Tuesday, January 25, 2011

To Market To Market

Don't get me wrong, I am all for trying to knock off super expensive dresses that I think would be easy to make, but I have received a few requests to try and make a pattern similar to the Village Frock that used to be offered by the Sugar City Shop. I was hesitant because I don't like the idea of taking money away from a mom who came up with a cute idea and worked hard on a pattern. Having said that it has been sold out for over a year (I believe) with little to no signs of it being restocked. So, I thought if nothing else I could try and make one for Evie and see how it goes. Keep in mind I have never seen this pattern (I actually didn't know about it until the first request came in) and I have never seen in person a dress made with this pattern. So, lets just say my first attempt had some major kinks I worked out before I made the pattern. It still turned out pretty cute tough and I had to document my first attempt, no matter how hilariously off it turned out.
I second guessed myself as I was cutting out the fabric for the neck portion and thought no way was it as wide as I originally thought so I ended up cutting it in half, bad idea, should have stuck with my own pattern ha! I also did not gather it as much as I should have (again a little gun shy). I also made Evie's sleeves shorter then the original because she hates billowy sleeves that hang down. She pulls and pulls on them until I finally take whatever top she is wearing off for her. Anyhow next time (and for the pattern) I will make the gathered portion longer and the straight portion shorter.
I also sewed it with a brighter thread so that you can see where I sewed better during the tutorial. I would recommend matching your thread as close as possible to your fabric. Anyhow, before I post the pattern and tutorial I 100% want to know your opinion, do you think this is okay? Or should I just leave it be and we can hope Sugar City restocks the pattern? I REALLY don't want to step on toes or make people up set with my knock offs. So, please leave a kind opinion in the comments (if you have an opinion on the subject hee hee) and we will go from there. Oh and since mine is slightly different I called it the "To Market To Market" frock. Evie liked it okay, when she is happy she sticks out her belly, I take it as her stamp of approval.
Now I am off to finish my week 3 challenge for Project Run and Play, let me just say I think this competition is giving me an ulcer I am so nervous every week! :) I will be posting a tutorial on how to make the bustled back as soon as the results are posted.


  1. I think you are going about this in a respectful way. Maybe email Sugar City and see what they respond? I LOVE LOVE LOVE your dress for last weeks Project Run and Play! :)

  2. I'm a lucky owner of a copy of the village frock pattern. Recently I sewed one for my daughter. I can take pictures of the details you need to improve the pattern, or give you the measurements required if you want me to.
    I think you're doing a great job.

  3. I'm not so sure about the ethics of this. I read an interesting blog post recently on this very topic and the general consensus was that it was ok to attempt a copy of a garment seen in a larger shop, but that doing the same with the product of a small designer was not so ok. That said, if they are no longer producing the pattern then the line is blurrier. I think it might be wise to get in touch with Sugar City just to keep yourself out of trouble. Goodluck!

  4. If we worry for this then we should also worry about taking inspiration from Antropologie and ModCloth, etc. Indeed you could contact the company.

  5. Well maybe i'm a little cheap, but I think the dress is adorable and would love the pattern! I think that the fact that the pattern's been sold out for so long, it's fine to post a pattern.

  6. I'd say as long as you aren't profiting off it you're okay.

    I've seen a copy on another blog. From what I've read it's even easier to follow than the original. Here's a link: http://simplytogether.blogspot.com/2010/08/simply-sweet-frock.html

  7. I agree that you should email Sugar City before posting this. I've yearned to make this dress for ages now, I really hope they say yes since they've indicated they aren't interested in re-releasing the pattern. But I think you'd cause quite an uproar if you released the pattern without talking to them and they decided they did not want it released! Even if you removed the pattern immediately at their request. (it would still be out there downloaded by a bunch of people, and I'll be honest enough to say I'd be first in line to d/l it and love it and pet it and keep it for myself)

  8. I have the village frock pattern and Sugar City has a blog. I'm pretty sure I remember reading that they were no longer producing patterns...

  9. This is amazing! I have toyed with making a similar pattern, but for women. I go live with my sewing business in a few weeks… I wonder if I will be able to turn out something like this for my fall collection.

  10. I think I like yours better than the original. Maybe it's the color. I am not sure it is necessary to contact the company, but most definitely not okay to get measurements and help from the original pattern just to do a tutorial (1 comment offered this help) to me that would be at least crossing the line.

  11. I would be thrilled if you made this pattern!!! I asked her if she was going to re-stock and she said she had no plans. This looks so great and I just loved that village frock, so this is exciting!

