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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We know it can be difficult to send your clothes to be made into a keepsake so we made it easy. Here are a few frequently asked questions:

I want a keepsake made from my clothes. What do I do?

Absolutely! Your peace of mind is our top priority. In addition to having a dedicated sewing studio, we took the added step/cost to have all packages delivered to a certified UPS Store location just a few doors down from the studio. Why? So that each and every package is signed for when received and kept in a safe, indoor location. We can't guarantee to be in the studio 24/7 when packages arrive so this ensures your clothes are ALWAYS safe and not left outside to the elements or subject to theft. Once the clothes are in the studio, we'll email you to let you know they arrived. 

How long does the process to take to have a memory bear or other keepsake made?

For memory animals, it takes about 4-6 weeks to complete AFTER we receive your clothes.

For memory quilts, wedding keepsakes and bags, it takes about 8-12 weeks to complete AFTER we receive your clothes.

If you have a specific deadline, please let us know in advance and include the date on your order form so we can expedite your order. Additional rush or overnight shipping charges may apply.

NOTE: Production times may be longer from Oct-Dec due to the number holiday orders we receive.

SHIPPING FAQ's

I'm worried about sending my irreplacable clothes. Can I trust you?

Absolutely! Your peace of mind is our top priority. In addition to having a dedicated sewing studio, we took the added step/cost to have all packages delivered to a certified UPS Store location. Why? So that each and every package is signed for when received and kept in a safe, indoor location. We can't guarantee to be in the studio 24/7 when packages arrive so this ensures your clothes are ALWAYS safe and not left outside to the elements or subject to theft. Once the clothes are in the studio, we'll email you to let you know they arrived. 

What method of shipping do you recommend to send our clothes?

We recommend UPS or FedEX since all shipments come with real-time tracking and are most reliable. If you use USPS Priority Mail, please be sure to add tracking to your order. 

All finished keepsakes are shipped back to you through UPS Ground with tracking (or USPS for PO Boxes or Canada)

I don't want to ship my clothes, can I drop them off?

We LOVE meeting with customers in our sewing studio. We're located at 20 South Main St, Pennington NJ 08534.

Please contact us to schedule an appointment. 

Do I have to pay to ship my clothes to The Patchwork Bear?

Since the weight of each customer's clothes varies so much, we can't cover the cost to ship your clothes to our studio. The cost to send the finished product back to you is included when you place your order. 

CLOTHING FAQ's

What types of clothes can I use for my keepsake?

First, the most important thing is to choose clothes that have meaning to you. Don't worry too much if they don't match or are different patterns. We're The Patchwork Bear and love the patchwork look.

That said, we can use almost any type of clothing EXCEPT: leather, fur, heavyweight knits and outerwear, bulky fleece or other thick fabrics, costumes, heavily beaded or sequined clothes, swimwear and underwear (oh please, no undies!). We can use satin in limited amounts. All clothing is stabilized for added durability and to ensure even stretching when we stuff your keepsake.

I only have one shirt. Can you make a bear or animal from it?

Yes, we can make a memory animal from just one article of clothing. If it is not enough fabric, we can use a coordinating cotton fabric in limited amounts so the final design highlights the one piece.

Can I make design requests for my keepsake?

YES! We encourage you to pin notes on clothes with special requests like: use this logo, use as much of this as possible, use this for the body, etc.  The order form that comes with your order has a spot to write down general requests.

How many clothes should I send?

We will send detailed info and tips on choosing clothes after your order placed. As a guideline: for a patchwork pet (bear, bunny, puppy): Send 1-2 adult size (or 6-8 child; 8-12 baby) clothes. For a memory quilt: In general, from 8-15 adult size clothes. We'll send specific instructions to you based on the item your order since the amount varies based on size and style of clothing.

Do you send unused clothing or clothing scraps back to me?

Yes, you can indicate on the order form if you want the scraps sent back (less than 3 lbs). In general, we try to use ALL the clothes you send to us, unless otherwise requested. Please don't send too many clothes as it gets complicated and increases shipping costs.

Can I personalize my keepsake?

Yes, see theADD-ON section to add personalization and other special touches to your keepsake like: embroidered hearts, a signature transferred to fabric, and more.

Can my memory bear be used as a toy?

No. These are keepsake memory bears and not toys. They are not designed or intended for use as a toy for children 12 and under. While we do not use any buttons, plastic eyes or small parts, they are made entirely from your clothes and therefore have not been tested and do not conform to any safety standards or guidelines in place for children’s toys.The Patchwork Bear does not accept any liability for the misuse of these keepsakes.

Our Promise

We take pride in the quality of our work and there are costs associated with this. We take the time needed to design and create your keepsakes in our bright, professional studio where each order can be tracked, designed and shipped. Each item is created to highlight the unique qualities of the clothes you send and time/care is taken in each step of the process from when we receive your clothes to when they are shipped to you.

Since 2005, we've been making keepsakes out of your clothes and we're the ORIGINAL memory bear maker. We're proud of our reputation for creating thoughtfully design and professionally sewn keepsakes to preserve your memories. Featured on CBS Morning Show, People, Women's Day, Pregnancy, and are one of Oprah's Favorite Things! If Oprah trusts us as one of her Favorite Things, you can too.

Ready to order?

Why choose The Patchwork Bear? It is worth the cost? (Yes, it is!)

Your clothes are irreplaceable. Don't trust just anyone to cut them up! We've been turning clothes into keepsakes for almost 20 years and have the experience to create a quality heirloom that will last.  

We are a small team of designers/makers that create all our keepsakes in a clean, professional sewing studio here in NJ. We take pride in our work and pay a fair wage; our prices reflect the talent & experience of our team- with thousands of memory bears made. What sets us apart is that we are a full business not a hobby, and believe the quality of our work reflects this.