i have a question that has been bothering me for awhile now. well, not a question, really. just a comment. or a question. you decide.
how do so many people take something so generic, like a tote bag or a pillow, and then churn out a pattern for it and call it their own? i've made the rounds of sewing books and sites, and i think all of them have something along those lines, whether it's a tunic (weekend sewing has a version of the same tunic i own and got at target) pattern, or a tiered skirt, or a zipper bag, or a basic tote, or even cloth napkins - really? you thought that up all by yourself? you get to claim credit for that pattern?
there are obvious examples of true blatent rip-off-ism out there (see here & here) but i always feel a little offended if i see someone stating on their blog *for personal use only* and it's something so basic, that i learned to make it in home ec back in 1986. i guess my big dilemna is how much of design is personal expression in choice of fabrics and colors and textures, and how much is technique, and how much is fair use? if i take something generic and make it mine, is it really mine? or is it an improved version of someone else's design?
i first started thinking about this while knitting washcloths. i would love to sell more of them in my etsy shop. and i feel like if i cast on, without a written pattern, and work up a stitch that i like, it's my creation and i should get to sell it. but am i the first person to do a garter stitch border with a basketweave design? surely, undoubtably not. so i don't sell them. and i feel frustrated.
oh, here's the last thing i have to say about it tonight. isn't the idea of a crafting community all about teaching and sharing? but still creating your own ideas and designs? isn't that the spirit of the crafter, and the idea behind most of these craft sites, to share and teach and be a community? what do you think?