contact Me

Use the form on the right to contact Me.

 

Name *
Name
         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Blog

Filtering by Tag: pattern testers

What I Have Learned About the Pattern Making Process - The Finding & Keeping of Pattern Testers

Michelle Burke

As someone who is new to the pattern making process, I decided to write a blog series about what I have learned as I have gone through this process.  In today's post, I will focus on finding pattern testers and how to work with them to make your job and their job easier.

I knew wanted to have a group of pattern testers test my pattern; I knew other designers had their own group of testers, but how would I find several people who would be willing to test my patterns for me? This was actually quite simple! There is a Facebook group, Sewing Pattern Testers, that is dedicated to pattern designers who want their patterns tested and people who are willing to test patterns. This is a closed group that you can ask to become a member of if you are either a pattern designer or a pattern tester. Once I was included in the group, I used Google Forms to create an application that I could publish on the Sewing Pattern Testers Facebook page. The application asked for several basic pieces of information including name, email address, sewing skill level. I also asked questions of the applicants, such as, could they finish sewing the project by a given due date, would they be willing to share pictures of their finished product, and how would they rate the quality of their pictures. I gave them the opportunity to share their website, Facebook page, Etsy shop, etc., and I asked them to tell me a little about themselves. At the top of the application, I included a picture of the final product so that the applicants would know what they would be testing. Google forms makes it easy to upload the application to a Facebook group and then as responses come in, it compiles the answers on a spreadsheet for you! After only a day or two, I had more people willing to test for me than I really needed! 

My group of pattern testers were very helpful in giving me ideas on how to best go about communicating with them; one suggested that I set up a Facebook group for my pattern testers to join. A Facebook group is a fun way to get to know your group of testers, and for the pattern testers to share pictures, ideas, and questions about the pattern. The pattern testers can also share their edits and feedback in the Facebook group. Creating a form in Google Forms and posting it to your Facebook pattern testers group is the easiest way to for testers to record their edits and feedback. This form includes questions that the designer wants answered as well as a place for comments. I will admit that I didn't create the feedback form for my pattern testers for my most recent pattern. My pattern testers emailed me their edits and feedback this time, but I will definitely create this form next time to make it easier for both my pattern testers and myself. Once again, I have to say that I feel fortunate to have a group of pattern testers who is willing to help this newbie learn what works well for everyone! :)

There is one more step to the pattern making process and that is getting your pattern "out there" for sale. I will discuss this in my next post!


Sign up to receive email updates from Uniquely Michelle:

Name *
Name
Since I design patterns and I also sell handmade items, I would like to know which one you are most interested in hearing about. If you are interested in both, I have that option too! No matter what you choose, I am committed to NOT overloading your inbox with emails from Uniquely Michelle.

What I Have Learned About the Pattern Design Process - Using Pattern Testers

Michelle Burke

In this series of posts, I am sharing what I have learned about the pattern design process from the perspective of a fairly new pattern designer. Today I will share my thoughts on using pattern testers.

Have you ever tried to sew something from a pattern that is poorly written or illustrated? I have! I have sewn long enough to be able to stumble through a poorly written pattern; but the fun of sewing gets lost in the frustration of trying to decipher what the pattern designer is wanting me to do next. I don't mind having to spend a few minutes rereading a step that I don't quite understand, but when a pattern is so poorly written that I spend more time trying to read the pattern and understand it than sewing, it makes me never want to sew that pattern again! Then I imagine the insurmountable frustration of someone who is new to sewing, trying to follow the same pattern; it would be enough for me to give up sewing all together if I were in their shoes. For these reasons, I feel that having my patterns tested by a group of pattern testers is crucial to publishing a high quality pattern that anyone with basic sewing skills can follow, in order to produce a finished product that they can be proud of. 

Of course, one obvious benefit of having a pattern tested is having several sets of eyes looking for spelling and grammatical errors, but there are other benefits that I didn't expect from the process of pattern testing. By having several people of varying sewing abilities test my pattern, I learn what I need to change to make it more clear and easy to follow.  It is easy to write a pattern to my sewing ability level, using language that I am accustomed to using when I sew, but that doesn't mean that everyone else will understand what I am trying to explain in the next step in my pattern. I don't want to frustrate people as they follow my pattern, but instead empower them to sew something even if it is a reach for their current sewing ability. Pattern testers will point out steps that they feel are not clearly written and they may even suggest a way to write those steps in a more understandable way.

A sneak peek at something I made using my soon-to-be-released, next pattern!

A sneak peek at something I made using my soon-to-be-released, next pattern!

The final benefit of having a group of pattern testers test my patterns, is the fresh ideas that come from a wonderful group of people who are excited to try out a new pattern. If I had not had my latest pattern tested, I would not only have a few spelling and grammatical errors, some unclear steps, and a picture that needed more explanation, but my pattern would not have alternate closure options and a couple add-on features that make it even better than I had imagined it could be! I am now even more excited to release my next pattern at the end of this week because of the input and contributions made by my wonderful group of pattern testers! In my next post, I will share what I learned about finding a group of pattern testers and organizing the pattern testing process.


Sign up to receive email updates from Uniquely Michelle:

Name *
Name
Since I design patterns and I also sell handmade items, I would like to know which one you are most interested in hearing about. If you are interested in both, I have that option too! No matter what you choose, I am committed to NOT overloading your inbox with emails from Uniquely Michelle.