The Don'ts of Pattern Testing

Pattern testing is a mildly annoying step in the mass production of PDF patterns. The faster the designer can shove them out, the better (for them). But if you ever take time out of your busy schedule to test, there are some things that just aren't worth your time to mess with. This list will help you by informing you of what NOT to waste your time with.

The Don'ts of Pattern Testing

Don't worry about deadlines or the pinned post in the testing group.

Pattern designers don't really care how long you take or if you read the pinned post. Deadlines and pinned posts are only there for show. Take your time and do it your way. Besides, the line at Starbucks was WAY too long for you to start on time anyway.

Don't worry about the size you were assigned and NEVER blend sizes!

The assigned sizes are just a suggestion. Everybody knows that. Sew what you want. And under no circumstance should you ever blend sizes. Sewn garments should always fit in straight sizes. I mean, you never see blended sizes in the department stores, do you?

Don't even look at the instructions.

Instructions are just more suggestions, like the assigned sizes. Get your pieces together and sew them how YOU think they should go together. It should work out just fine. Your finished garment will be fabulous, no matter what, because you did it yourself!

Don't give feedback, ever.

The pattern designer knows what they're doing, that is why they are the designer. Feedback is not necessary. Feedback will probably just get them cranky unless it's all sunshine and roses, and it never is. You just do you, and let them worry about their own stuff.

Don't bother with good fit pictures.

The designer just needs a general idea, so blurry pictures on a moving target are just fine. Your kid doesn't need to stand still and it doesn't matter how cluttered your house is. They'll get more than enough from a blurry cluttered pic if that's what you can manage.

Don't interact or bother with politeness in the group should you engage.

Members of the testing group don't need to talk to you. They don't need your input. And feel free to snap at them if they keep pestering you. They don't know you. They don't know your life. And why are they so nosy? They don't deserve nice.

Don't give any information that wasn't asked specifically of you.

The pattern designer will ask you anything they NEED to know. Unasked for information is something you should never feel obligated to give. It isn't any of their business what size you sewed or the fabric you used. And if you ran into any fit problems, the designer will see that in your fit pictures, if you decided to provide them.

Don't use an iron.

Do irons even exist in the wild anymore? Only 50's tv sitcom moms ever used them. So what if your finished piece is wrinkled? People walk around in wrinkled clothes every day. Why should this be any different? It's just reality.

Don't worry about getting pretty promotional shots.

Promo shots. Not necessary. But should you decide to grace them with a few, don't worry about focus. If the pattern is good enough, the focus won't matter. If you're testing a pattern for yourself? Bathroom selfies are so IN right now! Dirty mirrors that haven't been cleaned since '93 are especially artsy!

Don't worry about it with kids patterns, though. Getting a child all dressed up in perfectly pressed clothes in a field of daisies skipping and smiling is never going to happen anyway, so why bother? The camera is not your friend. IF you can get your kid clean and dressed... The camera will never catch the smile of a child, it's impossible. And that field of daisies? It's 50 miles away. Ain't nobody got time for that.


**This post exists for entertainment purposes only. Satire should never be taken seriously.**

**P.S. Seamstresses have given full permission for the use of these pictures. We would like to extend a very warm thank you to An Staute, Danielle Oliver, Jessica Reynolds, Laurie Roberts, and Michelle Ryan for their amazing sense of humor and willingness to show us the less glamorous side of pattern testing.**
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Melissa Prendergast

Sewing is an adventure, right? So all this testing stuff just ruins the adventure.

Kathy B

Totally agree! And why would a customer want to buy a tested pattern anyway? I much prefer to have to sew something five time to get a good fit. That’s the fun of it, right? ;-)

Melissa Prendergast

Love it, just love it!!!


Fantastic. Any kind of sewing misery can be countered with a good sense of humor.

Nathalie V

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