Recognize Fraud – Pirated Patterns

Thieves are usually not someone the majority of individuals want to support. With the influx of ‘businesses’ popping up websites full of pirated patterns, learn how to recognize them so you don’t get scammed yourself and so you can make the conscience decision to support the legit businesses selling the legit patterns. Learn how below.

Learn to be a savvy and ethical shopper and together we can fight this fraud together! They are doing it to make money…don’t give them yours!

The ONLY places to legitimately purchase my patterns in digital PDF format is this website and my shop on Etsy. Any others are fraudulent. My patterns may be found in professionally printed paper format in legit quilt/sewing shops in the USA and they won’t be hiding/erasing who designed the pattern. Anyone offering my pattern templates as plastic cut out templates is doing so illegally and fraudulently.

The role of social media...

These pirates are targeting people through ads on social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc). The links on the ads lead to their web pages where they are illegally selling patterns by a variety of independent designers…including myself.

Not only are the designers being stolen from…you the consumer…are also being lied to, taken advantage of and based on comments on social media…you likely aren’t going to get entirely what you paid for anyway.

How to spot a fraud...

They are stealing images from designers and using them as their own. This can make it difficult to spot a fraud. However, there are some tell-tale signs to look for. 

If you see it on social media, do a little research before you follow a link or make a purchase from an unknown ‘business’. Social media platforms are their primary method of targeting you with ads.

Do they display the pattern templates?

This is a red flag! I don’t know any legit designer who will display full templates…and all of them…for any of their premium patterns. 

They are also marketing plastic templates with instructions. I’m not aware of any actual independent pattern designer doing this for any plushie patterns.

Both showing the pattern templates and selling plastic templates with instructions indicate something isn’t right.

Are they essentially 'brand-less'?

Does it look like something is missing from their images…like a title on the cover image? 

Speaking for my own patterns, all of them have a name and it isn’t really a generic name. A name such as Nutty Nag, Pudgy Plushie Collection, Hefty Hippo, etc. Many other designers of soft toys do the same. 

These pirates will remove logos and pattern names to make them less identifiable and more difficult to connect to the legit designer.

Do a reverse image search.

Whether the pirates are altering the photos by changing the backgrounds, etc, or using the image as it was when they stole it…do a reverse image search and see what comes up. It will likely point you in the direction of the actual designer where you can purchase a legit copy of the pattern.

To do this, you can take a screenshot of the image then use Google Lens to look it up. Here’s how.

Did you go to their website?

On their websites you’ll find more clues to the fact they are selling pirated patterns.

All of the fraudulent websites I’ve seen of this nature always have everything on sale and at an odd percentage discount. Red flag!

They have an eclectic collection of sewing patterns. They are clearly made by several different designers and aren’t cohesive in appearance at all…no branding. Any reputable website that is a platform for selling a variety of patterns by a variety of designers will not be brand-less. The designers name will be apparent. 

More about their websites. 

Check the About Section: If you check their about section, it usually reads oddly. Also, one of the ones I found states they do their best to add patterns daily. No legit designer can add patterns daily…those designs take so much time! The only websites that can are those that are a platform for sellers…such as Etsy and Makerist. Those websites aren’t erasing who the designer is and the patterns offered are controlled by the designer themselves…they are just using the platform to sell their patterns but are not faceless, erased designers.

Test Their Contact Information: Find their contact information and give it a try. I bet their phone number doesn’t work or they are unreachable. The email addresses I tried from a few different websites all retuned as invalid or undeliverable. Of course, this is a red flag! 

Here are the fraudulent websites I have found thus far, keep in mind, they have several social media accounts. All of these websites are also essentially duplicates, they are all connected:

  • Henlens (social media handle: Henlenss, Henlens.DIY, etc)
  • Serendipitys (Sercss, Labssewish, Dragonsew, Seeyousew, Candysew, Arielcutess)
  • Seeyouiceland (seepeanut, seeyou Sewing)
  • Locoquilting
  • Chellosewingshop
  • Therganicshop (social media handle: TheOrganic)
  • Diycraftsnow (social media handle: Momery Sewing)
  • Memorysewing (social media handle: Memory Sewing Company)

When in doubt...use a well known platform!

One of the easiest things you can do is if you see an ad on social media for a sewing pattern you’d like to try…don’t click any links…just go to Etsy and search for the pattern you saw in the ad (such as ‘horse stuffed animal’, etc). Odds are, you’re going to find it there. That is the platform these pattern pirates are using to obtain the patterns and proceed with their fraudulent activity. 

Etsy is a third party platform. This means that independent designers set up their own shops on the Etsy venue and sell directly to you. Both the buyer and the seller are protected under Etsy’s purchase protections, etc. Not only that, if someone has set up shop on Etsy with pirated patterns, Etsy will take them down upon a proper copyright report from the legit designer. This is why these pattern pirates aren’t selling on Etsy…or if they do, it is short lived once the actual designer finds them and reports them. Stand alone websites, hosted in a foreign country that doesn’t like to play by the rules, are much more difficult to get taken down.

Report what you see...please.

If you see an ad on social media, or a website or a shop on Etsy, etc, that you believe are selling pirated patterns…please directly notify the legit designer. Please provide a link to the social media ad, website or listing.

Ads on social media are impossible to find without a link. Go ahead…click on the profile of the ‘business’ listing the ad or reel on social media…ods are their social media page will be out dated and essentially empty…another red flag!

You may also find reviews others have left…which aren’t favorable and will give you yet another clue to their shady business practices.

Coupon Code! Thank you for helping fight the good fight!

Did you make it this far in my crash course on how to identify pirated patterns? Excellent! Thank you for choosing to be an ethical and savvy shopper! Would you like to purchase any of my patterns? …a legit copy, of course! Find them in my shop here on my website and save 30% on one pattern with the coupon code FIGHTFRAUD30  

I also have a shop on Etsy, but I don’t have this coupon code available in that shop due to the inability to set up the coupon code as desired.