Wednesday, 11 January 2017
I have received several messages this week and I thought it was about time I updated my frequently asked questions page so you can find everything in one place.
Are your order books open?
Unfortunately my diary is full for 2017 so I am not taking on any more custom orders at present.
How can I get my hands on a Little Sugar Plum doll?
As well as custom orders, I also make around 10 dolls and dolly dress-up clothes each month which I sell at market nights. These cannot be personalised, but are ready to post. Ideal if you have a birthday coming up, or you just want to add to your collection. I have a designated website just for market nights. www.littlesugarplums.bigcartel.com. Market nights are held on the last Friday of every month at 9pm.
What is a Market night?
For full details, please see my previous blog post, What are Market Nights?
I really want a personalised doll. Do you have a waiting list?
Yes I do! If I ever have a cancellation, or realise I can squeeze in an extra custom order, I contact the next person in line on my waiting list. Please note that once I have emailed the person at the top of my waiting list, I will give 48 hours for that person to reply and make payment. If I do not receive a reply to my email in that time, I will go ahead and contact the next person in line. If you receive an email and have changed your mind and no longer wish to place an order, please let me know. I won't be offended. My time is precious and it will speed up my admin time by not having to wait 48 hours before contacting the next person, allowing me more time to get on with other orders and spend time with my family.
To add your name to the list, please fill out the form by clicking HERE.
How much are your dolls?
The price of my dolls depends on the outfit they are wearing and how detailed he/she is. For example, a doll wearing a dress or twirly skirt will use twice the amount of fabric as a regular skirt (and will take longer to make) so will therefore cost a little bit more. For my list of prices, please visit my website HERE.
I am looking to CE mark my dolls. Can you tell me where you buy your fabrics?
In a word, no. I buy my fabrics from a wide variety of places and have spent many hours of my time researching them. Each fabric has to have a certificate to confirm it's safe for using in toy making and I have had to pay for many of the certificates, so I am a little protective over sharing my resources! If you would like to find out more regarding CE certification, including purchasing EN71-3 certificates, I recommend visiting the CE Soft Toy Support Network group on Facebook.
What sewing machine do you use?
I currently use two sewing machines; A Brother SE-400, which is the USA equivalent to the Brother Innovis 950/955, and a basic Janome 2032. The Brother is a sewing and embroidery machine. If you would like more details on the Brother, I wrote a blog post about importing mine a few years ago. The post can be found here.
Do you recommend your sewing machine?
Yes! I love them both. They do exactly what I need them for, so I'm more than happy to recommend them.
What app do you use to edit your photos?
I use a variety of different apps including Pic Monkey, Instagram and A Beautiful Mess.
How long are your lead times?
I usually advertise lead times at 4-5 weeks, although I aim to post orders out sooner than this where possible. As soon as you have paid the balance for your custom order in full, I then order in your fabrics. This part is beyond my control and can take up to a week depending on the company I purchase from, especially if ordered on a friday/weekend. Most of my suppliers are pretty good and post out within a couple of days. I then need to cut out all the pattern pieces which takes a few hours, before sewing up and stuffing (another 2-3 hours). Then her clothes need to be made and her face needs to be embroidered by hand before photographs are taken for my records (and to show you before posting) which can only be taken in good light during the day. Every doll I make must have a declaration on conformity for CE certification, so then it's over to the laptop to write that up. Then I have to package up your doll and take her to the post office. I usually try to visit the post office on a Monday/Tuesday once I have several dolls to post at once. It's simply not feasible to visit the post office every day. It is quite a distance, and although I do give each order my individual attention, remember all this is happening alongside other orders also, as well as looking after my home and family. Lead times may also take slightly longer during the school holidays when my children are at home. I never rush orders and take my time to ensure they are perfect for you.