Monday, April 30, 2012

The Guise of Infringement

I don't know if you are aware, but Etsy has been "cracking down" on anything they deem copyright infringement. However I have had a few of my Etsy friends suffer from this so called crack down, and in my opinion it has been without merit. Of course in none of the situations have my friends been allowed to know the full story so neither do I.

Here is one instance. My friend worked with another seller to purchase a pattern. She explained the pattern would be used to create the item for a special event and then sold for charity. The pattern maker agreed, in writing, to this arrangement. The item was created, used for the event, and then put on Etsy to sell. The pattern maker was noted in the listing and links were included to the pattern for others to buy. The pattern maker turned in the listing to Etsy as infringement. My friend gave the documentation with the pattern makers approval to Etsy and was told that it didn't matter if she approved the use she was retracting it now. Therefore even a written contract was not valid.

In this instance because the specific item was one she had worked with another store, she was able to research the issue and attempt to defend herself, however fruitless it was.

Another Etsy friend created a design one night while we were brainstorming and having dinner and drinks. She went home and the next day made the garment with some fabric she had lying about. It was lovely! She posted it on Etsy and about a week later she received an email that the item had been removed due to infringement. Another Etsy store had turned her in saying it was their design. The worst part is she has no idea who it was that complained as Etsy will not divulge the accuser. However the item was removed and Etsy threatened my friend with shutting down her store because "so many complaints" had been received. Again she had no idea of the accusers, quantity of complains, or nature of complaints.

When a criminal commits a crime he is legally allowed to face his accuser, but we can have things removed without any form of retribution, discussion, or even the ability to prove our validity.

I tell these stories because we all have clothing that is similar. Meaning a neckline might look the same, or they may both have swing skirts, however all of us design our items from a wide variety of influences. There are bad stores out there, and when they are discovered then action is taken. Heck even Etsy got fooled, they had a featured seller that was having all her items made in Indonesia and shipped over, and a huge back and forth started over that one that still isn't sorted out.

We need to all be cautious in how we watermark our photos, make notations about copyrights, and a large variety of other things to protect our items. I have been working towards this goal, but it is a hard thing to do while working full time, creating, sewing, blogging, and everything else that has to happen.

Let us all work together to protect the things that are ours, but also understand that it is not entirely unheard of that another person we have never met might actually create something similar to our item without ever having seen it. I am sure this has happened to a lot of us, but we can also see it on the runways where designers create things that are similar even years later.

I just want us all to work together to build each other up and not create tension by using terminology that causes people to bristle.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pattern Review: Simplicity 3833

As dressmakers we all have patterns, some we bought, some we made, some we have modified to be something else. We all know about the copyright infringement issues with store bought patterns used for item that are sold. I have made changes to this pattern, but will not divulge those changes as this is merely a pattern review. 

Today I wanted to write about one that I bought and made into to a dinner dress. I loved the simple lines of the dress but figured some nicer fabrics would make it a perfect spring/summer dinner/date dress. 
Simplicity 3833 Retro Pattern
The top of the dress is a dull blue grey satin with just enough body to fit smoothly over the bust. The bottom was gold and blue lightweight taffeta with gold scrolled embroidery. The blue colors in both fabrics were a perfect match so it tied together really well. Plus the finish of both fabrics had the same sheen. 
Completed Garment
There are darted seams at the bust for shaping that also give the front a scoop shape below the bust. It also has a tie in the back that I elected to simply have a pretty pearl and gold button for attachment. The dress fits slightly loosely, but provides a very feminine shape. 

Back tie and Button
I know that there is a large percentage of dressmakers that turn their noses up to using store bought patterns, but a large percentage of them learned to sew from people that used store bought patterns. I am of the school of though that there are so many idea out there that a store bought pattern is a great learning tool. I have patterns I have created myself, and I have store bought patterns. To me they are all tools to be used for my passion.

Of course my own made patterns are ones I have created for historical pieces and tend to fall back on store patterns for daily wear items.

What are your go to tools in the way of patterns? Custom made, store bought, or a combination of both?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Another blog with Great Advise

We all know that sometimes we get caught up in our standard sewing techniques and sometimes either don't take the time to learn new ones, or forget to share the information of our own special things with others.

This is why I usually love to surf the power of the internet for all kinds of fabulous blogs and sites that have great advise, reminders of things we might have forgotten, or just a general consortium of knowledge.

I found another one.....


I love the name it fits me personally, and I am sure it fits all of you as well! Take a look at some of her posts. I was turned on to this site by the post about how to sew stripes. I hate stripes, but this made me not hate them nearly as much.

