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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Tester Process

As many of you may have noticed the way we choose testers has now changed. We've been getting quite a few messages and emails about it so we feel we should probably write a blog about it!  Hopefully, everyone reads it

Up until last month, we were choosing testers from a database that we had created. It was a great system in the beginning. Everyone's info was accurate and up-to-date, people were prompt in responding, and it was nice and organized. However, there were some flaws that we were not taking into consideration: sizes change, emails change, people's willingness to test (also, apparently) change. 

Needless to say, everything quickly became a big mix-up of information with wrong sizes, people with multiple entries in our database, and even out-of-date emails. It was a mess! So, we scrapped our database--well, technically, I guess its still there, we just don't use it--and decided to go the Facebook route. From now on, it will be chosen by chance. Whoever happens to be online when we feel like posting an outfit that needs testing can respond to the post and pray we pick them to test. That's all there is to it. 

Now, some of you, may notice that you have been one of the first people to respond to one such post and yet, you weren't chosen. There are lots of reasons for this. First, we don't necessarily go on first come, first serve basis. We may see a tester who tested well for us before and decide to use them again. We do TRY and enjoy using new testers, however, we do need to choose a couple previous testers every pattern so we know we are at least getting some reliable results. Another reason could be because we already had it tested in that size. Tiffany and I like to sometimes test each other's patterns and we also have a couple testers that we work with regularly so we sometimes ask them first. Again, these go hand-in-hand with needing reliable information from trusted testers. This testing process has not always gone as smoothly as Tiffany and I have liked so when we find awesome, reliable, hard-working testers, we like to stick with them! 

So what exactly does being a tester entail? 
Well, that's a good question! You have one week to complete the garment, return our questionnaire, and send a full length photo of the front and back. We do charge the cost of the pattern to test it, however, once the results are received in the time frame allotted, you receive a full refund for the price of the pattern. When all is said and done you end up with the pattern for free! Woohoo!

Now here are some tips for things that we personally look for in testers:
  • Results turned in on time. This is bar none the top thing. In fact, the earlier the better! Just because we give you one week, doesn't mean we actually like waiting the week. LOL. Seriously though, we completely understand and do not actually mark it against you when you take the full 7 days, but when you are early, we notice :)
  •  Actually answering the questions with some thought. We really wish that every garment could be "perfect" or have "no problems" but we know this is not actually possible! If you don't care for the width of the bodice, tell us, we will NOT reprimand you. We don't want to hear that it is perfect with one word answers throughout. Please, take time to answer the questions thoroughly and thoughtfully. This isn't just about getting a free pattern; we want to offer a quality product that we can stand behind and be proud of! That being said, if it is actually perfect and you love it, then be sure to blab on and on about how awesome it is so we believe you. LOL!
  • Clear pictures. What? ::gasp:: You mean your kids are professional models like ours? lol. Again, we completely understand how hard it is to photograph children sometimes, but it is really hard to distinguish the length of a dress when you're standing up, looking down on your 3 year old in your dark living room. Just saying.... Head on, outside (if the weather is right for it, we live in Michigan for goodness sake, we totally sympathize with you on the weather situations) pics are best!

  •  The simple understanding that you are a tester and it may NOT turn out and there WILL be issues. Nothing is worse than a tester who is mad because the outfit she spent all this time working on didn't turn out right due to an error/miscalculation in the pattern. Again, this is why you are testing. This is NOT to get a free pattern. 
Its a pretty short and simple list. Nothing crazy or fancy you have to do. If you tested for us before and feel that you did all this and we haven't asked you to test again, please don't feel bad! Honestly, we have SOOOOOOOOOOOOO SOOOOOOOOOOOOO many people that want to test it really is hard to use a lot of the same people over and over again, it just isn't fair to everyone. So don't take it personally and please no one email us about what you did wrong! lol. 

If you haven't been a tester yet, then please take these suggestions to heart! If you have tested for us before, rest assured, you will test for us again! It just may take a little bit. lol.

Happy Sewing Testing!
Shannon and Tiffany


  1. Harriette DearingMay 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    I would love to be a tester & can complete projects quickly, sewing most of the night if necessary. Do you give suggestions on fabrics or leave that to the tester? I have an almost 5 yr old grandaughter/size 5. Thanks

  2. I too would love to become a tester. I've been sewing for many years since I use to sew for my kids the are now grown. I have a grandson who is 9 months and girlfriends with girls of all ages from 18 months to 8 years.
    Kind Regards