What does Christine want?


It's a very broad question, but something that I made her answer!

You all know Christine from Chris W designs right? What do you mean no?! Well you my lucky reader are in for a treat today. She's here to do a blog swap with me and we'll tell you what we want from a pattern tester.

Don't you just LOVE handbags? Imagine being able to make handbags and purses that are unique to YOU and exactly the style, colour, size  and shape that YOU want them to be!  ChrisW Designs brings you an ever growing range of pdf patterns for handbags, purses, tote bags, backpacks and all sorts of bag sewing patterns designed to teach you loads of wonderful bag making techniques, so you can do just that!

Hi.....my name is Christine and I am the designer behind ChrisW Designs and I have to admit I am addicted to making BAGS! My 'addiction' started as a child......as far back as I can remember I have had a 'thing' about bags! I never grew out of it and since I LOVE to make things and have dabbled in a whole range of handcrafts from knitting to crocheting, scrapbooking and most of all sewing ....It was only a natural progression that I should start to sew BAGS!

Eve Clutch PDF - $9.95

I designed and made collectable teddy bears for many years and that is where I discovered I love to share HOW to make something even more than actually making it myself! Hence I developed a range of teddy bear patterns. After a while though, my interest in bears waned and one day I decided to make a BAG....and that was it...I was immediately HOOKED! BUT....not that my first bag making experience was great...it wasn't! The pattern I chose was AWFUL....the instructions were so badly written with no photos or diagrams and in fact, not even paragraphs or step by step numbers.....It was at that point I decided I was going to learn everything I could about making bags and put out my own range of bag patterns that are easy to understand and follow so you can actually achieve quality results without tearing your hair out first!
The Snazzy Slouch PDF - $9.95

I have had LOTS of wonderful feedback regarding my patterns and I have to admit that a LOT of work goes into them BEFORE they ever reach the public eyes! ALL my patterns are extensively tested....I have a group of wonderful pattern testers who do a FABULOUS job making sure my patterns all come together as they should and also that the instructions make sense etc...Without them, ChrisW Designs would NOT be what it is today! I am often asked what it is I look for in a pattern tester so I thought I would share some of those points with you:

·         Honesty - This is at the TOP of my list! It is SO important for my testers to actually TELL me what they REALLY think! There is NO point in telling me the pattern is GREAT when it actually STINKS! If something isn't right, TELL ME!

·         Reliable - A good pattern tester will make the pattern within the required time frame set and not commit to making it if they do not have the time or inclination.

·         Feedback - Give lots of feedback! What do you like and what don't you like about the pattern or design!

·         Observant - A good tester will notice the details and pick up on little things that are missing or incorrect in the instructions that might otherwise go unnoticed by an experienced bag maker or someone just rushing through it. It is SO easy to miss something when it is familiar to you, so being observant and taking notice of the details is important! An inexperienced bag maker might be confused by a simple detail being inadvertently omitted or incorrect!

·         Enthusiastic - Bag making is FUN and even if we are working we should be having FUN....so it is nice when a pattern tester really enjoys what they are doing and enjoys sharing their thoughts on a new design.

·         Friendship - My testers are also my friends.....we need to feel comfortable with each other so we can say what we really think! That brings us back to point one - Honesty! LOLLL

Abigail Purse PDF - $10.95

The possibilities are endless in bag making and I just never tire of trying out new ways of doing things. I continually look at ways that I can improve and develop my patterns and bag making techniques so they are always evolving and it is never boring! I hope you too will follow me and my range of patterns to see what I come up with next! :)

Thanks Christine! Chris has got tons of ways you can follow her or check her out and I've listed them below. The thing I like most about Christine is that she is possibly one of the most upbeat people I've 'met' and is not too precious about silly things that don't matter. When I approached Christine about doing a blog swap, I wasn't sure what she'd say because I guess really we're 'rivals'! Christine was happy to jump aboard though and we've had some good chats about advertising and things that have worked for each of us.

ChrisW Designs: http://www.chriswdesigns.com - For 10% discount on purchases from her website use the code ChrisWDesigns10 

Now don't forget to pop over to check out Chris' pages and come back on Friday for my January round up. I've been a busy bee this month!!

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  1. Oh how I truly enjoy your and Chris' posts! BTW- When's the next pattern test?? I love testing your bags!

  2. Fun read on both sides! I have both you on my blogroll and did a double take when I saw the post titles right on top of each other..

  3. How fantastic. My two favourite bag designers working together. I love testing for both of you, beautiful designs, patterns and instructions. Just wish you'd both send more out for testing. LOLL Hint, hint.

  4. I am curious as to how many bag testers you each have? Also, do you have each bag tester test the same pattern? Or do you have several testers and assign different bags to the testers?
    I was glad to read about this as I am an occasional tester for a friend of mine. She mostly designs quilts, but has designed a bag that I am currently testing now and oh boy I have found so many mistakes and have written over a page of corrections/suggestions to her (and I bullet mark them too) and I am not even finished with the bag yet. I was glad to read that you both want your testers to be blunt and honest, as I try to be that way with my friend only to help her with her pattern.

    I have purchased so many awful patterns over the years that it was obvious these pattern designs had no testers at all. Do you both have somewhere on your pattern info that the pattern has been thoroughly tested? I would like to know that BEFORE I purchase a pattern as I am sure others would like to know too. Patterns aren't cheap and there is a lot of time and money going into the purchase of the fabric, notions and pattern before you even get started. I have made so many bags over the years, including bags I sort of designed myself, yet I only found about 2 pattern that were well written and that I liked the results at the end of making them. Most of the other bags I gave away as I didn't like them after I saw them made, or I was so frustrated following the instructions, that it didn't turn out well.

    Are your instructions for making bags in a tutorial format with lots of photos? Or written instructions with drawings? Or written instructions with some photos? This is something that would be nice to know ahead of time too. I bought a rather pricey pattern once that was a paper pattern with instructions and black and white photographs. The photos were so hard to see as there wasn't enough contrast. She must have wanted to save money on color photos by turning them into black and white, but I couldn't see what the photo was representing clearly enough. Plus she had it photographed on her grid mat, making it more busy. I wrote to her giving her some helpful suggestions in case she ever wrote another pattern. I am sure she didn't have pattern tester and I never saw any more patterns from her.

    Pattern testers are so important to the designer and yet not many people even know patterns are being tested...well I am sure a lot of patterns aren't tested at all. So It's nice to know who has their patterns tested as they would be the only patterns I would purchase. So pattern designers you need to shout it out and let your customers know that your patterns are tested. And to all of you who do test patterns you are really appreciated because you find the problems before they get to the customer. I for one really appreciate that!

  5. I love reading about what each of you is looking for in a pattern tester. The first time I did a pattern test, there were no guidelines given by the designer and it was a bit nerve wracking, too. I love making bags, though, and I'm good at reading and understanding directions (at least I think I am... :-/ ) so I love when I get to test a pattern out. Oh, and I don't think I had seen Chris' bag patterns before, so I am glad to see some new to me bag patterns.


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