Since I sell PDF sewing patterns, I often get questions about printing issues. My patterns include very thorough printing instructions, but sometimes people still run into issues. In an attempt to help everyone, I made a short video for my YouTube Channel. (If you can’t get the video to play below, click here to go watch it on YouTube.)
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DO’S AND DON’TS OF PDF PATTERN PRINTING
- Use Adobe Reader to view/print, not Mac Preview, your internet browser or the version of Adobe Reader that comes with Windows. You can download Adobe Reader for free here.
- Print the page with the test square and measure carefully before printing the whole pattern. THIS IS IMPORTANT. If the square is 1/8″ (3mm) off and it’s a 2″ square (which is what I use) that means a pattern piece that is 8 inches long will suddenly be 1/2″ (12mm) longer or shorter – and that can be a whole size different! Longer/wider pattern pieces will be off even more.
- Read the printing instructions in your pattern
- Play with “Fit” “Scale” “Select by File Size” and “Auto-Rotate and Center” to get the right size test square. These settings may vary depending on your combination of printer and pattern.
- Write down settings for future reference
- Use Mac Preview, your internet browser or the Adobe Reader that comes with Windows 8 to print. I have personally printed from Mac Preview and seen every page be off by a different amount! And if you click print straight from the internet browser or your email, you may even end up with missing lines or that aren’t on the actual pattern. Always download the pattern, then open in Adobe Reader.
- Print the whole pattern before measuring the test square
- Assume that because you used the same settings as you used another time the pattern is correct. ALWAYS MEASURE THE TEST SQUARE.
Once you’ve printed, you can use scissors, or a rotary cutter to cut off tile edges. I cut off two edges only, then overlap the tiles and tape on the size line I’m going to cut.
Hopefully these tips will help you with PDF printing frustration and help with getting a perfect fitting garment from the pattern.