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Forum > Patterns and Notions > Using patterns to make garments to sell ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Using patterns to make garments to sell
kimdkus
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Date: 11/5/12 10:26 PM

I have a stupid question: I want to start to make cosplay costumes to sell, so I've been collecting patterns and plan to mix and change them to make cosplay costumes, and I noticed a warning on a pattern saying I'm not allowed to use the pattern to make garments to sell. So can I not do this? Do I need to make my own patterns? Or can I still mix and match patterns? Thanks.

RebeccaMarie
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Date: 11/6/12 1:46 AM

I've looked into this before. Long story short? You're probably okay, especially if you're mixing and matching different patterns and not trying to sell something straight from one pattern.

That said, it's definitely a big grey area. While you definitely can't copy the pattern itself and sell it -- I.E., buy a Vogue pattern, scan it, and sell people pdf copies for $5 a pop -- there's plenty of dispute over how far a copyright extends.

If I'm not mistaken, as long as you purchase one pattern for each garment constructed from it, you're in the clear from a legal standpoint. It's like you're simply charging for supplies and labor. To put it another way, if you hire a seamstress, it's okay for her to make a dress from a pattern and sell it to you. I don't think it's any different, legally, if you take out the consultation step of the process and sell the finished garments to customers.

Where it gets murkier is when you're trying to sell more than one item made using just one pattern. I'm honestly too sleepy to go through all the details, but here's a link to a useful intellectual property discussion thread exploring this whole issue at length. Best of luck!

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Humor, DIY escapades, pop culture, kitsch and creative miscellany from a bipolar bureaucrat with a sewing machine, a bottle of prozac, and an occasionally loose grip on reality -- http://sewciopathic.com ... plus, stuff for sale(!) at sewciopathic.etsy.com.

Andi
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Date: 11/6/12 8:49 AM

Some patterns indicate that you can use them to re-sell items made with the pattern, others explicitly say you can not. If it says you cannot, and you do, you are breaking the law, and can be prosecuted. I have made items for sale and I just found it easier to draft my own patterns so I didn't have to worry about mis- interpreting the law.

Kayabunga
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Date: 11/6/12 12:41 PM

Think of it this way ... when you use someone else's pattern you are using their intellectual property to make $$$ for yourself. Mixing and matching doesn't really change that, it is still their drafting, designing, etc. that created the part you are copying. Either get the designer's (or company's) permission or draft/design your own. This way you'll feel really good about what you're doing and your slate will be clean both legally and on a Karmic level. Plus if someone comes along and "knocks off" your design, you have a leg to stand on.

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Date: 11/6/12 1:25 PM

I recommend asking for permission from the pattern company.

Some of the independent pattern companies offer reasonable licensing fees and I think someone here posted that Jalie is OK with making garments for sale using their patterns (although I'd double check to be sure.) And that way you know you're OK and not infringing on anyone's copyright.

Otherwise you can learn to draft your own patterns and create your own original designs.

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Liz

RebeccaMarie
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Date: 11/6/12 3:47 PM

What the others have suggested is definitely important to consider.

Your odds of getting in hot water for using a pattern and selling stuff from it -- mix-and-match or otherwise -- are probably pretty slim. BUT: Just because something's legal (or in this case, where the intellectual property law leaves a lot of room for a good lawyer keep you out of trouble) doesn't make it right.

If it were me? I'd play it safe. Get permission, or draft your own patterns. That way, you'll know you're in the clear, no matter what. Life's too short to worry when you don't have to :).

------
Humor, DIY escapades, pop culture, kitsch and creative miscellany from a bipolar bureaucrat with a sewing machine, a bottle of prozac, and an occasionally loose grip on reality -- http://sewciopathic.com ... plus, stuff for sale(!) at sewciopathic.etsy.com.

crazygrad
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Date: 11/6/12 4:10 PM

This topic comes up every now and again, like in this thread.

stirwatersblue
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Date: 11/6/12 5:39 PM

Quote:
If it says you cannot, and you do, you are breaking the law, and can be prosecuted.


Technically, you wouldn't be breaking the law; you would be in breach of contract and could be sued by the copyright owner (civil vs criminal law). Either way, you shouldn't do it without permission.

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~Gem in the prairie

kimdkus
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Date: 11/6/12 6:23 PM

Thanks all, I appreciate it. :)) I mostly want to do princess cut dresses and then add my own stuff i.e. different sleeve types, neck lengths, outer skirts, dress lengths, scarves, cutouts, etc. I've seen some 1940's patterns and got some ideas from them also. But it seems a princess cut dress is a princess cut dress no matter who published the pattern. I"m just concerned I might get everyone into the pool claiming I stole 'their' princess cut dress. LOL!! So I want to use one princess cut pattern, then do my own thing with it. So can I do that instead? Just follow a princess cut dress and make my own sleeves, lengths, scarves, outer skirts, etc?

The thing is when I go to ebay, ect (not to mention the medieval faires) and look at medieval costumes, I know who's pattern the seamstress used to make the costume, so I was a bit confused as to why the pattern makers are saying no, you can't use our patterns, when I see the finished product all over the internet, making someone money. Very confusing. anyway, thanks all. I appreciate everyone's input.

Knowing it's best to use my own patterns will save a lot in money too.
-- Edited on 11/6/12 6:57 PM --
-- Edited on 11/6/12 7:37 PM --
-- Edited on 11/6/12 7:37 PM --

kimdkus
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Date: 11/6/12 7:27 PM

I also noticed on my older patterns, aged 2000 or 2004 don't have the do not use do not use phrase on the envelope. So I'm thinking is this a new thing? I also came across a woman on the net who copies 1940's and later patterns that are out of date, sells them on the net, but also has a do not use on her site. I'm a little confused on this one. If she copied an out of date pattern, does she have the right to say, you can't use this to manufacture stuff when it's not her pattern to begin with? This is so confusing. Thanks.

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