What sets apart a Good pattern from a GREAT pattern is how finished the pattern is, not just the design or the photos of the finished project, but the way it is written and illustrated. How well do the pattern pieces fit together, did it run true to size, any confusing steps?
Those are the things that a pattern designer will learn when they send their patterns out to testers.
What is a tester supposed to do?
READ the pattern, typos are always an issue, and sometimes a construction step will get lost in the writing process.
Rose Clearfield has this to say about proofreading:
Proofread and spell check. Again, it saddens me that I have include this, but I have seen published patterns with red underlined misspelled words on the covers. Check and re-check your pattern and then have at least one other person proof it for you. If no one at home is interested in doing this, see if you can send it online to a fellow crafter.SEW up the pattern, especially if it is a garment patterns, as it needs to be tested on a variety of body shapes.
Varied readers. When I was writing my first pattern, I found it really helpful to have both people who do and do not make that particular craft (in this case, beadweaving) read over my pattern. Especially if you are creating a pattern that is suited for beginners, it's really important to ensure that the terminology that you use is appropriate and will not be confusing.
So what I am looking for? at this point ANYONE with ANY interest including but not limited to:
- Modern Clothing for Women and Children
- Historical Clothing for Women and Children
- Soft Toys and Dolls
- Art Dolls
- Accessories and other Crafts
SIGN UP HERE
When I have a pattern ready for testing I will send out an e-mail with information on the pattern and a form to be filled out to apply to test the pattern. Then I will e-mail back those I selected to test it out.
Links of interest on this subject
Colette on how their patterns are made
Abby Glassenberg on How to recruit, manage and get the most out of pattern testers
Patchwork Posse wrote a lovely post on requirements for pattern testers
Charming Doodle invited a few other PDF clothing pattern designers to talk about pattern testing and what makes a good pattern tester.
Elegence & Elephants wrote a lovely scale for the levels of their pattern testers experience when they called for pattern testers
*I have a small list of people already who are my readers only, so I really am looking for people to MAKE these items up.