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Sewaholic 1302: Tofino Pants

November 23rd, 2013 4 comments

Sewaholic patterns are aimed at the pear-shaped woman, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of us can’t use Tasia’s innovative patterns, too. I fell in love with the Tofino Pants at first glimpse:  The side panel!  The piping!  That bow!  Now I’m madly churning them out.  This was my first pair.

shtopt

JoAnn’s flannel offerings are among the worst anywhere, any time, but every now and then there’s a gem of a bolt stuck among the thin, badly printed, awful designs in the pj horror section: This was one of those.  It’s a tiny herringbone check, in a color (and design) an adult could love. Defying the JoAnn odds, it’s also thick and beautifully napped. Score!

swtoft(I know: low light, rumple-riffic, but hey, people — this is flannel, and I’m a sewist, not a photographer!)

I made some changes to the pattern. The legs are drafted to be quite long, and my own are quite short, so I lopped off  3.5 inches. (If you do this, make sure that you remember to shorten the side panel, too!) I cut a size 8; at my correct inseam length, only 2 packages of commercial piping were needed.  And I removed the fake fly, because what?   No need for a fly here, faux or otherwise.

swtobk

(Flash this time; an improvement? Hard to say!)

I left the waist band placement as drafted, even though I was pretty sure that it was going to fall lower on my hips than I prefer. (Let’s just say that I’m not really trend-forward, opn any front!)  That turned out to be true; these pants ride at the point where my usual PJ pants fall once I’ve rolled them down.

It turns out I don’t like this in the finished garment; that makes no sense at all, but there you are. The front is lower than the back, but not as angled as this image makes it seem.  That makes for a nice fit. The drop is not as much as it appears to be in my photo — the tilt of the hanger is exaggerating the tip toward the front.

swtosd

The piping really makes the pants. I used jumbo piping, because I wanted it to stand out without getting lost in all that soft flannel.  To make sure that it went in evenly, I did something I rarely do:  I not only pinned it in place, but then basted it with a large zigzag stitch to ensure that it didn’t slip when assembling the layers. This took only  a few minutes extra, and was well worth the expenditure of time.

The legs are super-wide. That’s a nice feature, and this width is probably perfect on a longer-limbed woman.  I’ll take them in for my next pair, though, as this is too much fabric on my smallish frame. You can see in the photos that the proportions aren’t particularly pleasing to the eye when the legs are this short — but the width does make for very cozy wearing!

thopkt

I added pockets to the side panels. I hemmed the top of each pocket  by attaching grosgrain ribbon to the right side of the fabric, then adding a row of zigzag stitches to finish the enclosed raw edges.  Then I folded the pocket hem over and stitched the grosgrain along the opposite edge to make the pocket hem.

thogrs

Then I sewed the bottom of the pocket, right side to right side, onto the leg panel, and folded it up so that the pocket sides aligned with the seams of each side panel.  The pocket is automatically finished when the side seams are sewn.

thoip

The grosgrain acts as a kind of gentle interfacing to better define the pocket edge (so it doesn’t cling to the flannel) and to support the upper pocket so that it doesn’t sag.  The edges of the pocket will wear better, too, because of this small bit of reinforcement.

In the end, I decided against the bow. Although I love it, it would just be a pain in every day life, especially since I wear my flannels with long overshirts.   And I cut another corner:  The instructions call for encasing the elastic in a fully-enclosed waistband.  I just folded the waistband over, matched the edges, and stitched it to the pants.

A diaper pin makes the perfect threader for wide elastic!

todp

Tasia’s method is better because it gives a nice, clean, look to the inside of the pants. Also, my method results in some seam allowance bulk that “poufs” the pants out slightly just below the waistband.  I don’t care about this, personally, so I went for the quiick-and-dirty solution, but almost everyone who makes these pants will probably feel differently . . .

