Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Portland, OR
Re: Mother Goose Designs - aka Shortcake2386
Approximate date of purchase: 2/12/2013
Where did you purchase the item(s) from: Arranged through DS
What did you buy: 4 Custom Trainers
How was the customer service: Very Poor
Review of the product: Exceptionally Poor craftsmanship
Would you do business with them again? No
Each time I post questions about a certain type of trainer in the Diaper Q&A Forum, this WAHM posts "I make those" ... while I find that in poor taste, after awhile I decided to give her a try.
I was surprised by the number of emails it took to get answers about her product, to get sizing info, and to arrange the details of the custom order. I had to ask many questions several times before I got an answer, and she never confirmed the specs of the order. I, instead, sent her a final PM confirming all the specs I could think to confirm.
I had expressed that I couldn't wait 2-3 weeks for the order, she said if I'd paid 2/10 it would ship 2/13. She did not say to me, this was a rush and I was under the impression this was normal. I paid 2/12 and she confirmed she'd do them that night so when I received shipping info on 2/15 I was pleased.
However the trainers didn't show up, the Priority Mail tracking didn't show the package had ever been scanned, and the WAHM did not communicate with me. She answered when I emailed her, but I had to email her several times while waiting for the package to appear. I received conflicting information from her and the post office says she printed the label on 2/15 but the package didn't reach their hands until 2/25. She claims the post office is lieing to me; this may be true but in years of shipping things Priority Mail I've never seen anything like this. At one point she told me she gave them the package 2/22 but recanted when I reminded her she'd told me 2/15 before that.
When the trainers did arrive, I was surprised by some of the specs: They had royal blue velour inside when I had expected white. I hadn't known to specify white, she never confirmed this spec with me, and her website isn't clear about the velour being anything other than white. It mentions "matching" fabrics but the trainer outers were white with a little bit of green & light blue, and green bands. Royal blue didn't match and a test showed that the blue dye ran, so that nice white fabric was likely going to end up light blue.
Again, I thought I had chosen all of the fabrics instead of letting her choose based on matching, because she never confirmed all the specs. Her web notes that hand-dyed velour is an option, so I presumed that by not asking for hand dyed velour, I would not get it.
I had asked for green bands that matched the print, but was open to other suggestions. She never told me she didn't have any, and instead had someone dye the bands for her, I found out later. The dye job was terribly blotchy and also ran when I tested the dye for colorfastness.
The very worst part was the stitching quality. I have just learned to serge and have only sewn about 4 items, and could spot immediately that there were many problems with the serging: Loops were hanging out as if the serger was not weaving properly, the fabric was chunky and chewed up in areas instead of being cut cleanly, the stitching was uneven (a result, I'm told, of using old needles and/or the machine not being suitable for such thick layers), the stitch used was inappropriate for the application (according to what I've been taught and what I've researched since), and there were many places where it was clear that she'd stopped and started, leaving long threads dangling with no measure for preventing unraveling.
To make matters worse, there were areas were not all the layers were caught by the stitching, or only the very edge was caught so there are holes or places where the fabric is nearly torn away (see photo of leg band).
The sizing was also off by a lot: The legs and waist were 1" bigger than the unstretched measurements were supposed to be, and the hip measurement was 1" bigger than it was supposed to be. Her website notes items may vary slightly so I had gone to great pains to confirm the measurements with her precisely. The rib knit might have gone down 1" in the wash as she claimed, but it's one of those rib knits that is so very loose it couldn't have gripped my son's waist strongly enough to keep the training pants up. I hadn't expected a rib knit based on the photos and descriptions of her work, I'd expected a jersey or interlock. Again she didn't confirm these important specs with me and doesn't warn in her site that the fabrics could vary so much, the fabric she chooses might not have the same tightness at leg bands.
The WAHM was very defensive in her response, telling me she had done a quality check and that all the layers had been caught in the stitching as should have been done. She told me that there are no refunds on customs, but since "the whole transaction had been such a pain" because she had to stay up late to sew and "answer countless emails", she'd let me send them back for a refund.
She continued her defensiveness, changing her tune a little after I said I had pictures and was going to post feedback.
Meanwhile I had posted a "WWYD" wondering if my expectations were unreasonable for quality on the sewing. A person who, according to Facebook, is a friend of the WAHM posted in that thread, that it looked to her like I had pulled apart the stitching on purpose. The WAHM then added to Facebook that she'd had a rough day but a friend of hers had blessed her.
The WAHM did offer to send me a return label very late in this process. She asked at one point what conclusion to the transaction would make me happy; I wanted to keep the trainers for a steep discount because I so badly wanted this very rare train print fabric. She declined.
The WAHM also told me that she had used a serger that she doesn't usually use, and a stitch that she doesn't usually use, because she was in such a rush to do this job and her usual serger had the ruffler attached. I had thought about having her just fix these trainers but I felt it was in poor judgement to knowingly use a machine and stitch that weren't up to the task, rather than to tell me at any point that she needed another day or two. I'd said I couldn't wait weeks, not that I couldn't wait a few days.
She also offered this serger explanation as an excuse, not like a "wow I made a mistake and I'm sorry." At no point has she admitted to a mistake or taken responsibility for not checking her work and troubleshooting the problem.
At many points she tried to blame me for rushing her, when I'd never done so intentionally. I was also surprised she characterized my emails as a nuisance to her; these emails are necessary to set up a custom and it was a nuisance to me that she doesn't answer questions or confirm specs in a professional way.
My opinion is that this WAHM has some cute items and some great ideas, and that often her sewing skills are up to the task. However, in this case she showed poor sewing skills and poor judgement and service.
Here are the photos (I do hope I'm doing this correctly!)