Selling Home Sewn Items Lots of Questions.

Updated on January 07, 2013
M.M. asks from Cave Creek, AZ
10 answers

Hopefully s.o can help M..

If I buy the pattern like from Simplicity...
Can I make and sell from the pattern??

I have made some dresses for my daughters,
no longer fit the gilrs as they are growing..

-I do want to make and sell girls cloths .
-I do wan to be able to buy the patterns and be able to sell my own home sewn items..
-I do not want to infringe on the pattern ,..
-- Ive tried looking up but have not found a good enough ?? perhaps site to tell M.
how to go about if I can or can not use some : Store Bought Patterns to sell my home sewn items?

Do I have to make my own patterns?
I've made my own patterns in the past for like house slippers, and baby items.
I've also made my own baby blankets.
I have looked up the sizes and then just go by the sizes..

What can I do next?

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answers from Los Angeles on

Unless you make it big--the pattern makers don't have time to spend on tracking a small time business.

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answers from Dallas on

Look closely at the pattern and packaging. It will typically say, for personal use only. (Or, not for commercial use...which is the same thing.) Check out etsy. There are A LOT of sellers that sell their patterns, and they are OK for commercial use. Some really cute ones, too!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I don't think that your home business will be that advertised. Just don't put the patterned dresses on line, if you do change them up quite a bit. Otherwise, just sell or sew to folk who see you modeling the clothes at home, church, the neighborhood...

Good luck--I would LOVE to have someone sew the things that I desired!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Once you buy a pattern and use it then that garment is yours to wear or sell as you see fit.

I suggest you go to the horses mouth. Call the Simplicity or McCalls companies and ask them.


everyone else, listed across the bottom of the page

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answers from Dallas on

I don't know about Simplicity or other commercial sewing patterns, but I do know with knitting patterns, you can't sell items that you knit from patterns designed by others unless it states so explicitly on the pattern. It's copyright infringement. Will the folks from Simplicity catch you and track you down and prosecute you? Probably not -- What I've seen happen in my small knitting world is someone will notice that somebody is selling something on Etsy or someplace like that and it looks to be made from a pattern designed by someone else. The designer of the pattern will be notified and then the designer will contact the person selling the item and ask them to stop.

I'd contact the company via email and ask them their policy on selling items made from their patterns. Just to be sure. The worst thing they can do is say no. And really, all you have to do is modify the pattern enough to make it "yours" and you should be OK.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

All of the patterns I have seen (McCalls, Simplicity, etc) say right on them that they are for personal use only.

The one I have in front of M. reads, "Sold for individual home use only and not for commercial or manufacturing purposes."

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answers from Appleton on

Contact a copywrite attorney. I just looked at a Simplicity pattern and it is copywrited but it does not warn you not to use it for commercial use.

You could also call the U. S. Copywrite Office, just look them up online.

I worked in a fabric store and heard some horror stories of people who used copywrited/trademarked fabrics and got caught. But I never heard any stories about buying patterns and making items and selling them.

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answers from Portland on

I suggest that making an item using a pattern that says for personal use only or not for commercial use and selling it is OK. You are not selling the pattern. The pattern may be patented but your garment is not. And, you are making personal use of the pattern. It's the garment you're selling.

I say this based on my experience as a home economist. I've seen lots of items made with commercial patterns being sold to others. I see clothes sewn with patterns illustrated in sewing magazines. The magazine gives written credit for the pattern but still talks about sewing for bazaars, etc.

One thought is who would enforce this if it's true you can't sell the clothes? The pattern company would have to file in court against the seamstress and they certainly aren't going to spend the time and money to do that for a home sewer. It may be that if one formed a large company with a named line of clothing that they sold on the Internet or in a store that would be a different story.

I suggest that you call the pattern company to ask this question so that you have a more authoritative answer.

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answers from Washington DC on

I'm guessing it would be ok, but I would seek legal and accounting advice before embarking on anything. Sounds like fun!

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answers from Amarillo on

There are several sites on the web that have patterns for sale and you get a license to make items from the pattern. This maybe a way to go to keep you out of trouble.

As far as the licensed patterned fabric I would stay away from that if you are going to post pictures of the finished product. If someone were to bring you the fabric and ask you to make it that would be a different story as you did not buy the fabric but were commissioned to make an item for their personal use.

As others have said if you can modify the pattern so that it is not exactly what the designer envisioned you may be able to pull it off.

The other S.

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