If you "like" my business page on Facebook*, you're probably aware that I had a bit of a shock when I saw Lisa Lam's new book recently. It appears that we both came up with the same design idea, quite independently and unbeknownst to one another. They were published around the same time.
Lisa and I have come up with different solutions for some of the minor things (...and I've rabitted on endlessy about how to make the perfect structured strap with a ring in it, as I'm apt to do...), but the bag shape is the bag shape and a lot of it looks the same. It happens.
Today, I bought this book....
I'm quite sure that Sue Kim has never seen my book before in her life (unfortunately, my book is still very difficult to get in the USA).
And people wonder why I'm not precious about people using my "designs" to make purses and hats to sell at markets or boutiques or on Etsy...?
The key to the patterns that I produce is all in the how-to (and I'm very, VERY precious about that!). Most of the time, I choose to work on fairly simple shapes that are merely the basis for the construction and finishing techniques I want to teach. The simple shapes that inspire me are the same that inspire others; it's how we interpret them that makes the difference.
For every polite person, I'm assuming there are a dozen impolite ones and another two dozen who came up with a similar shape without knowing the first thing about my work.
I'm thankful if you credit my pattern (and the help it may have given you in your beautifully-finished work! ;) ), but it's not a proviso. I only ask that you put your own unique twist on your interpretation of my designs and feel proud of every improvement in your sewing and design skills.
The one thing I'm protective about is the intellectual property I pour into my class notes and instructions. That stuff is hard-earned through years of work, experimentation and making my own mistakes: it's not common knowledge. It's also how I make my living.
I have heard tale of people sharing class notes and patterns with friends. Please, please don't do that, especially if you want me to still be here to teach you any more new sewing tricks.another book-case explosion (or a new book case).
This is the top shelf of sewing and design collection. The bottom shelves are stuffed full and I've just moved a few boxes of my yarn-based craft books into the studio. Somehow I don't think they'll fit into the current arrangement.
And as an addendum to my first point about the influences we share, globally.... how many of these books do you recognise?
*My personal Facebook page is for friends and family only. Please don't send a friend request to that page unless you're a friend or family member. :)