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Copying obsolete patterns – copyright?

timetosew | Posted in Patterns on

Can anyone comment about copyright on dress patterns?

We often see garments shown in patterns that are no longer produced by the pattern companies.

Is it infringement of the pattern company’s copyright to make a copy of someone else’s copy of a now-obsolete pattern and use it for one’s own, non-commercial use?

What would be the legal implications of asking across the Internet whether someone has a particular pattern and is prepared to copy it?

Are there any web sites that buy/sell patterns?



  1. Jean | | #1

    There are lots of patterns on sale at ebay, also try a search on Google.com.  Here's a site for vintage patterns.... http://www.vpll.org/

  2. KVJOHNS | | #2

    This doesn't answer your copyright question, but you can find old patterns on the internet: http://www.oldpatterns.com, and for a walk down memory lane: http://www.olddollpatterns.com (I found a photocopy of my grandmother's doll pattern there, ca. 1930's---much easier than trying to make a copy from the doll she made me!)

    --Kelley in Alabama

  3. stitchmd | | #3

    From what I've read in books and other internet discussions the big issue is whether you're going to make things for sale using a pattern. If it's for your own use there is usually no problem If they've discontinued the pattern, so cannot sell it to you, how can they object to your buying it from someone else? Also it is so expensive to pursue copyright infringements no company would bother unless they are somehow losing money by your activities. Most of the large commercial pattern companies have some old stock available, you can find them via internet search engine, eg Google, or 800 phone directory or in pattern catalogues in fabric stores.

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