Welcome to Day 1 of the Made for Mermaids’ Next Top Tester Challenge!! The entire competition will be taking place in the group on Facebook. Join here if you’re not a member yet! Look for my “Tester Call” in the Facebook group and sign up with the following info:
*Pattern- You can use any M4M clothing pattern, including the Bonny Leggings (get your coupon code for Bonny in the Facebook group.) NO Freebies though! Please sew up something new– something that you haven’t shared with us before.
*Size (its okay to mash sizes, just let us know which size you’ll be making!)
*Any options (what options from the pattern will you be sewing up? Top or dress length? Sleeve length, Flutters, etc.)
Here’s some general information about testing for Made for Mermaids that you might found helpful or give you some insight into our testing process.
Why do we test? We thoroughly test each size to ensure a perfect fit. Our testers sign up using their model’s or their most current measurements. Most of our patterns go by chest, waist, hips, and height. We cannot stress the importance of using accurate measurements!! Kids grow fast. Really fast! And as for our Mama patterns, I know personally that my measurements fluctuate on a daily/weekly basis.
Another extremely important part of testing is using the appropriate fabric and notions. Fabric recommendations are listed at the beginning of each test. It is so crucial to follow the suggested fabric list, since the fit of the garment will depend on it! Using the appropriate fabric, getting your measurements right and signing up to test the right size are the first steps in getting the right fit!
What am I signing up for? When you sign up to test for M4M here are some things you can expect. All of our testing is done via Facebook. You’ll receive the pattern pieces with a tutorial. Testers are assigned options and we typically ask them to make a version as soon as they can. Why the urgency?? If there are major issues with fit or construction, its important for us to know early in the testing process. That way we have time to get changes made quickly and get a revised pattern back to testers. This means our release date won’t get pushed back.. Yay!
Speaking of construction, testers MUST follow the instructions step-by-step. Even if they think they have a different/better way of doing things. We need to make sure the construction methods used are clear and can be understood by the intended skill level.
The Made for Mermaids team works very hard behind-the-scenes in pretesting, sometimes making 10-20 versions of a pattern (see picture below of all the Blair Tops I made before the pattern actually went into testing). This is so when the pattern does go to testing, it is mostly a smooth week.
Sometimes, fit issues arise and we need testers to make a second or even third version of the pattern. This is something that you have to keep in mind when signing up for testing. Its not always smooth sailing. Some patterns will take up more fabric, time and resources then others, but that is what you are agreeing to when you sign up. Every now and then we all get reacquainted with our old friend, the seam ripper. 😉
We ask that each tester post modeled fit pictures in the testing group. They can show us what is fitting well or not well. These are informal photos that can be taken with a cell phone or selfies in the mirror (for mama patterns). Here are some examples of fit pics:
More Versions and Options…
As you know, we love our options at M4M. 🙂 We often ask testers to sew up a second version showing different options. A lot of the ladies choose to make different versions on their own just because they want to try something different or get creative. We love that our testers want to go the extra mile to try other options, we just ask they sew up their assigned version first. Its also important that testers don’t add any major modifications to their assigned version. Nothing that will need us to go into further detail or instruction. This is so we don’t confuse the customer. We want their version to look like final pattern after all :).
We ask each tester to read through the entire tutorial to find any errors. This could include spelling, grammar, construction, mislabeled steps and page numbers etc. This is when testers have the opportunity to let us know about any other issues they have with the written pattern.
Testers will submit at least 5 final photos of their garment(s) they made during testing. These will be styled photos meaning- hair done, shoes, accessories, etc. If we are testing a top, we absolutely love it when testers pair the top with M4M shorts, bloomers or pants! Brownie points hehehe!! 🙂 We prefer outdoor, well-lit photos that showcase the garment. Think front, side, back, close up and detail shots. We look for clear, crisp, naturally looking photos. You can check out the tester albums or pattern listings to get an idea of what we look for in final photos… but here are some recent examples from the Isla pattern. Take note how there are shots from all angles and a close up showing bodice detail. 😉
Sharing is Caring…
Just before the release, testers are invited to share their garment in various sewing groups on social media!! Don’t forget about personal blogs and Instagram! Spamming, as we call it, helps spread the word about the new pattern and showcase all the hard work put in during testing week. It also lets everyone know release sale information. We are always bursting with excitement to share and show off everyone’s amazing creations!
Are you signed up with the Affiliate Program yet? If you frequently post your creations on social media, you have the opportunity to make a few extra bucks!
How to be an All-Star Tester…
*Check the 1″ square on your pattern to make sure it printed correctly
*Read tutorial thoroughly and follow all directions
*Sew up your version in a timely manner
*Be active in the tester group
*Submit fit pictures
*Sew up multiple versions and/or options
*Submit tutorial edits
*Submit final photographs
*Meet all the deadlines
*Share your photos in sewing groups on social media
Once the pattern is finalized and released, testers who complete the test will receive the final version of the pattern! And then we get ready to do it all over again! 🙂
Stay tuned for more blogs this week about testing and the Made for Mermaids’ Next Top Tester Challenge! Do you have what it takes to be on top?