Contact Us & Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question or can't find something you're looking for? I'd love to hear from you. But for the quickest solution, first check out the FAQs below and see if I've addressed your question here! If not, please e-mail. E-mails are answered Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm.
About Elizabeth Suzann Studio
Elizabeth Suzann is a person (me) and the name of my brand. Elizabeth is my first name—but most people call me Liz—and Suzann is my middle name and also my mom’s name (pronounced suze-ANN). I experimented with endless names for my business and work when I started out in 2013, but ultimately felt like putting my name on something was the best way to ensure I remained motivated to do the best work possible. Using my own name ensures I hold my business to just as high of a standard as my personal reputation, and feel acutely responsible for its impact on the world. Learn more about me over on our About Page.
Yes and no. I founded Elizabeth Suzann in 2013, and at that time I was a one-person business, doing everything myself. As demand increased, I grew a team to support my work and help with production. Over the course of seven years, I grew from a solo entrepreneur working from my spare bedroom to the CEO of a team of 42 people operating out of a 10,000 square foot warehouse. The culmination of many factors, most notably the financial impact of COVID-19, led to my decision to close down Elizabeth Suzann in the summer of 2020. I have reopened as “Elizabeth Suzann Studio” with one assistant from a backyard workshop, and am occasionally working with independent contractors for some sewing help when needed. Many of the designs you are familiar with from Elizabeth Suzann (funnily enough, most of which were originally created back when I was a one-woman show) will be returning, but I will also be creating new work that is a little more experimental.
Elizabeth Suzann Studio will also offer a broader range of products, including sewing patterns and fabrics so that I can support and encourage your own creative pursuits and increase accessibility to our silhouettes and shapes. Elizabeth Suzann Studio will also be far more agile due to our small size, and I am using that agility to first focus on eliminating waste and establish a fully circular lifecycle for our products. Learn more about Elizabeth Suzann Studio, my mission, and guiding principles over on our About page.
With this reopening, I am establishing new policies and workflows that align with my current reality. Naturally, the resources I have as the exponentially smaller Elizabeth Suzann Studio are very, very different than what I had as Elizabeth Suzann, so expect some differences to come along with that.
Small batch production is exactly that—I produce garments in small runs, and then make that inventory available for you to purchase. Elizabeth Suzann utilized made-to-order production, but Elizabeth Suzann Studio has transitioned to small batch production. This is because at our much smaller size, made-to-order production would take longer than I’m comfortable with, and wouldn’t allow for the freedom and flexibility that small batch production provides.
Our clothes are designed, patterned, sampled, and fit right here in my backyard workshop by me. Every garment is cut, sewn, washed and packed by our small partner factory in western North Carolina or a local independent contractor. After construction, everything is shipped out by our family-owned distribution center in North Carolina. The footprint of our production is extremely small and tight, and I am very proud of the new workflow we’ve developed.
By producing inventory ahead of time and only selling what has already physically made, you receive your orders much faster and I eliminate the possibility of over-committing and selling more than we’re capable of producing at any given time. It maximizes efficiency so we can get the most out of our time and materials and reduce our waste even further. I may occasionally offer pre-orders for new styles, fabrics, or colors, but this will be the exception rather than the norm.
This may mean that items sell out quickly, and I know that it can be frustrating when a product you want is out of stock. However, I have learned over time that only I can determine how much and how quickly I’m able (and desire) to create, and to let external demand dictate my work would be to go against my deepest values. It is my hope that we can all work towards becoming more selective about the products we bring into our lives, choosing only those that we need or that will bring us joy, and that we can approach this new model—and all its benefits and drawbacks—with grace and mutual understanding.
In many ways. In short, we envision a venn diagram with three overlapping circles: People, Planet, and Product. We aim to have a positive impact in each of those areas, and the real goal is to do as much as we can in the center of the diagram, where all three circles overlap. Learn more about our mission and guiding principles here.
Shipping & Returns
You have 30 days from receiving an item to initiate a return for a refund. We only accept returns on unwashed, unworn merchandise. Items marked as final sale are not eligible to be returned.
Unwashed, unworn, in-stock clothing will be eligible for a full refund unless otherwise noted.
Fabric by the Yard is cut to order, and as such will be subject to a 20% restocking fee.
