Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act and the home sewist

Are you a home sewist who buys pdf pattern files? Then this post is for you.  Did you know that when you buy and download those files, you are buying a copyrighted pattern from the designer?  You are given the right to print out that pattern but you are not give the right to make another copy of that file. Meaning, you are not legally allowed to email that file to a third party.  So, sending that file to your husband to print out for you at his office is not allowed.  Buying the file and then emailing it to a friend as a gift is not allowed.  Trading it with a friend for a pdf pattern she has is also not allowed. Why? Well, in a nutshell, because you are making a copy of the file to do this sharing and you are only legally allowed to have one copy.

Now, let's back up a second. What does all of this mean and is Kathy sure of what she is writing? Well, first of all, I am not an attorney.  On a good day I feel pretty smart, but some days I feel darn right average. Still, I do my best to understand my topic and I  have done some reading and I wrote about this topic once before, here.  That blog post was about the idea of using a pattern you purchase to sew a garment you then sell. 

This post, however, is about sharing with others the pdf patterns you purchase.  Copyright refers to the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.  When someone designs a pattern, they can copyright it to protect it. When you purchase a copyrighted work, such as a book, a sewing pattern, the lyrics to a song, etc, you will see something like this written on the document: This document is protected by copyright laws and any reproduction of it, including electronic transfer to a third party, is strictly prohibited.  That all means that you cannot share the pdf with anyone. Period.  

Now, you may think that it is not really THAT big of a deal to share a pdf pattern between friends. With paper patterns, this is a common practice.  But, here's the difference.  When you share a pdf pattern, you still keep a copy of that pdf file on your harddrive. Now there are two copies for the one purchase price.  You could do this ad nauseum, sharing this file far and wide, and the artist who created that pattern could potentially lose out on dozens of sales. You are taking money away from the artist when you share this file.  It doesn't matter if it is a book or a piece of music or a sewing pattern.  The laws are the same. If the article is copyrighted, it is protected by law from being shared electronically. 

And, in 1998, this sharing of files became an international issue. In 1996, a group within the United Nations called The World Intellectual Property Organization ratified two treaties: the WIPO copyright treaty and the WIPO performances and phonograms treaty.  Two years later, then US President Clinton signed into law the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA). You can access a copy of this act here.  The DCMA criminalizes sharing of copyrighted materials and production of means of sharing them.  Generally, you are infringing copyright if you download or store copyrighted materials on your computer without the permission of the copyright owner, unless fair use or another exemption under copyright law applies. Most downloading over the Internet of commercially available copyrighted works, such as music or movies or sewing patterns, through file sharing systems is illegal. You might recall that, a few years back, Napster users were found guilty of sharing files. Many fines and jail times were doled out.  For sharing music files.  

So, the next time you purchase a pdf sewing pattern file, keep it for you and you alone.  And remember that these laws apply to all sorts of files, including photo sharing!  

Some further reading:

Wiki, of course, but remember that it is Wiki and don't take it as gospel.

PS All patterns pictured here are pdf files I purchased.


 It has been brought to my attention that some people are truly stuck with no way to print a pattern at home.  So, what options do you have? Well, that is a very good question and I would recommend you write to the pattern maker and ask their advice.  I don't have a good answer that is going to work for every situation.

PPS I certainly did not mean to offend anyone with my comment that I am smarter than the average busy bee mama.  I apologize.


Backing up your files is allowed!

"Systematic backup practices do not fit the structure of section 117, which is limited to making a copy of an individual program at the time the consumer obtains it. It was argued that such a discrepancy between the law and commonly accepted practices undermines the integrity of the law. Such a fundamental mismatch creates the perception that the law need not be literally followed, thereby creating a slippery slope. "

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A quick gadget case

I tried a new pattern today!  Monkeysbug's Gadget Case for iPhone iPod Kindle Nook Tablet Smartphone PDF eBook pattern.  It was super quick and easy.  Took me about an hour to make.  And now my iphone is sheltered from the dirt and detritus so common in a mom's purse. 

I love Michael Miller's Big E fabric and have been hoarding my scraps just for such a project.   And it matches my phone case so nicely.  

Looks good! 

And thank you to my sewing buddie, Carrie, for posting about sewing buttons on using your machine.  I figured it out!  I do not have foot T for my Janome but I wunged it (winged it??) using my regular foot.  Looks good. Seems secure. What could be better?

