Jun 012013

The time has finally come to release the next pattern to testers! As I am sure you all can understand, getting the first printed pattern ready to go has not been without its bumps and hurdles. We have huge dreams, but need to be realistic when finding vendors or suppliers to implement them. In the end, we think we have found a happy solution and things should be much smoother going forward.

Since we find it very interesting reading about how companies make their decisions and why, we have decided to include you in how our decisions came about when developing this pattern company. We will be doing a series of posts explaining what we saw in the pattern company market, what changes we wanted to make, what ended up being feasible, and why we chose that particular method.

But first we need to talk about our sizing chart and setting up some testers for our pattern! Most importantly, we want to debut our official sizing chart. We will do a special in detail post on what makes our sizing so unique and why, but in the meantime I will give you some highlights.

Lolita Patterns | Sizing Chart

Lolita Patterns | Sizing Chart

We went through many drafts and edits when deciding on our official sizing. The most unique part of this sizing chart is that it uses a different block for the smaller and larger sizes. This means that we are not making one base size and grading all the way down and all the way up which results in an “Uncle Fester” type fit where the shoulders and general fit gets boxy. Instead, we chose to use a separate block for the larger sizes that takes into account the way a body actually gets larger. This way the shoulders, the armholes, and other measurements do not get grossly out of proportion. It definitely takes more work to do two separate blocks and two separate sets of grading rules, but it was important to us that our patterns fit well right out of the envelope and have enough sizes to fit a majority of women.

But to be triply sure, we want to find testers for every size who are willing to test sew up the pattern. These testers will get computer versions of both the pattern and the instructions as well as a short survey of questions. We will also need the pattern test turned around fairly quickly. We are looking at getting the pattern to you by the end of next week and are hoping for return feedback within two weeks. We want you to sew up the pattern, give feedback regarding instructions, pattern, fit, and anything else that strikes you. We also want to see a couple pictures of you in the garment.

Lolita Patterns | Sugar Plum

Amity in one of her Sugar Plum’s

After getting feedback, we will make any necessary edits and send the pattern and instructions to the printer. Then we just wait for the turnaround time and then get the pattern up for sale!

In exchange for helping us out, we want to offer you something in return! We promise you the first mailed copies of the official pattern when it is released and we also want to feature you and your garment on the blog and our other social media including the website.  We hope to find enough testers to test every size we have. If not, we will be sewing up the other sizes ourselves just to make sure there are no glaring discrepancies. We want it to be as perfect as can be the first time out and working with you all will help us get there.

The testers were are looking for are for our next pattern, Sugar Plum. One version can be seen above, but there is another view and we are happy with either version you wish to make. Also, this is a more difficult pattern so if you are a confident beginner sewer and would like to test, let us know in the comments below as the next pattern might be perfect for you to try.

If you want to test the pattern, please leave a comment here or contact us with your email, and what size you would sew up based on the sizing chart. Please keep in mind that our patterns are professional wear and have very little design ease. These patterns are very close fitting. If you are in between sizes, or like your garments to fit looser, please choose the larger size.

We also want to test all our patterns in every size so if you do not feel like you can fit this one in, or this pattern might be too advanced, we have an easier one coming up next that might be perfect for you! Throw your name in the hat as we will keep a running list.

We are so excited we finally got this far. It seems like it took forever but we are already getting the third pattern ready…it might even go out before Sugar Plum finished printing! It is so great to finally feel like the kinks are getting worked out and the beginning of a rhythm is being found. Thanks for joining us on this journey!


**UPDATED TO ADD: Sorry about the confusion surrounding what kind of garment this is! I wrote a clarification post with line drawings here. Thank you all for your response about testing! We will go through all the responses and organize what sizes we have and what we still need and will get back to you within a few days. Thanks!**

amity bow | Lolita Patterns



  45 Responses to “Who Wants To Test Our Next Pattern?”

  1. Hi there. I’d be very interested in testing this pattern – I’ve been waiting to see what you ladies would create next! :-)

    I’m an in-between size though, so not sure if that would work for your testing or not…. I’m an 8, but would have to add a couple of inches at the waist (for post-baby tummy space). (I can easily do the waist grading myself, by the way – I do it all the time.)

    Anyway, if that works for you, I’d be keen to pattern test for you, and can do so within those timeframes. :-)

  2. hi there,
    I would love to this – I love the ruffles and the wee sleeves. I would be a size 14 but would also have to adjust the waist, as normal! Time frame would be fine too :)
    all the best regardless!

  3. Hi sweetie!
    I can try testing for you, I’m a size 6 (or something smaller but not a 4 for sure!) Can you only tell me if we’ll have one or two weeks to sew it? My poor english leaves me in doubt!!
    Thank you so much for the opportunity,


  4. Hi there,
    I would like to test this pattern, I guess I’m in between sizes too, but I would make a size 10, grading down the bust part.
    The time frame would be no problem whatsoever…

  5. I would love to test out this pattern, it is simply too cute! According to your chart I would be a size two. Time frame would be just fine. :) Thanks much!

  6. I would also love to test the pattern, and I’d be a perfect size 12. The only thing is that timing is awful for me – as I’m going to have quite a few university exams from June 17th until almost the 20th of July, and that’s a “no-sew” time for me, starting next Monday. Maybe for your next pattern? I’d really love to, and I am so upset I have to pass this opportunity! :(
    Thank you for this, you are great!
    Mary @ http://handmadebymaryall.blogspot.it/

  7. I would like to see the other version as mentioned in your request.

  8. I would like to test the pattern. It looks super cute for work! :)

  9. I would LOVE to test this pattern! I could either do 12, a wee snug or perfect fit, or I could do a 14 due to being one number over on all 3 #’s for a size 12. Did I make ANY sense back there? Thanks for a chance to be a tester for you!!!

