Pattern Tester Q&A
From time to time I find that I will be in the need of pattern testers. If you would like to be a pattern tester, just drop me a line at email@example.com Please know that your email address will not be used for any other reason than pattern testing. I will not send you spam, newsletters, sales ads, or give your address to anyone else. I will notify you when I have patterns that need to be tested as well as correspond with you during a testing period.
So you probably have some questions:
Why is my job as a pattern tester important?
You my creative friend, are very important to my patterns! Even though I work hours, days, weeks on my patterns and make up several samples, I am too close to the situation. Since I'm the designer, I know exactly what I mean when I give an instruction, but a newbie to sewing may be completely confused by my explanation. You will need to follow along with my pattern and let me know if my instructions are clear and precise. Another area of importance is the list of materials. Imagine if I told someone to get a yard of fabric and they really needed a yard and a half! I need to know that I am giving you all the correct information you need to complete my projects.
Do I get paid as a tester?
I'm sorry but unfortunately pattern testers don't usually get paid. Independent pattern designers don't usually make enough to pay our testers. However, you will get a copy of the final pattern once it's published and hopefully you will get a really cool item from making my pattern!
Do I need to share my experience on my blog, website, or social media?
Absolutely not! I'm not using you to promote my patterns. You are doing me a huge service and I appreciate everything you are doing. If you have a blog and like to blog about these experiences, that would be great, but you don't have to. I just ask that you wait until the pattern is published if you wish to do so.
Do I have to be an expert seamstress to be a tester?
My patterns are purchased by people of all levels of sewing knowledge. I want my patterns to be as easy to understand to a beginner, as it will for a seasoned seamstress. If you are a beginner, I hope this experience will inspire you to create more!
What format will my pattern be sent to me in?
At this time all my patterns are in PDF format only. For most of them, you will need a printer to print out the pattern pieces. Occasionally you will have a pattern where measurements are in the instructions so you won't need to print them.
What if I don't finish the pattern?
I know that sometimes life gets in the way so I won't get upset or send the "pattern police" out for you if you are unable to finish. I do hope that you will though because it's so much fun for me to see everyone's fabric choices and styles.
How long do I have to complete the pattern?
You will have two weeks from the time I send you the pattern to complete the project. When I announce or send you an email requesting testers, I will let you know exactly what you will be making so you can decide if you think you will be able to finish the pattern in that time. You can always decline and I'll keep your email address for another time if you will still be interested in future testings. I want this to be a fun and creative experience for you so I don't want you to feel pressured or rushed.
How many pattern testers do you need?
I usually like to get about six to eight testers.
What if I want to add an extra embellishment or mix various fabrics?
Yes, use your creative license! That is the best part of seeing what you create from my patterns. I have an idea in my head what the finished product will look like, but with your fabric choices, embellishments, etc, it can look completely different! Just as long as you follow the basic guidelines on the pattern.
OK, I want to test your patterns! What do you want from me?
Oh good! I'm glad that you are jumping on board! First, you will send me an email that you are interested in testing my patterns, or respond to the email I send you in the future. Remember to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. After I send you the pattern along with the due date, I want you to make up the pattern. While you are sewing, I want you to write down notes. Look for confusing areas, missing instructions or supplies, wrong measurements, etc. You can write directly on the pattern, scan it, and send it to me as a jpeg, or you can write up notes in Word, or even in an email. I want to know how you liked the experience from beginning to end. Let me know anything that you think will make the pattern better. Respond in whatever way that will be easiest for you I also want a couple high resolution photos. Don't re-size them to a smaller size. You can email me the photos along with your notes.
A few important bits of information I want:
1. Approximately how long did it take you to complete the pattern?
2. How would you rate this pattern as ease or difficulty on a scale of 1-5. 1 being easy peasy, 5 being difficult?
3. Did I give accurate amounts of supplies, and were my instructions easy to understand?
Wait! There is one more thing! I like to publicly thank my pattern testers on my blog and in my Sher's Creative News newsletter. I will show your photo along with your first name only, unless you want your last name listed too. Also, if you have a blog, website, or handmade shop, I'll share the link under your name if you would like. I have a lot of newsletter recipients so maybe you can get some extra exposure!
Most importantly, have fun!