Reviewed by Deborah Banasko
During lockdown and even the current restrictions my kids have become accustomed to an “any outfit will do” approach to fashion as, let’s be honest, who have we had to impress? I have to say I have found it very exciting to start shopping again and to leave behind the feral look, but find myself once again bored with the high street and seeing kids wearing the same outfits as my brood have in their wardrobes at home.
I was asked to review Handmade Harrison, a face-book-based children’s clothing business run by Kathryn Harrison. All orders are made by direct messaging so it’s all very easy and personal, and you can explain exactly what you want to avoid the likelihood of errors. Kathryn designs and makes children’s clothes using a range of amazing unique fabrics. You can purchase rompers and leggings in two leg lengths, leggings, harem trousers, two styles of dresses and t-shirts
The pricing policy is very clear, with fixed prices depending upon the age of the child and what type of garment you want. Kathryn makes children’s clothing from small new-born sizes right up until the age of 12.
When you look at her face-book page and click into “photos”, you will be able to view the “available fabrics”. This is important as not all of the fabrics shown on her page may be in stock. You will also see the sizing chart and price lists within the “see all” photos section under the relevant heading. If you use face-book a lot then you will find her page very easy to navigate.
You can look at the photos posted by herself and customers on her face-book page to give you an idea of how the clothes look on children, and to help you decide which trim colours might look best with your choice of fabric. The problem that I found with this is that I wanted to order everything!
My first choice of fabric wasn’t available due to a supply issue, but this wasn’t a problem as there were so many that I loved. There is a cool retro feel (with a modern twist) to everything that she makes.
When I placed my order I explained that I wanted a romper for my 3 year old and she advised that I opt for the age 4 size, as her sizing tends to differ from those in stores. Whilst she does have a sizing chart for each age group so that you can measure up your child for accuracy, I’m one of those parents who just likes to guess so I would strongly suggest you ask for her guidance when placing an order. Again the benefits of the personal approach.
Kathryn told me that her current turnaround time was 14-21 days yet the garment arrived less than two weeks after the order was confirmed so this was fantastic service.
This garment complies with the standards of store-bought clothing with the washing advice and fire safety label sewn in, but you will not find something so unique and personal in a store. It is so refreshing to be able to choose the design, fabric, trim and even the colour of the fasteners. You get the benefit of designing your perfect outfit without having to learn how to make it. This may have been a coincidence, but even the packet that my item arrived in matched the orange trims of the outfit, which made me smile!
The size was perfect with extra growing room so her advice was spot on. We chose a dinosaur print, and it was lined with bright orange fabric in the upper torso area and on the straps so that only this would be on display if an arm were to be raised or a strap twisted. I love this extra touch of detail, and the orange edging at the bottom of the legs. The material is soft, stretchy cotton and elastane. My son found it really comfortable it and washes well. It screams quality.
My only concern is that it is a 30 degree wash only item and my son attracts mud, but so far so good! My dinosaur obsessed son thinks this is the best outfit ever, and I love that he can wear it on it’s own, or teamed up with a short or long sleeved top underneath so we can really get some wear out of this over the warmer and cooler months.
It is worth mentioning that if you support this small business you will receive 10% discount on a subsequent purchase if you recommend them to a friend (who makes a purchase). The friend will receive the discount too! I have my eye on some material for my daughter to order some leggings so this discount will get used!
Whilst the price is slightly higher than what you might pay for a supermarket item, you simply cannot compare the two. Yes, it’s great to have cheap high street clothes for children to play in, but we all need a few items for days out and this handmade romper was more than worth the money as you are paying for quality fabric, the time and care in hand-making the item and a design and fabric that you won’t see anywhere else.
The longer leg romper that we reviewed costs £20 and it is worth noting that delivery is free on orders over £50. As well as buying for your own kids these garments would make a really unique gift. It is worth paying a few pounds more than the high street to have a some bespoke outfits in their wardrobe as we have already received really positive comments from friends and family already. A gorgeous and very easy 5 stars out of 5.
RRP: £20 long leg toddler romper (prices range from £8 to £27)
This product can be purchased from Handmade Harrison via face-book here.