Shipping costs (including international duties, import taxes, and other fees) are non-refundable, and the customer is responsible for the cost of return shipping. The original shipping cost for your order will not be refunded, and if you use our pre-paid return label those shipping costs will be deducted from your refund (there is of course an exception to this if you are returning an item due to an error on our part, just let us know so we can take care of it). If you ship via your own method, you will be responsible for those costs.
Once your return has been received and inspected, we’ll initiate the refund which should take between 7-10 days to process. Please note that we cannot issue refunds for items that do not arrive back to us, and we recommend using our pre-paid return label to ensure that your return package is traceable. We are not responsible for lost packages.
Start the return process here.
Seconds, Gently Used items, Remnants, and Scrap Bundles are discounted and marked down below their full retail value. Because of this, we cannot afford to process returns for these items if they have already been shipped. The time it takes to receive return packages, inspect items, issue a refund, prepare for re-listing, and then packing and shipping once again makes it unsustainable for us to accept returns on these categories.
If your Second, Gently Used item, Remant, or Scrap Bundle has not shipped yet, we can cancel it for a refund, but once it has shipped it becomes final sale. If you are unsure about a purchase of a final sale item, please reach out to us ahead of time so we can help answer any questions you might have.
We ship worldwide, and we ship from North Carolina in the United States.
We ship worldwide. International shipping varies widely depending on the receiving country and a myriad of other factors. In most cases, it takes a few weeks for international orders to arrive.
International duties and import taxes may be calculated and charged to the customer at checkout. If duties and import taxes are paid by the customer at checkout, we will ship your package using delivered duty paid (DDP) shipping labels to indicate that duties and import taxes have already been paid and ensure you are not liable for any additional charges.
If international duties and import taxes are not able to be calculated and charged at checkout, you are fully responsible for paying those fees. Please note that we cannot falsify information on customs documents in an attempt to reduce those costs. Please research customs information for your country before ordering, as we cannot be held responsible for unexpected fees and taxes.
If your package has been marked as delivered but it has not arrived to you, most of the time it will turn up within a few days.
Once we have shipped your order and the package has left our workshop, it is in the hands of the shipping carrier and is their responsibility.
We cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen packages, and we cannot issue refunds for packages that we shipped (so long as tracking indicates the package was indeed shipped by us) but never arrived. If your package never arrived or you suspect it was stolen, visit the shipping carrier’s website to file a claim with them directly.
As long as we have not shipped your order, you can cancel it for a refund. If it has already shipped and you still wish to cancel, you can set up a return for a refund once you receive the item, assuming it is eligible for return.
If you need to make changes to your order before it has shipped, let us know! We’ll simply cancel it, issue a refund, and you can place a new order with the desired change(s).
If your order has not yet shipped we can update the shipping address, but e-mail us as soon as possible so we can catch it.
If your order has already shipped, we cannot change the shipping address or reroute the package.
Unless otherwise noted, all items are in stock and will ship out from our workshop within 5-7 business days of your purchase.
Transit time will depend on the service selected at checkout and your location.
If it was purchased within 14 days of a sale or markdown on that specific item, yes.
If neither order has shipped, yes. We will generate a new estimate for shipping cost on the combined order and will refund the difference if applicable. E-mail as soon as possible if you’d like to combine orders.
Placing a New Order
At this time, no. We are committed to giving small batch production a thorough chance to see how it works for us, and that means not offering any made-to-order options. At this time, we are focusing on sewing through all of the cut inventory we have on hand, which is varied in terms of style, color, and size. Once those cut items have been sewn and put in stock, we will begin producing new inventory from scratch to stock the website with.
Unfortunately, no. We don’t have the capacity to take custom orders or make alterations at this time. There are skilled tailors in every city, though, and we encourage you to develop a relationship with someone locally to extend the lifespan and versatility of your wardrobe.
Rarely. Our pricing is very intentional, and it costs a lot of money to make our garments with high quality materials and responsible labor. Discounting our prices cuts into our narrow profit margin, which isn’t sustainable. We occasionally utilize discounts as a way to help us manage inventory when it makes sense, but we do not plan any regular sales or discounts.