Sewaholic patterns have consistently clear directions, are drafted beautifully, and are stunningly beautifully done .  The level of professionalism, where professionalism is defined as “precision, care, and skill” is awe-inspiring.  Few companies (and none of the Big Four) come close to this kind of quality.

Speaking of which, I was floored to see that Tasia had included a pattern piece for the necessary bias strips for those who want to make their own piping.  Whoo-hoo!  I can’t stand drawing long lines on fabric, nor rotary cutters, so this is real incentive to make my own piping sometime  in the future.

Oh, and that bow?  There’s a pattern piece for that, too. None of this “go buy wide ribbon” stuff.  Your contrast bow can match your piping perfectly, if you’re so inclined.

Feet I used for this project:

Seam allowance foot with IDT, for non-piped seams (posed for photo purposes only — the pin should be parallel to the foot, not cock-eyed like this, and, anyway, they get removed just before the foot would strike them);

thosa

cording foot for installing the piping;

thopft

edge stitch foot, for “stitching in the ditch” where the waistband attaches to the pants:

thostnd

and standard multi-purpose zig-zag foot, which I forgot to photograph.

For the crotch seam, I used a triple stitch, which adds strength and some elasticity to the area where seams show the greatest stress:

thosthThat’s it!

Categories: Pants Tags:

Chiffon Wrap

November 18th, 2013 8 comments

This wrap couldn’t be easier to make:  one rectangle, two seams! Here’s the front:

The pattern is by Rhonda Buss, of Rhonda’s Creative Life, who made it part of her weekly free pattern posts.  My version isn’t very exciting, featured as it is here, on my duct tape dummy, but it’s wonderful to wear.

Back view:

Because I never wear anything remotely formal, a wrap like this has a lot of appeal.  Slip it on over a black top and slim pants, and, voilà, I can almost look dressed-up.  Also, it packs up into nothing at all; if I had to look somewhat elegant, this could be a good fake.  Or it could be one fantastic beach wrap!  Here’s a sneak preview of Rhonda, modeling it quite romantically:

to get the full effect, you’ll need to check out Rhonda’s post where you can see it in its wondrous, flowing, glory at the beach!

I used my rolled hem foot to finish all the edges.  It did a beautiful job, and was a quick and easy way to knock off the project.

Rhonda’s instructions are here.  If you don’t know her blog, do take a look around.  Rhonda consistently posts clever and imaginative ways to think about, and manipulate, fabric — her Fabulous Free Pattern Fridays are incredibly inspirational, but so is the rest of her blog.  Go visit — you won’t be sorry!

Categories: Jackets, Tops Tags:

Modifying a Pacsafe Bag

March 10th, 2013 2 comments

I’m generally a fan of pacsafe bags, which have metal mesh screening inside to make them travel-safe — or at least slash-resistant — in environments where that might be a risk.

I like this bag, a citysafe 350 GII, especially, because the herringbone exterior does not scream “travel baggage”.  I hope the fabric wears as well as more typical ones do; the jury’s out on that.  In use, though, this bag had more than one flaw.  The most serious of these is the lack of an exterior pocket, something almost every reviewer has complained about (and with good reason!).

True, there is a small hidden pocket in one rear seam, but that’s not convenient for anything larger than about 4 inches by 6 inches.  (And it’s got issues, too, since pacsafe calls it a “passport pocket”, but lists an RFID-blocker as a feature of the GII 350.  The RFID pocket — meant to block radio frequency waves emitted by passports and financial cards — is actually inside the bag and isn’t relevant to this particular pocket.)

After being annoyed once too many times by my inability to stick a guide book, a subway map, an e-reader, the outgoing mail, or anything at all into an easy-to-access outer pocket, I took a brave pill or two, and cut into the bag.  First I marked it carefully:

No, whoops, that’s not what I did first. First, I cut a piece of plastic quilting template into the shape I wanted for the finished pocket. Slipping the quilting template into the finished pocket keeps the pocket from riding up when it’s used. The template holds the pocket in place, but is thin and light enough to be almost unnoticeable.

