Recently, I had the fun experience of being a pattern tester for three independent pattern designers. Let me introduce them to you:
Itch to Stitch Kennis Wong is the owner and designer of this pattern line. While she received her masters of business from the University of Southern California, had careers in software and marketing – she now lives in Costa Rica with her husband. Her designs reflect her personal style and are both modern and elegant. Itch to Stitch currently has a free petal skirt pattern and there is a discount running on the pattern I tested.
Clover and Violet is a mother (Clara) and daughter (Jennie) team who originally started a company to make handmade baby items. Although they don’t live near one another, they collaborate on projects. They currently sell a line of PDF patterns for quilted handbags and accessories. They have a large selection of free pdf patterns and tutorials as well as the quilted bag patterns for sale, including Penelope and Julia that I sewed.
KZJO Studio – Kaysie Provence is the owner/designer of this PDF pattern company. She received her training in fashion design from the Art Institute of California – San Francisco. Her logo is “clothes you will love to make and love to wear” Her line includes tops, dresses, outerwear, and handbags. She sells her patterns individually and in bundles. Currently there is a sew a long starting for “Charlotte” with a discount on purchase. This is the cute top I made. I LOVE the back detail!
What is a pattern tester? – someone who generally receives a pattern for free – it may or may not be the final released version of the pattern. As a tester, you are expected to sew the pattern following the instructions, verifying the accuracy of the pattern instructions, graphics, and fit. You are also expected to submit feedback, and quality photos as part of the testing process. Some ask you to use Instagram to share the photos, some use a private facebook group for tester interaction and photos, some use other photo sharing sites or just email.
Why use a pattern tester? – Kennis (Itch to Stitch)
I wanted to know when a designer used the pattern testing process. Kennis (Itch to Stitch) answered “I publish a call to solicit testers when my pattern is completely done as best as my ability. It means that the drafting, grading, illustrations, instructions, size charts, material requirements and more are complete. Under normal circumstances, I also have my photo shoot completed by the time I announce a tester call.”
What characteristics does a designer use to select testers? – Kaysie (KZJO Studio) had this to say ” When choosing pattern testers, one of the first things I tend to look for is a wide range of sewing skills. I want to make sure the instructions will fit many levels of sewing skills. I strive to have my patterns be something a beginner would like try as well as something that would still appeal to an advanced sewist. (I am working on a few more advanced patterns at the moment.) Another thing I like to take into consideration is a range of personal style as well as a variety of sizes in my pattern testers. It is important to me to see how everyone puts their own unique spin on the patterns and making something that truly fits into their handmade wardrobe. Probably my favorite part of the pattern testing process, is seeing the finished garments, I simply adore it!”
Kennis (Itch to Stitch) –