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Pajamas and a new stitch trick

A few days ago, I noticed my oldest daughter's belly sticking out from pajamas obviously no longer long enough to cover it.  She has grown! Again!  So, time for some new pajamas.  I have wanted to make a pair from Ottobre 6/2009 for a while now and decided this weekend was the time.  I chose to use Michael Miller (Patty Young) cotton knits from my stash.  If you are a fabricaholic, you may recall that this first group of knits from Michael Miller and Patty Young are very soft but suffered horrible shrinkage.  Thus, I washed them about five times each, on warm, with warm dry, and made loose jammies.  If they shrink more, they will still fit or if she grows there is room to grow.  Win-win.

For binding, I used Robert Kaufman Laguna lycra knit from This lycra is a tad thin but works great for this purpose since you double it by folding.  I think it turned out pretty cute. She loves them, so that is what really matters. I made two pairs, but the other set, in lime green, did not photo very well with the yellow background of our family room!  Ottobre 6/2009 has three pajama patterns in it, if you are interested.  It has a long sleeve pajama set (which I used), a sleeveless short nightgown, and a long sleeve long nightgown.  A good issue.

 My daughter does not like tight waistbands nor anything rough against her body, so I made a mock yoga waistband, with elastic, instead of following Otto's directions for a simple waistband made from only elastic.  This is much softer.

Now, the other thing I did with this pattern is explore using my Janome MC5200 machine to sew overedge stitching.  If you do not have a coverstitch machine, this is one way you can get the look of coverstitching with knit fabrics.  This is the overedge stitch foot, foot C for Janome.  I do not know if this foot will work on other machines so you should look into this for your particular machine.  Overedge stitching weaves the thread back and forth on two little prongs (you can see one below next to the clear brush) and sews a binding, of sorts, down the edge of the seam. But,  I figured out that you can also use this foot to create a mock coverstitch.  Here is a tutorial on the classic use of this foot.

Here is what my stitching looks like from the outside.

This is what the stitches looks like from the inside.

And here is what it looks like during the process.

And here is the what, why, and how.   I sew two pieces of fabric together using a straight stitch. Then, instead of serging, I switch to the overedge stitch foot and stitch the flap of fabric down from the inside.  The straight seam is my right hand guide, so it lines up with the right side of the overedge foot.  So, the overedge foot sews down the flap of fabric that my serger would have serged. Make sense?  Doing the arm side seams was a struggle, but I did it. I did not even try the leg side seams.  The rest of the garment's seams are overedge stitched so it looks a bit like a pair of Hanna Andersson long johns now!  

I am pretty proud of myself.  This foot came standard with my Janome sewing machine. Until I get a coverstitch machine, this is a pretty neat trick!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Keeping it real

Have you ever noticed that bloggers tend only to share pictures of their home when it looks it's best?  I don't doubt for one second that those pics do not show the reality. Creative people tend to not make time to keep things clean.  They are too busy being creative!  So, in what does my home look like on a daily basis, when I am deeply involved with a project? Here's a tour:

My daughter's desk is where I usually do some of my sewing. Hm, how am I going to get anything done on that?  I have three choices.  Organize it neatly, toss it into a box for her, ignore it and find somewhere else to work. Hm....decisions.

I have three cats.  They hang out with me while I sew, create, draw, read, play on the computer, or just hang out in the family room/craft room.  This one wants some butter.  I am not going to show you the family room. It is currently piled high with fabric at one end and legos at the other. There is a couch, a drum set, and three cats in the middle.

We take our shoes off when we come in.  We need a shoe rack! LOL

I framed some of my daughter's art but have not hung it up yet. Books are supposed to be in those baskets, under the mantle, but people don't follow my program around here!!!

I inherited my grandmother's lovely mahogany dining room set but my kids prefer to use the buffet as a landing pad for all their stuff. That wee box in front? That is hubby's flies (for fly fishing). Why are they there?  The neck brace is for me. I have had vertigo off and on and need it when I am dizzy, to keep from turning my neck to the left.  My girls are 5 and 9 so I thought it was time to take the electrical outlet covers off. They don't need child proofing anymore. But what to do with them, other than stash them on the buffet? 

I love my youngest daughter's room, which I lovingly decorated for her a couple of years ago.  I ordered those flowers from Etsy, custom designed by me, and painted them myself.  And then she stuck her art on the walls and is now using a boot box as additional doll bedding.  So much for decorating!  Oh well, it is cute.  

This is a closeup photo of my kitchen floor, which is white vinyl. Who puts white vinyl flooring in a kitchen?  Well, the retired folks who used to own our house. They had no pets or kids so I guess they did not mind it.  But, as you can see, it needs a good scrubbing and there are constantly black hairballs floating around.  My husband says it is functional enough and doesn't need replacing. We need a new fridge first.  Sigh.

