Pattern Testing Guidelines

Posted by Angelyn Bennett on

Pattern testers are an important part of the pattern design team at Greenstyle Creations. Our patterns would not be as awesome as they are without all the feedback and constructive criticism we receive from our testers. We want the pattern that is released to fit across all the different sizes and look great on every body and the instructions to be straightforward and easy to navigate! We rely on testers to give honest and clear feedback, and we want to know what worked, what didn’t, what was clear and what wasn’t clear. We even welcome suggestions on how to make the pattern better. 

All levels of sewing expertise are welcome to apply. If you are a skilled seamstress, we welcome your suggestions regarding construction and love it when you give friendly advice to any less experienced testers in the group. If you are a novice, we welcome your point of view and encourage questions as it helps us identify what may need additional explanation.

Once testers are selected, you will be invited to join a testing group that is held on Facebook via email. Please be vigilant about checking your email after applying and join the group quickly so that you can get started! During the testing phase, you will be sewing the garment up AT LEAST 2 times. Some testers volunteer to sew more than 2 garments, but 2 is the required number. 

A typical pattern test usually lasts from 7-10 days, and there are 3 main stages in pattern testing:

(1) Fit. This is the stage where you download the tester version of the pattern, print and tape the pattern, choose fabric, and sew your first garment. Please make sure to use fabric that meets the suggested fabric guidelines in the pattern. If you have any concerns about whether your fabric will work, please ask in the group! It is important that you DO NOT use your favorite, expensive, one of a kind, or strike off fabric during this stage. However, keep in mind that lighter colored fabrics tend to show up easier in photos than black or navy if you want to show details of the garment. 

During this stage of testing, you are welcome to make personal fit adjustments such as blending sizes or lengthening/shortening the pattern (e.g. small bust and medium waist on a top pattern). Greenstyle drafts for 5'7". In order for us to accurately assess the fit, please do not alter the pattern in any other way (adding a zipper to a button placket, changing the neckline, making it have more ease... etc). Please sew the original pattern as written. 

A fit due date is set and usually gives you 3-4 days to post photos of your first garment. Please make sure to post AT LEAST 3 fit photos: from the front, side, and back. These are not styled photos, but we do ask that they are well lit and show the details of the garment well so that we can see if anything needs to be adjusted. Also, if you are sewing a top, make sure you are wearing the bra that you intend to wear for finals. 

This is also a stage where it is very important to post any proofreading mistakes you may find in the instructions or pattern pieces. This includes grammatical errors and rewording instructions so that they are easier to understand. Also, if a grainline is missing or something is askew on a pattern piece, please post it as well.

Once the pattern has been updated to reflect any changes that need to be made, a newer version of the file will be uploaded to the Facebook group.  It is also important to not tape one day, cut fabric the next, and then sew the third. The testing group moves very fast, and there may be a second or third version by the time you are getting started. Rather, when you are ready to sew, print the latest version of the pattern and start there. You are not required to sew multiple style views of the pattern, but we do encourage you to be happy with the fit of the pattern before moving on to your favorite fabric. 

(2) Finals. This is the stage where you sew one (or two or three!) of the final garment and take final photos! This is where you use fabric that you want to show off and know will fit the pattern and you.

A due date for final photos will be established at the beginning of testing. Please do not sign up if you know that you are unable to make this time frame.

You do not have to be an expert photographer to take great final photos. For more details on the photography, please see our blogpost on Tester's Tips for Photography HERE.

Proofreading continues in this stage. When the final file is posted, our wonderful testers always help us to make sure we did not miss any edits. 

(3) Release. Usually the pattern is released within a few days after final photos have all been submitted. Angelyn Bennet will let us know how long the pattern will be discounted for release. This is the time where you get to share what you have been working on. We ask that you share in the Greenstyle Facebook group as well as at least 2 other sewing or fabric related Facebook groups, on Instagram, or any other social media that is relevant.

What is MOST important to Greenstyle Creations is participation during the testing process. We WANT to hear your feedback and suggestions.  You have the chance to really make a difference on a pattern, to make it better and maybe add another option! You are now part of the Greenstyle testing team, and you are helping create a pattern.  We love when testers interact with one another. This is a great time to learn something new or for your creativity to be inspired.
We do understand that life happens, many of you have children, and we all know we can’t control some circumstances.  We just ask that you keep communication open with us in the event that you are unable to meet deadlines.  If you have not communicated with an admin, do not complete the test, and do not submit final pictures before the deadline, you will not receive the final pattern and will likely not be asked to test a pattern in the future. 

If you are interested in being a pattern tester for Greenstyle Creations, be sure to keep yours eyes open for the next “tester call”!  Apply and let us know why you would be a great addition to our team! 

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