Matilda Jo | Empowered Play for Girls with Big Imaginations
Team Tillie is a voluntary group of crafters who have agreed to test new patterns and project plans developed by Matilda Jo Originals in preparation for their sale to the public. This includes sewing patterns sold under the brand Matilda’s Closet and PVC project plans sold under the brand AptOne8.
Membership on the team is by invitation only, though occasionally we put out a call to locate interested crafters. If you have participated on a pattern testing team before, you may find Team Tillie to be a bit more structured than that to which you are accustomed. It’s important that you take the time to read and understand the testing process and expectations before agreeing to join the team.
How the Testing Process Works:
- Testers become members of a private Facebook group, which is where all file sharing and communication occurs.
- As new patterns become available for testing, designer Kristin Rutten shares them through a post on the Facebook group page. This post includes the downloadable PDF pattern as well as the deadline by which testing needs to be completed.
- Testers who are willing and able to commit to testing the posted pattern within the stated deadline comment on the post indicating such. (We would like at least 2 to 3 testers for each pattern; more is even better. Every tester is not expected to test every pattern, but we do require a commitment to test on a regular basis (at least monthly, depending upon how frequently new patterns are available for testing) in order to remain on the team.)
- Each tester downloads, prints and tests the pattern exactly as written. (While it’s fun to add your own twist to a project, the purpose of testing is to ensure the customer is able to produce the project as expected by following the directions without modification.)
- Once the tester completes the project, she/he takes a photo and shares it as a comment on the original pattern post, including feedback about how the process went, any problems or questions that arose, etc. so that Kristin can make any necessary modifications to the pattern and/or instructions.
- Once enough testing and communication has occurred that Kristin feels the pattern is ready for publication, the testing period is closed for that item and the pattern is released for sale to the public. This may occur before the stated deadline, depending upon how quickly the process goes.
Expectations of Team Tillie Testers:
- All approved testers must join and participate on our private Team Tillie Facebook group.
- Testers must own (or have access to) at least one 18-inch doll, preferably American Girl™, for use in the testing process. Testers added after July 2016 must also have access to at least one 14- to 15-inch doll, preferable WellieWishers™.
- Testers are responsible for providing, at your own expense, all materials, supplies, equipment and tools used in the testing process.
- Testers agree to maintain complete confidentiality regarding all things related to the patterns tested and the Matilda Jo Originals company. This means photos of projects made with testing patterns, as well as the items themselves, are not to be shared in any way outside of the group until after the pattern has been released for sale to the public. Once that occurs, the patterns are yours to keep for your own private use (not to be shared) but the items made with the pattern are yours to use how you see fit, including personal use, giving away as gifts, offering them for sale for your own profit, etc.
- Testers are expected to test on a regular basis, at least monthly and preferably more often. If there is a time when this is temporarily not possible and you would like to remain on the team, it is important that you communicate with Kristin about your situation.
- Occasional sharing of ideas for changing, expanding upon or altering a test pattern are fine, but it is preferred that you focus as much as possible on testing the patterns provided exactly as they are written, as this is the purpose of the testing team.
- After completing a project, testers are asked to share one or more photos of the finished items as well as comments regarding clarity of instructions, any issues or questions that occurred during construction, and issues regarding fit and use by the intended audience (For example: Does the item fit the doll it was made for and was the person who dresses that doll able to do so without too much trouble?) Notification of spelling errors and other proofreading issues are also appreciated, whereas we’re not really looking for feedback regarding the overall design of the pattern or the item itself, unless specifically requested.
- Testers are encouraged (though not required) to give permission to Kristin to share their project photos via the company Facebook page, email newsletter, MatildaJo.com and ClubMatilda.com websites and other venues.
- Testers are expected to be courteous and respectful of all members of the team, including all interactions via the Facebook group.
- Testers are expected to “Like” and follow our company’s Facebook page as well as sign up for Tillie’s Inner Circle (our email list), both of which will help you stay in the loop regarding the activities of the Matilda Jo Originals company.
- Testers are encouraged (though not required) to help spread the word about new patterns and projects once they are published via their own avenues, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, etc.
- Testers understand that all participation on Team Tillie is on a voluntary basis with no expectation of monetary compensation.
- Testers acknowledge that Team Tillie testing processes, expectations and benefits are subject to change without advance warning or notification.
- Testers are free to leave the team at any time, at which time all Facebook group access and testing benefits will be terminated.
- Kristin reserves the right to ask a tester to leave the team at any time without warning or explanation (though it’s very unlikely either would happen).
Benefits of Participation on Team Tillie:
- FREE access to the downloadable PDF patterns and plans that are published by Matilda Jo Originals during the time you are a member of the team (for your personal use only), regardless of whether or not you tested that particular pattern. (Does not include patterns published prior to when you joined the team.)
- Testers will have access to a virtual badge (image) identifying them as a Team Tillie Tester. This may be used on your own social media accounts, websites, emails, etc. (Please refrain from using these on accounts you use with other testing groups.)
- Eternal gratitude and appreciation from Kristin (and Tillie, of course!) 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions:
- I am currently a tester on another team. Can I also participate on Team Tillie at the same time? Yes, though we ask that you refrain from mentioning your involvement on Team Tillie with your other testing groups.
- How often are new patterns made available for testing? This varies, but currently Kristin is producing an average of 2 to 4 new patterns each month. (August 2016)
- Are testers required to test both Matilda’s Closet (sewing) and AptOne8 (PVC projects) patterns? This depends upon the conditions of the call for which you are applying. Some testers have signed on to test specific categories, others are expected to test in whatever categories are offered.
- Where are Matilda Jo Originals patterns and plans sold? All Matilda’s Closet and AptOne8 patterns are sold at ClubMatilda.com and some are available at PixieFaire.com; some patterns are also offered for free on one or both sites. Other venues may be added in the future.
A request to join Team Tillie by submitting the form linked above implies understanding and acceptance of all of the expectations and terms stated on this page.
MatildaJo.com, AptOne8 and Matilda Jo Originals are not affiliated with American Girl® or Mattel®. No endorsement is implied.