Testing, testing 1-2-3
Seems to be the million-dollar-word right now: testing. We're already feeling the impact of the CPSIA... companies all over the nation are beginning to test their products for lead and other harmful substances. Retailers already refuse to accept products from their vendors without testing certification. February 10th is just around the corner...
I was pleased to find out today that Michael Miller Fabrics just sent an email to all their customers stating that their 100% Cotton Sheeting and Flannel that Michael Miller Fabrics manufactures meets the hazardous material requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. (Click here to see test results.) Well, that's good to know! Now we just need to put all our strengths together to make sure they amend the law to accept "component testing."
In addition to this, I was browsing on Twitter this afternoon, when Anna from Sweet Dreams Designs twittered that she recently had Andalucia tested via XRF gun by The Smart Mama and it passed with flying colors! PHEW! Well, of course it did, but it's always reassuring to get that sort of info confirmed by 2 separate sources!
I've been doing a bit of "testing" of my own, but not on fabrics. I've been working day and night on my new line of boutique sewing patterns and I'm just giddy with excitement about it. Let's just say that I've had to become BFFs with Adobe Illustrator CS4... from drafting the pattern itself to making the small mechanical drawings that accompany the instructions, this is a job best suited for a vector program and Illustrator is IT for me.
The first pattern, Lil' Chef, was finished this past weekend and it is off to the "testers" this week with specific instructions to "not be shy about telling me if it stinks!" I want to make sure these are perfect in every way and if I need to re-draft it from scratch, I will. Here's a sneak peek of the front cover of the pattern instruction booklet (check out my little ham!):
I've also been hard at work on my second boutique pattern. This is a dress/tunic top that is loosely inspired by a Mexican housedress, but updated with some girlie details. I call it Frida. The pattern has been drafted and graded. The instructions have been written, but before I send this one off to my testers, I need to do my own testing (plus it helps me get rid of some of this old fabric stash that's been hanging 'round my studio for months... er... years!)
The little one, with the lemon fabric, was actually my 2nd test. The 1st one was so bad that I took it apart immediately and reused the fabric. eeek! This 2nd test was much better but the fit was not perfect yet. I'm lucky to have a live-in 3T/4T model and a 6/7 model to "test" these on. ;) I went on to make the one on the left with the gorgeous Madame Butterfly fabrics and I'm pleased to announce the fit was perfect and the target audience (a.k.a. Sophie) was thrilled with the result!
Frida also comes in dress length with two adorable patch pockets. I made this version in Sydney's size (3T/4T) to see how it fit and it was perfect again! Third time's a charm, right?! ;)
Check out the pocket detail... it has elastic at the top.
Both, the tunic top and the dress versions of Frida, have ties on the side. Frida is loose fitting so it can be worn over a tee during the Winter (as Sophie did today) or by itself during the warm months. I think it would also be cute made up in muslin cloth and used as an art smock over regular clothes.
Now that I know Frida works, I just have to print out some copies, send it to my testers and make some prototypes out of Andalucia....hmmmm... or maybe even out of Mezzanine. What? What's Mezzanine, you say? Well, that's the name of my next fabric collection, due out at Spring Quilt Market (May 2009.) Shhhhh... that's all I can say about that! (don't even try to get any more out of me... you know I'm weak!)
OK, so speaking of testing, I think life was really trying to test my patience (or sanity) tonight! First, I lost my favorite serving plate as it slid off the counter -- with the dinner on top of it -- and broke into a million pieces on the kitchen floor. Then, as I was kissing the girls goodnight, I heard a super loud POW! coming from the first floor. I tip-toed down the stairs, afraid of what I might find. Well, what I discovered was that an almost full bottle of liquid detergent had fallen off the top of my washing machine and busted completely! There was a 1/2" deep film of blueness on the laundry room floor and splatter marks that went 5 feet up the wall and covered the washer, dryer and hamper. Yes, lovely!