  12. Hi. I was one of the people that requested you make this and you did a great job!!!!! I knew you could do it :) As for the pattern check out their blog http://www.sugarcityjournal.blogspot.com/
    They have made a note on the side that they have no plans to make any more of the pattern. That being said I agree with other commments above where it probably would be good to ask them permission. Thanks for sharing your awesome talent though!!! Best of luck. -Kristen

  13. Ok Kelly! I agree with Sewing Princess. If we worry about knocking this off then we should also worry about knocking off Anthropology, ModCloth and Shabby Apple. I think that you are by no means reproducing their pattern and selling it. (which would be bad!) There are so many different ways in sewing to accomplish the same end product. I'm sure that yours is different therefore making it your own and not infringing on any copyright issues. Because yours in inevitably different I feel that there would be no reason to contact the company. You don't send Anthropology an email asking if you can post a tutorial to knock off their apron... The fact that they are no longer producing it makes the line even clearer (to me anyway). That it is even more ok to put your pattern out there.

    I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE the dress and would really really like to see a pattern for it!

    Love, Hugs, and LOTS of encouragement!

  14. Everything is a copy now a days. I mean that in a good way. But there really are few to none original ideas really. I think you have a serious talent for seeing a garment and making a pattern. It is a talent you should be darn proud of. SO you go girl! Also I have a hard time believing that you stress about the project run and play you are rocking it every week my own husband wanted to vote for yours over mine Ha! Love what you do beautiful as always!

  15. I see absolutely no problem in you creating your own version! Sure, you are trying to replicate it but that's all it is---> a replication, it is not going to be exact. It's not the same as if you purchased the pattern and then copied it exactly and gave out a tutorial for it-->AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND you are fully recognizing and posting a link to their site that they were your inspiration. Seriously, go for it! What difference does it make whether you are drawing inspiration from a small company or a large corporation?? They could still potentially lose sales either way! So, if it has ben sold out for that long then yes-->create your own version and give the people what they want! LOL If you are really concerned I would just drop them a note explaining the situation. Good luck and I hope to see a tute on this soon (not that I will attempt it, it looks tricky!) ~Christina

  16. Post the tutorial and pattern!!!! Love, Love, Love the dress. My oldest daughter saw it and instantly told me she wants that exact same dress, color and everything...:)

  17. i said you were good, but i meant grrrreeeat. wow that is so cute.
    in malta we have an expression that literally translated is - a question is the sister of wisdom. try and slot that into your situation and am sure since the pattern is no longer and will no longer be available, then bob's your uncle!!!
    i personally would love a tutorial (the sooner the better!!!heehee)
    becky bpbajona at maltanet dot net

  18. I actually purchased the original pattern, but have not yet made it. I do think it is a good idea to email Sugar City, and maybe give them a chance to respond about whether they may have the pattern available for those that would truly like to buy it.

    I feel like yours looks a lot different from theirs. It doesn't seem like you were trying to make an exact version, which I think is good, since that does get a bit ethically confusing. To me, yours looks a bit fancier (probably the fabric choice) and reflects the style of design what I have seen so far of what you have done. In that respect, I would say that your tutorial is for a different dress, inspired by theirs. Anyone wanting an exact version of the dress should still hope that Sugar City will reissue their pattern and then they can purchase it.

    You posting a tutorial could help sewers who are inspired by things they see and want to try to figure out how to design something similar.

  19. First, your dress turned out GREAT. You have made skills, girl!
    Second, I have been looking and looking and looking for that Pattern. It's just so lovely. Why, oh why, won't they just sell me one? :)
    Third, I love all of the suggestions to get in touch with Sugar City- but since they aren't restocking, I LOVE the idea of you making something similar.

  20. I agree with the others if you were posting their pattern then that would be wrong, but this is your pattern! You created it, it's your measurements, you wrote the directions; therefore it's your pattern to do with it what you like. And I second all of the others that I would love a tutorial!

    You're amazing!

  21. I have personally emailed Sugar City asking them if there are any plans for a re-release on this pattern or perhaps a variation of in the future.

    I have never received a response of any kind from them.

    I think so long as the pattern is used for inspiration and not recreated stitch for stitch, then you are not in conflict. I know there have been many who have asked about this pattern and if the original designer chooses to no longer sell this item, I think there is a little more flexibility in creating a similar pattern of your own. If you could offer advice on how to increase the pattern size to a size 6 or 7, it would be wonderful! (I am still learning how to sew so any advice in this manner is good!)

    I do think, however, that to sell it for a personal profit as a pattern may bring you a little more into the grey area.