(Note the round corners instead of angled ones that might have cut through the pocket.)

Then I cut two pieces of lining material for my new pocket, the same shape as the template, but with seam allowances — and forgot to photograph them. (Can you tell I haven’t had much practice, lately, at being a sewing blogger?)

Then I marked one piece of the pocket lining, and pinned it to the outside of the pacsafe bag.

In my fantasy, I was going to be able to do this on my machine . . . that was a nice dream.  Instead, I ended up sewing by hand.  Happily, the herringbone helped to keep my stitches even.  Once the placket was sewn (twice-stitched for strength), I blanket-stitched the edges to stabilize them, and to prevent raveling.

Then I turned the lining to the inside, and attached the back of the pocket to the piece that formed the placket — that was tricky, but feasible, with a little patience.

I sewed the seam around the pocket bag three times; this fabric is probably fake dupioni, and frays like crazy.  Once that was done, I tucked the new pocket into place inside the bag, and hand-stitched, invisibly, all around the placket opening.

Once the placket was reinforced, I inserted the zipper.  Huge improvement!  I use this external pocket every single time I take this bag out:  Ironically, it is the single most useful feature of the bag!  With or without “anti-theft” features, a bag that is a pain to use every minute of the day isn’t really a useful bag; one external pocket changed all that.

While I was inside the bag, I solved one other nagging problem:  The side phone pocket wasn’t anchored at all.  That meant that every time I took anything in or out of it, the lining came with it.  Even worse, the lining floated out every time the zipper was opened, and regularly got stuck in the zipper coil.  Really, pacsafe, you couldn’t be bothered to anchor the pocket???

It took only a stitch or two to remedy this, though anchoring the bottom edge one was tricky, since there wasn’t much room to maneuver.  This is something that should have been done during construction.  These bags are not inexpensive; there’s not much excuse for missing something so basic.

The straps on pacsafe bags tend to be quite stiff; this is really obvious on the skinnier ones. That is an inevitable result of  designing them to limit the damage that might be caused by random cutting by bad guys.  Sadly, the buckles pacsafe put on this bag — a backpack — are completely useless for holding the straps once they’ve been adjusted to the size the wearer prefers.

The buckles are slick, with no teeth or gripping mechanism on the underside.  Even slight movement causes them to slip — it’s maddening! It’s also really dumb; buckles with teeth molded in aren’t any more expensive to make than buckles without them.  Really pacsafe??? Did anybody actually test this bag before sending to market???

I sewed tabs of athletic elastic to the bottom edge of each buckle.  This kind of elastic has grippers running along one side.  It isn’t a perfect solution — the rubber doesn’t grip quite as effectively as the right buckles would — but it’s a whole lot better than the constant annoyance of having to readjust the straps every ten minutes.

There is room in this small pack for a regular-sized water bottle, and since there are no exterior pockets for one (that’s OK with me; that’s in keeping with the more sophisticated, urban-ish look of a herringbone bag), I added an elastic loop to keep mine upright. (It’s a covered hairband, attached to the side seam.)

This really attractive bag is finally practical, and less annoying, to use, now that I’ve hacked it. At the price, though, I shouldn’t have had to do this myself.

Here’s a brief summary of the pros and cons of this bag, unmodified, pros first:

  • urban appearance that doesn’t scream “travel bag”
  • padded interior pocket for tablet or iPad
  • “RFID” pocket which may or may not block RF waves (I’ve seen articles claiming that most don’t), and won’t do anything for financial cards even if it works, unless you just dump them in the bottom of the pocket
  • key clip inside (but the clip is difficult to use and too small)
  • wide, easy access opening
  • zipper tabs lock with hidden clip
  • locking snap hook, allowing bag to be secured to stationary object (but see “cons” below)
  • “exo-mesh” on bottom of bag to thwart slashing
  • wired straps, ditto
  • grab strap on top