The only place to purchase our products from us is right here on this website. We do not sell to any retailers, online or in-person. This keeps our pricing as accessible as possible. Right now we charge just enough to cover our costs and earn a small profit. If we sold our products to retailers, who then sell it to consumers, our current retail price would become our wholesale price, meaning the final retail price tag would be even higher.
Designing is what I do, so I already have an infinite list of design ideas to pursue. We aren’t seeking design suggestions for new products, but we do welcome fit feedback and suggestions to improve the functionality of our current offerings. Just e-mail us if you have something to share!
We cannot customize or make fit changes to our garments. We recommend connecting with a local tailor in your area—there are talented tailors in every city.
Visit our Sizing & Fit Guide to learn all about our sizing and pick the best size for you.
If our current size range doesn’t include you, please let us know. This feedback is really helpful as it lets us know where we can improve.
No, it is not. An item is only 100% yours after you have completed the checkout process.
“Seconds” are slightly imperfect—but still totally functional—garments that are sold at a discount. Their imperfections may be small flaws or color variances in the fabric, construction mistakes, shrinkage/sizing issues, and more. The nature of what can make a garment a “Second” varies, but the specific imperfection will be noted in the product description of each item. “Seconds” are always totally wearable and frequently the defect is undetectable.
”Seconds” are discounted and are final sale.
Buying “Seconds” and putting them to good use helps us get even closer to becoming a Zero Waste studio.
You can shop our available “Seconds” here.
“Remnants” are the small amounts of material left at the end of a bolt of fabric. Because we cut in bulk using carefully mapped out markers (or cutting templates), we can’t always efficiently use these small lengths of fabric. They are large enough to be used for a solid project, so I don’t feel comfortable chopping them up to use for scrap products, but too small to work well in our production flow—ergo the win-win solution of discounted, pre-cut “remnants” that you can purchase.
We measure, pack, and list “Remnants” when we have them, and this means they are limited in quantity and we cannot cut or split a remnant into smaller pieces.
“Remnants” are discounted and are final sale.
Buying ”Remnants” helps us get closer to our goal of becoming a Zero Waste studio.
You can shop our available “Remnants” here.
This varies by fabric, but in general we recommend the following:
—Machine wash on gentle cycle with cold water after every third wear, or if you know you won’t be wearing the garment again in the next two weeks. Hand wash if you prefer, always using a very small amount of mild detergent.
—Tumble dry on low or no heat, or lay flat to dry.
—Washing and drying on high heat and washing too frequently causes fibers to become brittle and more prone to breakage.
—You don’t need to wash after every wear, as machine washing too frequently is hard on clothes and causes them to break down more quickly. However, not washing frequently enough can be just as harmful. Moisture and bacteria from our bodies breaks down and degrades natural fibers if left for a long period of time. Be sure to wash your garments if you know you won’t be wearing again within the next two weeks, and especially before storing away for a season.
—If you know a garment got particularly sweaty or dirty during wear, go ahead and wash immediately after.
—Avoid wearing the same item multiple days in a row if possible, as giving the fiber time to relax, breathe, and bounce back will improve longevity.
—Steam between washes to freshen.
—Iron on medium heat or steam to remove wrinkles.
The lifespan of a garment depends entirely on the fabric, how the garment fits you, your lifestyle, how often you wear it, and how you care for it.
We use all natural fibers with no synthetic coatings or finishes, which will of course break down over time. That’s why we select them—so they don’t remain in our landfills, oceans, and soil for millenia. The cost of this environmental benefit is—unlike synthetic materials or synthetic blends, or even natural fibers treated with chemical coatings or finishes—natural fibers degrade with wear.
Based on a wear-frequency of once every two weeks, our garments should easily last for years with appropriate care. However, wearing a garment that fits more snugly than intended, wearing a delicate fabric in harsh conditions, washing frequently at high temperatures, *not* washing frequently enough, or not washing before storing can all contribute to premature wear.
Our products are not intended to last forever, and I think that’s how all products should be designed. Manufacturing defects and damages are almost always evident upon arrival, and if you think something’s wrong when you receive your item, let us know right away and we’ll take care of it. However, if you have had your garment for a while and think it’s breaking down more quickly than it should, e-mail us and we’ll see what we can do.
