How Long Does it Take to Make a Pair of Leggings?
(Or Why You have to wait at least 14 days for your Tutti Frutti Clothing order.)
Is 14 days too long to wait for your handmade clothing order? Do you think that anything longer that a few days wait is unacceptable? The rise of Amazon Prime and next day delivery means that I am getting more and more requests for orders to be made faster. I am often asked if I can make something and have it delivered in less than a week.
As Tutti Frutti Clothing has grown, I have increased my turnaround times to 14 days. In every website and Etsy listing I say that everything is handmade to order and it will be up to 14 days for your order to be made and dispatched. But what does this really mean and why does it take 14 days for your order to be made and sent out?
This blog post aims to unpack some of the reasons why I have a 2 week turnaround time and why I often can’t accommodate short notice requests.
Where is my order?
A few weeks ago, a customer contacted me to find out where their order was. They had placed an order for some rainbow leggings 5 days before and were annoyed that they hadn’t been sent out yet. In one of their messages to me they said “Surely it doesn’t take you 2 weeks to make a one pair of leggings?”
The answer to that is fairly simple. No, it doesn’t take me 2 weeks to make a pair of leggings. However, there is so much more to Tutti Frutti Clothing than just sewing and I hope that this post explains why I ask customers to wait for their orders.
So many orders!
I guess first and foremost the reasons things take 14 days is that I don’t just have one order at a time to deal with. In the early days when orders were few and far between, you could order one day and I’d cut and sew it up and post it out a day or two later.
Over the last 18 months Tutti Frutti Clothing has grown more than I could ever imagine – and continues to grow. How exciting is that? I get orders every day and love it that so many people want Tutti Frutti Clothing goodies.
The quantity of orders I get means I have to manage my workload pretty carefully and the 14 day turnaround time allows for this.
Time to make mistakes
I pride myself on making sure every Tutti Frutti Clothing garment is perfect. Handmade doesn’t mean poor quality but it does mean that mistake can, and do, happen. I check and double check everything before it is posted out. If I find it is less than perfect then I will remake it.
If it not up to my expected standard then that 14 day turnaround time gives me time to remake your order if I am not happy with it.
Flexible working - and making sure I look after my children!
I started Tutti Frutti Clothing when my third child was 21 months. In my head, starting a business with a young family was going to be amazing. I could work around my children and out of my home. It was going to be fun, flexible and something I just loved doing. The reality is all those things – with an added dose of super hard work! Not unexpected hard work but some aspects have taken me by surprise!
Until my youngest goes to nursery she is at home with me full time. Whilst she is pretty content cutting up scraps of fabric on my sewing room floor whilst I work, she can’t really do that all the time. Working from home gives me the flexibility to spend some of my day at the local farm with her, or grocery shopping, or cooking dinner.
I also try not to work between 3- 7pm when my elder children are home from school. It is important to me that my business works with my family and so I have to build time with them to make this happen.
However, I do sew once the kids are in bed and into the night. My eldest child often says that the sound of my overlocker soothes him to sleep….
Sourcing the Fabrics You Love
Tutti Frutti Clothing is based around my love of bright and bold fabrics and unique prints. I source fabrics that are either GOTS organic or Oeko-Tex certified. Part of my working week is spent looking for new fabric to add to the Tutti Frutti Clothing range. Recently I discovered some gorgeous GOTS certified organic unicorn fabric for leggings and this awesome GOTS certified organic garden design fabric for t-shirts.
Time spent looking for new fabric – either online or at trade shows – is time away from my machine and added into the turnaround time.
Money, Money, Money
Income, expenditure, revenue and sales – all pretty integral parts of Tutti Frutti Clothing. Much as I would love to spend more time behind my sewing machine, I am sure you will agree that it is important I keep the accounts up to date. With my accounts in order I can buy fabrics, threads and make sure that Tutti Frutti Clothing is on the right path to success!
Yet once again time spent entering data into spreadsheet is time away from making orders. I long for the day I can outsource this part by the way…!
Craft Fairs and Live Events
I love meeting people face to face and talking to them, showing them what I have to offer and helping them choose gifts for their grandchildren or new babies. I do several craft markets and fairs a year and work hard to maintain a decent stock level to take to shows. Every time I make an order I make something to add to the rails for the next market.
I am currently working towards making sure I have a great display of bright clothing at Waresley Grand Fete on 26 August. I will then be working hard to ensure there is awesome stock at The Gransden Show on 30 September. If you are local to either of these it would be brilliant if you could come along!
I hope that this has explained why your Tutti Frutti Clothing order isn't sent to you in an instant and why, much as I would love to, I really can't accomodate last minute requests.