Sewing pattern testing vs. scientific peer review

There is an interesting discussion going on in the GOMI craft forum right now (yes, I’m an avid GOMI lurker) in response to the recent pattern testing call and associated interview questions put out by Itch to Stitch.  Working in academia, I play an active role in the scientific peer review process.  Interestingly, this process is actually very similar to the sewing pattern testing process, with a few key differences.  Since I recently reviewed a paper and these ideas are fresh in my mind, I thought I’d share my completely unsolicited personal opinions.  🙂

(1) If you want to volunteer your time and money to pattern test, go ahead!  Really, I have no problem with people who enjoy this process.  I choose how to spend my time and money, and everyone else should have that same right.  Do whatever makes you happy.

(2) Personally, I have never and will never test a pattern.  If indie pattern companies start compensating testers with a fair wage and reimbursing them for all materials and supplies, it might be a different story.  But for now, when the company I would be helping will be making cold hard cash off of my time and money that are requested for free, it turns out to be a pretty raw deal for me.  This is economics, pure and simple.

Continue reading