Cons:

  • no exterior pockets at all, not even one in the back panel, which is almost standard in the industry
  • terrible buckles on straps, which slide freely
  • only one strap has a clip; the other is permanently sewn in place, which limits strap configurations and potential ways to secure bag
  • hidden pocket lining gets caught in zipper, pulls out and catches in zipper when used
  • only two pockets inside (why not another one, or another couple, on the other side of the lining?)
  • room for a water bottle, but no way to keep it upright, which might matter if carrying electronics

These bags are not inexpensive.  As sold, I’d give this bag a C — or maybe a C-minus for the awful non-adjustablity  of the straps.  It’s just fine, though, now that I’ve made these changes.  I’m glad I sew.

Categories: Accessories, Adventure/Travel, DIY Tags:

My Kind of Tunic: Vogue 8854

March 1st, 2013 23 comments

A lot of people have complained about the un-inspirational drawing on this envelope. Not me! As soon as I saw it, I knew this pattern was made for me.  It’s taken months to sew it up, but my first reaction was right: Here’s my new favorite garment: A sweatshirt for grown-ups!

I made this tunic out of three men’s sweatshirts, largely because I couldn’t find a color I liked in yardage I could purchase.

This tunic has great shaping, but the best feature is that collar — it’s fantastic in a way that is only hinted on the pattern envelope!  It’s buttoned and folded down, above.

Isn’t that great?  But wait, there’s more! Here’s the collar worn up:

and here it is worn open:

I love, love. love this tunic! All the comfort of a sweatshirt, with none of the ugly! It’s also extremely easy to make, especially if you ignore Vogue’s directions.  Here’s a list of what I did differently, and what changes I made:

  • I made a size S(mall), but altered the shoulder line, which was too horizontal for my body.
  • Because I cut this pattern from three sweatshirts, I had to slash  the pattern horizontally to fit the pieces, and draft two new lower pattern pieces, one for the lower front and one for the lower back.  I could have cut the lower front on a fold, but I cut two separate pieces and seamed them instead, so that the original vertical seam line was preserved below the pocket.
  • The new lower back piece was cut on a fold, like the upper back.
  • I enlarged the pocket, making it wider. I didn’t like the proportions on the pattern pocket as much as I wanted to, and my pockets need to work, meaning this one had to be big enough to use.
  • I stitched higher up the pocket opening line than Vogue suggests.  As noted above, my pockets need to work. I wanted to be sure anything tucked inside wasn’t going to fall out easily.  If you do this, make sure that your hand fits into the opening!
  • I finished the sleeves with the original ribbing from the sweatshirts.  I love cuffs on sweatshirt sleeves, so this was a no-brainer for me. Using the sweatshirt cuffs meant that the ribbing matches perfectly; that would have been hard to do if I’d tried to buy it separately
  • I eliminated the curve at the hem.  I don’t much like the look, and I wanted this to be more tunic/dress like than tunic/shirt like.
  • I edge-stitched everywhere, so I didn’t follow Vogue’s directions for stitching the plackets. There was no reason not to, I just prefer the edge-stitching.  Arguably, Vogue’s stitching on the collar (about an inch in from the edge) is more refined-looking.

I pretty much ignored Vogue’s instructions, which seem increasingly ridiculous and out-of-touch.  There’s no good reason to sew the shoulder seams before doing the front plackets; all that does is ensure that you’re hauling around a ton of extra fabric while working with the plackets.

Also, why would anyone set the sleeves into the armhole on a garment so perfectly suited for sewing them in flat?  I ignored this, too.

However, I did interface the collar, which I normally wouldn’t have done when sewing with sweatshirting. The interfacing gives it enough body to keep its shape.  New sewists don’t need to fret:  the collar is just a rectangle, so it’s easy to handle.

My loop is grosgrain, rather than self-fabric; I just happened to have the perfect color on hand, and like the crispness of the ribbon.  I was lucky to find a coordinated button, too.

