Hadley and I are always up for a good challenge and as I’ve mentioned before we LOVE testing patterns. Last week Made for Mermaids posted the details of an upcoming contest which was designed to help participants understand the pattern testing process as well as a bit of competition by completing each task well and completely. If you are interested in reading more about the challenge here is a link to the Made for Mermaids Top Tester Challenge Blog Post.
The first step was deciding which pattern to use. We own several Made for Mermaids patterns but as we looked at all the options we fell in love with Isla from the new dreamy collection. The link to the pattern is here. Isla is DREAMY. Simple bodice design with limitless options for adding lace, embroidery or other trims to jazz it up a little!
Now that we had picked Isla, we had to pick fabric. This was the hardest step for us! We narrowed it down to two of our favorite Art Gallery designs.
We decided on the first one. A favorite of our from the Fleet and Flourish collection.
Next we began assembling the dress and deciding on trims. We opted for a simple lace trim across the top of the bodice and a contrasting piping along the bottom V curve!
When we were finished, we added a bit of matching lace to the bottom of the dress as well.
The straps we made out of the same contrasting material as the piping because . . . well because we liked the way it looked and in our mind contrasting pieces should come in threes (2 straps and the piping).
After the dress was assembled we took fit pictures. This is an integral part of the testing process because it ensures that the final pattern fits the specifications given and allows the tester to make small adjustments to ensure a perfect fit. The fit feedback is of utmost importance to the designer.
You will notice that this wasn’t my final strap placement. Again, as I mentioned above, the fit pictures allow for small adjustments so in these pictures my straps are simply pinned in place.
Another piece of the challenge was the proofreading challenge. In this part of the challenge we were given a sample pattern to read through and identify spelling and grammar errors as well as omissions within the instructions.
We wanted to style this dress really well since it was a contest. We thought it would be fun to highlight some of the the blue in the dress with our coordinating pieces. Together, Hadley and I selected blue moccasin sandals and a floppy hat. We added a bit of contrasting fabric around the trim of the floppy hat for an extra punch of color. I also asked my local florist and friend Amber to put together some flowers that would coordinate well with the dress. If you want to read about the blue chair we used in our photos, the link is here.
Finally our favorite part . . . the final photos! We love photographing the dresses we make almost as much as we enjoy making them! I think I have a particularly cute model and she does a lot of testing with me so in general she is accustomed to taking final photos.
Here are a few from our final shoot:
Overall, we had a great time participating in the #toptester challenge!