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A Call for Pattern Testers – would you like to test new Scroop patterns?

Things have been quiet on the Scroop Patterns front for the last few months, while I focused on a trip home to my parents in Hawaii, and Costume College, and other work commitments, but I’ve also been working on patterns, and am going to be launching quite a few over the next six months (Yay, yay, yay!).

So, I need pattern testers!  People to try the patterns to make sure they print properly in all paper formats; that the instructions make sense (and that I haven’t missed any typos – SO easy after you’ve been staring at a set of instructions for weeks on end!), and to give me general feedback.

I’ve got a bunch of patterns on the go, ranging from super-easy modern stuff, to slightly more complicated modern and historical (ooh!) stuff, to really complicated historical stuff (OOOooh!!).  So I’m going to be wanting a whole range of testers, so when I have something I think you, as a tester, would be interested in, I can ask you if you’d like to test it!

Pattern testers will get a digital copy of the final pattern, my eternal gratitude, as much publicity as I can manage for your sewing (if you’re keen on that).

With every pattern I’ll be looking for a range of testers, in terms of geographical location, body type, sewing experience, and personal style.  Even if you’ve expressed interest in a particular pattern, you may not get chosen merely because lots of people in your geographic or size demographic asked after the same pattern.

Interested?  Feel like pulling out the sewing kit and the red pen?  (I hope so!)

If you want to be a pattern tester you should:

  • be a reasonable confident sewer
  • be able to print patterns in A4, A0, US Letter or US full sized Copyshop paper sizes
  • have the time to sew up the item if you agree to be a tester for it
  •  be able to photograph your make being worn
  • be able to provide clear feedback
  • be willing to sign a confidentially agreement regarding the pattern

How long you get to test the pattern will depend on how involved it is: I’ll be giving testers 10 days (arranged to be two full weekends) for super easy items, and up to a month for really complicated patterns.

To sign up to test patterns, please email me with the following:

  1. Your name
  2. Your bust, waist and hip measures
  3. Your height
  4. Your sewing level: Beginners, Low Intermediate, High Intermediate, Advanced
  5. A link to your blog/instagram/Flickr/Sewing Pattern Review profile/something else sewing-y presence, if you have one.  (you don’t have to have one, but it will help).
  6. A link to a sewing make with a review (so I can see how you think about and analyse your sewing)
  7. What type of patterns would you be particularly interested in testing?  (i.e. knits, dresses, historical, anything and everything).
  8. Is there anything I’ve made that you’d particularly like to test if it ever becomes a pattern?
  9. Do you have any other skills that would really make you an extra-super-awesome pattern tester?  (i.e. experience copy-editing)
  10. If you are chosen, would you be happy for me to feature photos of your make on my blog?

Hope to hear from lots of you!

Rate the Dress: 1852 does 18th century

I rather expected that last week’s 1810s Rate the Dress wouldn’t be hugely popular, not in the sense that people wouldn’t like it, but in the sense that it wouldn’t attract lots of comments.  It’s not the type of outfit that’s usually super popular in terms of commenting, and it’s a portrait.  But, even without a lot of comments we had a lively (if small) discussion anyway.

In general the shawl and coral got high marks, the colour scheme got the overall nod of approval, and people were torn on the ruff.  But good parts do not necessarily make a good whole, and while many of you enjoyed its understated elegance (to paraphrase Daniel), not everybody was onboard with the full ensemble, so the outfit managed a 7.8 out of 10.

(I think it might amuse you to know that I picked the painting because I was thinking of the Bonaparte family as being the Kardashians of the 1800s (powerful, divisive, and in the eyes of some, rather vulgar), and that if this was Caroline, it was her trying to separate herself both politically, and, through the portrait, aesthetically.  Btw, go back and look at her.  She could be a Kardashian!)

This week’s Historicism themed Rate the Dress (because there is so much variety in historicism, how could I not use it as a theme all month!) is an 1850s ball gown from the Helen Larson historic costume collection which very obviously references the 18th century.

While classically 1850s in its silhouette, the dress is replete with Rococo detailing, from the ‘stomacher’ effect of the bodice front, to the overskirt which opens over a petticoat with scalloped ruffles.  Unlike their 18th century counterparts, which would have been left with raw pinked edges, these scallops are almost certainly machine made: the product of industrial revolution advances.

In addition to looking back to the 18th century, the gown foreshadows its own historicism-ization: when mid 1910s and early 1920s fashions looked to the mid-19th century crinoline era for inspiration.  The wreath decorations of the skirt are so typical of the type of ornamentation that was borrowed and utilised in the late teens and 20s that they look almost anachronistic in their own era on this dress.

What do you think of this mid-19th century reinterpretation of the fashions of a century before?  Are you a fan of early Rococo revival?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

Cooking in 1916

Come and hear about the Fortnight in 1916!

I’ve blogged about the Fortnight in 1916 a great deal, but haven’t yet spoken about it publicly yet in Wellington.  Time to remedy that!

Join me at the Petone Settlers Museum next Saturday, the 24th of September, at 11 am, to hear me talk about my experiences in the Fortnight in person, see me in a typical outfit from 1916, and handle some of the items I wore and used.

The talk will be followed by morning tea.

And I have no objection whatsoever if anyone wants to come along in their own 1910s outfit, so we can all pretend it’s 1916!