    Lastly, I would agree with the others that contacting Sugar City to let them know their dress has inspired you to create your own version would be respectful. (Though I don't think you need to be asking for permission if the pattern includes your own design elements)

  22. i think it's cool if you make it for your baby, but without permission from Sugar City i don't think you should post it.

    for whatever reason, they decided to not make it available anymore. maybe they're just busy, but i think they're the ones that get to decide if they want to help folks make their dress.

    hopefully they'll e-mail you back and be excited for you to share what you've worked out. whatever you decide, i appreciate that you're trying to be respectful and know that you're doing a lot of good in the blogging world!

  23. Hey, you did the work! You were inspired by their pattern and did the work. Most likely she (designer of the pattern) was inspired by some dress she saw somewhere.
    You are not trying to sell for profit which makes a big difference.

    Probably every designer out there gets their ideas and inspiration by things they have seen before.

    Did you know that some of Amy Butlers fabrics are pretty much exact reprints of vintage fabrics?

  24. In all my hasty mumble and jumble above, I forgot to say how beautiful you, your blog, your kids, your photos, your clothing ideas are.
    I mean, sheesh... really??
    Maybe I am just mainly envious of your wonderful camera and your ability to recreate whatever pattern you want.

  25. Ultimately, in my mind anyway, if you're not comfortable with it - don't do it. You have to live with yourself.
    Now if you WANT to do it, but want permission - like others said, contact Sugar City. If they say no, they say no, and your daughter still has a cute dress. The other people that want the pattern can do what you did - look at the pictures and figure it out themselves.

    And by the way - I'm extremely jealous that you can look at something and re-create it. I'm attempting to learn that skill and talent, but I'm starting think it is something you have to be born with....

  26. I agree with the others-using it as inspiration and creating your own (without measurements from original, etc) is ok, especially since theirs is out of production and never expected to be re-released. And yours will be free. The details on yours are gorgeous, and different enough that most should be able to adapt it to closer resemble the Village Frock if desired.

    Of course, my opinion is probably a little biased because I would be anxiously waiting in line for your tutorial/pattern :P

  27. Hi!
    I was in love when I first saw this pattern and was trying to look for it ever since, but very sad to see it's been sold out at Sugar City. From my Google searches, I found a German blog giving a 'How To Make The Village Frock' sort of like a sew along but based on the original pattern. But it would be good if you can provide your pattern and tutorial as I am no good in drafting patterns! I agree that you should check with Sugar City first before posting your tutorial though.

    This is the German blog Sew Along that I was talking about




    There are a few more posts on the tutorial just click 'Newer Posts' to read the full tutorial.

  28. http://sewmuchtolove.blogspot.com/2010/06/68-sugar-city-village-frock.html

    that is my blog where shows the original village frock dress.
    i think your turned out really beautiful
    If you are thinking of making your own pattern i would say, just let them know that you have been asked to make a similar dress and that you actually dont even own a village frock pattern so it is YOUR pattern.
    They shouldn't have any problem since they have already said, they wont be restocking them at all.

  29. I like yours so much better. I love how ruffly the neck is, and I love the buttons off center! I don't have a little girl to sew for, so I will just admire your pictures!

  30. Kelly, first off. Congrats on the win. Secondly, I have contacted Sugar City and she is not printing the Village Frock anymore. So, it is OOP. And, as long as you are using it as an inspiration point and not making an exact replica. I think it is ok. I use other people's art as an inspiration point for my own work ,but I don't trace it and copy it. I think you are treading carefully here, but go ahead and release your own pattern for it! Hope it all works out and I can't wait to see what you came up with!

  31. Congrats on the week 2 win on PR&P. I've picked both of your designs so far. Even going to buy/download the Sweet Dress pattern on your recommendation. Good luck on week 3- I can't wait to see your interpretation of the adult idea.

  32. Gee! I worship you! You're amazing!!!!! I don't see a problem with it at all! Especially if the dress has not been restocked!
    LOVE IT!!!!

  33. I love the sleeve. And I love that E. sticks out her little belly she is happy. What an adorable model for an adorable dress.

  34. Whoops. Meant "when she is happy." :o

  35. I say go for it, whose to say we can't have the same ideas, it's not like you bought the pattern and then drew it out for us. If you can figure out how to do it then by all means I say go for it! You did a beautiful job.

  36. I'm expecting my first girl in April and would love for you to post the tutorial for this as I'm in love with everything you do! I'm so excited to make everything you have on here already, but this one is super cute! My favorite part is the sleeves. I don't see any problems with you posting it if they're not selling the pattern any more. And it's different enough that you could call it your own.

  37. I think it is fabulous that you are being so respectful, and since it hasn't been in stock for a year, I would say go right ahead and make one.
    I absolutely love the dress you created and cannot wait for the tutorial.
    I once had my idea stolen right in front of me at a boutique, they even took pictures of the pants I created!!

    Anyways I can't wait for the tutorial, and speaking of tutorials, are you going to do one for the couture cutie dress you made for Project Run & Play??? I will pay you for it! :)

  38. Congrats on winning this weeks Project Run and Play! I am just so IN LOVE with that outfit AND this outfit! You are extremely talented..keep them coming! :)

  39. I think it's awesome of you to even THINK of asking....Kelly you're amazing and I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to have your version. I think I love yours more than the original. I'd say, think it over- and when..er...if you're comfortable, post away. You'll have SO many thanking you.

  40. I'm one of the lucky few that bought the patten when there were only a few left. I think it's great the support you are getting from readers regarding this dress. I'm glad you were up front to begin with unlike other tutorials out there that didn't acknowledge the Village Frock as inspiration. It is quite a unique look and pretty recognizable.

    Here's my version...


    I loved sewing this dress so much I titled my blog post "Pattern Love". Hopefully the Sugar City gals get back to you and you get to release your version without guilty conscience because people obviously want it pretty badly.

    I would love to get a copy of their wanderings coat. http://www.sugarcityshop.bigcartel.com/product/the-wanderings-coat-pattern but that's out of stock too :(

  41. I had lost my directions for the Sugar City pattern, and contacted them to see if they could at least email me a copy, and she said that the pattern was out of print and that they weren't going to be making anymore. I was happy when I eventually found the instructions, but I say go ahead and do the tutorial. And I do agree with making more gathers in the neck.

    View one of my versions of the dress: http://s-renee.com/sewing/2010-reflections-2011-predictions/
    I took the Sugar City and changed it a bit to work for my needs.

  42. I think you should release it. Legally you did nothing wrong as you did not buy their pattern and claim it as your own to release it. You used theirs as an inspiration and created your own. I think that is really cute.

  43. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE, did I mention that I LOVE this!!! RELEASE please! I soooooooooooo want to make one! I have 8, yes 8 nieces that ALL NEED ONE! To stinking cute! And your baby is absolutely GORGEOUS! my four year old walked by and said gorgeous baby :o) He is so funny, quite the ladies man lol. But seriously please do a tut for this dress, it is awesome <3

  44. And by the way, you must have a 30% difference between yours and the original and I think you have way surpassed that! the "original" is cute but yours is FANTASTIC! Similar but VERY DIFFERENT! I say release it, I can not see any copy right infringement as they are so different from each other...just my 2 cents :o)

  45. Here is how I understand that the copyright law applies to sewing patterns. There is no such thing as a copyright on a clothing design. The copyright only protects the actual printed material that is produced and sold as a pattern.

    In order to prevent someone from copying an idea or design, a patent would be required. Not a copyright.

    If you were to copy actual measurements and details from the pattern, you would be producing a "derivative work" of a copyrighted document. That WOULD be copyright infringement and definitely illegal.

    As far as I know, there is no such requirement for a % difference between styles. How could that possibly be measured? If this were true, every circle skirt pattern ever produced would be illegal after the first one. This is exactly why there is no such thing as a copyright on a "design" or "idea", but rather on the "expression" of the design or idea. As long as you draft your own pattern with your own hands and write your own instructions, you are not infringing.

    So, as far as I understand it there is no question that you can do whatever you want here legally.

    However, for all of us to live together happily, it is always important to show each other respect and a very close copy of someone's design would probably be offensive, legal or not. In this case, however, the designer has made it clear that she will no longer offer her pattern so I think you are completely free to make your own pattern for a similar design without offending her. If you want to be sure, just ask her.

    Anyway, you obviously don't need to copy - you are talented enough to make your own! :)

    Your version is very very cute!

  46. any change of heart on releasing this ADORABLE DRESS!!! I soooooooooooo want to make this for my little nieces! <3 Thanks sweetie!

  47. So I keep waiting and waiting to find out the verdict about this SWEET dress! You should tell me to be patient and I will. But I love your version! Its super cute! Thank you for making such awesome clothes and sharing with the rest of us how you did them! I hope your feeling better too! (I hated being super sick with my first one! I had to get meds cause it was sooo bad!)

  48. There is a flickr group of village frocks here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/sugarcitydresses/ for anyone who needs inspiration!

  49. this would be an awesome tutorial to put out for Easter dresses :o) hint, hint :o) Thank you sweetie, your work is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. Hi!
    I was inspired to make my own Village Frock by modifying a peasant dress pattern last week. I call it 'My Village Frock Wannabe'. You can see pics and constructions points here:-


    I hope you will release the tutorial so I can make my wannabe frock better!

  51. Any change of heart on this? SOOOOOOOO want to make this ADORABLE dress!!! Love love love it and I think your versions is soooooooo much better than the "original" you should release the tut!! :o) <3


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