We are completely thrilled to welcome a ginormous wide format printer into our space so that we can print any and all PDF patterns! This service has been so well received and we feel it’s a real benefit to the sewing community – accurate and easy pattern printing from the same place you’re ordering your fabric and supplies from any way. A few visitors to the shop mentioned they were unsure how the whole ‘PDF pattern thing’ works so I thought I’d write a quick how to to help ease any newbies into the fabulous and wide world of digital patterns.
So – why buy a pattern in PDF format instead of print? There are many independent designers who only offer their patterns digitally, usually to keep their business at a manageable scale, and new indie patterns are almost always released as PDFs three to six months before the printed pattern is available. Being open to digital patterns opens up an endless amount of options for patterns of all kinds and lets you get your hands on them immediately.
PDF patterns usually contain at least three parts: one file for the instructions, one file with pattern pieces you can print on A4 paper and one file with pattern pieces you can print on A0 or wide format paper. The file with A4 pages can be printed at home but each page must be trimmed and taped together to form the entire pattern – not so bad if it’s a hat pattern with four pages, pretty soul destroying for most adult garment patterns that can have up to 80 pages! The file with A0 or Copy Shop in the title must be printed on a wide format printer, usually at a copy shop. You can open and view PDF patterns and instructions using Abobe Acrobat, a free software application that you can download directly from Adobe here.
The only downfall of digital patterns, up to this point, has been dealing with the printouts – A4 sheets are easy to print at home but tedious to put together and finding places to accurately print out the A0 size can be difficult and inconvenient. That’s where we saw a way to help: you can upload your A0 PDF file directly into our online shop here, choose how many pages you need printed in that file (open the PDF with Adobe Acrobat and check how many pages before ordering), and proceed to Checkout. We’ll print your patterns for you, double check the test square to make sure it’s all at the correct scale and send it out to you or have it ready for pick up – easy peasy!
So basically, you order your pattern directly from the designer (see a handy list below of some of our favourite PDF only pattern designers to get you started) and download the pattern after purchasing – this means you save the PDF files (or a .zip file which will open into a folder containing the PDF files when clicked after downloading) directly onto your computer or device. The instructions PDF can be printed off at home or, even better, save paper and view it on your computer or device while you’re working. Then you upload the PDF file that says A0 or COPY SHOP in the title to us and we print the pattern sheets out for you.