Why are sewing patterns so expensive?

Sewing may be self-gratifying, fun, and at the same time profitable, if you know your onions. However, I cannot promise you that it will all go smoothly all the time because just like every other trade, the business of fashion also has its ups and downs. As you grow in the business though, you will learn the best ways to deal with most of these challenges. Although for a beginner, it might be a little overbearing.

Beginners face a lot of challenges right from the onset of their career. One is the high cost of their materials, especially the sewing patterns which is almost an indispensable material to dressmakers. In this article, we will be looking into “the reasons sewing patterns are so expensive” as well as every other related issue. Keep reading for details.

Do you need a pattern to sew?

Yes, as a beginner, it is recommended that you begin your fashion exploit with a pattern. The sewing pattern is like a guide that will provide you with varieties of options you will need to create your garment, toys, costumes, bags, and every other material or item that can be sewn. Although, as you experiment with various patterns, your experience will increase, and you can progress to creating your pattern or even start to sew without making use of the pattern at all. You will find information on how to sew without patterns online.

Are sewing patterns expensive?

Yes, sewing patterns are expensive. As a young seamster, a sad reality that you will have to make peace with is the high cost of sewing patterns. In the market today, the price of a sewing pattern ranges from $45 to $350, depending on the type you are getting. I am not saying this to discourage you though because with time, as you develop your skills, you will make much more in profit.

Why are sewing patterns not cheap

  1. Testing and fittings

Before a sewing pattern can be made available to the public, it is to be put through a series of tests and practices, with each pattern tested in different sewing skill levels, materials, and sizes. In fact, what goes into making a sewing pattern is more than that because the pattern makers will also have to consider things like the best material to use, the pattern layout suitable for cutting, as well as whether the size fit into different body size in the pattern size. All these activities cost time and money which is very evident in their prices.

  • The use of sophisticated software

Before the advent of software, sewing patterns were usually drawn on sheets of paper in studios, which is characterized by inconsistency in pattern and considered not so suitable for mass production. With the adoption of these sophisticated software comes, well-layered patterns and the correlation of the different sizes of the patterns. Furthermore,when it comes to prices, this software is not entirely user-friendly as the cost of the software may be as high as $350. Hence, one of the reasons for the high cost of sewing patterns.

  • Legal process

There are strict rules that guide the creation of sewing patterns. As a designer, you cannot just wake up with a new idea one day, make your sketches, and put them out there for public use. There are some legal processes you have to follow before you can sell your ideas to the public.

After creating your sketches, you have to take them to the appropriate authorities for authentication. This body will cross-reference your pattern with every other already in the public space in the bud to curb plagiarism or copyright issues. This whole process can be cumbersome and expensive depending on the size of the company and the pattern in question. All these factors are considered when determining the selling price of a sewing pattern, hence the inflated prices.

  • Different sizes in one pattern

A sewing pattern comes in more than one size in a pattern. Usually, a pattern should have at least 6 sizes or more in a pattern which will constitute parts of the pattern. Therefore, it will be rational to conclude that this is one of the reasons sewing pattern is costly because the cost of the pattern may be spread across each size it has altogether. For example, if a pattern of 6 sizes costs $20.64, it means each size costs $3.44.

Are sewing patterns copyrighted?

Yes, sewing patterns are copyrighted. Actually, the issue surrounding patented or copyrighted sewing patterns are complicated than most people think because it all depends on the situation. For instance, you can make use of a sewing pattern gotten from a fashion store or elsewhere for your garment or any other item design and sell them without facing any copyright issue. The only exception to this is a situation whereby you pick up a sewing pattern,  scan or make photocopies, and start selling them. Then you might have to be sanctioned. In the united states, patterns are not considered eligible for copyright protection.

What paper to use to make sewing patterns?

Most sewers make use of Manilla pattern paper for their pattern making. This paper is popular among sewers for its durability and smooth texture which makes it easy to draw accurately on them.

Do old sewing patterns have any value?

Yes, old sewing patterns can be valuable. If you have old sewing patterns, as long as they are in good condition, their design is fantastic or rare and very much intact, be sure that they may still have value in the market. However, if the patterns are in poor condition or are incomplete, then this might bring about diminishing value.

Is there a market for old sewing patterns?

Yes, there are markets for old sewing patterns. Instead of disposing of your old or vintage sewing patterns, why don’t you put them up for sale on online markets like Esty, eBay, sheepBuy, Amazon, Craftsy, or Facebook marketplace for some cool cash? These are readily available markets for such items.

Can you mix and match sewing patterns?

Yes, you can mix and match sewing patterns. What makes sewing more fun and easier this time is the possibility of mixing and matching different pattern pieces to create designs of your imagination. Using different patterns, you may decide to mix and match bodice, sleeves, and skirt of a dress.

How to save money on a sewing pattern

  1. Take advantage of bulk purchase.
  2. Get second hand sewing patterns. They are cheaper.
  3. Exchange with a friend.
  4. Buy them with magazines.
  5. Check online for sites that offer free sewing patterns
  6. Sell after use.

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