By hook or by crook this pattern will be ready for testing on Monday. Winnie and Pip were a kind of challenge after I made The Cabbages. A friend asked me if I could create a simpler doll that still had some accessories ( oh be careful what you wish for: This is not Winnie and Pip’s only adventure). So what’s the whole deal with pattern testing? Sometimes, if I have been showing the blog progress of a toy as I go, someone might send me an email asking if they can test it. Usually its because they especially like that one or have a “thing” for a certain animal. Other times I might ask on Bookface or here on the blog to see if people want to test a pattern.
PipBasically pattern testing means just what you think it means. You get the pattern and a kit of fabric to make the toy. I always send the fabrics to the same measurements that I list in the requirements…
- So that’s the first challenge. Did it all fit on the fabric provided or was I bit too stingy, conversely do you half a metre left over because I wrote a number wrong? (or just made that bit up)
- Then you follow the directions and make the toy. You might notice I said “cut 8 arms”, when we really only need four. There might be spelling mistakes or I may have forgotten to say –“turn the leg out the right way” before I tell you to stuff it.
- Hopefully it all goes together ok but even then I need to hear which bits were a confusing or took a few tries or which bits just made no sense and made you swear. You don’t have to “fix” anything or rewrite anything – you just need to point out the wobblies for me. There are always a few people testing so there is no pressure to pick up every little thing.
I think pattern testing is really important. I know how frustrating it is to struggle to understand a pattern or to find the instructions are so brief that I have to guess the construction. (and I am not suggesting for a moment that I rock this pattern writing stuff – you people know I sweat this part all the time) Yes, it adds more time to the pattern making but after a while my brain simply cannot read it’s own writing and I really need fresh (crafty) eyes to have a look at things. Patterns are expensive and I think its important that they are easy to follow.
As I almost always say – there is not much in it for the tester, something that I still struggle with ( but you know with 30 million in the lotto tonight that’s sure to change). Pattern testers get the pattern, all the necessary fabric, my undying gratitude, always a small gift and elevation to the status of Senior Management.
(Why does spell check want to call Winnie, Winkie? )
Thanks to everyone who offered, I wish I could say yes to everyone but that might end in a case of "too many cooks". Winnie and Pip have at least two more adventures planned and I working as hard as I can to get them out into the world so stay tuned and if you are of an equine bent, you are going to love the next one!