Pattern Testing Your Sewing Pattern (Part 4)
You’ve done it. You started out wanting to know how to make your own sewing patterns, and now you’ve reached that final stage – pattern testing your sewing pattern!
If you missed the first three parts in the series you can catch up here:
- Part 1: How To Make Your Own Sewing Patterns: Getting Started
- Part 2: How To Make Your Own Sewing Patterns: 5 Techniques
- Part 3: How To Make Your Own Sewing Patterns: Developing A Design
Pattern testing your sewing pattern is a SUPER important part of creating a sewing pattern – especially if you were option 3 in part one of this series – wanting to develop sewing patterns to sell to other sewers.
If you were options 1 and 2 (making patterns for you and your own personal use or using the patterns as a base for future customer’s garments) then this won’t be so relevant for you.
Now, before we even get to pattern testing your sewing pattern stage, you need to do a couple more things…
1. Pattern Checking The Sewing Pattern
First up, you are gonna want to check the pattern over. What do I mean by this? Check that all your pattern sections are in order!
- Check that you have pattern pieces for all the sections (Using the Stella McCartney trousers as an example: front trouser, back trouser, inseam gusset, back yoke, waistband, pockets, belt loops)
- Check that joining seams on pattern sections are properly notched and the right lengths
- True up all darts and style lines (You can check out this post on truing up your patterns!)
- Make sure there are correct amounts of ease added to seams of stress
2. Decide Your Pattern Sizings
Yep. If you are creating patterns for other people to use, you will need to have a size system in place. Will you use traditional sizing – UK8, UK10, UK12 etc – or will you use the more general sizing – S, M, L, XL etc.
You then need to think about the difference between each size. Is it 4cm, 5cm, 6cm?
3. Grading Your Sewing Pattern
You’re speeding along the process and have created something amazing. It fits you (or your fitting model) but how do you get it to fit other people?
Grading. Yep. It took me some time to fully understand the grading process – we weren’t actually taught grading at UCA Epsom – but once you get into it, its a doddle.
I do my grading in Illustrator, so for this you will need to get your sewing pattern digitised. You can however stick to grading on paper, or outsource the grading to a company.
4. Putting Out A Request For Pattern Testers
So, clearly, if you plan on pattern testing your sewing pattern, you will actually need to put a call out for pattern testers. How do you do this?
- You could directly reach out to readers of your blog
- You can email you email subscribers
- You could add a sign up form to your website
- You could set up a survey online using survey monkey or type form and have people register their interest that way
- You could approach sewing bloggers / influencers directly about their availability and interest in pattern testing for you
5. Pattern Testing Your Sewing Pattern
Now’s the moment. There are important things you need to consider when asking for feedback from your pattern testers.
- What skill level is that tester?
- Did they follow the included instructions or make it up as they went?
- Was the pattern easy to understand?
- Did the instructions make sense?
- Was the design easy to sew?
- Do they have suggestions on making it easier to construct?
- Did the pattern fit or did they need to make adjustments? (You should have assigned a size based on their survey response)
You could have many more questions of course, but this is a good selection to get you started pattern testing your sewing pattern.
That’s it m’friends! You now have a process on how to make your own sewing patterns. If you would love to develop your skills further, why not join my membership site? Creative Cutting Class is for women who would love to learn or develop their pattern making skills and get creative with their handmade clothes.