PDF Sewing Pattern Guide and FAQs:
What is a PDF sewing pattern?
When you buy a PDF sewing pattern, as opposed to a paper sewing pattern, you will receive a digital file rather than a physical product. The digital file includes at least two, and usually more separate PDF documents. One will be the PDF pattern itself. You will also find a PDF document with the step-by-step instructions of how to construct the garment. You can either print this out also or read it directly from your computer, laptop or tablet. Most PDF sewing patterns also include a Copyshop/A0 version of the pattern sheet that you can get printed at a copy shop, or you can let us print it for you, so you will save on printer ink, paper and the time taken sticking the sheets together yourself. This can also be printed out on a home printer and will require sticking together.
So how does it work then?
Buying a PDF sewing pattern on our site is as easy as buying anything else. You can buy just one single pattern, or buy it within the same transaction as other PDF sewing patterns and/or physical products. Once you have completed your order, you will receive an email that contains a link. You may receive this email immediately or it may take a short while. So if it doesn't appear straight away, please wait for half an hour and check your inbox again, plus check your email spam folder. When you receive the email, click on the link and your pattern files will start to download to whatever device you are using. Make sure you download the pattern files onto the computer or laptop that is connected to your home printer, if you are choosing to print it out yourself. You can usually use the download link three times before it expires, so if you accidentally download the files to a device that you can access them on easily (like your phone), you can download them again onto the right device later.
Some PDF pattern files will download separately, so you will be able to find them in your Download folder and open them straight away. Some PDF pattern files will download in a compressed format called a zip file. You will need to 'unzip' the zip file to be able to open the pattern files. If you have not encountered a zip file, simply 'right-click' on the zip file icon and select 'Extract All'.
Once you have the files you will have the pattern to keep forever, this is especially useful mfor patterns that have a number of options or if you want to make multiple sizes and don't want to trace a pre printed pattern.
If you would like us to print the pattern and post it to you:
Why not make the most of our large format/A0 printing service? If you would like us to take care of the printing for you and receive large format pages ready to cut, then you can let us know after you have added the pattern to your cart.
- Once the PDF pattern is in your cart, click on the link in the PDF pattern description to take you to the 'Print Your PDF Sewing Pattern' page.
- You do not need to upload the pattern files.
- You will then need to use the drop down menu to select the number of A0 pages required to print that pattern, that info is written clearly in the PDF pattern description.
- Some PDF patterns are split into groups of sizes (for example, sizes 6-16 and 18-30). If the pattern you are buying is spilt in this way, the info will be clearly visible in the PDF pattern description. Just let us know which sizing group you require in the comments box of the 'Print Your PDF Sewing Pattern' page.
- Once you have selected the number of A0 pages required, plus let us know which sizing group you need in the comments box if relevant to your pattern, then click 'Add to Cart'.
If you have chosen to get us to print your pattern, you will be emailed a link to the digital PDF files as well as having the printed pattern pages posted to you. The pattern printing service does not include a printed copy of the instructions. You will find the step-by-step instructions in the digital PDF files. See 'So how does it work then?' section above.
If you choose to print out the pattern at home:
Unless you are lucky enough to be an architect with your own A0 format printer at home, you will need to print out the A4 or 'letter size' pattern document. THIS IS IMPORTANT: make sure you print the document at 100% scale. You may need to uncheck a 'fit to print' or 'scale to fit' box on your printer's dialogue box. Once you have printed out your pattern sheets, you can check that it printed to the correct size by measuring the scale box that will included somewhere on the layout. Once you know the pages have been printed out at the correct scale, you will need to glue or tape them together. Most pattern sheets include a border of plain paper around each sheet that you can cut off or fold back so that the pages can be aligned together accurately. Most patterns include numbers, letters or icons along the edges so you can easily figure out which pages needs to be stuck together. Once you have stuck the whole pattern together, you can treat the pattern as any regular paper pattern by figuring out which size, or combination of sizes, you need to cut out of your fabric.
If you would like to print your pattern at a copy shop:
Click the option to just receive the digital PDF pattern files only. Once you have opened the files as described above, you can save the Copyshop/A0 files onto a pen drive and take it to a copy shop, or you upload the files to the copy shop site directly from your computer, depending on how their service works.
What's the point of PDF sewing patterns?
Many independent sewing pattern designers offer PDF versions of their products as well as paper versions, and some only release their patterns as PDFs. It allows designers who work on a smaller scale, or perhaps those who are just starting out, to make their patterns available without the economic outlay involved in producing and storing physical, paper patterns. Plus it allows them to spend more time designing new patterns and promoting their range, rather than having to package up and ship out paper patterns orders. Plus you will get the digital file straight away so if you want to start sewing right away you can.