As a bit of inspiration I'd like to share with you Sophie's make. Nearly all of my testers were sewists I had never met, who contacted me after the Fold Line shared my tester call out on Instagram, but Sophie was already my friend, in fact we used to be flatmates. She was a champion pin remover and sewing cheerleader when I had tight deadlines but we never quite got organised enough for me to teach her more skills.
Sophie could work a sewing machine and do other crafts but had never used a sewing pattern before. The Franklin pattern is aimed at confident beginners but I really wanted to try it out on someone who wasn't quite at that level as I true test of how clear and user friendly everything was. Plus with me on the other end of the phone she did have a safety net. I knew she was very excited for me to start making size inclusive patterns so I asked her to give it a go and I think you'll agree, she did a fantastic job!
I spoke to her about the experience and here's what she had to say:
"I’ve always been quite a crafty person and I have a lot of skills like that. I knew how to use a sewing machine but it was very basic -going back and forward, I hadn’t even done a zigzag stitch before! So if I needed to do something with the sewing machine I could but I’d never done anything from a pattern. I wasn’t very confident using a sewing machine or with my sewing skills. It says it all that when we were living together you would only trust me to take the pins out of the fabric, never to put them in!
So I was quite nervous trying this but I felt more confidence because I trusted that you would have created a way that you knew I could do. Plus, if I had any problems I knew that I could rely on you to help me.
I found the illustrations in the pattern really super helpful and I’m sure if there were videos at the time I would have also found those helpful because I’m a very visual learner. Overall, I thought that - although it took me a fair amount of time to do - the pattern was super clear. I worked my way through it with confidence that I was doing it right and I am so proud that I’ve done that. That felt like such a huge achievement for me because it was something I’d always wanted to do but I’d never quite felt the confidence to do it.
I’d looked at buying stuff to try before but either I wasn’t convinced it was going to be doable for me with my skill level or, as a larger person, I was never fully convinced that the largest size on the pattern would fit me or would suit me. So that’s why it was really exciting to have a chance to try this. It was great knowing that it was being made with inclusive sizing so I could make a garment and know that it was going to fit round my boobs, it was going to fit round my hips and my butt. That was really cool.
I used a soft plum corduroy and while I love how it looks, it did make it harder for me to sew. It wasn't as stiff as most corduroy and had a little bit of stretch to it which made getting really nice lines harder. I'll choose something else for my next one."
Thanks to Sophie for sharing her thoughts with me and testing the pattern. I'll be sharing more photos and thoughts from my other testers in this blog.