  10. I’d love to test this for you two. I’m a 12 on your chart almost exactly except I have an inch less in the hips. But yeah I can do the 2 week turn around no problem. Awesome pattern. I love the ruffles and the ponte skirt.

  11. I’d be interested in doing a test of this, especially as I see most of the commenters offering smaller sizes, but I’ve never sewn a jacket before and this one may be beyond my current ability. If it were just the top and skirt, I think I could do it. I’m an 18 buy your chart, but I’d probably feel more comfortable in a looser 20.

    • After your clarification, I would totally be interested in doing view B in a 20.

  12. My daughter would love to have this dress, she is a size 12 on your chart. I see that you have a number of testers for that size, so I’m willing to make another size for you too.

  13. I would love to test your pattern. I love this dress. I am a size 8, but will need to grade down in the bust.

  14. I’d love to do a size 16!

    I’ll be honest, I won’t wear a jacket with it, but I can do the jacket tested with it that is made of extra fabric and a wearable dress.

  15. If love to try this!! I would like to see this in a size 10 (US). Love the clothes!

  16. This is such a pretty blouse. The detailing is something I haven’t seen put together in one blouse like this. Nice work Amity.

  17. I want to test this pattern! I would make a size 2.

  18. Id love to test! I’m a size 12 in case you need more size 12 testers. Loved reading about your reasoning behind the size chart.

  19. I would love the chance to pattern test for you. I’ve tested before for Sewaholic, it was fun to be part of the development process. I would sew a size 10.

  20. I think you have lots of offers for the size(s) I would use, so I’ll just offer words of encouragement: Hurry, hurry, hurry!

  21. Lovely blouse. Not my style, but I’d be interesting in testing maybe the next pattern. I would take a 14-16 on your chart, so probably 16. Thanks.

  22. […] First off, thank you all so much for responding about being a tester for Sugar Plum. We are still compiling all the information and organizing which sizes are still needed, etc and will get back to all of you soon. But it seems like I was not very clear about what kind of garment Sugar Plum is. It is the dress I am wearing in the picture on the previous post. […]

  23. Hi, I would be interested in testing the next pattern you offer, looking like a size 14 on your chart.

  24. I just read that you need this dress tested without the flounce, that seems more like my style and would be happy to test that too.

  25. Hi, I emailed you about this, but I wanted to say here, in case you missed it, that I showed this pattern to my daughter and she loved it. She would fit into the size 6.

  26. Hi I’d be very interested in testing this pattern!

    I’m an in-between size (Bust 10, Hip… hem… between 12 and 14). I have to do this grading all the time, so no problem! Thank you so much for this opportunity!

    Hugs from Italy,

  27. I’d love to test this pattern! I’m an almost dead-on size 14. If you have need of another size 14 tester, please think of me.

    Thanks, Lizz

  28. I would really like to test this garment, but feel that the sleeves in particular would not fit my mature, apple shaped body. Also, although I feel confident about my sewing, your mentioning of its possible trickiness has persuaded me that this pattern would not be the one for me to test, although I would like to help. I would probably make the 18 and as I understand it you need the larger sizes, sorry!
    I would like to be considered, however, as a tester for your next pattern though please?
    thanks, I’m ever so excited for you two!

  29. Me me me! Well I hope I could do it. I’m working 100 hours a week for the next 2 weeks, and I should have nothing but time on my hands after that.

    xxxx S

  30. […] our behind the scenes look at the reasoning behind the decisions we make for the company. We wrote briefly before about how we wanted to explain how we ended up with each of our decisions and specifically, that […]

  31. I would love to be a tester of this or any future patterns you develope. I would sew a size 4.

  32. I would love to test your pattern, and any in the future too. I would fit the 26 well.

  33. Would love to test the pattern. I fall into size14 with the pattern measurements

  34. I would like to try one of your patterns. I have a hard time fitting myself. Maybe your patterns will be the answer. By your measurements, I am a size 14. But when I buy store-bought items, I am a size 16 or 14W.

    • Hi Mickey. Fitting is a difficult skill to master for all of us. Picking the right size to start with can sometimes be the most difficult part. Unfortunately there isn’t a correlation between pattern sizing and RTW sizing. In fact, by design, there isn’t consistency even between RTW lines. With sewing patterns there’s that mysterious ease amount. We will have finished garment measurements so you can better determine which size you should use. If you haven’t read our post on our sizing, that will hopefully shed some light on which proportion you fit into. http://www.lolitapatterns.com/sew-thats-why-lolita-patterns-sizing/

  35. I would be happy to test the patterns. I am size 14. :)

  36. Are you still looking for pattern testers? By your size chart I am a size 10 and I’d love to test. It’s such a cute dress!

  37. My daughter loves this style of clothing and I’d love to pattern test it for her (sz. 6) as I’m always making stuff for her baby sister and not her!!!

  38. Hi
    i seem to be the only larger lady here but would still like to test your pattern. So good to find your web site

  39. I would love to be a pattern tester! :) im a 14 on your size chart.thank you.

  40. I would LOVE to be a pattern tester! I’m a size 20 according to your size chart and comments about close fitting wear.

  41. […] the Fuchsia skirt Sew-Along (the skirt I’ve refashioned from kitchen curtains last march). They’ve called out for pattern tester and I was one of the firsts to answer: how could I loose this […]

  42. I would love to be a pattern tester for size 20. I would also like to be in the giveaway for the sew a long on PR for Oct 27. Thank you so much.

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