Shipping Information Alert: Tiramisu Dress Pattern

The Tiramisu Dress, the first offering from Cake Patterns is completely finished! Finally!  1000 patterns are now waiting to be picked up at the printer!

Every new business has growing pains and logistics issues.  I feel very strongly that while Cake Patterns is my sole responsibility, you all are my partners in creating this company.  I would never, ever in a million years have tried to make something like Cake Patterns without your support and enthusiasm backing me up.   It’s important to me to let you know what’s happening–

The original shipping date I quoted for the Tiramisu Dress was November 5.  It is now November 15, and the delay has had me on a knife edge.  I don’t like that!  Everything is ready!  I have cartons of tough shipping bags, a shipping account with Australia Post, and pre-order shipping labels already printed and sorted by region  I even have a few long-suffering sewing buddies who are willing to come over for a “Tiramisu Shipping Bee” so we can get your patterns to you quickly.  I want to turnaround the pre-orders like lightning.

When I was researching the production process several months ago and putting together my time and budget estimate, the printer (in Kansas, no one does this kind of work in Australia to my knowledge) quoted me their shipping carton size and weight.  I priced the shipping and found a quick and reliable freight/customs method and ticked that box on my list of things to do.

Early this morning, the printer wrote me to let me know the patterns are complete, folded, packed and ready for shipping in 4 cartons.  Four?!  This quadrupled my projected freight cost, so it is more expensive to ship all the patterns here to Australia using my preferred option than it was to print them in the first place.  This is a rookie mistake, one of those production problems I thought I worked and researched to eliminate.

Casting around for options, I turned to twitter and asked for help:

Leila from Three Dresses Project (she of Snow White dress and pattern alteration fame) and I have known each other for quite some time through blogging, twitter and chatty email goodness.  I trust her and value her judgement and abilities.  She immediately wrote to offer her assistance.  In order to ship the patterns to you all as soon as possible with the least amount of extra cost (and transport miles), Leila will distribute the Tiramisu Dress pattern pre-sales to Cake’s American, Canadian and European customers.  My hero!

This makes sense.  About 52% of the Tiramisu Dress pre-orders came from the United States alone, and roughly 65% of my regular readers are based stateside.  I value both efficiency and sustainable business practices.   The thought of receiving the bulk shipment of my patterns from the United States only to turn around and send half of them back across the same ocean bugged me, but I did not see that I had a choice.

Click for source.  Snow White, I mean, Leila, saves the day!

However, as happens, necessity has encouraged me to take this step.   Leila will receive shipment of some of the patterns, package the patterns individually and ship your pre-orders.  She often ships items from her Etsy store internationally, so I know Tiramisu is safe in her hands.  If we establish this works for both of us and for you all, then we’ll likely proceed in this manner for future shipments.  In that case, I will revisit Cake’s shipping prices and adjust them accordingly.

In the pre-sale, I charged for shipment of the pattern to the United States from Brisbane.  Now, obviously, the actual cost of postage will go down if it is shipping within the United States.  However, I still need to pay to ship the patterns to Leila, for the shipping materials and for Leila’s time.  For the postage price charged, you will receive the pattern much more promptly than you would if I sent it from Brisbane and your pattern will incur fewer “transport miles.”  I think this is fair.  However, you all are my partners in this and if you have another perspective, please let me know in the comments.

For orders outside North America and Europe, I will handle the shipping myself.  In the interests of time, I had one carton of patterns expedited to me.  This should arrive early next week, and then I will immediately ship the pre-orders.  As soon as your pattern ships, you will be sent a shipping notice.  Shipping times from Brisbane vary- within Australia it might be 3 days or so, New Zealand around a week, and Asia may take up to 10 days.

All wholesale orders will be shipped then (from Brisbane).  I will also make Tiramisu available for purchase at the regular retail price on Etsy, and the electronic version will be available via Craftsy’s excellent pdf pattern service all at the same time.  Then I’ll lift the curtain on the Sewing Cake website.

