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Old 04-23-2012, 07:28
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Default Doing "goodies" for friends

I always knew that sometimes business between friends or family may not turn that well. But still I adventured on sewing a knot dress for a friend.
She is not really a close friend. She is someone I met recently and she saw a picture of a knot dress I made and she requested me to do a dress for her daughter. Her daughter and mine are the same age but she is always telling me how her daughter is growing so fast and might use a 4t by August. So, instead of making a size 3 we agree to make a 4. So, when she received the dress in the mail she said it was too big. She paid for it but she kept complaining that I made it too big. I only added 1 inch on each side of the bodice. The next day she mentioned that she did not adjust the knots to fit her daughter, that she realized that could be done. Her daughter slept with the dress on and had it on for more than 8 hours the next day....then she told me one of the straps was coming off. She kept saying also that she liked the dress so much and it was still big. So I offered to make a pillow case dress but I never said it will be free.

I can sew very well, I love sewing but I never sew for others. I wanted to try this to see how it would be to sew for other children because I am considering adding pillowcase dresses to my shop but I am too chicken about people complaining. In the end, she did not pay for the pillow case dress just for the shipping. She tought I should make it because the knot dress did not fit. This really discourages me about adding dresses to my shop. I know it will be different but just thinking about people putting "boutique" clothes in the dryer or letting children play "freely" outside and then complaining about the quality of the clothes makes me nervous.

What am I? A store where people can come and complaint and receive somethiing for free? I spent time doing both dresses. She also mentioned that she wants me to order more fabric to make more knot dresses. I won't of course.

I don't know if this is the correct area to talk about this topic, but does any of you feel use by people you know in real life asking for things you do as a business and then you end up feeling used?

Last edited by LizAnnsbows; 04-23-2012 at 08:53.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:02
LCMays's Avatar
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Default Re: Doing "goodies" for friends

Aw! I hate this happened to you!

I have a friend who I made some bows for over the last few years. This was when I was trying to get my name out there and was still working on forming the bows correctly. So, I gave her some for free. But, I ended up feeling used because when I started selling them and others were paying for them, she still expected them for free! Yikes! So I finally (after continuing this trend for a while) had to break down and charge her. It was hard because she is my friend...but I reached a point where I was out too much money and needed to make a profit! I was worried she would be mad at me....but I realized if she was a good friend she would understand! It was a tricky situation but thankfully it has worked out okay so far!
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:19
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Default Re: Doing "goodies" for friends

It does sound like a tricky situation. Do you think the strap did come off? If it did, then I think for sure she was owed a refund or a free replacement dress. If it didn't come off, then I would say she's using you. When I first started making bows, I put them on my girls all the time, all day long and let them be rough with the bows, just to make sure I was selling a quality product that would last. So, I would imagine the same is true for clothes, if you have a daughter or a friend with a daughter that you could let her trial your items to make sure they'll hold up to normal wear and tear. Don't get me wrong, I can't sew at all, so I'm not questioning your products, just trying to answer your questions.

I know some boutique sellers post all the measurements of the sizes and encourage customers to measure their children before purchasing and have shop policies that cover such issues, so that'll help cover you if you do decide to start selling them. Good luck!
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:21
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Default Re: Doing "goodies" for friends

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Originally Posted by Tess9737 View Post
It does sound like a tricky situation. Do you think the strap did come off? If it did, then I think for sure she was owed a refund or a free replacement dress. If it didn't come off, then I would say she's using you. When I first started making bows, I put them on my girls all the time, all day long and let them be rough with the bows, just to make sure I was selling a quality product that would last. So, I would imagine the same is true for clothes, if you have a daughter or a friend with a daughter that you could let her trial your items to make sure they'll hold up to normal wear and tear. Don't get me wrong, I can't sew at all, so I'm not questioning your products, just trying to answer your questions.