Here is the owner of the fur that falls off and becomes hair balls.  Boon is an American labradoodle, which just means fancy mutt. He sheds.

He likes to back talk to me!  He is complaining right now.  He wants to go for a walk.  

And what is keeping me occupied so much that I am ignoring all of the above?  Why thank you for asking! I am designing my own patterns.  I am very excited about it. There is one piece above. That is part of a top. I am also designing a dress and a bag.  

I will keep you posted on their progress!!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Year, New Blog Design

I have been blogging for a few years but this year I have decided to get serious about it. So, that meant making my blog look really nice and inviting to read.  I tried free backgrounds and headers for a few days and could not find anything that made me happy.  So, I took a leap and bought a Blog Design Package from Simply Creative, on Etsy. 

I love Magaly's designs.  They are cute and fresh and fun and not expensive.  They are not custom or unique to the purchaser.  You might end up sharing them with another blogger. But, for the price, that is perfectly fine with me.   And, they are simply adorable and well made and she provides excellent customer service.  She also sells logos, watermarks, made to match designs, and Etsy shop packages. I decided to buy the blog package to match the Etsy shop package I bought from her a few years ago.  For $30, I got a banner with my blog name and tag line, two blog buttons to match, two backgrounds to choose from, a signature pic, and six color codes.  Love it!!  And it all came with easy to understand instructions on how to upload to blogger.  Took me about ten minutes to get it all uploaded!  Love it!  Don't you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dizzy me and Sienna

I am doing some catchup blogging! I had a bad case of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (aka I was dizzy) for a few months and was not able to do much of anything. I am now finally on the mend, after some great physical therapy and a round of prednisone.  I am lucky to have an awesome otolaryngologist (ENT).  

Here is one project I completed before that happened. This is Lilblueboo Sienna pattern made with the most lovely Lillestoff fabric imported from Europe by a sweet friend who runs the Burlap Button Shop on Etsy.  She has been tempting me SOOO much with these Euro cotton knits and the ribbons and patterns!  Too die for! 

So, I made this:

 I modified the pattern a tiny bit to make a SUPER twirly skirt.  This is a nice pattern. She does the binding for the neck slightly different than other patterns I own and it lays flat much more nicely.  It comes with nice directions that are fairly easy to follow and a lot of variations.  I highly recommend this pattern.

The leggings were a winging it project, using an Ottobre leggings pattern. I am not sure which one because I have so many Ottobre leggings pattern!  I used the rolled edge setting on the serger to attach a bit of fabric as a cuff of sorts.  Voila!  My kindergartner loves them!  This fabric is soft and stretchy and washed up great. It is pricey, but worth it.

PS If you ever have BPPV, read this and find a good physical therapist! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sewing Lara and sorta-Sienna

I got to test out a new pattern recently. It is called Lara and is by a dear lady, Mira, of Tulips and Edelweiss.  Lara is a ruffled hoodie for girls. It can be made from velveteen or cotton knit or even microfleece.  It is very lady-like, according to one of my daughters.  I made a version in cotton knit, for my youngest daughter.  For fabric, I went stash diving in the bins in my garage and found some jersey knit from Chez Ami and some Michael Miller cotton knits. This is not a simple pattern but it went together very nicely.  It is meant for intermediate level sewists, so be aware that it is a great pattern but not simple.  It is well written with excellent directions.

You know a girl needs an outfit to go with a smashing hoodie like that! So, I used Lilblueboo Sienna dress pattern as the basis to come up with this cutiepie dress.  It doesn't resemble Sienna much anymore! I got creative and wung it as I sewed, adding ruffles to the sleeves, a gathered skirt, and side panels in turquoise rib knit.

It looks pretty cute with the hoodie!  
She loves it and won't take it off, so I count that as a great success.

Love sewing for this one!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

All about me

My name is Kathy and this is my blog.  I started it a few years back, under the name Too Many Hannas. That referred to the fact that my two girls had too much Hanna Andersson clothing and I wanted to sew more handmade clothes from them.   Around the same time, I discovered handmade boutique clothing from Genmarie (now defunk), Bercot, Matilda Jane, and more.  I was hooked on making dresses like they were selling!  I started a Facebook group, called Handmade Dress Haven, and renamed my blog.

Now, here I am, mother of two lovely and smart girls, former elementary teacher, and I dabble in designing my own patterns and selling what I make on my Etsy store, Delphinium Designs. I am currently on a break from the store but hope to reopen soon.

I am also an avid reader and dabble in organic gardening and enjoy living in the far north Pacific  Northwest, land of mountains, ocean, orcas, islands, and lots of coffee drinkers.