This quiet moment feels so much like that hushed and tense time backstage at a theatre production just before the curtain goes up on opening night, my instinct is to start reciting voice exercises.  That’s what it’s like here right now.  Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Thanks again for your support and your patience while Cake Patterns is in its infancy.  The second pattern, Pavlova (pictured above), has been simmering in the background for a while.  She’s nearly complete with artwork and everything.  I don’t want to introduce you formally until after Tiramisu ships, but let me tell you Pavlova’s production process has sped along much smoother and more quickly than her predecessor.  It’s like comparing a steam engine to a bullet train.

I have three more releases for early next year in the works (including a men’s pattern!!)- again, I’m desperate to show them to you but don’t want to put them “out there” before Tiramisu ships.  (This is also why I’ve been blogging about sewing for the family and crafty stuff and quilting rather than Cake stuff!)

If you are in North America or Europe and expecting a fabric/notions/pattern package from me as a part of a giveaway- I will ship your packages tomorrow without the pattern, which you will receive separately.

The first one of anything is always the toughest, isn’t it?  I hope I addressed all of the issues surrounding this first release, and once again I thank you for supporting Cake Patterns.  As always, please let me know what you think!


81 comments

  1. Can’t wait!! I have the fabric washed and ready to go, Tiramisu is going to be my Christmas dress :) Pavlova looks like my ultimate wrap top pattern too and I love that you’ll be doing men’s patterns too!

    • Yes! Exactly. It was rather bugging me, thinking about it, so this is good. :) Sometimes necessity pushes you to do things that are best in the long run.. .

  2. Makes perfect sense to me to have a US distribution point if thats where a lot of orders are.

    If you are looking for an Aust based printer it might be worth having a chat to Lisa at Crafty Mamas as she was recently released a few patterns that are pdf or print option, otherwise I used to have some contacts in the printing game here in Brisbane from a place I used to work – happy to dig them out if you want to have a chat to them.

    And yes the first one is always the “test run” where you get to iron out the little system bugs.

    • You’re so lovely, Margo! :) I really, really haven’t found anything like the tissue pattern printing here. I appreciate it, but I think I’ll keep doing what I’m doing now that most of the kinks are worked out (fingers crossed!). :)

      It sure is… Reminds me of sewing a “new” thing.. The first one always takes much much longer than the subsequent ones…

  3. Steph, I’m so excited that I’ll be getting the pattern soon! Well done on being such a professional and personable business-person :-)

  4. Hey, the cake is out of the oven, it has risen, smells great and looks delicious. It is not a big gooey mess, or burned to a crisp. It’s all good! ;-)

  5. Working with a partner in the USA is a great way to cut shipping costs – clever you. :)
    I am a local (Sandgate) and can be available to assist with packaging of the Aussie etc patterns if that is of assistance. The idea of a girl’s party, packaging patterns, and chatting sounds like fun to me (am I nuts??). Looking forward to Tiramisu.

    • Well… It’s a bit hard for me to have part of it out of my hands, but I think it’s for the best. Snow White will take care of it!

      Thanks so much for the offer! My house is quite small but I really appreciate the offer! Thank you. :)

  6. Congratulations! What an exciting time! How wonderful that the bigger sewing/blogging world could help you out, and it does make more sense to keep the NA ones is NA.

    I can’t wait to see the new patterns too! Tiramisu is so adorable, but I know from many unfortunate past experiences that that cut is not my friend, so I’m holding out for the next piece of Cake.

    • Yes, really. It’s amazing. Thank you. :) It does make more sense, and it has definitely bothered me, so I hope this works out best for all parties involved. We’ll see.

      Ah ha! :) I think you may dig some of the upcoming ones.. :D Hummingbird, probably… When I have something to show for that, I’ll give you a shout…

  7. Now look what you’ve done: I want the Pavlova pattern RIGHT NOW! Looks great!

    Thanks for being so upfront and transparent about the shipping, and almost everything else. I look forward to getting Tiramisu (whenever it comes!)

    • Oh no! haha. No, not really. Pavlova’s pre-sale is rapidly approaching, and she’ll ship in late January. But that’s not firm yet, another reason not to let her out of the bag just yet… But I can’t help it!

