Thread Theory

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Pattern testing idea (call for testers now closed)


The pattern that I am currently developing is a pretty elaborate bag, which, obviously, is a departure from our usual focus on garments! While I have some unique and versatile garments planned for release after the bag pattern, I wanted something a little more straight forward as my first pattern project post baby. Our wallet patterns are always a big hit for birthday gifts and Christmas so I thought a proper unisex bag would complete the set!

As I am prone to do, I’ve allowed the bag to morph from basic to elaborate with variations to suit a wide range of sewists and very detailed instructions…I can’t help myself, I like to be thorough! So I’m now wondering if any of you are bag sewing aficionados who would be interested in helping me out with a test sewing project that is a bit different than normal:

Usually I send garment patterns to testers when the instruction booklet is more or less complete and has already been formatted by our graphic designer. The pattern itself has been made beautiful and branded by Matt. And all illustrations have been created by me. This time, since bag patterns are new to me, I was wondering if two or three sewists who have sewn bag patterns from more than one pattern company would be interested in sewing up the pattern while it is still very much a rough draft.

This would mean that you would work from written instructions with no illustrations. The pattern would include basic markings and labels but would not be ‘prettified.’ There are a LOT of pattern pieces to navigate. So you would need to be quite familiar with the general process of sewing a lined bag with many pockets! The main feedback I would be looking for is your opinion on the order of construction. Do you have a method that you prefer to mine for sewing straps? For inserting a zipper? For adding a lining? Does the level of detail I’ve included in the instructions help or is it overwhelming? Details such as typos and grammar can be left for the next phase of testing (unless you feel like pointing them out to me, which, of course, is welcome!).

After I receive this feedback I can make large alterations to the pattern and instructions without having to re-do illustrations or spend lots of time going back and forth making revisions with our graphic designer (much as I like the chance to chat with my sister in law, she has a baby too and time is precious!).

What do you think? Do you have bag making skills and techniques you would like to compare to the ones I’ve been developing? I’m excited to brainstorm with you!

The pattern will be ready for this stage of testing in two to three weeks (if baby Noah cooperates) so you would be sewing it late July and early to mid-August (with lots of flexibility as there is no especially strict deadline for you to complete the project).

Please comment below if this sounds like a fun project for you! And please mention approximately how many bags you’ve sewn because I’m really hoping to receive feedback from people who already have preferred bag-making techniques. Pattern testers will receive the finished pattern and a credit to our shop as a big thank you for your help!

41 thoughts on “Pattern testing idea (call for testers now closed)

  1. I’m intrigued! This bag looks like a beauty!
    I have been bag- making for nearly 8 years. With literally hundreds of bags in my “portfolio” and a handful of small pouches I have written myself.
    As well as making, I am also a bag- making instructor at a local shop.
    While I work from home with my 2 guys, I dont schedule much for summer time so my calendar is pretty open for testing time! I would be honored.


  2. Hi, I’m putting my hand up! I’d love the opportunity to help. I’ve made quite a few bags (relatively) since I started sewing, however, never from a pattern, only self drafted – so I have had to think through the construction order myself every time. I don’t know if this makes me more suitable or less!!
    Either way, best of luck.

  3. I would love to test for you. I’ve made several different bags, a wallet, and do custom sewing for prom, weddings, and everyday garments.

  4. Maybe I can be of help! You can see my Instagram account to see the kind of bags I’v made so far 😉 You can find me in

  5. Oh. This sounds interesting! I’ve made rucksacks, totes, zip shoulder bags, bags by Catherine Kidson, from Weekend sewing book….. and I break up for summer hols soon!!
    I’ve used denim, duck cloth,upholstery fabrics, leather, velvet etc.
    So I’d like to be considered.
    Good luck!

  6. I would love to.
    I have sewn a few bags, most recently the Oleander but Blue Calla. I’ve also pattern tested for other indie groups for woman’s clothing.
    I own my own sewing business and have been sewing for many years. I am a Janome Artisan so work exclusively on Janome Machines.

  7. I would be happy to test for you. I have made several bags including ones from Klum House, Noodlehead, Love You Sew, also diaper bags, backpack and many, many purse patterns. I love the process.

  8. Ooooh, this is absolutely gorgeous! I would love to test. I’ve sewn several diaper bags (messenger and backpack style) with pockets galore, linings/zippers/straps/buckles, etc, some purses and yoga bags. Currently I sew knitting totes and project bags to sell with my hand dyed yarn.

