August 29, 2014

Copyright, Fair Use and Fabric Law

Since I mostly use quilting cottons when creating my various sewing projects that I sell on Etsy  I suddenly began noticing declarations on the selvage that I am to only use the fabric for "home use" or "non-commercial use". I have been poking around the online world and I am not the first one to be blogging or writing about this.

One of the best sites  is Tabberone.  It's actually fun to read and they seem to really be on a mission.

A google search turned up this on LegalZoom

  • First Sale Doctrine
  • The "first sale doctrine" is the legal doctrine that protects the items that you make from copyrighted fabric and sell. Under the first sale doctrine, a copyright owner can enforce its rights the first time it sells an item. After the first sale, the item enters the stream of commerce, and the copyright owner's control ends. With copyrighted fabric, the first sale occurs when the copyright owner licenses or sells its copyright to the fabric manufacturer. When you purchase the fabric from a fabric store, your purchase is a subsequent sale that the copyright owner cannot control.

May discussions go back and forth about why or why not you should take these selvage statements seriously.

Now as a former school librarian who was the designated "copyright police" in her schools, I have learned a bit about books and media and fair use in education.  Mostly I have learned to watch out for Disney!  I'm almost afraid to type it.  But books and CD's and movies and workbooks are a whole different world.
These guys are the property of the creators. They sold the rights to print the fabric.
You may buy it and use it for ANYTHING. You may NOT stick it in your scanner and
copy it and print it on your own fabric using any iron on transfer.

There is  the  licensing of logos, trademarks and original work.  Disney can license a fabric company to produce yardage with Mickey's all over it. They can print warnings all over the place BUT if you purchased it from a legitimate source they cannot control how it is used after that. (See First Sale Doctine above)

You may NOT put your items on ebay, Etsy or anywhere and present them as Disney approved items. You MAY and should say that the items are made with Disney licensed fabric but are not associated in any way with the Disney Co.

I searched lots of online fabric sites and I found only one that stated the restriction in the listings. That was  Some say the fabric is licensed but doesn't say how it is to be used it simply seems to be a way to direct the buyer to the fabric.  Now I did NOT read every listing but they appear to be consistent. 
If you buy fabric online and you intend to use it for your Etsy shop items and when it arrives with this 
"warning" what are you to do?  You cannot return cut fabric in most cases. 

There is this:

I have these two fabrics which I bought at different times and perhaps even from different stores. The orangey red on the left has no "warning" but the one really neutral one on the right does!!!@*&%$!

I cut this stuff up to make these:

                     I understand Mickey, Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob but this TEXTURE!

Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear what you think but I do screen the comments so you won't see it right away.

August 19, 2014

A Piping Tip + More Mid Century Mod

I'm posting early this week as I have something to show you.  While meandering through lots of sewing stuff on Pinterest I came upon a tutorial on how to add piping or cording to a pillow or anything for that matter.  I'm always in the market for helpful hints so I checked it out.  Well, I am hear to tell you I suddenly felt the need to post my own version.  I don't want to disparage the nice person's offering but...

This is the way my mother showed me and she was a real pro.  She did upholstery and slip covers as well as anything else with a needle and thread.
Here is her  simple and nearly invisible way to make the beginning and end of cording on a pillow meet up.

 Leave some fabric at the beginning of your piping unstitched when you make it. Then start pinning it down on your project's edge at the point where inserted piping begins. Pin all the way around.
 When you get back to the beginning point cut your cording and fabric at the end to exactly meet up with the start. They to leave no gap or bump. Then fold over that fabric so no raw edge will show.

 Pin it down.    Now sew down the piping all the way around with your zipper foot. I always sew this down securely before I attach the back side of the pillow.  Sewing all those layers at once is too hard and will not save you time in the long run when it all goes awry.  

 ALERT! I was noticing how close my fingers got to the needle while using this zipper foot.  BE CAREFUL.  I have never sewn my finger...yet! This is the foot from an old Elna (Mom's) that finally had to put to rest.  I resurrected it for my new Janome because the zipper foot that came with the machine doesn't let me get as close to the piping "bump" even when I move the needle position

Notice the difference?

Here's another thing that caused me to wince but not like a sewn finger.  That screw on the right goes up and down with the needle and I have gotten my knuckle rapped a few times.

                                     Here is the nice neat finish.  CAN you see it?

 And here is the project I was working on.

I got into the mid-century modern mode when I offered to make pillows for Peter at Male Pattern Boldness.  See them here or in my previous post.

They were so much fun to do that I decided to get with the trend and make some for my Etsy shop where these are now listed.
Hoping other people like them as much as Peter
and Michael do because I'm going to make more in different colors and patterns.
Backs - The zippers are hidden under the center stripe.

Piping is the finishing touch that makes a pillow go pro.  I have made pillows without but they are never as satisfying.  

August 17, 2014

Peter's Pillows or Friends = Inspiration + Exhaustion

This week has been a rush...time wise and as a feeling.

I rarely do any crafts/artsy live events yesterday  was one of them in nearby Seville, Ohio. They are becoming quite an antique center. I never feel like I have enough stuff or the right stuff so I stitched up some last minute items.
Doesn't look like I'm killing myself here but the set-up and take down is exhausting and I did it in the driveway the day before to be practiced and ready. I love the brick wall background, but the trash cans kind of kill the ambience.  You'll notice this is a walk-thru booth. Some people walked in the street so as not to disturb me, which I found disturbing.