Our patterns vary in difficulty, but most of our silhouettes are simple and streamlined, and we use very few closures which makes the majority of our styles suitable for all skill levels.
Each pattern listing provides a basic difficulty assessment, the number of pattern pieces, and estimated time to complete to aid in determining if a pattern is right for your skil level.
All that said--you can do anything! All of our patterns can be sewn by anyone who is willing to take it slow and learn as they go.
Once you've downloaded the correct pattern PDF, you can go straight to printing, or you can open up the PDF in Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Pro to select which layers you'd like to print. In Acrobat Reader, the "Layers" panel is accessed by clicking the stacked squares icon on the left hand side of the window. You can toggle on or off various layers by clicking the checkbox next to each layer. When a layer is visible, there will by an "eye" icon in the checkbox. All patterns include options for toggling on or off cutting lines and seam lines for each size.
With the layers you want to print visible and the remaining layers hidden, you are ready to print. Do not exit the PDF before printing, as your layer selections will not save. To learn how to save PDF's with your layer selections retained, see the instructions below.
In order to print your PDF at a copy shop with only certain sizes/layers visible, you will need to save the file in a specific way. *Some local copy shops will be able to access layers and toggle them on and off for you, allowing you to skip the steps , but many online copy shops do not offer this option. It's worth checking first!
Once you've downloaded the correct pattern PDF, open it with Acrobat Pro (you need Acrobat Po to save a PDF with certain layers turned off, it cannot be done with Acrobat Reader). Access the "Layers" panel by clicking the stacked squares icon on the left hand side of the window. You can toggle one or off various layers by clicking the checkbox next to each layer. When a layer is visible, there will be an "eye" icon in the checkbox.
Once you have the layers you want printed displayed and the ones you do not want printed hidden, you are ready to flatten the layers. This action cannot be undone, and if you want to print other sizes in the future or change which layers are displayed, you will need to re-download the file from your account page.
WIth the layers that you want to print visible and the remaining layers hidden, click the "Layers Options" icon (it's located above the list of layers, on the left, and looks like a small rectangle with two bullet points and lines inside, with a downward facing arrow to the right). Click "Flatten Layers."
The PDF file no longer has layers and can be saved or exported. Name the file something unique so you know which layers are visible, and it's now ready to be printed by an online or local copy shop.
Turning off cutting lines will remove the printed cutting lines, so you are left with seam lines only. This leaves you with a basic block of the pattern, and is helpful if you plan to make pattern adjustments or change the seam or hem allowances.
Turning off seam lines will remove the printed stitching lines from the pattern. This is helpful if you do not plan to make adjustments to the pattern and want to see the cutting lines only. It will reduce visual clutter on your printed pattern which makes cutting easier, especially if you plan to print multiple nested sizes at once.
I only offer digital PDF patterns, however you can have your PDF file printed easily from an online pattern printer. All digital patterns include large format files (in addition to Print at Home files) for Copy Shop printing to make this process easy.
No, the digital patterns from Elizabeth Suzann Studio are intended for personal use only. You may make garments for yourself or as a gift for others.
No, each pattern purchase is intended for individual use only. Our Pay What You Can pricing on select patterns is intended to make our patterns more financially accessible.
Pattern files may not be shared, redistributed, or hosted for others to download.
Absolutely! However, each student will need to download their own version of the pattern. We offer Pay What You Can pricing on select patterns to make our patterns more financially accessible.
The files you have access to via your account page will be updated when changes are made to a pattern or its instructions.
When an update is made that does not significantly impact the instructions or pattern file (e.g., correcting a typo), the file will be updated immediately.
When an update is made that could significantly impact the instructions or pattern file (e.g., adjusting seam allowances, fit, or order of operations), you will receive a notice via e-mail one week before the update. If you wish to keep a copy of the current version, you will need to download those files to your computer before the hosted files are updated.
I offer Pay What You Can pricing on certain patterns in order to make my work more financially accessible to those that need it, and to offer a way for those that have more financial privilege to support that work.
Patterns for my five most popular styles will be offered with Pay What You Can pricing. Additional patterns may be offered with this same model, or may have a different pricing structure depending on the success of this model and the ongoing cost of supporting published patterns.