3. Pattern testing is a great way to use your stash of fabric. I like to choose something that will photograph well and is something that I like I wouldn't suggest using any very special occasion fabric (well unless you have a ton and then go ahead) because there is a chance there might be a mistake in sizing or instructions that will cause it to not fit right. But then again you might end up with a garment you love so using fabric that you will like the look of for a while is a good thing. With the Playsuit I used some quilters cotton that I got for $2/yard at the Home Fabrics Store, so when it was a little tighter in the crotch than I would have liked I wasn't devastated it will fit Boston as long as it does but I wasn't out more than $2 dollars so no big. Another reason I like doing this is then it speeds up your pattern testing time because you don't have to go to the store (PS. Who are your favorite online fabric suppliers? Come join the discussion on Facebook)
Spin Skirt by adding bloomers, Heidi liked the idea. Remember it is about designers vision but if something serves your need it might be something that could add to the pattern.
5. If you are confused by a direction (or set of directions) send an e-mail immediately to the designer and they will be able to clarify for you. This is something that was taught to me by both Jo (for the Playsuit) and Suzanne Winters of Winter Wonderings & Whatnot (for the Bubble Top and Spin Skirt). Now I will admit the independent learner in me has not quite gotten this one down but I WILL DO BETTER NEXT TIME. Both Jo and Suzanne as a question saved the rest of the testers a lot of headache and annoyance.
6. Look over the list of pattern testers and find a friend. It was nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of both times, without having to bother the designer too much.
7. Make notes along the way, of little changes and suggestions. On a word document or even a physical note pad write what page or category and then which step needs clarification. This will make it easier for you then trying to remember every step, that you struggled with.
8. Have a plan for a photoshoot before you finish your garment. You are probably going to be exhausted and be so emotionally done so have a plan in mind. Professional looking pictures are important to the designer and will help you be chosen again.
10. Enjoy the labors of your hard work, when the designer sends you the finished pattern. It isn't a free pattern it is a pattern than you have worked for so give yourself a pat on the back, you survived!