I sat down the other day and made a list of how many patterns I've tested and how many total test garments or versions I've sewn. Thirty-six patterns (working on 37th this week). Eighty-one separate makes - anything from an "um, Nope" muslin all the way through a finished and photographed garment. One day I will tally in the patterns I've made outside of testing....but not today :)
Why do I test? Or, more specifically, why do I keep testing? I know how to sew. I have plenty of patterns. I can make adjustments to improve how a pattern will fit me. So...why?
The challenge of something new. Every designer has a unique style, approach, and vision. I appreciate the differences and the ability to try out things that I might not have otherwise attempted.
The more opportunities I have of working with a broad variety, the more I learn what works great for me. There are dozens of raglan patterns. Dozens of FBA (full bust adjustment) tutorials and methods. All are not created equal. Just as a pattern is not one size fits all, different techniques for tailoring patterns will work for different sewists.
Community. I have a much larger tribe because of the online sewing community. Many of these are people who share similar tastes, ideas, goals, and challenges. It feels good to have someone say "yes, I get it!" and know that whatever I am working on or struggling with, I'm not in it alone.
Paying it forward. I've learned a lot. Testing lets me share, and lets me encourage others to keep growing and learning. At the end of the day, that is a Good Thing!
Photo above is the Lulu Dolman from Petite Stitchery & Co. It is releasing this month as part of their birthday celebration. I LOVE this top so much that I've made three of them. Seriously. I don't do that. But Lulu won my heart with the ease of sewing, fit that flatters, and fun details. Do you want to fall in love too? Get your copy here!