      Yeah, thanks.. I think transparency is important, I mean… I didn’t need to go into debt to start Cake. You all made this happen, so I figure it’s a good idea to let y’all know what’s going on.. :)

  8. Exciting times! I wish you every success, and I look forward to sewing may of your lovely patterns. I will order the Tiramisu as soon as the pre order rush is done and it comes on general release.
    Best of luck!

  9. Yay, so excited! And I have no problem having the money saved on shipping go to paying someone here in the US to ship the patterns—it’s a great idea!!

    • Look for a medium weight natural fiber with a bit of stretch and a bit of recovery. Because of the fit checks built into the pattern, it’s relatively easy to adjust for variations in fabric weight/stretch, but I have found my favorite Tiras were made of fabric like I describe. :) Hope that helps!

      Also, not sure if it’s going into winter where you are, but there’ll be a long-sleeve download. I thought about doing a hack, but it seemed simpler to just make the pattern piece..

    • Yes! I won’t be able to relax until I have them in my hands and then into envelopes to ship, though…

      I’m thinking you’ll do lovely things with the pattern. Just let me know when school stuff cools off a bit. :)

  10. OOOOH! I’ve been looking for a Pavlova! I have the perfect fabric, and used to wear ballet sweaters like that for rehearsals. (Also very excited that you’ve solved the Kansas -to-USA-via-Oz inefficiency, since I’m in Alabama.) Please make it obvious that Pavlova is *ready-place-orders-NOW*, so I can send you some Xmas money!

    • Oh yes! I’m pleased you like it… Pavlova has a good backstory, too, but I’m getting ahead of myself…

      I’ll open the Pavlova presale in early December. :D

    • Thanks and thanks! The white is a very very light but densely knitted merino wool, unbelievably soft. She was a pleasure to stitch.

  11. I’m never on Twitter so I didn’t see that you requested assistance with shipping. For future orders I can help with shipping. I live in Orlando and I have quick and easy access to the post office. (and it sounds like fun – I like doing things like that)

    I’m so excited about getting the Tiramisu! I need to find the perfect fabric for it too. But after seeing that wrap top – I want it!!!!! I love that red version – I just purchased some thin jersey fabric that may be perfect for that (it’s too thin for a full dress). I’m in line for your next pattern :)

    • I kind of think of Twitter like leaving the office door open, know what I mean? It’s occasionally terrible for my time management goals, but oh well. Thank you! I will absolutely keep that in mind. :)

      Good! We’ll have a Pavlova Circus before Christmas. It’ll be good times.

    • Hahahahahahahahahhahahaaaaaaaaaaaa !

      Thanks. And Yes, but I need to get the pattern electrified first. Probably next week. I’ll let you know.

      You like them? haha. I was wearing the one I told you doesn’t gape… I’m handwashing every other day, it’s so good.. I need to email you about them btw.. I’ve been losing those rolls, slowly but surely, and it’s really changed the whole bra-fitting landscape.. But it’s all kind of in flux so I thought I’d wait for it to settle…

  12. I think the shipping price is completely fair, regardless of what continent it’s coming from (ok, I may grumble about the super weak USD / conversion to AUD, but that’s not yours or the postal services’ faults so I’ll keep my grumbling to myself). And, it makes me happy that you’ve found a way to not have to ship things from the US to AU and back.

    I can’t wait to get it… now to find some decent fabric, which is so not available anywhere in stores near me.

    • Thank you for that! :) Yeah, the dollar thing is weird, I remember not that long ago when the shoe was on the other foot. Oh well. The cost of living here is several times higher than in the US, too.. Everything has to be imported… But I think it’s getting better. When I first moved here, blueberries were $8-9 for a little tiny tiny box. Now they’re $3.50 and I eat them like candy..