Heres’s the back view. It’s a little flat, here on the dummy, without the arms, and the shaping of the sides of the tunic gets lost a bit.  But in real life it fits very nicely, with a little bit of a retro vibe in spite of its generally classic look.

This is a very quick sew (if you don’t need to make new pattern pieces, that is!) that no one need fear.  I’ve got another one in the pipeline, and I have a feeling this will become a favorite for years to come.  Easy to sew and easy to wear — what could be better?

It’s been a long time since I blogged here — five months, to be exact. Bad blogger!  I have been sewing, but my life, for better or worse, isn’t just sewing, so I haven’t been writing up the projects. Maybe I’ll catch up, or maybe I’ll just continue to post here now and then . . . time will tell.  At the moment, I don’t have a clue!

Categories: Tops Tags:

Guest Garment

September 5th, 2012 6 comments

I’ve been a bad blogger; I’ve been sewing, and there are items in my queue going back to April, but life has interfered, and computer glitches mean that I’ve also lost access to a lot of images. Sigh. One day, I’ll get things back on track.

In the meantime. I’d like to share this marvelous coat, made by Sandra V. It’s the Au Bonheur des Petites Mains 20013.  (The company, sadly, no longer exists.)  Sandra has done a fantastic job with this pattern, and I’m thrilled to share her version here, with her permission, as she doesn’t have a blog.

Here’s Sandra’s finished coat. You might think it looks a bit like my version — which is correct, sort of — but a look at the details tells a different story.  Sandra’s taken similar elements, and made a very different, really wonderful coat!

Here’s the back view:

And the hood:

Sandra’s used two beads and a bar on the adjustable line on the hood. I love the way she’s made a utilitarian feature into something so attractive.

A similar bead turns up on the sleeves, along with a leather button:

Sandra’s welt pockets are trimmed in leather (tricky, and a beautiful job!):

Love, love, love Sandra’s closures!  She’s used unmatched leather buttons (tying in with her pocket trim, of course), and beads across the front:

Sandra’s collar is a lot softer than mine, and it’s a marvelous look.

One element both versions share is the combination of a rather traditional fabric with the quite-untraditional Au Bonheur styling; the combination is absolutely great . . . as is the opportunity to change things up with creative closures and accents.

Sandra’s in Australia; it’s still cool enough in spring that she’ll be able to wear her coat a bit before the summer arrives. Temperatures are still very high where I am, but Sandra’s version of this wonderful coat has me longing to wear mine.

Categories: ABdPM, Coats/Capes/Wraps Tags:

Bibs and Burp Cloths

June 5th, 2012 6 comments

No, Noilette isn’t expecting; the only thing she’s planning to give birth to in the near future is a Master’s degree.  But there is another new arrival in the extended family, and, on the theory that one can’t have too many practical wiping-type items, I made up a set of bibs and burp cloths using Kwik Sew 3812.

This is a rather odd pattern, and pretty uninspiring.  What exactly is that radish/turnip thing, anyway?  Something to gnaw on?  And the bunny pincushion?  You need a pattern for a square?  Don’t get me started on the pacifier neck-wrapper — if your kid needs to have a pacifier tied to his body, maybe it’s time to find out why and address the underlying issue . . .

I set my prejudices aside and bought the pattern anyway, because I have no idea what size a bib (or, for that matter, a burp cloth) should be, and it seemed better not to guess.

The burp cloths are quilting cotton on one side, and flannel on the other.  100% cotton, in all cases.  They will fade, of course, especially if washed in hot water, but polyester is just not friendly to baby skin.

Sewing the bibs was a humbling experience.  I used 100 % cotton toweling for the reverse sides — soft and loopy.  However, I never sew two such different fabrics together, and my lack of experience definitely affected the results.  (Would it have killed me to do a final press?  Well, maybe.) Anyway, I prefer the slightly wrinkled texture.  This is how they look just out of the dryer, and I sincerely hope no parent anywhere ever bothers to iron baby bibs.

