- The instructions from many designers are phenomenal and come with pictures! Which is especially useful for beginners.
- The size range for women’s patterns, for example, can go from tween sizes through women’s 5XL. So you can buy one pattern and have the ability to make it for you and pretty much anyone other sized person.
- Once you have the pattern, it’s yours. You can reprint it as many times as you want. (I don’t reprint my already correct sized and printed patterns. I’ll show you how I store them later in the post).
- Most independent clothing pattern designers use a group of everyday people to test their designs before they are sold. This translates to two great outcomes:
- The pattern is tested on every size. Have you ever made a garment from a pattern and thought, “this would look good on such and such type of body, but it doesn’t work for me.” Well, the designers get to look at every size to make sure the fit is right.
- Because of this method of testing, you get to see pictures of the garment on people in a variety of sizes and types of bodies, as well as in different fabrics for ideas.
PDF Patterns 101
1. Choose a Pattern
- Patterns for Pirates – Mostly clothing for women, men, and children. They have quite a few freebies including the infamous pegs which are everyday leggings.
- George and Ginger – Women’s clothing. Very well designed patterns. Lots of edgy unique patterns too. The designer also does runway shows in places like New York City.
- Ellie and Mac – Clothing for women, men, children as well as craft patterns. Lots of great sales.
- Love Notions – Clothing for women, men, children, dolls.
- Designer Stitch – Clothing for women. Very experienced designer who also owns a sewing school. Great drafting.
- Rebecca Page – Clothing for everybody. They also have cute kids stuffed patterns plus bags and a few others. The drafting has always been good to me.
- Peek a Boo Pattern Shop – Clothing for women, men, children. Lots of fun freebies including kids costumes.
- Bella Sunshine Designs – Clothing for women, men, children, dolls.
- Itch to Stitch – Clothing for women. Widely known as a very precise designer with great drafting.
- Made for Mermaids – Clothing for women, men, children, and dolls. The sister of the designer of Patterns for Pirates. Lately focused on their “lace and lounge” collection, which is really cute.
- Winter Wear Designs – Clothing for women, men, and children. Not just winter clothes! The designer’s last name is Winter.
- Jalie – Clothing for women including outerwear, casual wear, and active wear. Jalie’s been around since 1983 and there’s a reason.
- Sinclair Patterns – Clothing for women and men. Known for great drafting and quality patterns. when you purchase a pattern, you get actually get three files including – petite, regular, and tall.
- Stitch Upon a Time – Clothing for women, men, and children. They carry an assortment of patterns, but are infamous for their great underwear patterns.
- Greenstyle Creations – Clothing for women, men, children. Focus on athletic wear.
2. Print the Pattern
If you are printing a clothing pattern, you will need to locate your size in the size chart. If your measurements fall into more than one size, no worries, you can easily grade between sizes to achieve the best fitting garment. Most good pattern designers these days will include layers in the pattern, which means you can deselect the sizes you don’t need and only show the sizes you do. This makes it much easier to assemble the pattern and cut on the correct size lines.
Refer to picture below. On the left hand side of your Adobe Acrobat program screen, you will see a side bar with some icons. Click on the icon that looks like 4 sheets of paper stacked on top of each other. Now let’s say your (or your model’s) measurements fall into three different sizes – 8,10, and 12. Deselect all the sizes you don’t need and only leave the eye icon in the boxes for the sizes you want. Great, only those three size lines will be visible on your print out. Now, below that you may see some extra options. In this example, Bella Sunshine Designs offers a few different ways to assemble the pattern. I use letter paper and prefer trimless pages so that I’m not cutting more than necessary, so I have “Trimless – Letter” selected.
Once you have decided on the size, decide what version of the pattern you would like to make (if applicable). If there are many different options in the pattern, many designers will include a chart of which pages to print in order to save paper. Then, see the highlighted numbers in the photo below? You can enter whichever pages you need to print in that box.
- Under paper sizing and handling, choose “custom scale” and enter ‘100%’ in the box.
- Orientation should be “Auto portrait/landscape”
3. Assemble the Pattern
I like to use scotch tape and a regular pair of paper cutting scissors. Every designer will label their pages slightly differently. Some will have a letter and number order, ie, A1, A2,A3 would be the first row and B1,B2,B3 would be the second row. Other designers use just letters or just numbers and some use an assembly chart akin to a jigsaw puzzle. But in the end you should have a large taped together pattern ready to cut out. And…cut it out!
4. Cut out your Fabric
4. Sew it Up and Show it Off!
|Want to see more about this dress? Click HERE|
5. Store it
Some people like to use manila folders with the first page of the PDF pattern taped onto the front. Others like to hang up their patterns unfolded on pants hangars. This part is completely up to you!