Category Archives: sewing patterns

The ethics of knocking off sewing patterns

Part of the reason I’d like to get a properly fitting bodice and skirt sloper is that my income is, to be frank, rather limited. I see so many cute indie patterns, but $16-$20 on a sleeveless (of course) dress with one view is something I can only indulge in sporadically. I can often find dupes in the big 4, but not with certain designs, and of course those are always the ones I like the most. In addition, I’m sized out of a number of the indie pattern lines, so I’d be making often drastic alterations to an already pricey pattern and it seems like it would just be easier to alter a block that already fits me.

However, I feel slightly guilty about my plan to do this. I very much want to support small businesses, especially when those businesses are primarily run by women, but not to the point where it doesn’t make sense. I’ll also fully admit that if I’m already out of their size range, I feel much less inclined to try to scrounge up the cash to buy a pattern.

I think I might be holding myself to a double standard because I have no problem with my inspiration folder full of clothing from Modcloth and other sites that I want to try my hand at drafting a pattern for. So much of fashion is knocked off as it is.. I’m fairly certain the people at Forever 21 don’t shed a tear over copying something from fashion week. And unlike them. I’m not making a profit.

I just feel like if a product comes close to meeting my needs but doesn’t I shouldn’t be obligated to buy it out of some nicey nice sense of support. These companies are after all a business offering a product that I should be free to take or leave. Yet I get the vibe from a lot of sewing blogs that people should buy stuff even if it doesn’t exactly work for them out of some vague sense of community. And don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the online sewing community but I feel like things get a little dicey when there’s money involved.

So, if you’re reading this, what do you think? Is it okay to knock off sewing patterns? Only certain kinds of sewing patterns? Only if you’re out of their size range?

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