I did lengthen the bibs by about an inch — the width of the striped insert, actually.  I eventually remembered vaguely that bibs were better longer than shorter.

The pattern was perfectly fine.  The burp pads are generous, and lie nicely on the shoulder. I was most worried about the neck sizing, so it was helpful to have it for that.  Hook and loop tape allows for some adjustment, of course. I found (more or less) matching fastening tape at JoAnn, in the rather weird but colorful diapering section.

The bibs have a nice shape (which I warped a little bit by adding that extra length).  I particularly like the way they look when the fasteners are closed; the lines of the bib are maintained nicely.

I serged all seams, and then topstitched and edgestitched, figuring that more seams are always better than fewer on utility items.

The reverse sides are all solid color; prints aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and if Mama doesn’t like these, the other side is a perfectly good option.  Admittedly, though, oatmeal is a lot messier in napped fabric than it is when mashed into quilting cotton.

The materials were deliberately chosen to be “gender neutral” (loathsome term). I don’t think there’s any reason why people who don’t know a baby personally need to know whether they are male or female, or need some kind of color code to tell the difference. These colors were bright and cheerful, and that’s what mattered.

Categories: Other Tags:

IKEA Sewing Machine

May 27th, 2012 10 comments

May has turned out to be a heavy-duty travel month Chez Noile. Some was planned, some not, and some is not yet finished.  Whew!  I’m just surfacing for a moment because of an unexpected discovery; otherwise, it will be the second week in June before I’m back to posting again.

We’ve been hearing for a long time that IKEA was going to offer a sewing machine in the USA, and a machine has finally arrived.  The website says that it will only be around as long as supplies last — that’s kind of how IKEA works — but this cute little device is now in stock for only $59 (USD).

No one who shops at IKEA is likely to believe this is a precision machine, but there might be some valid uses for it, including teaching kids to sew, or as a basic travel machine, for example.   A blogger called icatbag has a rather thorough review; scroll down, as the first part of the post has to do with what IKEA does to our brains when we walk in the door.

The machine is called Sy — actually, all IKEA’s sewing notions are called Sy, so that’s perhaps no surprise. Patient searching on the Internet will reveal a number of other comments by happy users; again, this is not a precision machine, but within its limits, it seems to be a perfectly adequate machine.

I’ve seen one in person, and can report that it seems surprisingly solid.  The reverse lever is a perfect size for use by children, and has a positive spring return.  (Adults will find it quite satisfactory, too.)  Removing the sliding accessory box reveals a free-arm bed (pretty cool, no?), though removing the box requires some dexterity, and, as icatbag notes, you’ll need to keep the accessories in the plastic bag they came in, since otherwise they will spill when the box is removed.

In a departure from IKEA tradition, the manual is written — yes, words and pictures!  Even more surprisingly, it seems to be quite complete, so operating this little machine shouldn’t prove at all mysterious.

Categories: Tools Tags:

Rolled Hem Foot

May 3rd, 2012 14 comments

To hem my cycling vest, I used a rolled hem foot for the first time.  I used to love the  Kleibacker finish, which involved running a line of stitching incredibly close to the edge of filmy fabric, trimming it, and turning it again. That method makes a very light, beautiful hem.

But I have several damaged fingers, and can’t do things like that anymore.  Of course my rolling hem foot doesn’t do produce exactly the same result as the Kleibacker method, but it is a great take on it, and the foot is extremely easy to use.  You just guide the fabric into the front of the foot  (practice first — I did!), and it does the rest.

You’ll need to keep the tension fairly even on the fabric in front of the foot, and in back, but that’s easy enough to do, with just a light touch at the back.  Do hold onto the threads when you begin, and pull gently backward as you begin to stitch.  The result is very nice::

Corners are tricky, and they may not be perfect unless you practice a lot.  I did the long edges of the ties on my vest first, cut the threads, and then did the short ends.  It’s trickier feeding the hemmed edges through the foot; I had some trouble, and one of my ties has a fairly messy corner as a result.  I just kept reminding myself that it’s a utility vest, but for my next project, I’ll probably demand better results.

