I made these really cute E-Reader covers for Father's Day, and am planning on selling them at a local market days this weekend. I made one for my dad that is personalized with his name on the inside cover.
My sales are kinda slow right now, but I'm also trying to break into a small market. I was looking at ArtFire to expand to potential clients who might not find me on etsy. I started the AF account, but while trying to list an item, I could only get one picture to upload. I don't know if it was a problem with the site or my slow internet. (I live in the country and internet isn't the best out here.) Maybe I'll try again and see what happens. Thanks for the feedback!
I'm finding this thread very interesting, mainly because I do use Simplicity, McCalls and Butterick quite often, but usually draft their pattern to what I want. I don't think I could draft a pattern from scratch to save my life! But I can alter one! Right now, I'm combining two different Tudor style patterns together to get what I want. I'm taking a discontinued McCalls and a current Simplicity. I can't wait to see how my finished garment comes out.
So, I just did a little more research on the topic and found that you CAN buy copyrighted fabric, such as with Disney characters, and make something that you intend to resell, based on the "First Sale Doctrine" which is part of the current United States Copyright Law. Basically, the First Sale Doctrine states that when a manufacturer of a copyrighted item releases that item into the stream of commerce, the original owner of the copyright loses control of what happens to that particular item.
If a customer was to buy a file that was a copyright design and it is marketed as "for home use only" and my family charges them to stitch the file onto something, we are in violation. We could do it, but wouldn't be able to make a profit. Disney and Brother sell a home embroidery sewing machine with Disney copyrighted designs that you can stitch out at home. It is for home, private use only. If you were to use that machine/design files and used it to make a profit, you are now in violation. If you put Mickey Mouse on a shirt and give it as a gift, then you're fine.
As for someone bringing a pattern and just charging for the labor of constructing something, then you're not breaking any rules.
I have heard that Disney has sent out "secret shoppers" to craft shows and buy items that are in violation of copyrights and then the company decides if they want to take action or not. It's only a matter of time before they start buying from etsy sellers for this same purpose.
I think just reselling the uncut material as "supplies" wouldn't be infringement, but I saw one women who bought Disney Princess material, made vests out of it, and was selling them as "Disney Princess vest" in the description.
My family owns an embroidery business and we have customers come in all the time asking to put "Cat in the Hat" or college logos on stuff and we turn them away. I know that we hold the rights to a few college logos, but with restrictions, such as we can't produce more than x number of them in one year, but we have a letter from the school stating our rights to it. We have the rights to the FORD logo, and for Tractor Supply Company. I know most of these people on etsy don't have rights from Disney, Pixar, WB, etc.
I heard from someone that Disney has a copyright on the name "Tinkerbell." I don't know if that's true or not, I don't sell anything as a "Tinkerbell" costume, even though some customers have said that my green spring fairy costume looks like a Tinkerbell costume.
On the topic of copyrights, I have a question... Do the people on etsy (and other sites, I'm sure) realize the copyright infringement of buying fabric with a copyrighted logo/image and reselling it (ex- Tinkerbell, Mickey Mouse, Cat in the Hat, etc)? Or the people who post a picture of a McCalls/Butterick/Simplicity pattern envelope and sell the item on the pattern as a custom order? The pattern envelope states on the front that it is for "individual home use only and not for commercial or manufacturing purposes." Wouldn't that also be a copyright infringement and could be sued by the company selling the pattern? I know a lot of people use these patterns for resale, but to be so blatant about it seems to be asking for trouble.
I recently stumbled across artfire.com while looking for an out of print pattern, and got to poking around a bit and it seems like a good place to expand my business. I was just wondering if anyone else has sold there and what are the pros/cons over just staying with etsy only.