CGM Podcast Episode #65: A Recap and a Rant

Listen to the episode here

Show Notes 

Life Update:
  • Anniversary Trip to St. Croix
    • Buck Island National Monument - sorry I called it a National Park in the episode! It is indeed a monument, operated by the National Park Service...go figure!
  • Book Expo America recap
WIPs and FOs:
  • Billie Holiday art quilt - see previous blog post for pics and recap
  • Still sketching!
  • I'm making a Moneta dress this summer, by participating in the Moneta Sew-along. Pattern is from Colette Patterns. Check out their blog here (lots of great sewing tips and info.)
  • Knit socks and Rainbow Baktus scarf on hiatus for a bit while I get my knitting mojo back
A Rant: Don't Be an A-hole in Sewing (or life for that matter)
  • Shonda Rhimes commencement speech
  • Sew Together Bag - Craftsy pattern
  • Bionic Gear Bag
  • Comment below on what you think: A-hole move or just one pattern designer putting her stuff out there?
    • NOT mentioned in my rant, but I should have added that I in NO WAY support any of the hate being thrown either pattern designers way over this issue. Seriously, my main hope is that we can all play nice and that also goes for the buyers of patterns and blog "fans" who can get a little rabid or mean-spirited in their comments when trying to show support for one designer over another.
Classic Movie:

with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda
Book Review:

by Kate Alcott

Thanks for listening!



  1. I have mixed feelings about the bag issue. Yes, she bought the other pattern first. I'd have to see both to decide how much was copied and how much was just inspiration. But isn't that how all (or most) new patterns are made? I've made dresses or shirts or quilts or stuffed animals, and I like them but have this idea how to make them a little better, so I changed the pattern by doing this and this and this. So now it's different.

    And maybe someone else likes the changes I've made, and wants to make it that way. Let's face it: no one would blink if these were all free tutorials. The only difference between this situation and the dozens of disappearing nine patch variations is that someone is charging for them.

    No, Camille Roskelly didn't make a fuss, but I think that was partially because she knew the appeal wasn't in the slight remaking of a very old block, but her fan base coming together to see how she envisioned it and made the directions friendly. If she had gotten all huffy about it, maybe I'd remember the name of the other designer or her pattern...which I don't. Kate Spain certainly didn't win any new followers when she got the lawyers involved.

    Sometimes I think the A-Hole is the one who thinks that they came up with some idea that is so original and creative that no one in the world could possibly imagine or improve it.

    PS...I am missing out on some of your content because I can't get Feedly to pull in your link. Is it just me? Any clue why?

    PPS...your trip sounds fabulous. Wish I were in St. Croix right now!!

  2. I agree with Nonnie, I too have mixed feelings. I don't think we would have the diversity of products available to us, if we weren't allowed to improve on what is out there and slap a new and improved sticker on it. Also, I read somewhere that bags and garments are considered "useful articles", and therefore can be copied almost exactly without much recourse. I'm not saying it is not an A-hole kind of thing to do, I'm just sayin.

    It leads me to ponder quilt patterns. I don't think Quilt Patterns were included in that definition of useful articles, but perhaps they should be?? Let's face it, a blanket is a useful article, regardless of how many painstaking hours it takes to make it. I think the only reason quilts were left out, is because quilts can be art and art is protected. Drawing a line between a quilt made for use on a bed, and one that is "art" might be tricky and messy. I am sure we have all seen some bed quilts that are just stunning, likewise I've seen some wall hangings that I am not sure are art.

    I recently posted a discussion on my blog about Originality in patchwork, and used one of the Roskelly patterns as an example. I can tell you that it is the most viewed post I've had in a while, and while many of the comments shared common threads, there was a wide range of opinions. Some people didn't even feel comfortable posting their opinions and emailed me directly instead.

    Perhaps this issue does not have a black and white answer??

  3. I have to agree with you on the skirt issue. It looks too small and like it doesn't fit the gorgeous model. I do applaud the company for showing the skirt on a model who is not sized 2.

  4. I agree with you, Tanesha. I think it is definitely a copyright issue. Putting it in book publishing terms, say someone took a hugely popular book, Twilight, changed the characters names, maybe added a character or two, had the book take place in Upstate New York, and maybe added an additional subplot, and renamed it, oh, I don't know, Edmure, the Bionic Vampire, but kept most everything else the same, using most of the original book. They then published it and charged money for the book. Copyright issue? Of course.There is such a thing as fan fiction, but there are a lot of authors that do not "allow" fan fiction written from their books, and you can't really blame them after all of their hard work and intense research. Diana Gabaldon is a prime example.