The foot here is a 2mm foot; it’s strictly for the thinnest fabric; this very light poly knit, or a chiffon, silk, or things of that ilk.  They’re available in various sizes — I have a 3mm that I haven’t used yet, for example, and it looks as if it can handle a slightly thicker fabric, and will make a slightly wider hem.

Related:  Sailor Cycling

Categories: Tools Tags:

Update: Pinterest

May 2nd, 2012 2 comments

Mary has sent in a copy of Pinterest’s user agreement, pulled yesterday from the Pinterest site. (You can see her comment on the previous post, here.)  The wording has changed from the previous agreement, which was in force at the time I originally wrote my blog post..  Pinterest now acknowledges each user’s rights to his or her own data:

Pinterest allows you to pin and post content on the Service, including photos, comments, and other materials. Anything that you pin, post, display, or otherwise make available on our Service, including all Intellectual Property Rights (defined below) in such content, is referred to as “User Content.” You retain all of your rights in all of the User Content you post to our Service.

(Bold is my emphasis.) That’s an excellent change, and reflects the legal realities of content produced by other entities (corporations or individuals).

Here’s the original paragraph, from the previous agreement, which unilaterally granted the owners of Pinterest with all rights to user data, forever

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.

That has now been replaced by this one, which is more carefully written

Subject to any applicable account settings you select, you grant us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, display, reproduce, re-pin, modify (e.g., re-format), re-arrange, and distribute your User Content on Pinterest for the purposes of operating and providing the Service(s) to you and to our other Users. Nothing in these Terms shall restrict Pinterest’s rights under separate licenses to User Content. Please remember that the Pinterest Service is a public platform, and that other Users may search for, see, use, and/or re-pin any User Content that you make publicly available through the Service.

. . . which essentially says that Pinterest has the right to use data posted as it pleases in order to operate Pinterest.  That’s a much better user agreement, but these new terms are still a matter for concern, though.

As  Venture Beat has noted:

[These] changes, however, fail to address many of the copyright infringement concerns outlined by the photographer community.

Lawyer and one-time Pinterest-lover Kirten Kowalski, for instance, ostentatiously deleted her boards after learning that Pinterest’s terms of service could leave her vulnerable to copyright litigation. The new terms of service still state the user is “solely responsible” for the content they pin to the site.

Here’s a distillation of some of those copyright concerns, from a different Venture Beat article:

Members can easily grab copyrighted works from photo-sharing or media sites and clip them to their boards. Pinned images often include attribution, but sources later get lost in the shuffle, and some members go on to use images on their blogs or websites. Plus, considering that Google is the second most popular source of pins, a sizable percentage images are likely misattributed.

These copyright issues are not only a matter of concern to photographers, but to everyone who posts images on the Internet.  The issue of what amounts to wholesale theft — however unintentionally — of images isn’t really addressed adequately here.

There are legal issues that should be of concern to individual users, too.  Here’s what  SocMedSean, a social media blogger, wrote about the new user agreement:

Basically, “if you get sued for something you posted and didn’t have the permission to post…you’re on your own.” And remember, Copyright infringement is evaluated unders a standard of  Strict Liability so it doesn’t matter if “you didn’t know it was protected by Copyright law” or “didn’t mean to share something protected”. If you violate Copyright law…you’re on the hook, whether you meant to or not.

The interesting thing, here, is that Pinterest appears to be taking the approach that if they add an indemnity clause to their Terms of Use and they treat themselves as just the platform where the activity takes place, they’ll be able to claim the “safe-harbor” defense under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Not sure that worked out so well for Napster, so it’ll be interesting to see how Pinterest behaves when the first big copyright infringement lawsuit arises.

