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Old 05-05-2008, 01:02 PM   #1
cookworm
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UPDATE (pg. 2) - Selling hand crafted items from patterns
I hope this doesn't come out sounding rude, I don't mean it to be, but I am really wondering about this and I haven't been able to figure it out on my own, so here goes.

I like to do needle crafts, but I occasionally sew, too, and I use patterns for garments (since I am not a designer and don't know how to design my own garments, I have to use patterns). I noticed that with the sewing patterns for garments, I have yet to see a stipulation on the package that you are forbidden from making mass garments from that particular pattern and selling them for profit, so I wondered why it seems that in the knitting and crocheting world, it seems many people are kind of touchy about using their patterns to make things for profit. Now I totally understand why a person offering a free pattern would be upset if I decided to sell their free pattern (because that would be totally wrong), and I do understand why people offering free patterns may stipulate that you can use their free patterns for charity donations, but why is it when you buy a paid pattern--just like I would buy a paid pattern for sewing--many designers forbid you to make a profit off of mass producing items from that pattern? I'm not reselling the pattern, but maybe I would like to resell items made from that pattern, items made by my hands and my labor.
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:20 PM   #2
LilHuskiesFootBallMom
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there have been too many instances of someone using a pattern then turning around and claiming it was their own... check out some of the postings on different websites re: crochet world.

Someone made the item then turned around and sold the pattern to the magazine (it was IDENTICAL to the one this lady had come up with)

it's why i don't post any patterns i create.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:26 PM   #3
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Thanks for bringing this up....I have had simular questions...

I guess the legal should be you can sell this item, so long as the pattern gets credit?

The item can be sold unless it is published?

I totally agree that the person who wrote the pattern should not be sold out....

but at the same time...I have to agree with cookworm as well...if you took the time and energy to make it....you should be able to sell it too!
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:42 PM   #4
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a lot of them also have stipulations as well.

Ie: Crochet World allows you to LEGALLY make and sell 3 items made from their patterns.

Many other designers will allow you to sell the items, so long as you do not sell the pattern.

We went through Copyright Infringement in my web design class. I found that typically, so long as you e-mail or contact the owner of the copyright of the pattern and ask politely as well as explain the situation (ie: I e-mailed Pat from Pat's web graphics about using graphics made by her on my website for my class as well as in a paper I was doing and not only was she more than happy to give her consent, but was happy that colleges were covering this in their classes.. She's actually a very nice woman),they will usually allow you to sell the items so long as they are given credit as the designer of the pattern. case in point: woolen pants style soakers. I have found no fewer than half a dozen patterns for the same garment that are identical, with approximately 3/4 claiming it is their "original" pattern and are trying to sell the patterns. I have a woman on my parenting board asking me to make items for her children and is willing to pay me for them... I am only charging her the cost of materials and my time, So she is contacting her husband's aunt who has an alpaca farm and not only dyes, but spins her own yarn as well.

You also need to change a pattern at least 10 percent in order to claim it as original.

When in doubt, contact the owner of the pattern.
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:52 PM   #5
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This has always puzzled me as well. So basically, for any pattern you buy, make and want to sell, you have to write them for permission? I think it's really strange that it doesn't seem to be the case for sewn items. Case in point: I have a friend who makes twirl skirts for little girls. She bought the pattern from a fabric store. She makes and sells them for 40 dollars each and spends maybe 3 hours making them. That's a nice, tidy profit! But she never gives credit to any pattern maker. Just lists them as handmade.
But if I want to sell my totes, I have to ask the pattern maker and then get permission? I don't want to have any claim to fame about the pattern itself.
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:35 AM   #6
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As a seamstress, I usually made garments for people and yes, got paid for doing it. I ran a totebag mfg. plant for over 12 years and made mass quantities of bags, aprons, etc... from patterns designed by someone else... Key word... Manufacturer: someone that takes raw materials and constructs them into a finished item for resale. As a crocheter, seamstress, knitter, etc.. you are basically a manufacturer. Now, in layman's terms, you do not have to state or make notice that you used a particular pattern when you make items to sell. BUT, if you imply, write or state that you designed the item, and actually used someone else's design, you are infringing on their rights and it's illegal. HOWEVER! Some designers actually state, in writing, that the sale of items produced from their design is prohibited. So, you need to be very careful and make notice of the particular designers' notations. As is the case in most situations... It's polite and smart to ask permission from anyone whose taken the time to design something.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:40 AM   #7
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On ravelry there is a group where they are trying to work together on this (designer/knitter)...I tend to agree I think if you buy the pattern as long as you don't mass reproduce and have the designers permission...why not...but some don't feel that way...On this group, designers are discussing a license and then some have said that they will start stating in their patterns that you can make up to 'x' amt before you have to contact them.... so hopefully it will change soon...
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:02 PM   #8
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Look at it this way. You know how long it takes to knit up a project, but it probably takes 10 times as long to create a pattern. For garments especially you need to figure out the size ratios, knit and frog, knit and frog, write it up, etc. There is a lot that goes into it. How would you feel if you had spent countless hours creating a pattern and then having someone else claim it as their own and make a profit from it? I don't think I'd be happy about it.

