Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quick Question for Crafty Folks

Do you buy or sell patterns? I've bought a few patterns for fun embroidery projects. But when I'm creating my own products, I never use a pattern.


After sewing up a storm over the weekend, I realized I probably should create patterns for my embroidery. I think it would make it a little easier on myself.

I've also been thinking about making some patterns to sell in my Etsy shop.

So here's my question...would you buy a PDF pattern to embroider something for fun? Would you only buy it if you could turn around and sell whatever you create with it?

And if you sell your patterns, do you also sell the finished product of that pattern?

I ask that last question because my most popular item sold seems to be my dandelion poufs. I wonder if it would not be in my best interest, as a business, to sell those patterns if I plan to keep selling the finished product.

Any thoughts on the subject?


  1. I have actually been considering expanding my embroidery into patterns as well and have had similar thoughts as you. My main reason for offering patterns though would be to give me a chance to embroidery again!

    If I were you, I would only offer up the pattern and discontinue selling it as a finished product. Maybe doing that would open up some free time to embroider a new design and offer up a new finished product? Good luck!

  2. I have bought PDF patterns, though not connected with embroydering and I would buy again if I cannot find what I am looking for for free. I am more into knitting and crocheting and Ravelry is full with great free patterns but I don't mind buying one if it is really outstanding.

    What I have bought so far was for personal use. Every seller specifies in the pattern whether they allow selling of the finished object or it is only for personal use, so it is up to you to decide.

    As far as your business interests are concerned I am thinking that there are two types of people: the ones who create and the ones who cannot create and have to buy. But you can always alter your pattern slightly from your best seller and keep the mystique flowing.

  3. It's something I think about a lot actually--is it good to make the product so available when someone can turn around and steal my designs? (especially on the internet where it's so easy to do with the right software)

    But I realized that while it is a risk, it's one worth taking, because if someone knew how to sew well enough that they have a store and wanted to steal the design, they'd only have to look at the photo--they wouldn't need to buy it--so it wouldn't make any difference whether you have a tutorial or no tutorial.

    Those that need the pattern don't have the sewing know-how or sewing-stamina yet to create enough to make a profit at your expense, I think they'd only want the experience to make something as beautifully as you can (and my non-artist friends always get frustrated and stop mid-project half the time and go and buy the finished product anyways)

    So I say go for it because your stuff is super cute!

  4. All great points, ladies! Thank you so much for your input! I saw a recent post on Etsy where someone poo-pooed the idea of not allowing someone to sell what they make from your own pattern.

    I am thinking more and more that I would offer up the pattern on something that maybe I don't want to continue sewing...or maybe it's too time-consuming to even turn a profit.

    I do enjoy making my dandelions. And those are pretty easy to figure out with no experience. So maybe I'll just create some more detailed designs for patterns. Something like my toucan or my 'fly high' kite.

    Thanks again! Hopefully I'll get around to this, soon!

  5. I personally don't buy/sell patterns, but I do know of various shops that are successful at selling both patterns and the finished product. (like topherco.etsy.com )

    If the dandelion poufs finished product is selling well, I wouldn't stop selling it, but might consider selling the pattern as well. Just be sure to specify if it has to be for person use/etc. in the description. Good luck! :)

  6. i will occasionally buy a knitting pattern via etsy, but for the most part i tend to just wing it. but...i have found, that the majority of people who buy my product(s) would not make them on their own - either they don't see them selves as artsy people or they focus on something else.

    as for your situation, i am hesitant to say that you should sell the dandelion pattern, since it is such a good seller. if you do i think you should specify that it is for personal use only. or how about you sell kits? for people who might want to try embroidery out with one of your patterns. with hoop, thread, needle, fabric, & iron on pattern? that seems like a lot maybe...sigh.

    i think selling patterns couldn't hurt. maybe even with a 'how to' included with basic stitches?

    good luck! :D

  7. ooh yeah I had thought about doing some mini-kits, too. It could be fun. And I would definitely include basic stitches and examples of color types (like with the DMC floss number to make it easy)

    of course...i'm also in the middle of figuring out my new blog look, deciding on whether or not to separate all my online persona from foxfinefoto and updating my two shops

    so we'll see just how quickly I can get around to any of this! LOL

    but I really do appreciate all the input! :)

  8. I like the idea of mini-kits too. I'd be more likely to buy a kit than just the pattern.


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