    Now, was the Sew Together Bag derivative of another bag out there somewhere? Maybe, but maybe not to the same degree. I think changing and maybe improving the pattern is great, but selling the pattern, well, that gets a little iffy.

    1. Liz, just to clarify copyright legalities, any changes to size, construction or wording makes it a new pattern. The only thing that you cannot copy is the pattern itself by copy machine. The "Sew Together Bag" is an exact copy of a pattern that was featured in a Japanese magazine and had a free tutorial made by a Russian. That is a copy. The "Bionic Gear Bag" was made with the basic idea of the STB, but is vastly different. No copyright infringement whatsoever.

  5. First off, in general patterns are not copyrightable, if you look at the big pattern companies, like Simplicity, McCalls etc, they don't have a copyright on any of their patterns. Also, you can find a pattern for very similar items from each of the "big" pattern companies, but you don't hear of them attacking each other over who copied who with a pattern. I don't think the move by the other pattern maker was an A hole move at all, she liked the Sew Together bag, and wanted to make one, so she bought the pattern and after she made it, she realized that it didn't do exactly what she wanted, and so she made some alterations to it and liked it much better. I believe that some of her friends wanted one of her bags and asked her to make a pattern for it, which she did. I think we all buy a pattern and if we don't like it, make changes. Most of us don't write a pattern for those changes, as we either don't want to take the time, or no one else may be interested enough to want a pattern with our changes. She saw that there was an interest and filled it. She could have just as easily told her friends to go find one of the similar patterns online and figure out the changes themselves. But she did what a lot of entrepreneurial people do, and filled a need.

    What I think is the AHole move, was all the "fans" of the Sew Together bag basically attacking, harassing and bullying the other pattern designer online. Like you said, there is enough room for all the different bag variations, and while a lot of bags may look the same, there are a few differences in how they are constructed, or what exactly goes into the bag. People have a choice in what patterns they wish to purchase, and some people can follow instructions from one person better than another. But to attack someone, and literately gang up on someone like the so called "fans" did, is beyond reproach. They are the ones that should be ashamed of themselves and how they acted, and none of that should have been done in public like they did. Also, the fact that they couldn't even be bothered to learn what the laws are on copyright as it pertains to patterns, BEFORE they launched their attack, and just attack someone based on what they thought or felt is worse than childish. It was like they were throwing a tantrum, and didn't like what was happening so became a mob and attacked. THAT is by far a BIGGER AHOLE move than writing a pattern that is similar but still different than what someone else did.

    1. Hi Diane! I agree with you totally. I always change patterns and recipes! We all have different views; if we didn't, we would all be driving the same colour vehicle, eating the same foods and wearing matching clothes.
      Just to clarify, for anyone not informed about this, the "posse" from Sew Demented actually threatened bodily harm to RipStitcher and was verbally attacking her youngest family member. The bombarded Craftsy with demand letters filled with lies and accusations and made RipSticher's life hell. RipStitcher received hundreds of nasty, evil, threatening Instagram messages that were beyond "dis-satisfied" and were definitely felonious in any other state or province. Not an ethical way to run a business, not a way to treat another person and really not nice!

  6. I own RipStitcher's Bionic Gear Bag pattern. I did look at Sew Demented's pattern, but it was just too small and would not suit my needs. There is a world of difference in the bags; size, shape, features and composition. The only thing that a person cannot copy is the pattern wording. Period. That's copyright law; don't photocopy a pattern and distribute it as your own. What some people do not realize is that Sew Demented's pattern is an exact copy of a Russian tutorial featuring a Japanese pattern from a magazine. The fact that Sew Demented's posse is attacking RipStitcher's pattern is purely, IMHO, from jealousy. Why can't we just have a choice between two different bags; some require smaller bags; some prefer roomier ones.
    Just to clarify, for anyone not informed about this, the "posse" from Sew Demented actually threatened bodily harm to RipStitcher and was verbally attacking her youngest family member. They bombarded Craftsy with demand letters filled with lies and accusations and made RipSticher's life hell. RipStitcher received hundreds of nasty, evil, threatening Instagram messages that were beyond "dis-satisfied" and were definitely felonious in any other state or province. Not an ethical way to run a business, not a way to treat another person and really not nice! I will refuse to purchase anything from Sew Demented for this reason only; you choose to encourage people to take sides; you suffer the consequences.

  7. Can anyone give me a link to the russian tutorial? Japanese magazine article?


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