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Explaining sewing in an academic paper...what do you think of my outline?
HanPanda
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HanPanda
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Date: 12/2/13 4:50 PM

I am presenting this outline to my supervising professor tomorrow. I am writing a legal academic paper on the copyrightability of sewing patterns. In order to be better understood, I think it important to go into some detail about what sewing is and a little of its history. Before I present this to my professor, do y'all have any thoughts on the below ideas?

I. The home sewer
--A. Historically
---I. Spinners, weavers, sewers
---Ii. Garments sewn for the household
---Iii. Advent of the sewing machine
---Iv. Industrial era and mass production of fabric and clothing
---V. Decrease in home sewing
--B. Sewing as a "lost art"
--C. Modern resurgence
II. What does Harriet. Homeowner sew?
--A. Clothing/accessories
--B. Quilting
--C. Embroidery
--D. Home dec/supplies
III. How does. Harriet Homeower sew?
--A. Sourcing supplies & what is needed
---I. Fabric
---Ii. Notions
---Iii. Hardware
---Iv. Tools
---V. Patterns
--B. Sourcing ideas
---I. RTW clothing
---Ii. Fashion shows
---Iii. The internet
---Iv. Patterns
Iv. How sewing patterns work
V. "For Home Use only" (getting into the legal question and analysis process here)
-- Edited on 12/2/13 4:53 PM --

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2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!! I'm subtracting fabric given away from my yardage in. Yeah!
In: 99.75 yards
Sewn: 77.5 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

Sharon1952
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Sharon1952  Friend of PR
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Posts: 3151
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In reply to HanPanda <<
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Date: 12/2/13 5:10 PM

How many pages is the paper? This seems a little too detailed for just a copyright issue. But that's just my non-legal opinion!

------
Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

HanPanda
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HanPanda
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Date: 12/2/13 5:21 PM

30 plus pages.it's a graduation requirement that I am hoping to get published in the spring.

Eta: it should be said this is just the background section basically. Going further I get into copyrightability and copyright questions like merger doctrine, fair use, and some other concepts.
-- Edited on 12/2/13 5:23 PM --

------
2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!! I'm subtracting fabric given away from my yardage in. Yeah!
In: 99.75 yards
Sewn: 77.5 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

Addierecoy
Addierecoy  Friend of PR
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Missouri USA
Member since 5/30/13
Posts: 494
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Date: 12/2/13 5:41 PM

I've written and read way too many papers, so I'm writing from a very reading weary point of view. You might think about getting into the pattern stuff from the get-go. Focus more on the development of home sewing patterns, how they began, marketing techniques, changes with the market, how technology has changed the way patterns are made and purchased. You can still use all the stuff you have, just present it more from the pattern angle.

Just thinking this would be more relevant to the focus on copyright issues in your paper.

But take it with a grain of salt. I was reading papers during the beginning of the video game revolution and didn't give a darn about the history of gaming, though I know it well now. Just thinking they might feel the same way about sewing.

DonnaH
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DonnaH
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In reply to HanPanda <<
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Date: 12/2/13 6:25 PM

I sort of agree with Addierecoy - I think the whole first section may be unnecessary filler. A better "history" might be the cottage industry of sewing small numbers of things (crafts usually) on sites like Etsy and/or at "craft fairs" and church bazaars, and how that is affected by copyright. The popularity of sewing blogs and tutorials is also related. Since you have an advisor, I would only add them back in if s/he asks for more background.

Concentrate on the things that lend themselves to copyright protection, and how they are/have been distributed to the end users, and copyright issues that may be involved. The main ones I see are the patterns (sewing patterns, but also those for embroidery, quilting, and knit/crochet) and fabric (both those protected by copyright like the Lisette fabrics and those with licensed characters like Disney or Marvel). Maybe there are others in the section you call sourcing supplies.

Personally I find the "home use only" an interesting extension of fair use (for both the JoAnn fabric and online tutorials). And I have forgotten the name of the doctrine, but (at least with patents) there is the right to sell on what you have legally purchased (I can legally sell my Koosh toys or Dyson vacuum at a garage sale or on Craig's list even though I don't own the patent for either).

HanPanda
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HanPanda
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Date: 12/2/13 6:58 PM

Doctrine of first sale. Also something I'll be covering in the paper :3

I think you're probably right too. While some of that information is important, it's not really relevant to the topic as a whole. My professor is a big proponent of in depth and thorough background sections, so I may present the two options to him and ask his direction which would be best for my final goal...and which is strongest for publication purposes.

Because copyright is so HUGE, rather than talking about "copyright and sewing," I'm only really talking about the copyrightability of sewing patterns in particular. I'm also going to drop a hint as to the possibility of applicability of the analysis to other needleworks, embroidery, and quilting, but I do think I'll only have the space (and will get the most beneficial analysis) out of a focus on clothing patterns. I might be able to stretch it to craft patterns, but I'm not sure yet where the difference would be.

------
2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!! I'm subtracting fabric given away from my yardage in. Yeah!
In: 99.75 yards
Sewn: 77.5 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

BriarRose
BriarRose
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Member since 10/30/10
Posts: 1226
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Date: 12/2/13 8:51 PM

I'm a great fan of keeping it simple and not going off on too many tangents. The general information about sewing might be fascinating to everyone on PR but I suspect a proff who teaches a class involving legal issues would prefer a cut to the chase which in this case is not where Harriet Homemaker gets her tools.

My suggestion for an outline follows. Please excuse both the structure (it isn't translating well from my computer) and my temerity in presenting an alternate outline.

I. Evolution of the home sewer

--A. Pre-industrial revolution (necessity of spinning, weaving, and sewing)

B. Post-industrial revolution to computerization (Sewing machines and mass production of fabric and clothing)

C. Computerized age (sewing for business and pleasure)

II. Sewing patterns

A. Historical review (Godey’s Lady’s book, first paper patterns, modern companies)

B. How patterns are used by today’s sewers (home sewing, sewing for hire)

III. Legal implications of “For Home Use Only” (main body of the paper)

------
I've quit fighting my inner demons. We're on the same side now.

It's just fabric; we can out-think it.

HanPanda
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HanPanda
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Date: 12/2/13 9:09 PM

BriarRose, I like that a lot. It can be fleshed out a bit but the details on my outline that are coming across as a little more prominent would definitely not be as much so in that structure. I also like the idea of separating generalized "sewing history" from "sewing pattern history," which I think is going to be more helpful from an academic structure perspective. Thank you!

------
2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!! I'm subtracting fabric given away from my yardage in. Yeah!
In: 99.75 yards
Sewn: 77.5 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

GlButterfly

GlButterfly
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 8/28/08
Posts: 3263
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Date: 12/2/13 11:53 PM

Wonder if our member Harriet Homemaker will have some input? LOL

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That's Gl = for Gloria, not G. I.

BrendaR
BrendaR
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Date: 12/3/13 0:15 AM

Have you done a literature review?

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