The Gingham Apron
Cindy looked crossly at the fresh gingham apron her mother took from a drawer.
“Momma, please can’t I give up wearing aprons?”
“No, dear,” momma answered.
Oh please, don’t make me.”
“Come dear put it on,” answered Momma decidedly.
With tears in the little girl’s eyes, she obeyed slowly. Ever since Sadie West, the new girl at school, came, Cindy hated wearing her aprons. Sadie wore such pretty dresses and she never wore an apron.
“Cindy, your aprons are so pretty apron,” said Grandma “the gingham is so fine and the blue so clear and that nice embroidery on the neck and wrist are lovely.”
“I hate apron,” winking repeatedly fighting back the tears.
“I am sorry,” Grandma said gravely, “but you must protect your dress. Those two dresses must do you all winter for school. You couldn’t keep them clean without aprons.”
It was a beautiful crisp morning in October. Warm enough for Cindy to go out without a jacket. She started for school feeling very cross. Momma was unkind, Cindy thought, to make her wear aprons when she hated them so. Sadie West looks so nice without them. Cindy figured Sadie must think she, Cindy, dreadfully countrified. It’s so much more stylish without aprons.
Cindy’s dresses, made by her mother, are really pretty. But no one can see then, she thought, when she wears one of those dreadful aprons.
Cindy’s way led across an empty lot. In one corner of the lot was a large pile of lumber. Cindy stopped suddenly. She has an idea.
I’ll just do it,” she murmured proudly. She looked hurriedly around; there was no one in sight. She placed her school satchel on the ground, hastily unbuttoned her gingham apron, folded it and thrust it behind the lumber pile.
“Now, Sadie can see how pretty my dress is and noticed I’m not countrified, if all the other girls are,” Cindy looked complacently down at her beautiful blue dress. “I can easily slip on the apron on my way home after school. None of the other girls live my way.”
Greatly to Cindy’s disappointment, Sadie West was not at school that day nor the following two days. It was said that Sadie was home sick. Each of those days Cindy hid her apron neatly behind the lumber pile.
On the third morning as Cindy got ready for school, Momma said, “How clean your apron is, dear. It’s fresh enough for you to wear again today.”
Cindy felt her face flushing. She didn’t look at her mother.
“My little girl is getting very careful,” went on Momma proudly, then bent and kissed Cindy on the forehead.
Cindy felt uncomfortable, but she thought, “I can’t help it. Momma is so old-fashioned. If not she wouldn’t make me wear aprons. Sadie, who’d always lived in the city, doesn’t wear them. I hope she will be at school this morning.”
Just then Papa came into the room and said, “Cindy, I have to drive to the springs. I’ll take you to school on the way. Hurry down. The buggy is waiting.” Cindy thought with dismay that now she wouldn’t be able to take off her apron. Cindy grabbed her things and hurried after her father.
The first person Cindy saw when she arrived in the school yard was Sadie West. Sadie came running up to Cindy, “Oh, Cindy,” she exclaimed, “you’ve got on your pretty blue apron. Momma is making me aprons. I told her all the girls here wear them. I’m helping her get at it in the evenings after school. It’s delightful and I can’t wait to wear mine! Momma says it’s a splendid idea wearing them because my dresses will not got spotted, you see.” Sadie laughed happily.
The school bell rang just then and both little girls went at once to class, Sadie holding Cindy’s hand tightly.
Bewildered, Cindy suddenly felt ashamed and as the morning wore on she understood thoroughly what she’d done wrong.
Momma knew best. Cindy decided to tell her mother what a naughty girl she’d been as soon as she got home. And she did.
How can you investigate copyrights and copyright renewal certificates of sewing patterns to determine if they’re in public domain? 1. Visit the United States Copyright Office: For a fee a copyright worker can research the copyright for you. Research yourself. … Continue reading
I receive alot of questions about patent notices on vintage sewing patterns. My advice is to check the patent status at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Google Patents database is an excellent source of information.
Information included in the patent application generally includes some of the following information:
- A title/name of the item.
- The date the patent application was filed.
- The name of the applicant.
- The term of the patent, if granted.
- Illustration of the item at all views.
Clothing can be patented (although extremely difficult) if the garment is “a new, useful and obvious invention”.
