Note: Customers are allowed to make a limited number of items from Charlie’s Aunt books and patterns to sell, as long as they read and digest the information below and stick to the guidelines at the foot of the page.

I am frequently asked if people can make the bags, jewellery and accessories in my patterns and books to sell. As most people know, the patterns, books and the bag designs are covered by the Copyright Designs and Patents Act. As with all books and commercial patterns, this means that people can use the patterns to make bags for personal use only, including for friends and family – but they cannot be used to make bags for a business.

As with all patterns designers, I have taken a great deal of time designing and perfecting patterns and the copyright laws exist to prevent other people from simply using the patterns as an easy source of designs for a business. It is a protective mechanism that prevents us from being ‘ripped off’ as it were. All commercial pattern companies are covered by the same laws. My designs are quite distinctive and as such, I wish to retain the right to be identified as the designer and to profit from the designs. The copyright law is in place to protect designers and writers who choose to risk sharing their knowledge and patterns with the public and most people understand and respect this.

I have wrestled with the copyright issue for years. I initially took the line of most pattern designers and followed the copyright laws to the letter, and said no. Then when I did allow my patterns to be used by some people to make items in limited quantities to sell, sadly many of them abused this privilege and were founding entire businesses based on my patterns. They put my vintage inspired look and unique concept forward as their own, and even added their own “designer” labels or used my descriptions, which is not acceptable! This made me very sad because my patterns are extremely distinctive; they come from my heart and are truly important to me. I design them so people can share my love of vintage inspired accessories and sewing – not so they can create a business empire out of my work! It really isn’t fair for people to expect any designer to put in hours designing templates, drawing diagrams, writing instructions and working out the hard bits to maybe sell 6 patterns for $52 to someone who then builds an entire business on it. Okay, so now you understand the frustrations and the reasoning behind it, here’s the good bit!

As times are hard and I know a lot of my customers would like to be able to make a few items from my patterns to bring in a little bit of extra cash, I have decided to again allow it, as long as they stick to the following rules:

  • Make no more than 10 bags in a year to sell from any ONE Charlie’s Aunt pattern, and up to a MAXIMUM of 40 bags in TOTAL from a combination of any of my patterns in a year. Please don’t make any more than this – I have more than 20 different sewing patterns and it simply wouldn’t be fair to buy 15 and make 10 of each, because you would be adopting my entire concept that way! If you intend to make any more than 40 in a year, this would be deemed a big business and would be totally against the rules.
  • Write on each swing ticket and in all Etsy/online descriptions the following words: “This bag was made using a Charlie’s Aunt sewing pattern designed by Emma Brennan”. A link to my Etsy shop would also be greatly appreciated. Please don’t put your own designer labels in my designs – that isn’t fair!
  • Please have the courtesy to drop me a line to ask if you can make the bags to sell. This way I can keep track of who’s doing what and I can hopefully persuade you to share photos of the bags you make on the Charlie’s Aunt Facebook site.
  • All items for sale must be handmade by you. Contracting with others to mass produce Charlie’s Aunt designs is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
  • Distribution of the pattern pieces and corresponding instructions is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. Please do not copy my patterns in any way. The words, diagrams and pictures are covered by copyright and I will pursue anyone who infringes this.
  • Finally, please be respectful my designs and policies. Being allowed to make a limited number of bags from my patterns to sell is a privilege and not a right.

Please email me at if you have any questions