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Pattern Showdown: Vintage Dress Edition

February 20, 2015

So the new Simplicity patterns are out and I noticed something funny right away.  I have seen this dress before:

S1155 (Click image for source)

Simplicity 1155 (Click image for source)


Seriously, almost this exact same dress:

Butterick 5882 (Click image for source)

The designs are sooo close, I can easily imagine Gertie being inspired by the vintage Simplicity pattern (to the point of copying? Or maybe she was open about her inspiration source and I just missed it?).  If so, that’s not design, that’s just drafting (which, granted, still takes more skill than I have).  But you couldn’t switch it up a little more?

I also wouldn’t be surprised if, when the Butterick dress was released, Simplicity took notice and decided to make their own version (with plus sizing too, so gold star to them).  I know they took a similar approach with their Frozen costumes, making them super detailed and accurate because McCall’s had already published a dumbed-down version.  So it’s not out of the question, especially if they still owned the original vintage pattern.  I say go for it, this isn’t your typical “fit and flare” sold on every corner of the interwebs after all (god how that term makes me cringe, same with the over use of “DIY.” Everything is DIY at some point! Don’t get me started about made up and over used sewing buzz words).

I’m not trying to accuse anyone, I couldn’t tell you who is in the right here.  What do you think?

Have you seen other instances of direct pattern one-uping?  How much copying is ok for pattern companies (big and small), especially when someone is saying it’s their own original design but it might not really be so original?




7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2015 11:55 pm

    Haha, ‘corner of the interwebs’ makes me cringe too, every time. Other annoying ones are how EVERY LITTLE PATTERN ALTERATION is now a ‘hack’. And the term ‘sewing up a storm’.

    About the pattern copying, it’s a difficult issue. Mostly because everything has already been done before so pretty much everything is a copy of something else. Although your example IS pretty blatant.

    • February 21, 2015 7:00 am

      Haha I actually meant that I hate “fit and flare”! But “corner of the “___ fill in the blank is bad too. Oh “hack” even worse though, it makes me think of cats hacking up hair balls, yuck!
      You’re totally right, there are tons of examples of patterns that are just similar, but this one is seems more blatant to me. Probably because it’s not a design we see with every single pattern release.

  2. February 21, 2015 12:57 am

    Wow they are practically identical! Everything is inspired from something I guess. Perhaps Gerties version has a more modern fit while the Simplicity pattern is truly “vintage” in its fit? For some reason when people call thread ‘cotton’ it drives me insane haha. Ooh or on pinterest when I see pins that link to a regular burdastyle pattern with the caption “free pattern!!!!!!”

    • February 21, 2015 7:03 am

      I think Gertie’s version might have more detailed instructions to make it more “couture” or whatever they’re calling it today.
      I don’t know if I’ve noticed people calling thread “cotton,” or maybe I didn’t know they were referring to thread!

  3. February 21, 2015 8:10 am

    I thought exactly the same thing when I saw the Simplicity pattern. I immediately thought of Gertie’s.

  4. February 21, 2015 8:43 am

    I think my comment was eaten.

    Not much is truly NEW! but yeah, Gertie’d pattern is a dead ringer. And I got a giggle out of seeing someone say Simplicity “stole” Gertie’s design.


    • February 21, 2015 12:35 pm

      Ok, that’s just dumb. They don’t just fabricate those little vintage pattern covers pictured on the bottom to trick us haha!

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