Didn't feel like I sold much , but when I got home and counted the cash it was okay.


Peter of the Male Pattern Boldness blog switched up his sewing and instead of making some of his superbly sewn garments, he made drapes.  I, who prefer non-garment sewing, challenged him that if he completed them, I would reward him with some new pillows for the sofa for more decor spiffiness.
Well, of course, he completed them in record time so I set to work immediately.  I didn't want to disappoint a friend.

If you are a blogger or a blog reader you know about these kinds of friends that the non-bloggers think you have made up.  But, when you find people with your interests who write entertaining and informative blogs you can become very attached. I hope this doesn't sound creepy. I am not a stalker and know the boundaries.


I wanted something to complement the colors in the apartment and the style so I went out of my comfort zone and searched Pinterest for Mid-Century Modern inspiration.

These were my inspiration for the designs.

I planned it out on paper
Made little pattern pieces with Kraft paper then traced them onto Heat n Bond Lite which allows you to stick your appliqués to the fabric without pins.  You'll see that I had to get those lines laid down first before stitching down the fabric pieces which had to be applied in the correct order.

After this point I was too into the project to even think about taking pictures.  After completing the appliqué, I used a fusible batting and machine quilted in whatever way the design "told" me.

Here they are completed.  They look pretty good on the brown chaise lounge but the main color is a very lightly patterned gray.  I love that the lighter orange has a silvery dot and that darker crosshatch pattern has a sewing reference. If you will look closely there a actually needles in the design.
                           When attempting the closeup my grandson photo-bombed the picture.

       The backs are pretty nice, too IMHO.  The zippers are hidden under the orange and blue stripe.

And here they are in their new home in New York City on Peter's sofa.
Stop by for a visit at Male Pattern Boldness. You will need to scroll down a way to after the wacky patterned shirt.

Since my mention and thank you on Peter's blog,  I have received a huge number of folks visiting my Etsy shop.  If they were looking for these pillow they were disappointed. These exact pillows will never be repeated , but I'm definitely going to make some more in the Mid-Century mode very soon.

August 3, 2014

Why? Why? Why?

Why do I sew?  Sometimes I think I must be nuts to do this.  I spend money on supplies. I create messes. I get frustrated.

But, I continue.  When I wasn't sewing much during my years as a school librarian, I really missed it. Mostly I missed making something that lasted.  Cooking and baking holds no charms for me and I skip over all those yummy looking recipes on Facebook and Pinterest because once you have labored over it and heated up the kitchen someone will EAT IT!

Cleaning has to be done from time to time but I'm certainly not a fanatic about it.  Some people keep strict cleaning schedules about exactly when certain tasks are to be done.  I do it when I see it.  Someone I know even insists that she (or someone) clean hard floors by getting down on their hands and knees!  That's why they invented handles on mops.  That would be like sewing everything by hand when there are all those wonderful machines just waiting to help out.

With sewing you can create something unique even if you follow all the steps in the pattern.  Then you can wear it, hang it in the window, throw it on the couch, carry it over your shoulder or even gift it to someone else OR in my case because I make a lot and need to defray expenses, SELL it on ETSY.  As you can see I am an eclectic sewer.

This week I decided to spend more time with my serger. I signed up for Amy Allen's Beginner Serging on Craftsy and had only completed about half of it.  She shows how to make a ruffled apron in order to learn to make ruffles and a rolled hem.

I like all the technical helps in setting up the serger but I couldn't follow the apron directions exactly.  Firstly, I thought the apron looked too long and dowdy with five ruffles so I reduced them to four.  I chose to use some pretty crazy prints instead of the ombre shading from ruffle to ruffle.  I didn't like the waist finish and ties either.  I made mine from a large stash of grosgrain ribbon I acquired a while back. (See post here)


This first try was especially challenging because I used the woolly nylon serger thread that is supposed to make a better rolled edge.
The woolly term is because the thread untwists into a thick fuzzy end that is a nightmare to poke through tiny threading holes. Luckily you use it only on the loopers and not in the needles.  With just a few aprons I got plenty of threading experience because I often changed colors and I managed to break a lot of threads.  The tie on method of re threading NEVER works for me and it took longer for me to tie square knots than just thread it .

My biggest problem is shown below. I would get a whole hem done and then find a skipped area!*#!
The only fix seems to be to go back and do it all over again and shave an 1/8 of an inch off.

OH! BROTHER! or is it really supposed to be OH, BOTHER?

Even with all the anguish and gnashing of teeth, I feel I learned a lot and now can thread, re thread, troubleshoot and feel a level of comfort with this little brother.

Perhaps you think this has too much of a Minnie Mouse vibe, but I really like it.  The red fabric has a tiny white dot.  And these chickens are too cute.

Two potholders were the crowning touch made from a tutorial found on Pinterest. I couldn't resist altering its directions as well.  I used that silver coated heat resistant quilted stuff inside the larger side.  The directions called for terry cloth which I did use inside the yellow gathered pocket area.

In two weeks I am going to be selling in a little arts and crafts show in Seville, Ohio so I am trying to have a good supply and I am also going to offer some deals on some items that have proved slow to sell on Etsy.