I know some boutique sellers post all the measurements of the sizes and encourage customers to measure their children before purchasing and have shop policies that cover such issues, so that'll help cover you if you do decide to start selling them. Good luck!
I make dresses for my daughter and nothing have ever come off. Obviously, my daughter won't go to sleep with it and I wash on delicate or handwash. It was not an actual sale. She requested me to make her a dress that I have done before for my daughter. I ordered the fabric from fabric.com and she paid me only for the fabric actually.

This is the dress I made for my daughter that she saw on my facebook page.









This is the dress I made for her.

Then I gave her a free Dr. Seuss pillowcase dress. Sewing is my thing. Bows are more difficult to make than sewing. Really. If I would charge her for the dresses what they are worth it may be a total of $60.

Last edited by LizAnnsbows; 07-20-2012 at 05:54.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:09
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Default Re: Doing "goodies" for friends

Cute dresses!

Here's my take on the situation...you didn't say you did, so I'm going to assume you didn't, but the first thing you should have done when she said it was too big was remind her that she agreed to the larger size. If she only paid for the fabric for the first dress and didn't pay you for your time, I don't think I would have made another dress for her.

It sounds like you tried to do a nice thing for someone, and it kind of blew up in your face. I think part of the problem is I don't think the lady was looking at the dress as a "boutique" item that doesn't stand up to 24 hour wear like some other clothes do.

I would not let this stop you from expanding your business, but I would def. be very clear on proper care for such items.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:53
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Default Re: Doing "goodies" for friends

Wow!! Your dresses are adorable!

It sucks that your "friend" has taken advantage of you.

Which is why I've told my friends that I do this as a business, but I haven't been too eager to "offer" things for free.

They've also been nice enough not to ask. It also helps that most of my friends have boys, LOL.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:58
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Default Re: Doing "goodies" for friends

Yes I reminded her about the sizes and there is as an email to proof what she said. We agree that there was a confusion because she thought I said my daughter was fitting into 4t Gymboree dresses already. It was just one n Gymboree dress that runs smaller than usual.

She will receive the dress tomorrow and I want to avoid her because I know she will say she likes and want more. I can't sew for other people unless they pay me what it is worth. I do bows and sew for myself sometimes and now for my daughter. Sewing is hobby.
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Originally Posted by Faithsmommy2 View Post
Cute dresses!

Here's my take on the situation...you didn't say you did, so I'm going to assume you didn't, but the first thing you should have done when she said it was too big was remind her that she agreed to the larger size. If she only paid for the fabric for the first dress and didn't pay you for your time, I don't think I would have made another dress for her.

It sounds like you tried to do a nice thing for someone, and it kind of blew up in your face. I think part of the problem is I don't think the lady was looking at the dress as a "boutique" item that doesn't stand up to 24 hour wear like some other clothes do.

I would not let this stop you from expanding your business, but I would def. be very clear on proper care for such items.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:11
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Default Re: Doing "goodies" for friends

first cute dresses
Second don't let one bad experience hold you back. On any of the clothing items I sell I attach a tag that gives care instructions. For the size you did as she requested. I think you were overly generous in giving her a free dress unless in fact the strap did come off the original one. Even then you could have offered to fix the original so you were more than kind to her! Not to mention she did not pay for your time just the fabric.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:30
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Default Re: Doing "goodies" for friends

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Originally Posted by mum2tianna View Post
first cute dresses
Second don't let one bad experience hold you back. On any of the clothing items I sell I attach a tag that gives care instructions. For the size you did as she requested. I think you were overly generous in giving her a free dress unless in fact the strap did come off the original one. Even then you could have offered to fix the original so you were more than kind to her! Not to mention she did not pay for your time just the fabric.
I did offer to fix the dress and she said it was not neccessary because she was going to fix it by hand stitching. I asked to send the dress back and that I would cut the length too and she said she was ok.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:32
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Default Re: Doing "goodies" for friends

cute dresses dont do anymore for her nicely say you dont have the time or extra money
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