Have you ever wanted to help test a sewing pattern or at least wondered how it all works? Well, I'll share some of my process! A streamlined, successful pattern testing would go something like this:
When a pattern is in its final stages, the designer will advertise for testers by posting an application (usually with an interactive google form) in a facebook group or in a blog post to gain interest and gather information.
The designer then reviews the applicants to ensure that all sizes will be covered in the testing group. I like to select at least two testers per each size with a range of sewing skills.
When the testers are selected, they are invited to join a facebook group where the pattern files are uploaded. Participants are given a set of guidelines to follow:
Then the fun begins! On the last few testings, I decided it was a good idea to have one post specifically for questions so that they are visible to everyone in the group to avoid duplication.
Pattern testers really are critical to the designer's success. Many times drafting on a computer or using a dress form doesn't always address fit issues or wearing comfort, etc. A "muslin" (or sample sewn with inexpensive material) might be a necessary first step! Occasionally, a pattern may need to be redrafted and retested if the desired results aren't obtained during the first round of testing!
Once the pattern testing process is completed, participants are asked to complete an exit questionnaire.
I've been really fortunate have great pattern testers and it is an extra bonus to have great photos to share on sale posts, social media and even incorporate into the pattern itself!
I hope this was somewhat helpful!