PDF sewing patterns can be so convenient!
You have such a wide selection of patterns to choose from, and of course downloading the pattern leads to near instant gratification. That, and the fact that PDF patterns are usually less expensive, make them a fantastic sewing resource. But, they do come with an extra step, which can be a hassle. Printing, cutting, and taping together a sewing pattern can deter some people from even wanting to use PDF patterns in the first place.
This is where large format printing comes in handy.
In some of my patterns (like the clothing ones) you will find that I've given you two ways to print your new pattern. The first is labeled "Tiled Pages" and the second is "Wide Format"
The "Tiled Pages" version is just what it sounds like. The pattern has been broken down into 7.5" x 10" sections that can be printed on letter or A4 paper, from your home printer if you want.
The "Wide Format" version has the pattern laid out on one large page, which can be printed on a wide format printer at a copy shop (or I suppose at home, if you are lucky enough to have one). This version will be no larger than 32" wide (to accommodate different types of wide format printers) and however long it needs to be to fit the whole pattern. If you open up the PDF and hover your mouse over the left-hand corner, the measurement of the PDF will appear, so that you can get an estimate of how expensive it will be to print.
no matter which version you use, I've created layers in the PDF, so that you can minimize ink usage, and minimize any confusion from all the different sizes. When I printed The Eddie, I wanted only the lines for sizes F, G, and H. I was making a size G, but I wanted to print one size above and below, in case of future changes in body measurements, or in case I wanted size references for altering the pattern. Turing on and off layers is super simple to do! And don't let copy shops tell you that you can't do it! I've been told by a few different shops that turning off the layers isn't possible, but once I showed them how, it worked just fine! Here is how: open up the file in Adobe Acrobat. On the left-hand side, you will see a panel with 5 little symbols running down the side. Click on the fourth one down, the one that looks the photo below (two square thingies hovering, one translucent one above the other). Then you will see the list of all the layers, each with a little eye next to it. Click the eye to turn off the layer, so that it won't print.
Some options for places that have wide format printers:
(sometimes your large pattern prints will be categorized as blueprints, fyi)
College Campus Copy Shops
Local Copy Shops
How to Print:
1. Save the pattern onto a thumb-drive and take it to one of the shops listed above. Or upload it to the copy shop website if you don't have a thumb-drive.
2. Take it to one of the employees behind the counter. Ask for an estimate of how much it will cost. For real. Different shops have different printers, that print different qualities. When I took The Eddie to get printed, the prices ranged from $6 to $47 at different shops. Always check the price!
3. Tell the employee that you want to print
a. in black and white or in color, whichever you want
b. printed to scale. NOT resized or shrunk in any way
c. on the cheapest, thinnest paper they have
d. certain layers. If you want to turn off layers, now is the time. You may have to show the
employee how to do it. I've been told a few times that it isn't possible, only to find out that
the employee didn't realize they could!
4. Check the print when it comes out, and measure the test square to be sure that the sizing printed correctly.
Getting my pattern printed took less than 5 mins, and $8. It was extremely convenient (and made me want a oversized printer of my own). It is an added cost, but depending on the size of the pattern (aka how many pages you would have to print out anyway and tape together) in question, it may be worth it. Especially if I'm in a rush!
creative business owner. designer. hoosier. crafter. runner. sewer. swing dancer. outdoor enthusiast. entrepreneur. wife. material hoarder.
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Madeline Stage firstname.lastname@example.org
"Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."
- Earl Nightingale