We will see if the next stripes I sew turn out as good as hers.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

UPDATED! The Low Down on the Giveaway!

Okay I had posted here about the giveaway I participated in that increased my Facebook following so significantly that in four days I went from 74 Likes to 1,500+.

I had a lot of inquiries about the process and it became apparent that I was unclear. However I have now been informed of another giveaway in the Month of May and I want to encourage all my Team Members to involve themselves.

Keep in mind that this is a tool for you to increase your own visibility, but if you win that is great too!

The complete details are HERE! (The link has been removed as sign up is closed)


The way this works is you follow the very simple rules. Which are...

1. This is FREE to get on the rafflecopter! 2. You MUST have this giveaway shared by your Facebook Fan page between 9:00 p.m. EST, May 3, and 9:00 a.m. EST May 4. 3. You MUST promote this giveaway a total of 9 times on your Facebook Fan page throughout the 3 weeks it is live. 4. This giveaway will run from 9:00 p.m. EST on May 3 through 12:01 a.m. EST on May 24.

The Rafflecopter is the way people enter the contest, and once the contest opens then people must "like" your Facebook page to enter the contest.

Now if you don't follow the rules, the administrators of the contest will remove your information from the contest, and in some cases not allow you to participate in future events.

When people connect to you, they will then see your posts in their feed, and it is only reasonable that it will increase your views and hopefully in turn result in sales.

I entered the first contest trying to win, because I wanted a Kindle Fire. So the entire situation was shocking to me once I learned what I had actually done.

However Etsy tells us that using social media to our advantage is a plus, and if we can find ways to expand our social media footprint then I think that is a great plan!

GOOD LUCK! Let me know if you have any questions at all!

UPDATE: on April 17th I was informed that the signup for this event was closed. As soon as I find more of this type of events I will post them for your use. Keep an eye on Facebook and other locations as well.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Suggestions to Grow Visibility!

Trying to Find a Dressmaker! 
I know that all of us struggle at times with getting people to look at our products, but we all know that if we can generate more traffic our chances of sales go up. I accidentally fell into a way to make this happen, and it has been SHOCKING! Almost too easy for words.

First when I started my blog I read a book by The Simple Dude called Grow Your Blog. It was only $1.99 and it gave me some simple tips and ways that help your blog grow. Now I have seen dramatically increased traffic, but as of yet I haven't gotten to his level of success. I have faith though.

I know not everyone has a blog and it can be a little daunting and confusing to get it all started and set up the way you like it, but if you already have one this may be a good idea. If you are interested in starting a blog, I would be happy to help, and could even do maybe a series of tutorials to help Team Members if you are interested.
Second, I found a contest where they were giving away FOUR Kindle Fires. I know it is somewhat foolish to think that I will get one, but it was also foolish to think I would win the $540 million power ball, but I gave it a $2 try anyway.

Now I had never heard of this site before and didn't know a lot about it, but they have these contests with varying prizes frequently. The trick to them is that they use a company called Rafflecopter, and on of the biggest ways to gain entries into the contest is to "Like" the Facebook pages of participating companies.

I know this can be annoying, but in 24 hours I received an additional 1200+ additional Likes to my Facebook page. I also saw an increase in number of people reached from an average of 60 to a new number of 275!

Here is what you need to think about, when people like your companies page all the items you post on your Facebook go into their News Feed. A ton of people that know nothing about you see your items, and it is only reasonable to think that someone will eventually click on your item.

Etsy tells us that using social media to our advantage is a highly successful and FREE advertising method. It doesn't matter how you get people to like your page, you just need to get them there. I stumbled into this hopefully highly advantageous event, and wanted to share with my team members.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Vintage Guidance

Good Morning Team Members!

So this morning I wanted to bring a different blog to your attention!

Gertie's Guide for Better Sewing

She is obviously a very talented seamstress and has some great advise, and not to mention I personally love her style.

I really would love for the team members to provide as much of our content as possible as I have a personal blog and assist with the blog of another team I am a leader in. I also think that having multiple authors will provide us with a great way to pool our collective skills.

If you have content send it to

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Send Us Your Content!

We can use this page as a way to meet up, discuss topics and learn from each other!

If you have ANYTHING you would like to submit a post for, tutorials, techniques, conferences, fabric selections, patterns, anything at all that pertains to the vast array of information that is dressmaking, we would love to post your content!

To begin I would like to see maybe 2-3 posts a month, as we grow and expand, that number is likely to increase.

If you know of blog that have content that we can all use and learn from, send me the link and we will make sure to add it to the necessary locations!

Send you content to

I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Sweety Darlin'