We’re passionate about all things craft, creativity and community, which is why we have an extensive range of gorgeous ‘Pay What You Want’ sewing patterns created in collaboration with many patternmakers! We receive lots of questions about our patterns so we’ve compiled a list of the top frequently asked questions.
Some of these answers will change occasionally as we grow, learn and evolve, so check back from time to time and let us know if there’s anything we can improve on!
USING PEPPERMINT PATTERNS
How do I access the pattern?
Our patterns are downloadable and are accessible via the ‘Pay What You Want’ options. All our patterns were previously offered for free, however from 2023 we had to start selling our new patterns for a low fee (where you get to choose how much!). We’d love to keep our range of free patterns accessible to all and you are more than welcome to download them for free. However, we are a small business (it’s our superpower!) so if you’d like to support our patterns initiative, we’re inviting you to pay what you like. After you have chosen your amount, you will be sent an email that includes your downloads.
You’ll also be signed up to our infrequent (and much beloved) sewing newsletter, which will let you know when a new pattern is available along with sewing news and tips and tricks (you can easily unsubscribe at any time). Please know that if you unsubscribe from the sewing newsletter, you will not be re-added at any time (to any of our newsletters) if you download another pattern. Your email address will never be shared with a third party.
Why did your patterns change in 2023 from free to paid?
We’ve been giving away our patterns for free for many years now, and wish that we could continue to do so. But producing these patterns (including paying patternmakers a fair wage, as well as the ongoing promotional, creative and logistical costs) is costly and as a small business with rising expenses, we now need to charge a small amount to continue our work. The good news is that a free printed pattern is included in our latest print issue, a digital copy comes free with the digital copy of the mag, and the digital downloadable version is available to download under a new ‘pay-what-you-like’ initiative. We also have kept all our previously free patterns as free – how cool is that?!
Can I use a pattern to create garments for sale, resell the pattern or use it as a basis for my own patterns?
Unfortunately not – exclusive rights and copyright of any pattern remains with Peppermint.
Our patterns cannot be used for commercial purposes of any kind – this includes any garments/items created using the patterns. The pattern files cannot be copied, distributed or shared with others (physically or digitally), posted online or sold under any circumstances. For full Terms and Conditions, please head over here.
I run workshops/classes in my sewing shop/studio… Can I use the patterns as a teaching resource and material?
The patterns can be used for non-commercial, non-paid community sewing groups but not for ticketed and paid-for sewing workshops. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to find out about licensing fees for workshops.
Can I share photos and videos of my make?
Yes please! We’d love to see your creations. Tag your posts with @peppermintmagazine and #peppermintpatterns (and the relevant hashtag for each pattern) along with the patternmaker to connect and share with the Peppermint sewing community.
How do I print the patterns?
The most common problem faced when printing A4 PDF patterns at home is making sure you are printing at the correct size. Always double check you have selected “Actual Size” or scale to 100% and NEVER select “scale to fit”. If the pattern features a little test square, it’s wise to print out that page separately and check it’s the correct size to give yourself peace of mind before committing yourself to printing all of the pages.
There’s also the option of printing out your pattern in large-scale A0 format at a copy shop, like Officeworks. You can go in-store with the pattern on a USB or on your phone, or you can usually also send it to the copy shop digitally and have them ship it to your door!
What size paper do I print the patterns on?
The patterns can be printed in both A4 and US Letter formats – just make sure the scaling is correct and the test square is printing at the correct size! Plus most of our recent patterns come with an A0 version for large-scale/copy shop printing.
Are patterns available for projector use?
Yes! Use the A0 file format and adjust the focus ring until the test square is the correct size. Some of our earlier patterns are only available in A4 and US Letter format and unfortunately cannot be easily used with projectors, but the majority of our recent patterns do allow for this paper-saving option.
CREATION OF THE PEPPERMINT PATTERNS
How do you go about creating your patterns?
We start by dreaming up what design and style we’d like to create – that’s the fun part! We draw our ideas and gather inspiration for a mood board. Then when we have locked in a patternmaker, they work with us to refine the idea further. Once the pattern has been developed, the patternmaker works with pattern testers to make sure everything is functioning as it should be. The patternmaker (or a dressmaker that we work with) then creates a sample and sends it to us, which we use to shoot the final, fabulous images. All of this takes three months at a minimum and is planned long in advance of the release date.
How do you go about choosing patternmakers to work with?
There are multiple factors that play a part in who we work with – with the main hurdle being who is available to work within the specific timeframe for each pattern. We like to work with different patternmakers, from a wide range of geographical locations, stylistic backgrounds and experiences, all of whom bring their own unique touch to the collaboration. Working with different patternmakers has meant there is variation between each pattern (including in sizing and instruction format etc). We are working on bringing consistency to this, starting with establishing a standardised sizing range. Stay tuned for more details soon!
If you are a patternmaker who wants to work with us – we’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line and some examples of your patterns at email@example.com.
Do you pay your patternmakers?