      Well, fabric.com has really exceptional customer service these days, it was pretty good before but I think they upped their game. Can you try them? They do swatches and have a LOT of fabrics…

    • Thanks and thanks for the reminder! I find if I make a long To Do list and slowly work through it, that helps tame the stress. It’s not really a perfect system but helps! And we’re heading to the coast this weekend for a friend’s birthday, which is always nice…

  13. Yay! I’m glad to hear that things are moving along well for future patterns. There is always such a learning curve to “firsts” and I imainge it’s exponentially true when things like shipping and printing only have to be figured out once.
    And I agree with K-Line, you do look awesome in Pavlova. Lovely to see a high neckline that doesn’t look like a ski slope to a larger bust.

    • Thanks, Sera! Yes, such a learning curve… I just try to take notes and not get too upset by the learning times..

      Ooh! Good.. It’s the refined version of the Kimono Wrap Top pattern I pdf’d last March… THAT pattern has a story…

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  15. Take your time to do it right :)

    I have loads of Christmas crafting on my plate right now anyhow so Tiramisu will be a pleasant surprise when it arrives! Also Pavlova looks great — love it styled with the crisp little circle skirt, too. Looks super useful & wearable.

    • Yes. Time. :)

      Thanks!

      The crisp little skirt is part of the pattern… A fabric efficient circle skirt, with a mini-”drape” lesson included… A circle skirt can be done so many ways depending on the fabric and adjustments to the cut.. :D

  16. SO EXCITED!! I’ve been waiting for the news that it’s shipping!! Now I can buy some fabric! Also, I think the shipping plan sounds great. I mean, honestly the pattern was super reasonable anyway so no gripes from me!

  17. I just wanted to say how lovely it is that you are so open and honest about this process, it makes me want to shop with Cake even more x

  18. I actually considering asking you (and offering) about keeping some of the shipping /processing in the US – but you don’t know me at all so…

    I’m glad it worked out and I’m looking forward to getting ahold of the pattern.

    • Oh how nice you are! I had thought of a few different options but really had no idea how to do it so left it alone… The supposed shipping costs seemed to me at that time somewhat steep but reasonable. Then it quadrupled… Maybe it’s just time to move back to the NH! :)

  19. Love the new top coming out – SO SO SO nice to see a wrap style top coming out that covers the girls well. I love the style but every pattern seems to bring the V way down, and I am not comfortable with that. Does it include a way to lengthen the bodice – I am quite long-waisted.

    Good luck with the shipping, sounds like you are doing fine to me. :)

    • Thanks, Angela. Yes, lengthening will be shown. And the ties come in a wiiiiide range of lengths, too. I think y’all will like what I did with it. :)

  20. hi Steph, glad all it is all coming together for you, How exciting!! I love Pavlova. will be ordering that when it’s released, have you found another venue for classes or too busy with Cake, I understand.. cheers Heidi

  21. PS. rather large storm headed your way, check the radar, sky was green at dusk, so I imagine somewhere copping hail…H

  22. Oh Stephanie you are nearly there with Tiramasu. Very very exciting. I know though that my body shape doesn’t do justice to the silhouette unfortunately but I am waiting with unbridled interest for future patterns releases.

    Also, I agree with everyone else that your approach to Northern Hemisphere distribution is very sensible. Applause.

    • Yes! It’s all happening…

      Well… We’ll get a Tira gallery going and maybe you’ll find you like it on others with a similar shape to yours? Maybe?

      At any rate, I think you’ll dig some of the upcoming Cake releases… :)

      And thanks.

  23. Just totally impressed with your transparency! Love the Pav, can’t wait to give it a whirl! Thanks for the sleeve options, I really love 3/4 for the summer. Also can’t wait for the Tira, making a 3 seasons dress for myself hopefully! (and with pockets!! <3) :D

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  25. Thanks for the updates! And, for what it’s worth, even though you don’t know me at all, I’m totally up for helping out with future Northern Hemisphere logistics!

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  27. To bring smiles to their customers’ faces, while still running an efficient and profitable operation.” Totally agreed. Wow. Great post.
    Brilliant!

    Thanks James, I’ll accept the flattery and remove the spammy link. :) -StephC

  28. Pingback: Shipping Logistics and Whimsy « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World


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