This year I had the privilege of curating an exhibition at the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Museum.
Meet the Making looks at the details of clothing items from the Museum’s collection, and the people and social history behind the clothing trends. It’s on until 26 June, and you should definitely go see it if you’re in Wellington.
I’ll show how some of the techniques in the exhibition were done, and bring along one of my own historical sewing projects to show off. Bring along your own sewing (or not – handwork is not required!) and learn a bit as you meet other Wellington makers.
Amber of Virgil’s Fine Goods and I have an exciting new 18th century pattern almost finished, so we need testers to help us make it as perfect and fabulous as possible!
We’ve already asked a number of testers with specialised skills, so we’re only looking for a few extra testers. If you’d like to be one of them, keep reading to learn more, and how to apply¦
The pattern is a fashionable ‘Italian’ Gown with two bodice views. The fronts and backs are interchangeable, and the skirt can be made with or without a train. View B can made with or without the zig-zag trim.
It will be available in the full Scroop + Virgil’s Size Range of 30”/76cm bust to 52”/115cm bust.
This is an advanced pattern, and we’re looking for testers with prior historical sewing experience, OR extensive non-historical sewing experience.
Testers MUST have the correct undergarments already. As part of the application you’ll need to have a photo of yourself in 1770-1790 suitable stays that you can send us a link to.
To be a tester you will need to:
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. You’ll have 10 days to sew a toile and check the initial fit (this can be done by machine, and takes Leimomi less than 90 minutes from fabric to finished), and a further four weeks to make a finished dress, photograph it, and provide feedback (for reference, Leimomi was able to sew View A by hand in 18 hours)
Be able to photograph your make being worn, and be willing for us to share your photos on this blog and instagram.
Provide clear feedback
Agree to a confidentially agreement regarding the pattern
We would hugely appreciate it if testers would share their finished make once the pattern launches, but this is not mandatory. We’re asking for TESTERS, not marketers.
As always we’re looking for a range of testers. We need a spread of geographical location, body type, sewing experience, and personal style.
If you’re selected to test we’ll let you know and send you the materials requirements, line drawings, and the full pattern description by 6 pm NZ time on Friday the 13th of May. This is Thur the 12th for most of the rest of the world.
We will send out a digital copy of the pattern to testers before 10pm NZ time on Friday the 20th of May.
Testing & Reviewing:
As this is a pretty time intensive pattern, testing will go for five weeks. We will ask for a toile check in one week in.
Testers will have until 10pm NZ time on Wed the 1st of June to do an initial toile of the dress bodice and respond to the initial set of testing questions.
We’ll need testers to provide final feedback by 10pm NZ time on Wed 22 June, and to be finished with their dress and provide photos by 10pm on Wed the 29th of June.
What you get:
Pattern testers will get a digital copy of all sizes of the final pattern, lots of thanks, and features on my blog and our IGs.
Testing also offers testers an opportunity to get group and 1-1 feedback, assistance, and sewing tutorials from Amber and I – similarly to what you’d get in an online sewing workshop. We’re modelling our testing process after an online class, albeit one you don’t pay for, because you’re letting us beta test the pattern on you. There’s an online group that testers can join as they wish, and we’ll be running a couple of live zoom events. We’re committed to making testing as beneficial to testers as it is to us, and improve our testing process with every pattern we do.
Testers chosen from this open call are not paid, but we have asked a couple of testers who fit a very specific sizing/sewing niche that we want covered to test, and these testers will receive a small honorarium.