March 29, 2015

Sewing for Me with Katherine Tilton and Vogue

 I have a number of fabric purchases that have been awaiting their turn to be transformed into SOMETHING but this project took precedence and got done. I attended the Cleveland Quilting and Sewing EXPO this week and for such occasions you MUST wear something hand made. I did so for one of the two days I spent there and here it is.
The fabric is a reversible knit in dots and stripes AGAIN. I made something with reversible knit previously (see here). 
The pattern is Vogue 8793 by Katherine Tilton and I chose it for the bit of quirkiness and the zipper detail on the double collar. The knit I chose is probably a bit stretchier than the Moderate Stretch Knit Only which is suggested. The stretchiness might be why the sleeve on the right in this photo is so much longer than the left. A tug would have evened them up but didn't see it until I put it up here.

An advantage of the extra stretch is that the sleeves are a bit tighter than I would like,  but the give makes it tolerable.

Here it is on me. Ooooh, I wish I matched this mannequin. She is a display piece NOT my dress form. 
This collar was the main reason to purchase this pattern (ON SALE) because all Vogue patterns are ridiculously priced (SEE HERE) The printed price on this one is $30. I got it online somewhere for $6, I think.
Again, I ignored instructions and bought a metal zipper, which is definitely what is shown on the pattern picture. 

Adding that double collar was the trickiest because the collar had a wad of layers and they are being sewn onto one rather thin and stretchy shirt layer. I did it on the regular machine with a stretch stitch and then trimmed it up on the serger. A row of top-stitching along that collar seam would have been nice, but I know I would have messed it up. It would have needed an interfacing to handle it and one more layer in that collar seam would have been asking for disaster.

It called for a Lightweight Molded Separating Zipper.  That would be plastic. I wanted this to have the effect of funky jewelry and plastic would just look stupid.  Granted, it would probably work out better in the laundry. This will be hand-washed, dried flat as I can imagine those little metal teeth biting into the soft knit.

Most of the shirt was assembled on the serger. Here I, once more, defy instructions and add the cuff BEFORE sewing up the sleeve seams. The pattern did show sewing the sleeve and side seams after the shoulder seam as in most knits.                                                                                
Again, I wish I was built like this mannequin. But even with Francine's nice straight shoulders you can see a glitch and a bit of stripe misalignment. My remedy for this is to just keep moving and no one will notice. 
Even after adjusting the shoulder width and using tape on the seam, I still get a droop. This pose is also not helping. Hubby was drafted into taking these and he worries way more about the edges of the picture and ignores how to make me look my best.

For your viewing pleasure, here is the left and right sides on Francine. I wish I had mixed it up a bit more on the inner and outer sides of the collars. This pattern would give you a way to mix and match a bunch of leftover knits. I would just make sure to pre-wash and make sure they are equally stretchy.                                                                                                     
Watch for the next installment of ThimbleFingers where I will show you what I acquired at the sewing expo that may change my life!

March 14, 2015

Even MORE Perplexing Pattern Problems - LEGAL

Many of you reading this know that along with Thimble Fingers Blog, I also have an Etsy shop CherylThimbleFingers. Maybe it was because yesterday was Friday the 13th (even though I am not really superstitious) I had a bit of bad luck.
Offenders awaiting trial

I was accused of breaking the LAW...COPYRIGHT LAW!!

As a former school librarian who was tasked with keeping the teachers in line with copyright, fair use and all of that, I should have known. But, should I really? It seems that the laws when it comes to the pattern and sewing field get very murky and muddled.

I was not reported to the higher ups at Etsy to remove the delinquent items; I just received a message from a fellow Etsian who said that some items in my shop were her design and her pattern which were published in a book with the statement in the fine print stuff up front that we librarians call the verso.

Now, understand this. I am not copying the pattern, instructions or any part of the book. I am following the written and illustrated directions to create a fairly simple purse organizer/wallet/wristlet/whatever that has a zipper. There is no pattern to cut out and use as a template. I must draft my own from the tiny drawing with measurements.

If you look at the bottom of the cover of the book ,it says what you CAN DO but nothing about
what you CAN'T DO.