Yes, absolutely! While our previous patterns were offered for free by us here at Peppermint (and have remained so), we always pay our patternmakers fairly for their work including associated costs such as fabric, notions and couriers etc. Our free pattern initiative started years ago when we were offered patterns by several contributors to give away for free. This then grew into commissioning patternmakers with our designs and paying an agreed, fair rate, which has increased over the years after consultation with our patternmakers. We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to share with the sewing community, making patterns that are accessible to all while also financially supporting and amplifying indie patternmakers.
Where does the payment for patterns go?
Many of our patterns are available to download for free. However, if you’d like to support the work we do, we’d love it if you could contribute whatever you are able through our ‘Pay What You Want’ system. Payments go towards our general running costs (commissioning patterns, hiring models, purchasing fabric, producing a magazine, sharing great content, paying our staff and contributors and lots of other good things) and helps keep us afloat so we can continue our free pattern initiative.
Our free pattern initiative has cost us over $40,000 in production costs alone (mostly from paying patternmakers and also photographers, models, dressmakers, fabric costs and couriers etc – but not including the ongoing promotional, creative and logistical costs). While we have sponsors and advertisers who partly fund the work we’re doing, these unprecedented times have been tough for us, as it has for most businesses, so the donations generally assist with our day-to-day operations. This ongoing support allows us to maintain our free pattern initiative.
I’m having difficulty/don’t use Stripe/Credit Cards/PayPal. Are there any other ways to support?
If these options are a no go for you but you still feel compelled to send us money (awww, thank you!) you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you our bank deets.
Why are certain patterns only available in certain size ranges?
We work with different patternmakers for each pattern, and every patternmaker usually has a set block that they work with themselves, which means that our patterns have a slightly different size range each time.
We are very aware that our very early patterns have a much smaller and limited size range. The conversation around sizing has changed significantly over the years, and unfortunately wasn’t on our radar in the early years. It’s now something that is extremely important to us, and we are working hard to ensure any patternmakers we work with extend their range to the highest point that their ability will allow, and actively seek out those that can.
Why can’t all the patterns just be increased to a higher size range?
While we would love to ask the patternmakers we work with to simply include a larger size range, it’s not that easy. Patternmakers create their sizing based on the block they work with, and their patterns are generally based on experience, skill, knowledge, financial feasibility and understanding of the intricacies of extended size ranges. It’s not a simple fix to just grade up beyond the sizes the patternmaker is comfortable with – larger sizes need to be fitted properly, and this changes the structure and morphology (shape) of the pattern. We don’t want to offer a higher range just for the sake of it, if technically it’s not correct and doesn’t fit well. The back and forwards of refining style, fit and sizing can often take months and involves much more than a simple two-way exchange, since there are so many variables involved in a pattern release. But it’s an important issue to us, and we are now preferencing patternmakers who can accommodate more inclusive sizes, as well as continually considering ways to accommodate audience feedback in the most holistic way.
As to what size is the ‘best’ size to go up to, it’s an evolving conversation with ever-moving goal posts – but one that we definitely need to be having. As with any important, social issue-based conversation, there are so many thoughts, emotions and considerations to take into account. We’re also a business and a small team with limited resources, so the juggle of balancing our business needs along with being a champion of diversity and inclusion can be a real challenge. We are fully aware that, while we do our absolute best, there will always be limitations to what we can produce (for a variety of reasons) and we won’t be able to include everyone in our sizing, all the time – but it is something that we are committed to continuing to address. For now, our goal is to have all of our patterns going forward to be at least a 60-inch hip.
Are you going to go back and adjust all previous patterns for extended size ranges?
While we would love to do this – and we’re hoping to be able to one day – it’s a complex issue thanks to many factors, and the main challenge is the financial cost for us to do this all at once. It can also be a difficult process for a patternmaker to grade up a pattern created by another patternmaker, both logistically and also in terms of not stepping on someone else’s creative toes! In the meantime, please know we are aware of the size limitations of some of our very early patterns, and we are genuinely sorry if you are excluded from these sizes (or any of our patterns!).
If there are any of our Peppermint patterns that you feel passionate about seeing extended (either up or down!), please let us know at email@example.com.
CONNECTING AND ACCESSING PEPPERMINT CONTENT
I live overseas, how can I best access or support Peppermint content?
In addition to our free patterns, and our incredible online content, Peppermint is also a print and digital magazine. While we do deliver overseas, due to complications around transport, mailing and stockists, it’s not always easy for our international fans to get their hands on a physical copy and its oodles of exclusive content. Luckily for our international friends, we do offer digital editions of our quarterly issues available anywhere with an internet connection, as well as digital subscriptions, so you never have to miss an issue!
Where can I find Peppermint content online?
In addition to our website, which features stacks of articles and is updated regularly, we have a lovely social media community, head over to these links to follow along!
You can also sign up to our (infrequent but beloved) email newsletter to keep up-to-date with all things Peppermint.
If you just want to sling us a dollary doo in thanks for all the content you already get (never necessary but very kind), we have a voluntary donation link, available on our pattern download pages.
I have another question or need help!
If you have a burning question that’s not answered here or need some further help, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.