1.11.2009

Reasons

I am been such a slogger (slacker blogger) this week, sorry! I have some excuses...none of them great, but it is the first week back to school after an extended Christmas break and it is always a hard transition for me to get back into the swing of things. Over breaks, I tend to stay up really late and get up really late, and getting up at 5:15 for school is rough.

In addition, I tend to hit my sewing high point about 10 pm, and during school, I have to go to bed then. BLEAH.

In my last post, I asked a question - is it ok to use a pattern to sew an item and then sell it? The reason that had been in my head was that over Thanksgiving, when my mom was here, we stopped in a high-end boutique downtown since I wanted to see how the commission thing went. In the front of the store were these very simple little clutches that were made from upholstery remnants and "vintage" buttons and were priced at $45.

I felt like I had seen the pattern before, but couldn't remember where, and then a few weeks later, I saw an actual copy of Amy Karol's Bend the Rules Sewing and realized that the clutch on the cover is THE EXACT SAME.


So that is where the question came from. Ethically, before that point, I would have said that no, it is not ok to sell something made from someone else's pattern, especially in large quantities(There were probably 50 little clutches in the store). But that started me thinking and that's why I asked the question.

Commenters seem to be evenly split between two camps, those who make things and those who do not. So my next question is this: Is it ok to make something on commission for someone who wants a specific pattern? For example, if I win an etsy alchemy bid from someone who wants a diaper bag, and wants me to use Amy Butler fabric with an Indygo Junction pattern, is that ok to sell?

7 comments:

Emma said...

Hmm thats a tough one, I think it would be ok to start out with the basic pattern if you gave it your own twist so it wasn't the same thing...

Just say Julie said...

Can't help you with that but I am in love with the bend the rules sewing book. I bought it this summer :)

Antoinette said...

In my non-attorney opinion, this is a case of someone paying you for the service of sewing a garment from designated fabric and pattern, as opposed to selling a product made from someone else's fabric and pattern. You're essentially being commissioned by a client to create something. Maybe this is bunk and I'm splitting hairs, but it's just my $0.02. :)

2WeeMonsters said...

Huh, I was coming to say the exact same thing as Antoinette. I think it sucks when someone steals someone else's work and passes it off as their own (it's the sewist version of plaguerism) but that is different from someone paying you for your expertise as a seamstress. If they could sew the pattern on their own they would. Anyway, they seem very different to me... with one credit is given, with the other things are shady and sneaky.

Just say Julie said...

Hey Lady... Looks like your luck is starting to turn around. Congrats on the John Deere Mom blog win! Woohoo!

Darling Petunia said...

The Amy Butler book actually says you are free to use the designs as long as you credit her.

megrje said...

Most commercial patterns have copyright restrictions against using them, but Amy Karol said on flickr that as long as she's credited with design, you're allowed to sell what you make from her book. Most fabrics are now free use in their copyright, although Amy Butler wasn't until about 3 years ago.