Sewing with PDF patterns - trips and tricks!

I've been muddling my way through sewing by myself for a little while now, figuring out that I need to buy an overlocker that doesn't chew up fabric like the old one I have, and that I need more practise with bias binding. 

One of the things I've always been a bit nervous of is sewing with a pdf pattern. Although good with gift wrapping, the idea of sticking heaps of paper together with accuracy didn't really do it for me. I've always bought paper patterns, with their nice packaging, over downloading a pdf, because it required more work (bit lazy over here) and I always felt it would be easier to make mistakes.

But then I found Seamwork Magazine and found some amazing patterns - not just for me, but for Husband. Seamwork patterns aren't printed, so in the end I had to just give it a go.

First thing's first. When you go to print 36 pages of pattern, just print the test page first and double check the measurement on the test square. Don't do what I did and forget to check the page scaling for the printer. 36 pages of pattern that's printed a centimetre too small isn't going to be useful, and it's a waste of trees!

Secondly - get lots of sticky tape, a good hour of your time, some floor space and a series on Netflix that you've seen before but is good for background noise. 

Thirdly, take your time with sticking. Make sure the little triangles all line up and that pattern lines connect. Once it's all stuck together, you can cut it out like a regular pattern. Make sure you use your non-fabric scissors. While it's not great to cut standard pattern tissue out with your sharpest fabric snips, you really don't want to cut out thicker paper with them. 

You might need a bit more sticky tape to tack down any loose bits once the cutting out is all done, but from then on, it's just like using any other printed pattern. And having a downloadable file is going to make it really easy to make the same garment in more sizes - just print it out and start all over again!


  1. Also having a guillotine is very, very handy!

    1. Oooh that is a good idea! I guess I could use the one at work!


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