How to print and assemble a PDF sewing pattern
In this tutorial video, you will find all our tips and tricks to download, print, assemble, and prepare your PDF sewing pattern. All to make your sewing easier.
You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader here if you need a PDF file reader.
For the English version, remember to activate the English subtitles.
What is a PDF sewing pattern?
A PDF sewing pattern is a sewing pattern that comes in a digital format. It means you get the pattern in several files that need to be printed.
1) Buy and download a PDF pattern
First of all, if you want to correctly print your pattern you need to buy and download it. It can be trivial to say so, but it is really important to download all the files, one by one. A PDF pattern can contain many files. For example, at ikatee, you will have a guidebook, in French and in English, two files with all the sizes: one in A4/US letter and one in A0, and one file in A4/US letter for each size. For some of them, you now have a Projector file (learn all about projection for sewing patterns in this article). We highly recommend downloading all of the files and saving them in a dedicated folder on your computer as at ikatee you can only download the files 5 times. You can create a folder in your mail inbox but save them as well on a computer.
If you have difficulties downloading the files, try and change your browser ( Safari, Google Chrome, or Firefox for example).
2) Print a PDF sewing pattern at home.
A. Adjusting the printer
Once you selected the size you want to use and print, open the corresponding file.
Here comes the technical phase: you need to check the printing parameters. If you don’t print at the right scale, your pattern will be distorted. The finished garment will likely not be the right size.
The parameters to choose are:
- Portrait format
- A4/US letter format
- Print at 100% (this is the key parameter!) with no page scaling.
B. Printing the TEST page
Ikatee’s PDF sewing patterns are all equipped with test squares on the first page of the file. Once the parameters are selected, we recommend printing the first page only and checking the size of one of the squares: 3 x 3 cm or 1 inch x 1 inch.
If the size is correct, you can print the rest of the pattern while checking the parameters are still the same. Sometimes they can bounce from one printout to the other.
If the squares are not the right size, it probably means that one of the parameters is not correctly configured. Pick up the list and check everything is set as it is supposed to be.
3) Put together a PDF sewing pattern.
You’ll note that a black rectangle frames the lines of the pattern. What we want is to edge the rectangle from one page to the other and assemble them. To get rid of the margins of the sheet, we recommend cutting the four sides of the rectangle, it is the option that creates fewer layers. But if you wish to gain time, here are our tricks: fold two sides on the lines (cf video) or cut two lines out of the four, always the same.
You can then put the sheets together, edge on edge, while making sure the labeled diamond are matching. For this, we recommend using tape. Make sure to follow the layout design, so you’ll know when to start a new line. If not, you might end up with curious shapes!
4) Cut the PDF sewing pattern
Last step: the cut! You just need to follow the lines. At ikatee, the seam allowances are always included.
Now that you can print, put together and cut your digital patterns, you can check our full collection of PDF sewing patterns in the shop.
5) Alternative: print the A0 sewing pattern at a printshop.
All our digital patterns have an A0 file with all the sizes.
Print in A0, our recommendations :
To avoid the sometimes fastidious steps of printing, taping, and cutting your patterns, ikatee offers all PDF patterns in an A0 format. Those are very big sheets with all pieces printed for all sizes at the same time. We always try to avoid superpositions of the pieces so you can cut directly if you wish so. But it can be nice to keep it and reuse it for other sizes, as you would for a physical pattern.
We tested several websites and got recommendations from others for A0 format.
The two websites are super easy to use: you download the files, pay for the printing and shipping costs, et voilà! The patterns arrive folded in a few days (these two sites are super quick for France). The paper is of great quality and the printing too.
As for the prices, it depends on the website you choose: you can count between 1,20€ to 5€ for black&white, and between 2,40€ to 7€ for color by page (841 x 1189 mm, about 1 m2) without the shipping cost.
This option is particularly nice for those who don’t like to assemble patterns at home, and for which the shipping costs can be high from France. Many options exist, here are linked some of them, but you can probably find a lot more.
The advantages of the PDF pattern
The choice between a PDF pattern and a paper pattern can be tough, but it clearly depends on your preferences and the sewing pattern, as some have (too) many pages to be printed at home. However, here are the advantages that we particularly like:
- the pattern is available right away wherever you are
- you can print only the desired size or in multiple sizes, without the need for decals, as the pieces are not superimposed
- quick assembly for baby and children's patterns which often contain not so many pages
- financial savings, as the PDF pattern is less expensive than the paper pattern and there are no shipping costs