Using commercial patterns for a small business

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Using commercial patterns for a small business

Postby sewingbug » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:39 am

since I'm not so great at pattern making myself or don't have the means to hire one, Am I allowed to use say simplicity patterns for my small business wherein which i'll be making money from these patterns, Or is that illegal
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Postby JanS » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:44 am

If you are making and selling patterns, then no. That would be copyright infringement. If on the other hand you are making clothes from the patterns and selling the clothes, then you are fine, you can do that.
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Postby Kate XXXXXX » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:47 am

As I understand it, no. You can make ONE garment from a commercial pattern for a paying customer, but, technically, if you have three customers (say, bridesmaids) all wanting the same style, you should use a new pattern for each one. The pattern companies accept that this doesn't happen, and don't worry too much about it. Nor do they worry about folk tracing off the pattern in different sizes to use as their child grows... What you cannot do is make commercial patterns up in batches and sell those garments without a license agreement from the pattern company. If you do, you open yourself to an expensive legal procedure and punitive damages. License agreements are rare and expensive.

One way to avoid huge drafting fees, if you don't think you can go that far, is to employ a fashion student to draft and grade the patterns for you. This will probably cost you less than having a commercial pattern drafting company do it. However, you must get written into the contract that the designs are all your own original work and that once drafted and paid for, the patterns are wholly yours to do with as you will in perpetuity.

Another way forward is to learn the basics of drafting for yourself and then buy pattern drafting software. There are both commercial versions that will grade industry standard patterns in multiple sizes and packages for the home dressmaker or individual professional dressmaker. They are very good, but there is a learning curve, and knowing the basics is necessary in order to understand what the software is doing and how to manipulate it.
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