Are sewing patterns copyright free? The simple answer to this question is no, although what you are allowed to with your sewing pattern will vary depending on the pattern itself and the company that made it. Copyright when sewing patterns are concerned is a very controversial thing and many people seem to have differing opinions on it. If you went to a shop and purchased a sewing pattern you would see a copyright logo on the pattern and some where it would say "for personal use only" or "for home use only". This is where things get difficult. You as the consumer are allowed to purchase a sewing pattern and create the item for your own use (personal), you are not allowed to sell the item for a profit. For most home sewers this is fine and never causes a problem. Copyright problems start to occur when you take your hobby and turn it into
. If you wish to become a
, for every dress you make to order (e.g. a client wants a ball gown), you have to purchase a new pattern, you are not allowed to re-use
patterns, each pattern classes as a license to make that dress. However, if you want to go into manufacturing, e.g. you want to make 10 identical dresses in different colors to sent to a consignment store, you will need to seek special permission from the pattern company or you will be breaching their copyright. The best way around this is to
create your own patterns from scratch
, this way you are not infringing on anyone's copyright, and you own all the rights to that sewing pattern. Some patterns may give you more leeway as far as usage goes, e.g. you may be allowed to make as many items from that pattern as you please, but you will still not be able to sell the item for profit. There is also some confusion as to whether the copyright applies to the pattern or to the garment that is made, as many people believe that each garment that is made will be different, so the copyright won't apply. The copyright applies to both the pattern and the garment, as it is Intellectual Property, someone took the time to create that pattern, based on an idea to create a garment (or other item), which means the copyright applies to everything. If you are in doubt about copyright, it's best to ask the manufacturer or designer, they should be able to tell you what you are or are not allowed to do with the pattern. If you are looking for copyright free sewing patterns, be very careful as sometimes there may also be clauses which prohibit certain things, so again ask the designer or manufacturer before you start making anything.
Written by Laura Marsh. Did you find this information on sewing patterns useful? For more sewing patterns and information visit http://www.lauramarshdesigns.co.uk/e-patterns.htm