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How to print PDF patterns – lets get sewing!

Learn how to print PDF patterns at home, print and sew up your pattern straight away!

I am a real fan of digital sewing patterns – for one they are instant! No waiting for a paper pattern in the post or going to the shop and secondly it is a great way of supporting indie pattern designers. PDF patterns vastly widen your choice of pattern designers.

But it is essential to print the PDF patterns to the correct size and tape together accurately.

Lets start with downloading the pattern, often computers save these to the Downloads folder unless you specify differently. Open the pattern in Adobe or similar software. The open your pattern from the specified folder.

Some designers layer their patterns, so check out of your pattern has this feature. I love it if they do as I can print the exact size of pattern I need and save myself some ink! This is featured on the blue tiles to the left, unclick the sizes you don’t need but ensure you keep the pattern info, you don’t want to loose the numbering of the pages.

Select print, and very importantly check your print settings. Ensure you select “actual size”. Your printer may say “scaling set to none” or “100%” or “turn off scaling”.

Crucially check the sizing – if your pattern has a 2″ square or 1″ square marked for checking sizing do it!! There is nothing worse than cutting a garment out, sewing it up and then realizing your printing was off. I like to use a quilters ruler to check the size.

Once you have your paper printed it is time to assemble (personally I hate this bit but some people find it relaxing!).  You will need to cut along one long edge and one short edge of each page so you can accurately join up the markings. I love using a paper guillotine as this is quicker than cutting with scissors.

Line up your markings and tape or glue together your paper.

Lastly cut out your pattern, you are ready to cut out your fabric and get sewing.

Storage wise, I fold up my patterns and store in large envelopes making the name and size of the pattern on the outside of the envelope – the size is particularly helpful. Last summer I sewed up the Kielo dress in three different sizes, one for my mother, one for my sister in law and one for myself. If I sew any more up I will be very grateful of the sizes on the envelope!

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Marjorie Wilson

Sunday 18th of April 2021

Thank you very much. Most useful.


Sunday 18th of April 2021

So glad you have found this helpful, Vicky

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