  9. I’d be interested in testing. I have been sewing bags for around 5 years now, and have probably made 150+ bags. All types of fabrication- fabrics, vinyls, cork, leather, and well as using a variety of internal structures. All different sizes of bags, from wallets to large overnight bags, using a variety of patterns from multiple designers. I am also a pattern tester for a couple of bag pattern designers.

  10. Adding my name to the list. I learnt to sew by making bags. I have sewn a lot of bags over the last 10years. I have a lot of fun thinking about how to construct things and would love to help you perfect a bag pattern. Your sample in the images above look gorgeous. Part of my love of making bags mean I’ve watched a whole lot of bag making videos on craftsy and youtube, read a lot of different bag making books – Amy Butler’s style stitches was my first sewing book I purchased for myself – so I feel like I have a good background in many different ways of constructing the same thing. Good luck finding some testers who work well with you 🙂

  11. I’ve sewn several versions of the Noodlehead Petal pouch and also Merchant & Mills’ Jack Tar bag so not a whole lot of bag-making experience – besides, it looks like you’ve got lots of qualified volunteers already. However, I’d love to volunteer for any future garment pattern testing since I’ve done that before and I’ve being sewing clothes forever. 🙂

    • I would love to join the sewing! I have sewn several bags, maybe seven or eight from different companies, a few zipper purses and two backpacks. I also use selfmade project bags for all of my stuff. I would be delighted to give your pattern a try.

  12. This sounds fun and I would love to test for you. I have made the Niizo Be Strong Backpack and Craftsmanship Canvas bags, as well as just wrapping up the Fennel Fanny Pack from Sarah Kristen. I have also made plenty of zipper pouches and tote bags.

  13. I’d love to! I’ve sewn 8 or 9 bags from a variety of pattern makers and used to sew professionally in a factory where I worked with a lot of vinyl/faux leather. I’m pretty comfortable with complex patterns.

  14. Hi! I’d love to test your pattern for you! In the past year and a half or so I’ve made several bags ranging from a small crossbody purse with leather piping for my daughter, a large quilted overnight duffle for my other daughter, 3 backpacks, a messanger bag, a large swimming tote and several more smaller bags. I’m quite comfortable installing a variety of hardware, making straps, lining working with zippers and multiple pocket styles. I mostly work with cotton and canvas and small leather details but I’m wanting to broaden my experience to leather, cork and other materials or similar weight and thickness. I would be delighted to give your pattern a try. What types of materials would we be working with? Would you supply all the products for the bag for example, fabric, zippers, hardware or would that be our responsibility??

  15. If I’m not making garments, I’m making bags. Lots and lots of bags. 🙂 I have used patterns from many designers and have drafted a few of my own too. I also make custom bags on commission for others. Let me know if I can help – I’ve tested garment patterns for you before and really enjoy the whole testing process.

  16. I would like the opportunity to test for you.
    I am based in Australia.
    I have sewn multiple styles of bags from a wide range of designers. Emmaline bags, Chris W designs, Love M.E patterns, Swoon, Little moo designs, sew sweetness, just to name a few.
    I also have self drafted a few bag patterns to customer specifications .

    I have previously bag and wallet pattern testing experience and I am currently a fabric tester for a few Australian custom print fabric companies.
    The fabric testing and pattern testing combined gives me the ability to dual promote across wider audience and helps both companies gain new interest.
    I do not have a web site, so I added the link to my bag making facebook page in the website field.

  17. Hi there,
    I’m Susie from Twirl Girl Boutique. I’m on FB & IG. I live in Melbourne Australia.
    I have been making bags around 7 years with a combination of leather & fabrics. I make to custom orders & most of the time they are custom designed.
    I woukd love to be considered for pattern testing… I said yes to all the above you wrote about in your blog 😁 ox

  18. I’m not experienced enough in bags to test, but love the look of the bag. I’ve not long since made the Portside set by Grainline and was planning on making a few more for gifts etc but will hold out for your pattern now.

    Would you mind letting me know where you got your leather(pleather?) From please.


    • I found it at my local Fabricland (a Canadian fabric shop chain). It was quite stretchy while sewing which made it a hassle but it is wearing very well! Please don’t hold out for our pattern if you have time sensitive gifts planned as it may be quite a while until it is ready!

  19. I’d love to make one ! I’ve made a couple of emmaline designs bags and noodle head totes.

  20. I left a comment on your blog on BlogLovin. I have years of experience sewing leather and fabric bags, purses, totes and lately weekender bags. I’d be interested in testing your pattern. I’ve used many different patterns and altered plenty.

