Have you heard of PDF sewing patterns before, but aren’t exactly sure what they are or how they work? You’ve come to the right place!
What’s a PDF File?
If you’ve never used PDF files before, PDF stands for Portable Document Format. This file format is widely used for non editable files to transmit accurately sized and formatted information.
Sewing Pattern companies use this widely accepted file format to build pattern files full of information like size charts, fabric suggestions, pictures, and of course the sewing pattern itself!
Where to Find PDF Sewing Patterns?
Most Independent Sewing Pattern Companies offer sewing patterns in PDF format. You will be able to find patterns for clothing, bags, crafts, quilts, and more that are all instantly downloadable. You can find a pattern today, download it on your home computer, laptop, or tablet and sew it right away!
I’ll list a few indie pattern companies below so that you can take a look at what types of patterns they offer.
Here are a few of my favorite sewing pattern companies:
- Ellie and Mac Patterns (E&M) (See my E&M makes HERE)
- Patterns for Pirates (P4P) (See my P4P makes HERE)
- Rebecca Page Patterns (See my Rebecca Page makes HERE)
- Sewfisticated Designs
- Made for Mermaids (M4M) (See my M4M makes HERE)
- Petite Stitchery & Co (PSCO)
- George and Ginger (G&G) (See my G&G makes HERE)
- Greenstyle Designs
How to Get the PDF Pattern
Once you’ve found a PDF pattern you like, you might be wondering how to get the pattern from the computer to your cutting table? Here’s a step-by-step list on how to buy and download a PDF sewing pattern.
- Find a PDF Pattern you like on a sewing pattern website (see above for ideas)
- Buy the pattern through the website
- After you’ve purchased the pattern, you will either be able to download it from the shopping cart screen, or the files will be emailed to you (depends on the sewing pattern company)
- Download the file to your computer (this can be done on a mobile device too, but you’re options will be more limited, more on this later)
- From here you have a few options. You can –
- Print letter or A4 sized paper from a regular printer *(see below for help on printing pdf patterns)
- Have the larger format pattern printed from a copy shop (A0 sized)
- Use a projector to project the pattern onto your sewing table (this requires a full sewing projector set up, but may be an options you’ll want to try later)
- If you choose to print the pattern on letter or A4 sized paper, you’ll first need to tape or glue the pieces of paper together in order to make the pattern pieces. Then cut each pattern piece out. You are now ready to cut your fabric.
*Not sure how to print the PDF pattern either? Click HERE to go to my comprehensive guide to PDF Sewing Patterns Post where I take you through step-by-step on how to print and collate a PDF pattern! Be sure to pay attention to the part where you select the size layers on the pattern!
Why Choose PDF Patterns?
Top 5 Reasons:
1. Easy to Use
I personally love PDF patterns, it’s really the only type of sewing pattern I use. I find the tissue paper patterns to be difficult to handle physically. And the instructions to be vague and confusing.
2. Great Instructions
I love that with PDF patterns, especially the good independent designers, the pattern instructions are very detailed and there are pictures or graphics for every step of the sewing process.
3. Sewing Support
Many indie pattern companies also have Facebook groups with fantastic support if you ever get stuck or have a question about a pattern. Plus, these groups have so many ideas on how to “hack” or modify the patterns to get the look you want.
4. Video Sewing Tutorials
A few companies have free video tutorials for every sewing pattern they put out, so that you can follow along with somebody on YouTube and sew the pattern up with them (check out Ellie and Mac Patterns for these!). This is especially great for beginner sewists, but also for more complicated patterns. Plus, it’s like you’ve got a friend to sew with! Sew fun!
5. Size Inclusive
And lastly, many indie pattern designers have very size inclusive patterns with size ranges from XXS through 8XL all in one pattern. Some even include children sizes through adult sizes all in one pattern.
Come Hang Out!
I hope that helps you understand what a PDF Pattern is and why they are incredible to use. Come join me on Instagram to learn more about PDF patterns and get sewing ideas! My Instagram sewing account can be found here – www.instagram.com/sewletsgohobby
This post contains affiliate links which do not change the price of anything for you, but gives me a small percentage of the sale if you choose to buy through the link so I can keep bringing you great posts!