Sew, What's Up

Sew What’s Up Presents

The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: MaryW
Date: 04-17-2004, 01:47 PM (1 of 4)
I know we have covered this before, but the posts have disappeared. If anyone can help this lady, please respond here.

i've been sewing for many years.I've decided to start my owen sewing business.What i want to do is concern myself with Lingerie for plus size woman,and tote bags.What i need to know is can i use any ones patterns,or do you know of a company that i can use,either for their patterns or if they will make patterns for me.Do you know the rules as far as copywrite laws for such
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: shadylady
Date: 04-17-2004, 02:41 PM (2 of 4)
OK, I'll give it a shot. I sew Home Decor, but the same rules would apply.
The commercial patterns (McCall, Vogue, etc.) are for one time use. A customer can buy it, and give it to someone to sew it for them, then it should be discarded (or it can be used over by the customer). But honestly, unless you're publicizing (sp?) that you're using so and so patterns, who's really going to know? :bluewink:
If a pattern is marked "Professional", then it can be used to make things and sell, repeatedly.
I don't think there are any pattern companies who will make custom patterns, but there are individuals who will make patterns for you.
Or learn to make your own patterns. You could also use commercial patterns, and alter them, on pattern paper. This now becomes your pattern to use over again.
User: shadylady
Member since: 09-19-2003
Total posts: 58
From: Linda in Colorado
Date: 04-17-2004, 03:26 PM (3 of 4)
Okay, I am not a copyright lawyer, but, having said that, here's what I understand to be true.

Any commercial pattern is for the home sewist only. Yes, a person can purchase a pattern, take it to her seamstress to have a garment made, or several garments, all from the same pattern. If more than one garment is to be made from the same pattern for several different people, that can't legally be done. Think Wedding Party. Each wedding party participant needs to have his/her own patttern.

There are some people out there who will tell you that if you change a certain percentage of the orginal pattern, then it can be used as your own. Not so. The pattern you use to make items for speculative selling needs to be your own pattern or you must have written permssion from the designer of the pattern.

There are a couple of companies out there who give you permission right on the pattern instructions that you can make X number of items from that pattern for selling at crafts shows, etc. Those companies are few and far between, though.

So I'd say the best thing to do is to research the pattern companies you intend to use (to determine if they will allow you to use the patterns for commercial items) or make your own patterns. Sounds like a lengthy process, doesn't it? In the end, though, it will be to your advantage to design the pattern. Then YOU will hold the copyright on it!

One more thing -- the idea of making and selling lingerie for plus sized women is an excellent one! Please keep us posted on what you decide.
User: Linda in Colorado
Member since: 03-27-2000
Total posts: 102
From: paroper
Date: 04-17-2004, 07:55 PM (4 of 4)
First of all, I know of a person who started a home business making women's lingerie and is doing extreamly well!! Good luck on your venture! Next, question: Can she purchase one of the pattern making software packages and use it? There is a thread on one of these forums about one in particular that looks inviting.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
Sew, What's Up
Search the “Sew What’s New” Archive:
Visit Sew What’s Up for the latest sewing and quilting tips and discussions.
This page was originally located on Sew What’s New ( at