If you have never tried a PDF sewing pattern then you are missing out. Don’t let trying something new intimidate you as learning how to print PDF patterns is easy with this step by step guide.
What are PDF Patterns?
PDF sewing patterns are digital files containing everything you need to print and sew clothing, quilts, toys and more. Traditional sewing patterns are printed on thin tissue paper and can be purchased from fabric stores. PDF patterns on the other hand are downloadable instantly making them one of the most convenient forms of sewing patterns.
Advantages of PDF Patterns
- They are often cheaper than commercial patterns.
- You can print the pattern as many times as you want in different sizes. This is especially useful for sewing kids’ clothing as you can reprint sizes as your child grows.
- You get them instantly and there is no waiting to go to the store when you feel like sewing.
- The selection of PDF patterns available is amazing and far superior to printed patterns. Most independent designers offer modern designs in PDF form.
Disadvantages of PDF Patterns
The only real disadvantage of PDF patterns is the time needed to sticky tape the pattern pieces together. However the advantages far outweigh this. Once you have taped a few grids together you will think that it is no big deal.
How to Print PDF Patterns
Here is a short video I made for you showing just how easy it is to print PDF patterns and tape your pieces together.
Step 1 – Download
Download your pattern using a laptop or desktop. This is important as most mobile devices are not set up to download PDFs. Technology changes rapidly and I suspect this will soon change. If you are going to download on your mobile, make sure you have a print function also set up.
Try and save the file somewhere on your computer where it is easy to find in the future. For many computers, downloads automatically go into a download folder so if you are not given an option, check there first.
Step 2 – Open
Open the file in a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader. The good news is that this is free software. Most computers should have this installed already but if yours doesn’t you can download it for free at http://get.adobe.com/reader/.
Step 3 – Print your pattern
In Adobe Reader, this is as simple as clicking on FILE-PRINT.
You don’t need to print the whole file but just the pages with the actual pattern pieces. You will view the instructions on your computer screen to save ink. The other advantage of viewing the instructions on your computer is that you can zoom in to photos when you need to.
Save ink by printing in a draft mode.
A Note About Scale
It is really important that you set your scaling to “actual size”. Some readers or printers might word this as “scaling set to none” or “100%” or “turn off scaling”. Even a small percentage of scaling can mean your garment becomes too tight.
Step 4 – Check Scale
After you have printed the pages look for the test square. All Treasurie test squares are 2 inches (5.1cm). Other designers may use different sized squares so double check any notes in the box or the instructions.
Get out your ruler and check that it measures correctly. If it doesn’t then check your print settings and try again.
If you have a pattern with a large number of pages, print just the test square page first before printing the entire pattern. You don’t want to waste paper only to realize it was all the wrong scale.
Step 5 – Layout Grid
Your pattern will go together in a grid. Check your pattern instructions for the grid layout. The Treasurie patterns are always numbered in a simple grid. This example just has 4 pages.
Step 6 – Tape
Match up the edges of the frames to put your pattern together. You will need to cut along some of the edges of the frames. You may be able to fold the edges instead.
Align the edges of the frames sticking the pattern together in the nominated grid layout using either glue or sticky tape.
Step 7 – Cut
Keep going for the rest of the grid and you are ready to start cutting. Most PDF sewing patterns are multi-sized so you just have to cut on the colored line for your desired size.
How to Print PDF Patterns – In Conclusion
Thanks for reading all about how to print PDF patterns. If you got stuck at any stage, contact the pattern designer as they are usually happy to help.
Now you know how to print a pdf pattern, you can start sewing!
Shop for patterns at www.treasurie.com