Hello lovelies!! It’s been a while, but I’m back and ready for action. Since my last post I’ve had so much going on in my personal life that blogging just took a back seat. And if I’m being honest I wasn’t prepared for all the work that blogging entails!! Seriously, this is a ton of work!! The lovely Nikki from Seams Like Style, who organized this tour has been nudging me ever so kindly to jump back in. She’s quite convincing. So here I am! 😉
Okay, let’s jump in!
Why did I start testing?
My pal Courtney actually got me started testing. We were hanging out and she told me that Judy from Patterns For Pirates and Megan from Made For Mermaids were looking for some new plus size testers to add to their tester pool. Next thing I know, Nicole messaged me and I became an official tester for the sisters! My first test was an update for the Everyday Elegance. I still remember how nerve racking it was to put myself out there and how exciting it was to see my pictures in the listing photos! After a couple of tests with the sisters I ventured out to different pattern companies. So far I have tested for Love Notions, GreenStyle Creations, George + Ginger, Bella Sunshine Designs, Rad Patterns, Made by Jack’s Mum, Halla Patterns, House Morrighan (A new exclusively plus size designer!!!), Sew a Little Seam, New Horizons Patterns, and Petite Stitchery Co.
Why do you continue to test?
I test for so many reasons! Testing helps give me deadlines to complete projects I want to complete but would never complete if left to my own being. My favorite reason for testing though is to push my boundaries and learn something new. Through pattern testing I’ve learned simple things like gathering, sewing with elastic, and sewing bias binding. But more importantly I’ve learned more intricate techniques or what I consider to be harder. I’ve learned how to sew a zipper, do a button hole on my machine, sew swimwear. sew lingerie and currently I’m learning how to sew jean shorts (pattern in testing ;))! Those types of things thrill me and give me the passion I have for testing. Another reason I love testing is the last part when we share our pictures all over the sewing community. It’s so amazing hearing feedback from other women that because I’ve sewn something I’ve given them the courage to sew for themselves as well. I love that! Lastly, I have awful FOMO and personally want to be included in everything. LOL
What’s your favorite part of testing?
I love helping learning about how to resolve fit issues. Learning to sew and learning to fit for your body are two completely separate skills. I’ve definitely got the sewing knowledge but I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of fitting for my body. I know the basics but there are so many different ways to help get the fit of your garments just right! Since I’m plus size and I have extra weight in my upper pubic area, I’m learning for pants a full belly adjustment is needed. I’m also very blessed in the chest area, requiring a FBA more times than not. There are a few select designers that include FBA pieces, looking at you Love Notions and Rad!! That makes my life much easier but I’m sure there are many areas I could be adjusting to get my fit just right. Once I learn those techniques I feel like my testing input will be much more helpful because I’ll be able to recognize what needs to be adjust because of my body or what needs to be adjusted body wise.
What’s your least favorite part of testing?
I’m awful at writing and technical stuff, so for me the editing of the patterns is my least favorite part. I know I can catch really basic things, and let the designers know about those but not much more.
Do you like pre-testing? Why or why not?
It’s not my favorite, because I’m a fabric miser. I don’t have much fabric I don’t care for and use for muslins. Depending on how much fabric the pattern calls for I can sometimes swing it, but more times than not I prefer to wait for full testing calls.
What’s your most memorable test?
Yikes, this is a tough question. There are so many that stand out. Usually they are tests where I’ve learned a new skill and feel like a champ for conquering them. That being said I think the Take the Plunge swimsuit from Patterns for Pirates is one of my most memorable tests. This was my second test ever, it was a swimsuit, first time sewing elastic, my son was pretty little still and needed a ton of attention, and I was trying to get my Postpartum Depression/Anxiety under control. Talk about a lot all balled up into one! I remember putting Sesame Street on for my little one for 6 hours to make my version 1 and I sewed the bodice inside out. I cried my eyes out and felt all the mom guilt! Thinking about it now I can smile and realize that it was poor choice of fabric, and elastic, but back then I was pretty upset. For version 2 I went to my friends house to have her help me and let her take my finals. Everything about that version was awful and it had nothing to do with the pattern. My son would not be set down, I wore him on my back the entire time I was sewing and I’m pretty sure 5 of the 6 hours it took us to sew he was screaming crying on my back. This was probably my hardest test ever and when we went to go take finals I wasn’t into it at all. I was just over this and wanted to get the pictures turned in and done. Later that night, Courtney sent me my pictures and I was FLOORED. Not only did I look awesome in the pictures, but my swimsuit looked phenomenal and I made a freaking swimsuit!! Pretty sure those amazing pictures Courtney took are the only thing that kept me going in testing and we probably wouldn’t be here today without them. Shout out to my boo and the real MVP, Court! <3
General advice, tips + tricks
Make friends with the other testers because they are some of the best and most talented people I’ve ever “met” via the internet. I’m honored to be a part of the community and hope I get the chance to continue for a long to come. Good luck!
Check out the stories from all the House of Curves bloggers!
Monday, Oct 1: Seams Like Style
Tuesday, Oct 2: Twinkle Toes & Co
Wednesday, Oct 3: Sequoia Lynn Sews
Thursday, Oct 4: cut.sew.make
Friday, Oct 5: Sarcastic Sewist
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