In other words, you, Indiana Mom, could find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit for “pinning” those images you found on the internet, but have no right to use.  And Pinterest won’t be defending you, or provide a legal shield for your (perhaps unintentional) theft of other people’s work.

What does this mean for users of Pinterest?

  • you have the right to upload your own images, not anyone else’s
  • you may face legal liability if you chose to ignore that restriction
  • allowing Pinterest, and Pinterest users, access to your images seriously limits your ability to control their use

The revised EULA is a huge improvement over the previous one, but fails in some critical areas.  Decoding user agreements, and understanding the implications of those agreements, isn’t easy for an average Internet user.  This one is no exception.  When considering participating in a social media site, the burden of understanding what you’re getting involved with is on you, only you.  You can’t count on “common sense”, the website itself, or your belief that things are run a certain way, to protect your interests, or those of others to wish you may wish no harm.

For those of us who are concerned about these issues, and do not want our content appearing on Pinterest, Paulund provides these instructions for preventing “pinning” from your own website.  I’ll be adding this blocker to mine.

Categories: Misc Tags:

Pinterest

May 1st, 2012 11 comments

This post refers to Pinterest’s original terms of use agreement, which was changed on April 6,2012.  Please see the following post, Update: Pinterest, for additional information regarding the new terms.

Here’s one good reason I will never use Pinterest.  Do you realize that when you upload your images to Pinterest  YOU ARE GIVING ALL RIGHTS TO YOUR  IMAGES TO PINTEREST, FOREVER? This has changed; this post discusses the original EULA  to which members agreed, prior to April 6, 2012.

Don’t believe me?  Here is part of the user agreement:

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.

(My emphasis, because Pinterest would rather you didn’t read this carefully.)

You post it, they own it, no matter what they chose to do with it in the future.  When you sign up for Pinterest, you agree to give up all rights to the images you post there.

This is the sort of EULA (end-user-licensing-agreement) that gives websites a bad name.  As it should.  Your images should never be given to any other entity unless you know exactly how they will be used, when, and where, AND you are in complete agreement with that use.

Do you think this is acceptable?  I don’t.  I don’t want anything I post on my blog to turn up in business materials produced by Cold Brew Labs, the owners of Pinterest.  I don’t want the images I willingly share, on my own blog, used in advertisements for Pinterest.  Or on  websites Cold Brew Labs might produce.  Or in books Pinterest may produce.  I’m not working for Cold Brew Labs; I chose to share what I share publicly for the benefit of my readers, and for myself, on my terms.

I won’t give up the right to do that, and I hope everyone who wasn’t aware of this paragraph in yet another of those hardly-read EULAs gives some serious thought to what Pinterest is asking you to give up.  Pinterest is NOT your own bulletin board; it’s a device for others to collect your intellectual property and then do what they wish with it.

As a side note:  How sleazy is it of Pinterst to hide these terms within a document they know perfectly well almost no one will read?

Most of us in the sewing/craft community love to share — that’s why we have blogs.  Many of us are sweet people who would never dream of an organization grabbing their property and using it for the corporation’s own devices.  But that’s exactly how Pininterst is set up.  You no longer own what you post there.

Pinterest could have set this up so that they allow you to keep the copyright you automatically own on your own intellectual property.  That’s how Pattern Review works, for example.  You allow Pattern Review to post your reviews and images, but YOU keep the rights to everything you post there.  Pattern Review does NOT own what you post. Taking away your rights is not part of their user agreement.  Pattern Review does NOT claim to own what you post on its website.

Pinterest DOES. This is a nasty business model, and, in my opinion, unethical.  It’s completely legal — you have to agree to the EULA before you can post — but it is, in my opinion, unethical.  I won’t contribute to that kind of business model, and I don’t think anyone else should, either.

Update, 5/2/2012:  The new terms still leave a lot to be desired.  As noted above, the next post discusses some of those issues.

Categories: Misc Tags: