there's no shame in using a pattern

I honestly don't know why I am writing this today.  I just felt an urgency to get this down, and maybe, this post is only for me.

As you may know, I am working hard to sew some items to sell for an upcoming craft fair.  When coming up with ideas on what to make and sell, my mind was all over the place causing much frustration and anxiety for myself.  To make it a lot easier on myself, I chose to only make two different items - designer toss pillows and fold-over clutches.    Once I had narrowed it down, I felt relieved and a lot more focused.

Let's fast forward a little.  I am currently making my third quilt  while I wait for a few supplies that are for the fair to come in the mail.  (the second one has not been properly shown yet, so you haven't missed out on that)   My mind started thinking about how I have been using patterns lately to make the things I sew.   And then that thought led me to think about the creativity that is among the internet.  I sometimes get this impression that is far better to create something new and exciting rather than relying on what has already been done.  Don't get me wrong.  I like new stuff.  I like seeing new tutorials and patterns that are available to someone like me who wouldn't call themselves an advanced sewer.  I am definitely not a beginner but maybe an intermediate?  I just feel like I have a lot to learn still.  

Back to patterns.  I like using them.  If someone made something great out there and a pattern is included, I'm all over it like white on rice, which brings me back to the craft fair and my 3rd quilt.   To be truthful, I felt a little embarassed? <---- is that even the right word I'm looking for???  that I am using someone else's pattern to make my clutches instead of coming up with my own design.  And to be even more truthful, I could have easily replicated the clutch without purchasing the pattern, but I wanted to support a handmade designer.  But then I told myself, it's okay.  It's okay to use someone else's pattern to create beautiful clutches.  It's okay to make a HST quilt because hundreds of other people have done the same thing too.

I think it can be easy for someone in the sewing world to feel like his or her work is not as valid as the person who created it first.

So here I am typing this to you (mostly to me) and saying . . .


Be proud of your work!  If you sew like I do, you put your heart, time, energy and soul into everything you make.  And the more you sew, the better you get!

Fyi- The post was not edited that much, so this is how my thought process works.  Drives my husband bonkers that I am all over the place.  :)



  1. Totally agree! I always check to make sure its ok with the pattern to produce to sell. But yes use a pattern! Why reinvent the wheel? I love patterns because they do give you guidance in how to do different techniques and it is how I learn.

  2. Firstly I wanted to say it's AWESOME that you bought the pattern, especially since you could have replicated it. That shows your intentions are good and supporting the hand made community is always commendable! Secondly, I learnt that people that purchase hand made goods are looking for just that... HAND MADE! It doesn't really concern them where the pattern came from. As long as you credit the pattern to it's designer the rest will be loved and adored for the hand made beauty that it is. The time that was put into it! You should never feel bad for making something "creating is the true essence of life".

  3. Anonymous10/25/2012

    Thank you for putting this out there! I love using patterns that I buy from local crafters! I put my creative touches on it, but I sometimes also feel embarrassed....but you know what? sewing is a talent too not just the pattern making part! We should be proud of our creations and the other people who helped us along the way!!

  4. Nope - no shame at all! And you are probably putting your spin on it anyway!

  5. agreed! no shame at all. I can make my own patterns... but lately I've just been tired but still want to sew and I've discovered that I really enjoy using already sized tied and true patterns! in fact I may just start using them and doing a few changes if I want a different look vs. coming up with my own pattern... (at least until I get to sleep through a night again.. or maybe even just get more than 3hrs in a row)

  6. it's funny, i just (less that 1 hour ago) purchased two clutch/bag patterns. i plan to make, and possibly sell, those I make. this helps. a lot.

    'embarrassed'? maybe/maybe not the word, but the word i would use (for myself) is 'apologetic'. and is that even fair for one to say about themselves?

    thank you for today's post. is was timed perfectly for me. kinda like sitting in church and it seems like the preacher is speaking directly to you (divinely, so to speak). no, not calling you a preacher, just an analogy.


  7. No shame at all! Unfortunately I stink at following a patter :)


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