The Fleur Pinafore: My First Pattern Test +Mini Fleurs for My Girls

I recently was a tester for Untitled Thought’s brand new pattern: the Fleur Pinafore!

For those who aren’t into sewing: before a pattern is released it typically gets tested by a group of people. Each person follows the instructions from start to finish to create the intended garment. This process has a lot of different benefits, the most important of which is just that the pattern gets tested in a range of sizes (hopefully all that are offered) and by people who are at different levels to ensure that the instructions are clearly written and that the pattern itself is properly drafted.

I’ve applied to be a pattern tester before on several occasions, but have never been chosen before now, so this was a new and exciting experience for me.

Recently, the sewing community has been talking a lot about the role of a pattern tester and whether or not they should be paid. I think it’s pretty typical currently for pattern testers not to be compensated in any way other than receiving the pattern they’re testing. Although, I think in some cases, the designer will offer an additional pattern from their shop of the tester’s choice or will provide a stipend for the fabric to be used.

It’s been a very interesting discussion and I can’t say I’m totally 100% one way or the other. Of course, it makes sense that if a company is benefiting from a person’s labor, that that person should be paid. But I imagine it’s hard to pay someone for something when there are so many people willing to do it for free. I know nothing of how much indie designers make but I’d imagine that not every company can afford to pay testers. So, as you can see, I have nothing new to add to this conversation…just think it’s interesting.

As for my sole experience pattern testing: it was delightful.

The Fleur Pinafore is a fairly basic and simple sew, but it has enough fun little touches to make it special.

I chose the tie options (as opposed to buttons) because I liked that it makes it a little more whimsical. I used a cotton/poly twill I’d gotten from my mom (and that she’d gotten for free when someone was decluttering their stash).

Sewing it was pretty easy. The trickiest part was the placket on the side of the skirt and…well…it’s wasn’t really tricky at all!

The sewing part went smoothly, the pattern testing part went smoothly. It’s definitely something I would do again. No complaints here 🙂

I didn’t get a ton of pictures of this make because I was photo shooting with my girls in an un-fenced area…let’s just say that will mostly likely not happen again…but I did get in a lot of pictures of the dresses I made for them:

Mini Fleurs!

And I love them! I think they are adorable in a mini version.

As some of you might know, since having kids, I’ve had a tradition to make matching outfits for my little family for Easter. I guess I should say that I’ve had intentions to have this tradition because the plan keeps getting thwarted. Two years ago I was pregnant and my due date fell right around Easter (I didn’t know if I should make a maternity dress or a nursing-friendly dress; I didn’t make either) and this year the excitement for making outfits fell considerably when we knew we wouldn’t even be attending church on Easter.

But because of the Fleur’s simplicity I knew that making mini versions for my gals would quick and pretty painless. So I asked them if they wanted some dresses and they enthusiastically said YES! I was going to make theirs out of a similar fabric but in pink, but they insisted they wanted the same lavender as mine, so I obliged.

Interestingly enough, aside from height, my girls’ measurements are basically the exact same (only differing in about 1/2 inch), which made making the patterns for these a breeze. These pinafores are the same size, so I guess that’s a great plus to having had these girls as close together as they are 🙂

And then the sewing took almost no time at all, thanks, again, to the simplicity of the pattern and the fact that I was working on a smaller scale (and batching everything). The only thing that needed correcting in the end was the pockets. I made them too small that the girls had to really fight to get their hands in. Wendy told me I’d better fix it. And I did because these are some girls who love their pockets.

Taking pictures with the girls is always hilarious and fun (and then gets decidedly less so when I’m trying to take pictures of just me). And they always want to bring some of their toys for the photos. So here we’re featuring “Monkious George.” I love kids.

I didn’t get to making Ben his Easter tie, but I am almost done with that cardigan he’s been asking for so I don’t think he minds too much.

Definitely a late sentiment, but I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter 🙂

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