How to Assemble a PDF Pattern
Our sewing patterns are only available in digital PDF format. There are lots of benefits to PDF patterns, and once you get the hang of assembling them, you can have your next sewing project printed, cut, taped, and ready to go in no time!
Maybe you haven’t tried one yet, or you’re wondering how PDF patterns even work!
PDF patterns are downloadable patterns which you can print at home on a normal printer. You then assemble them together with glue or tape, and once you are finished assembling the pattern, you can use them as if they are a normal tissue pattern.
The sewing instructions come in a separate PDF file, so that you don’t have to print these if you don’t want to.
I recommend just to read them off the laptop or iPad, this way you save paper and at the same time help the environment.
The benefits of
- Print only your size. All of our patterns are designed with layers, that means you can turn sizes on and off using the layers in Adobe Acrobat
- Endless prints. If you damaged your pattern or want to significantly alter the look of the patterns, you can always prin a new copy when needed.
- Does not break easily. Pdf printed paper patterns are much stronger and it doesn’t break as easily as the lightweight tissue.
- Sew when you have time. You don’t have to wait for the fabric store to open, you can print your pattern at any time.
I am going to guide you through how to assemble a PDF pattern, so you get it right every time – and I try to prove they are not as scary as you think!
I am using the Peter pan collar for this demonstration. The Peter pan collar is a fantastic accessory and it is a welcome addition to any wardrobe. You can pick up your copy here!
Saving and opening
your pdf pattern correctly!
The first thing that you want to do after you have downloaded your PDF pattern is removing it from your Downloads and save it into a new folder on your computer. often when you download something, a linked button appears at the bottom of your browser (Chrome, Safari, etc) screen. When you click on this button, the file will open, but it will open in your browser.
The printing settings for browsers can be quite limited, and often the correct printing options do not exist.
In the top right corner you will fine a download button. when you push this button the document will open up in Adobe read. (If you don’t have this software you can download it for free here.) After opening the document make sure to save et into a new folder.
Once you have opened the file, you will find that the pattern has been broken down into A4 size pieces that can be printed out and stuck together
Selecting your size If your PDF patterns are size layers like the Peter pan collar does, You can choose to print only the size or sizes you need to avoid having all these extra lines. In Adobe Reader and other PDF reader programs, you can open the Layers panel and turn sizes on and off by clicking on the checkmark or the eye icon.
Printing the pattern. The most important thing to get right here is the scaling. So when you print you need to uncheck any “fit to page” boxes or select “actual size”.
Print the first page (not front page) of the pattern and measure the square to ensure it is the right scale. If it is not, return to your printer settings and play with your selections. Once the square is the right size, print the rest of the pattern.
Supplies. Glue or tape and a scissor are all you need. If you want to speed up the process, I recommend using a tape dispenser and a paper trimmer
Trim. the right side and top along the borderline. On the top row, you can leave the top un-cut.
Starting up. line up the to first pages at the markings on the border. Make sure the pattern lines meet and try to keep them as closely lined up as possible.
Keep adding pages until you get to the end of the row. You will know you are there because there will be no triangle on the right side of the page
Start the next row by taping the upper edge of the page to the bottom edge of your first piece. It is important to look at the numbers at the pages, because some patterns might have an overhang in the assembly layout, like the examples below.
Continue adding pages, now taping the side and the top edge down.
Keep on going until your pattern is complete! If your work surface is small, you can use the floor or you can cut off complete pattern pieces as you go.
Pattern storage. I like to store my PDF pattern in large envelopes. This is a compact way to store them and you can easily find past patterns by taping the front page of the sewing instruction on the front. I also like to include the size chart on the back.
I hope this step by step assembly post has been helpful. Let me know your tips on assembling PDF patterns, I am always happy to learn new tricks!