http://www.geocities.com/jbtocker/co...copyrfaq4.html

The link above gives lots of help for this and explains how much needs to be changed etc to call a pattern your own.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:52 PM   #9
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This is an interesting discussion and usually I stay out of all the copyright talks. However, I don't think the intention of the OP was that they want to make and sell what they make and claim the pattern as their own. But rather just like in a sewing pattern have the ability to purchase a pattern and make the item and sell it for profit.

I would think it takes just as long for those who create sewing patterns to make it just so like those who create knit and crochet patterns.

And as for the woolen pants soaker patterns - I haven't been knitting for a real long time but after making a couple raglan sweaters (Mr. Greenjeans and Juliet) you pretty much can figure out how to make your "own" pattern - in fact, other than the lace on Juliet and the cable on Mr. Greenjeans - they are the same. So what i mean is, once you get the basic construction knowledge of anything - socks, sweaters, soakers - you can make your own w/o a pattern and claim it as your own.

I'm not a fast knitter so selling stuff I make probably wouldn't make me much.
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jan in CA View Post
Look at it this way. You know how long it takes to knit up a project, but it probably takes 10 times as long to create a pattern. For garments especially you need to figure out the size ratios, knit and frog, knit and frog, write it up, etc. There is a lot that goes into it. How would you feel if you had spent countless hours creating a pattern and then having someone else claim it as their own and make a profit from it? I don't think I'd be happy about it.
Thanks for the link, Jan--it's very helpful! I thought something like that had been posted before but after doing a search, I couldn't find it in any previous posts.

I COMPLETELY agree that a designer should be upset if someone were trying to pass off their design as their own (I would be!), but only if the crafter is claiming the design as their own. As tokmom said, her friend doesn't claim the design of the girls' skirts as her own design, just that she handcrafted them, which she did. I would not and have never claimed a design as my own, but the time, work, and money used for materials that go into making is certainly is mine. If I make something for a family member or myself and a someone comments on the design, I always point them in the direction of the pattern. If it's simply a matter of putting a disclaimer on FO's you intend to sell like a label or a sign at a craft table that says, "Handcrafted using a design by Jane Doe", that would certainly be easy enough to do. I am not trying to take anything away from designers, because frankly, I could do NO crafting whatsoever without a pattern. I know it takes time, skill, hard work, and extreme talent to design patterns; I have neither the talent nor skill to design patterns myself, which is why I need to use others' patterns. So their hard work is invaluable to me and completely appreciated...without it, I couldn't knit, sew, or crochet. I'm certainly not trying to demean what they do, because if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't create anything.

If I'm a designer--no matter whether it's sewing, knitting, etc.--I have two choices. I can either design a pattern and sell it and make a profit that way, or I can choose to not make the pattern available to anyone but I can mass produce my design into FO's and sell them that way. If a designer chooses not to mass produce their design for whatever reason and opts to only sell the pattern, I still don't understand why there's opposition to the pattern purchaser making a profit.

Ensuring a designer gets credit for FO made from their designs is very easily remedied by the seller including a label in FO's or putting a sign up at your selling table indicating that it's a design by such-and-such a designer. Maybe designers could make a stipulation like that in their patterns if they are concerned they won't get credit for their designs, instead of strictly forbidding any type of duplication for profit at all?
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