Pattern testing Mary dressmaking pattern.

Its really important to me to test my patterns thoroughly before having them printed and going live. I think no matter how careful I feel I have been to dot all the i’s and cross the t’s I may have missed something or could perhaps have done something better or clearer. I am constantly on a mission to deliver the best possible product.

When I posted looking for testers for my first pattern I was overwhelmed with a massive response. Somehow I managed to whittle the numbers down and have ended up with a great team most of which have now tested my second pattern. I am truly grateful for their help, they have all given valuable input and helped hone the final pattern that is now complete.

Along the way I have met a couple of new people who are now additions to the team, including young Lillia Rae, who at the tender age of 7 is already showing serious talent and more over passion for sewing. I am more than happy to fuel the sewing fire of kids, I was the same age as Lillia Rae when my passion for sewing started which lead me to a career in sewing related work and now a business, who knows where this early talent will lead!

Lillia Rae chose to make her Mary dress in this really great dinosaur print mustard cord fabric. She had a bit of a heads up on sizing as she is also my model for the pattern and promotion.

I think she has made an excellent job of her dress with very little help from her mum.

Karen is also a new comer to my testing team who I meet through selling fabric. Karen shares my love of great quality fabric and is a seasoned sewer with great attention to detail. She uses lots of indie patterns so its been great to have her feedback. She made this lovely version in Cloud 9 tinted denim. I love all the top-stitch detail.

Lined with Alexander Henry magic rainbow shine and completed with dungaree straps.

This little girl is Abi’s model, she looks super excited with her new dress! I’m not surprised because its a great version. I love Abi’s addition of contrast hot pink stitching.

A super cute lining adds a really nice detail and Abi has added her own topstitch detail on the straps too. One of the wonderful things about making your own clothes is that you can add your own special touches and details.

Abi not only made one dress ..but two! This was actually really useful as she tested a size from each end of the scale. This is the 18 month size which she included sliders on, this is a great way of keeping the straps longer but adjustable. A new note now added to the instructions.

This works so well with a pop of blue at the back in this cute polka dot combo.

Shelia’s young model looks like she is enjoying this lovely bright printed version.

The pockets in the pattern are dual sizes which initially wasn’t that clear, another problem resolved thanks to the testing team. I think it paid off pretty well in this case as Shelias young model loves pockets. They are bigger than they should be for the size but they still look good and seem well received by this young lady.

Debbie’s young model looks great in her pretty blue floral version, perfect for spring and summer worn with a short sleeve t-shirt like this.

Six great examples made in different fabrics and different sizes, all proving this is a very adaptable pattern suitable for each age and as always fabric choices help cater for all tastes too.

I hope you enjoy the new pattern, I would love to hear how you get on, if you share your makes on social media don’t forget to use #releaseyourhandmade and tag @bobbinsnbuttons.

A big thank you pattern testers for all your help with shaping up the final version.


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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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