 I snatched the listings down and then began ruminating on the matter and, as I am prone to do, I started questioning and researching and discussing. These kinds of issues come up all the time on the Etsy Forums with many opinions and none of them with the force of a court.

It seems the biggest problem with these things is that they never reach a court because the so-called infringer is too intimidated to take it on.


that I probably won't either in a legal way but

It was determined a number of years ago that dress pattern companies could not restrict what a home sewer did with the item made from the pattern.

The whole point of the first sale doctrine is that once the copyright owner places a copyrighted item in the stream of commerce by selling it, he has exhausted his exclusive statutory right to control its distribution.
Quality King Distributors, Inc. v. Lanza Research Int, 523 U.S. 135 (1998).

                                     From Circular 31 by the US Copyright Office (click on link for more)

Copyright protection extends to a description, explanation, or illustration of an idea or system, assuming that the requirements of copyright law are met. Copyright in such a case protects the particular literary or pictorial expression chosen by the author. But it gives the copyright owner no exclusive rights in the idea, method, or system involved.
Suppose, for example, that an author writes a book explaining a new system for food processing. The copyright in the book, which comes into effect at the moment the work is fixed in a tangible form, prevents others from copying or distributing the text and illustrations describing the author’s system. But it will not give the author any right to prevent others from adapting the system itself for commercial or other purposes or from using any procedures, processes, or methods described in the book. 

And there is a whole lot of interesting reading HERE that seems well-documented, but those who want to extend their grasp are known to refute .

 What am I going to do? Probably not a whole lot beyond discussing at this point. I only have 6 of these things I made hanging around and they have been very slow sellers on Etsy and at the few craft shows I have done. AND the are a B%@*H to make!

So, are there any sewing lawyers out there who want to take this on? I don't want a law suit to win damages. I want the United States Supreme Court to free us who sew from the bonds of control over things we make using a pattern that isn't even truly unique.

P.S. If you want to copy anything I have on this blog or in my Etsy shop, I won't do a damn thing about it.

While checking out a friend's Pinterest page, I found this:
Scroll down a bit past the interview and behold. FREE instructions on the making of a folding sewing accessory holder, very much what I made,  with wonderfully detailed directions and NO warnings that if you make one you CANNOT SELL it.
But, we are not done yet. Click on the comments link at the bottom and....I dare not spell it out!

March 5, 2015

A Frozen Month Goes By + Perplexing Pattern Pricing

A whole wintry month has gone by since my last post. I vowed to keep this blog up weekly when I began but like many other bloggers the pace slows over time.
Eventually you have little more to say and the world outside doesn't help.
Bad iPhone pic

This backyard snowman is hard as a rock but he has seen several small thaws and refreezes since the grandkids and Grampa built him. He once had plastic pot headgear as well as a face and a second mitten.

The front yard guy is faring a bit better, but his hat and face departed and this morning he only has one mitten on. It is nearby on the ground.

That yellow one from the backyard may have been dragged off to become a sleeping bag for a mouse.

I really hope these blue ones survive. They are hand knit, but no one ever wears them.

Sewing is supposed to be the focus of this blog so I will try to get back on topic even though the only thing I have to say right now is incidental.
I mentioned in my month old post that I decided to use my beautiful Italian wool knit to make  Marcy Tilton Vogue #8982. 
On one of my trips to Joann Fabrics I was going to pick it up but changed my mind when I saw the price was $27.50!! And no coupons allowed.

Now I respect Marcy's skill and the fact that Vogue has always been pricey, but no way is nearly $30.00 for a jacket I will make once sensible at my income level. And I am not poor or even uncomfortable, but just SENSIBLE.

When I spoke to the woman at the cutting counter about it
she got out her little handheld computer thing and looked into it and told me if I would come back the NEXT day ALL the patterns would be on sale for $4.00!!!!!

Well, it is a 20 minute drive but hubby was giving blood that day so I drove him to the blood-letting place and scooted on over to Joann's again.

Yup, they were all on sale, however slightly different. The big 3 were, I think, 3 for $4.00 or something like that and the Vogue was $5.00. Now, I was happy, but I still find it strange, perplexing and weird that a pattern price can be cut more than 80%. Does anyone ever pay the full price and if they do are they subsidizing the penny-pinchers like me?
Just asking.