Patternmaker Burda is doing something really interesting: they call it Open Source Sewing. Based on the ideas in open source software development, Burda is offering up patterns free of charge on their website. You just download them in PDF format and you can print them and assemble them from your own printer. They also offer the PDFs full size so you can take it to a copy shop and print there (so no assemply necessary!). Very nice!
Of course not every pattern is available as Open Source Sewing, but the idea is supposed to be bigger than that. The two benefits they list that seem the most inportant to me are:
"Networking: Connecting designer, patternmaker, creator, seller, and buyer
Product quality and improvement: Great fit and variation through the Burda pattern making competence and the constant testing and feedback of users"
Of course there is also a lot of talk about fostering creativity and sharing information, which is all fine and dandy, and maybe the idea of networking falls in that category too. But someone in corporate at Burda was really thinking if they hope that this kind of open source will improve fit of Burda patterns!
I've already downloaded my first one (ok a pretty simple on) just to give it a try! (see above pic)