Utility patents may be granted for new and useful processes, machine, articles of manufacture, composition of matter, or new and useful improvements. Design patents may be granted to an inventor of new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
The words “patent pending” appears on some vintage sewing patterns. According to the patent office the:
Phrase often appears on manufactured items. It means that someone has applied for a patent on an invention that is contained in the manufactured item (sewing pattern). It serves as a warning that a patent may issue that would cover the item and that copiers should be careful because they might infringe if the patent issues. Once the patent issues, the patent owner will stop using the phrase “patent pending” and start using a phrase such as “covered by U.S. Patent Number XXXXXXX.” Applying the patent pending phrase to an item when no patent application has been made can result in a fine.
I found the patent record for Butterick 4653, a robe or similar article (according to the application) at Google Patents. It was filed by Albert Wilson on Jan. 5, 1952 and lasted for a term of 14 years.
Generally, patents don’t last longer than 20 years. So, patent information on vintage sewing patterns is irrelevant.
Saw yet again another Internet argument over public domain material. Public domain isn’t a new phenomenon. Copyrights aren’t meant to last forever. Public domain works are said to belong to “the public” and “the public” (you and me) can do … Continue reading
I started creating reproductions myself after receiving one too many crappy reproductions from other people. They were pretty bad. A waste of good money.
I didn’t want to be in the same boat. In making my own reproductions I saw areas to improve upon and overtime my reproductions have gone from good to great. They take more time to make, but I enjoy the “art” of making each reproduced creation. And I go the extra mile to ensure I’m not violating anyone’s copyrights and trademarks while protecting my own.
Cheap is cheap.
There’s no way around it. There’s a reason present day patterns are costly-printing.
Most often when I run across cheap reproduced vintage sewing patterns it’s because the maker has bypassed printing costs leaving me to:
- piece together pattern pieces as if it were a jigsaw puzzle. Imagine receiving a vintage sewing pattern reproduction that looks like a jigsaw puzzle. For example, the original pattern includes seven pieces and your reproduction of the same original has 16 pattern pieces.
- scale up (risking distortion). Often when using a home printer/scanner if you don’t know what you’re doing or haven’t paid attention to what you’re doing the pattern pieces get re-sized and won’t fit together properly. Because pattern pieces are erroneously sized up or down the pattern is now flawed before you even get started. AND THEN I’ll still need to find a way of printing the correct size pattern pieces from a home printer (usually not an option-even if I’m lucky enough to have a large format printer), or printing from a home printer and piecing together pattern pieces (again…back to the jigsaw puzzle thing) or
- print the pattern through a professional print center (inconvenient and costly).
After considering issues related to sellers bypassing printing costs and transferring headaches (and additional costs) to the seller are additional concerns:
- Dark, grainy and crooked instruction sheets are hard to read of outright unreadable.
- Handwriting and other print sprawled on pattern pieces. Alot of gibberish printed on the pattern pieces is distracting and annoying. Everyone wants to protect their work. That’s fine, but that doesn’t mean a buyer wants a reproduced pattern “over-done” with a seller’s copyright information and self-promotion text sprawled all over the pattern pieces. Obstructions to the pattern’s construction markings (“attach here” or “attach this to that”) are just that-obstructions. Not good selling points and certainly don’t make constructing the garment any easier.
- Copyright violations are unlawful and unethical. No one should remake a vintage sewing pattern that’s under copyright. It’s a clear violation of someone’s copyright and opens the doer up to litigation. In the world of vintage sewing patterns it’s often assumed all old patterns are under copyright. This is a false assumption. Just as it’s a false assumption because pattern manufacturers such as Vogue and McCalls still exist-older patterns they manufactured are under copyright. Bottom line-if you aren’t sure if a sewing pattern is in the public domain don’t reproduce the pattern. If it is then by all means go for it.Consider this:1. Once you make your own version of a sewing pattern that’s in public domain-your version is automatically under copyright (by you). You’re not required to (although there are benefits) formally register the pattern with the U.S. Copyright Office.2. If a sewing pattern is in public domain-guess what-you can’t include the original manufacturer’s trademark and logo on your re-creation! It’s a violation of someone’s trademark and places you in legal jeopardy of being sued.As a buyer I don’t want to purchase a reproduction that violates another person or entity’s copyright or trademark.
- General aesthetics are important. I want a pattern that actually looks professional. One that’s worth my hard earned money. In addition, as a buyer I expect to receive an envelope so that I have a convenient place to store all of the components of the sewing pattern.