  21. I would love to have a go. I’m an experienced sewer of many, many years. I’ve made one self designed bag (that can remember). I buy my hand bags but Ive always wanted to have a go using all the beautiful leathers on offer in NZ. All good with no pictures and draft instructions. (I use vintage patterns all the time that come with only the pattern pieces, sometimes even with missing pieces! Lol). If the instructions can be emailed, I’d love to have a go.

  22. I’d love to! I am a local bag maker here in Courtenay! I don’t yet work with leather though but can with most other mediums.

  23. I would love to test the pattern! I have made several bags.. probably 7 or 8 but also many zipper pouches. I have only sewn a year but I am always looking for patterns to challenge me to make me better. I just recently learned how to do a zipper pocket, and also learned how to make bags with O rings.

  24. This sounds like a ton of fun to me. I’ve made a variety of bags from a few different companies. I’ve done a few purses, a diaper bag, and a backpack. I’ve sewn many bags from Noodlehead and recently tested a tote pack from Love you sew. I have a few, but not all the bags I’ve sewn on my instagram. Take a look and let me know if can help you out. I do love bag making!

  25. This sounds like my thing! I have tested patterns for a few bag designers and have made many bags in everything from quilting cottons, canvas, vinyl to leather. I definately have preferred methods that I use but am not opposed to learning new techniques.

  26. I’ve sewn hundreds of bags of many different styles and fabrics! I’ve also tested for dozens of designers and especially love the proofreading aspect of it.

  27. I am interested in testing for you! I have sewn bags for a few years now and have also tested for several indie designers. I love the idea of a unisex bag and a “soft” deadline for finishing.

  28. I’d love to help if only a couple of bags are okay! I’ve made bags from patterns by Noodlehead and Swoon and the Colette Cooper bag. I’m primarily a garment sewist but do love branching out every now and again. I’d have to say the most complex bag I’ve made would be the Caravan Tote by Noodlehead with all its pockets (I’ve made it so it could fit my knitting needles).

  29. Count me in. Recently drafted my first bag pattern for a 2 zipper fanny pack and had a great time with that and happy with the results. Been making totes and Dopp kits as gifts for years.

  30. I would love to do this! I’ve only sewn a couple of bags from different pattern companies like Noodlehead and Swoon. I’ve also sewn the Colette Cooper Bag for my husband too. I’d say the Caravan Tote from Noodlehead is my most advanced one. I’m primarily a garment sewist but if that’s enough experience, I’d love to give this a go!

  31. Hello, my name is Lindsay and I have been sewing for 8 years. I have sewn about 15+ bags in the past few years. I mostly work with leather and canvas when I make the bags. I have made kids backpacks and purses for myself as well as bags for friends as gifts. I would love to help test out this pattern. I love a good challenge and with there being no pictures it sounds like a lot of fun 😁. Good luck with the search and thank you for reading my post!

  32. I would love to test!! I have sewn hundreds of bags from many designers.

  33. Count me in if you need help. I’ve sewn several bags from several pattern designers….Amy Butler (weekender bag was my first but did many others of hers), Patterns by Annie, Sew Sweetness and of course Noodlehead (market bag, Super Tote, Range Backpack, Cargo Duffel). I just finished a Poppins Bag by Two Aunties for a swap and am close to finishing another of her patterns for a retirement gift. If you include pouches, I’ve probably sewn 50 in the past 10 years.

  34. Count me in to help. I’ve crafted bags from several companies…Patterns by Annie, Amy Butler, Sew Sweetness, Noodlehead are ones that immediately come to mind and am just now finishing one by Two Aunties. If you combine that those with the number of pouches I’ve sewn….the number would be upwards of 50.

  35. I’d be happy to test for you .. I make lots of bags in fabric, faux leather, leather and cork 😀 I have a lot of hardware stock as well so should be able to get started straight away ;p

  36. I love bag making – and would love to help out. I am an experienced sewist and bag maker. And an educator!!!!

  37. I wish I had more bag making experience to be able to volunteer for this. Sewing bags is much more within my comfort zone than sewing clothing is. Sewing straight lines & corners, even in multiple layers, is much simpler than fitting around curvy lumpy bodies. But, alas, I’ve never worked from a pattern, only from my own self-drafted designs, and I’ve only once upped my game to a fully lined backpack.

  38. I would love to test this! I have sewn many bags (like maybe 20?). I have tested a fair bit and also sewn a range from smaller purses to big bags. Here are a few that I like most:

    i definitely already have preferred techniques and am due a new bag 🙂


    • 1. I sent you an email pertaining to timeline and 2. I also 2nd Chloe above ^. She and I have both been “working” together on Sewcialists now for a year. She’s great & super brilliant. /Becky Jo

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