custom made garments I am happy to incorporate aspects of the original garment such as buttons, pockets, decorative finishes and fabric manipulation (smocking, pintucks, broiderie anglaise etc). I am also happy to discuss the way the fabric itself is used - for example this might mean seaming a patterned fabric to create different effects. Just get in touch with your ideas!
What sizes do you make?
When deciding on sizing, I wanted to keep it simple with roomy shapes that your little ones should be able to grown into. So I offer a small, medium and large. It's always difficult to accurately give clothes an age bracket because every child varies so greatly, so the sizes are suggested as a guide, with measurements of the finished garments given to allow for more accurate choices. Please see our size guide below for age breakdowns, and individual garment descriptions for the nitty-gritty of measurements. If you have specific sizing needs then please get in touch to discuss, as I am happy to accomodate these in custom items.
Can I request a different size?
Yes, if you have something larger, smaller or more specfic in mind, please get in touch so that I can discuss your ideas with you.
Can I send damaged items?
Absolutely! Stopping waste is the main reason I set up Earlier Birds. So if you have garments with a tear, stain, hole, mark, faded patch or worn area, I will either work around it, attempt to repair it or creatively celebrate it in your new garment. If you are sending a damaged item and have thoughts about its use, please let me know before I start work on your new garment.
Can I send cloth that isn't clothing?
Definitely - I am happy to work with any fabric that you would like to be reworked. Some things that work well are household linens such as bedding and tablecloths as well as lightweight soft furnishings. If you're unsure whether a fabric you have will be suitable you can get in touch with a photo or a description so that we can discuss your plans for the fabric.
Does the fabric need to be clean?
Yes - if the fabric is pre-cleaned then it means that I know when marks are permanent.
How much does postage cost?
I offer free postage on all garments sent within the UK. For international orders, please get in touch so that we can discuss the options. You will need to send your fabrics to me at your own cost.
The item will be a gift, can I include a note?
How will my item be packaged?
I make every effort to carefully package your new garments in environmentally friendly and recyclable materials. Your garment will be wrapped in tissue paper, with string to secure. The mailing outer will be a recycled kraft paper mailing bag. All aspects of the packaging are recyclable paper, or reuseable yarn (great for repackaging parcels, tying up plants in the garden and labelling jars).
What is the difference between custom and ready made?
Custom items are where you have provided the fabrics for the garment, whilst readymade are pieces that have been made up in a range of preloved clothing and fabrics. These are always in short runs of one or two sizes, and constantly changing.
How do I care for my new garments?
This depends on the fabrics used. Most items should be able to be gently and cooly machine washable at 30-40 degrees. Some fabrics that you provide may require hand-washing, and I will let you know with a note in your parcel. Always separate out strong colours and do not tumble dry.
What will happen to the unused fabric that I send?
If you would like the unusued fabric returned to you, please let me know when sending your fabric. If you would not like your fabric returning I can keep any larger pieces for making readymade garments. I keep a record with the fabrics detailing who sent them so that if a garment is made with your fabric, I can email a 20% off code for you to use against another Earlier Bird purchase. If the wastage from cutting is too small to be pieced together and used, this is sorted into two piles - one to go to childrens centres, play spaces and schools to be used in craft projects. The other pile is for textile recycling, which gets shredded and formed into 'shoddy' for stuffing and padding.
What is the ordering process for custom items?
Once you place your order, I will respond via email to pass on the delivery address to send your fabrics to. When I receive your fabrics I will let you know that they have arrived safely and get to work on your garments. If any queries pop up during the making process I will get in touch to confirm. As soon as the garments are ready I will package them up and let you know they're on their way.
The guide below can be used as an estimate of sizing by age.
Please refer to garment descriptions for more specific measurements.
SMALL 0 - 6 months
MEDIUM 6 - 12 months
LARGE 12 - 24 months
Any more questions?
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