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How to print your pdf pattern and troubleshooting guide

Printing at home A4/US Letter paper format

Before we start discussing the most common printing problems, please make sure that you follow the general printing guidance:

  1. Download your pattern from My account >> My downloadable patterns in required paper format. It should be US Letter or Letter if you live in the US and A4 for the rest of the countries.
  2. Open your pattern in Adobe Acrobat Reader (it’s free and you can download it here) and select/deselect layers (sizes) that you want to print. 
  3. Open print dialog (File >> Print).
  4. Make sure to select: Size (Actual size) and Portrait/Landscape orientation (Auto).
  5. If you are printing in ink saving mode we recommend to switch to normal mode to make sure that the lines on the pattern print correctly. Sometimes printers with ink saving mode print dashed lines as solid lines.
  6. Print Page #1 only.
  7. Take a ruler and check if both horizontal and vertical scales match precisely.
  8. If they match – print the rest of the sheets.
  9. Tape the pattern together using a layout grid and circle markings (trimless assembly).



FAQs About Printing PDF Sewing Patterns

Q: Why are my rulers on the pattern not measuring correctly after printing? 

If the rulers on the pattern is not measuring correctly, it's likely due to improper scaling settings. Double-check that your printer is set to "None" or "Actual Size" in the print dialog box. Also, ensure that your printer is not set to "Fit to Page," which can distort the pattern's size.

Q: Can I print a PDF sewing pattern on both sides of the paper to save resources?

It's generally not recommended to print on both sides of the paper for sewing patterns. Double-sided printing can lead to confusion when aligning pattern pieces. It's best to use single-sided printing for accurate assembly.

Q: My printer is printing only part of each page. What should I do? 

If your printer is cutting off parts of the pattern, check the print settings for page size and margins. Make sure the paper size selected in the print dialog box matches the size of the paper loaded in your printer. Adjusting the margins may also help.

Q: Can I print a PDF sewing pattern at a print shop or copy center? 

Yes, you can. Many print shops and copy centers offer large-format printing services. Be sure to bring the digital pattern file on a USB drive or via email. Discuss your specific printing requirements with the staff to ensure the pattern is printed to the correct scale. We recommend to order using Drafting paper/image quality to cut down costs.

Q: What type of paper should I use for printing PDF sewing patterns? 

Standard printer paper (US Letter-size or A4) is suitable for most PDF sewing patterns. However, for more durable and long-lasting patterns, you may consider using lightweight cardstock or pattern paper.

Q: Can I resize a PDF sewing pattern if I want to make it larger or smaller?

 It's generally not advisable to resize a PDF sewing pattern unless the pattern explicitly provides resizing instructions. Altering the size of a pattern can affect the fit and proportions of your finished project. If you wish to adjust the size, consult the pattern designer's guidelines or consider seeking professional advice.

Q: Are there any special considerations for printing PDF sewing patterns in black and white? 

Our PDF sewing patterns are designed to have layers, so you can only print the sizes you need. When you print one or two sizes black and white printing is great. However if printing all sizes, printing in black and white may result in pattern lines and symbols that are harder to distinguish. If you must print in black and white, make sure your printer settings still maintain the correct scaling and alignment.

Q: Can I print a PDF sewing pattern in grayscale instead of color? A12: Yes, you can print a PDF sewing pattern in grayscale. Adjust your printer settings to print in grayscale or black and white. Keep in mind that some pattern details may be less distinct in grayscale, so review the pattern pieces carefully before cutting.

Q: Can I print a PDF sewing pattern in draft mode to save ink or toner? A15: Printing a pattern in draft mode can save ink or toner but may result in lighter lines and reduced pattern clarity. It's advisable to use regular or high-quality print settings for better accuracy and ease of use during sewing.

Q: What should I do if my PDF sewing pattern has overlapping lines or text? 

Our PDF patterns are designed with layers to allow you to toggle between different sizes. In Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can use the "Layers" feature to select and print only the desired sizes to avoid overlapping lines or text.


Q: What should I do if my printed pattern pieces are slightly off-center or skewed? 

If your printed pattern pieces are not perfectly aligned or appear skewed, double-check your printer settings for scaling and paper size. Make sure your printer is set to print at 100% scale (no scaling) and that the paper is loaded correctly. It might be that the paper in the printer's tray is out of alignment.

Q: My printed PDF sewing pattern has straight lines instead of curved ones, and the pattern looks distorted. How can I fix this issue? 

If your printed pattern displays straight lines instead of curved ones or appears distorted, it may be a rendering issue. To resolve this, try using the "Print as Image" option in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Here's how:

  1. Open the PDF sewing pattern in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. Go to "File" > "Print."
  3. In the print dialog box, check the option for "Advanced" or "More Options."
  4. Look for the "Print as Image" option and enable it.
  5. Click "OK" or "Print" to generate the pattern with improved rendering.

Enabling "Print as Image" can help overcome certain rendering problems and ensure that curved lines and pattern details are correctly printed. If the issue persists, consider updating your Adobe Acrobat Reader to the latest version or consult the pattern designer for further guidance.

Q: Why can't I use Adobe Illustrator to print the sewing pattern instead of Adobe Acrobat Reader? 

Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based design software primarily used for creating and editing artwork. While it can open and display PDF files, it may not be the best choice for printing sewing patterns due to the following reasons:

  1. Scaling Issues: Adobe Illustrator may not handle pattern scaling correctly, which could result in inaccurate pattern pieces. Printing at 100% scale can be challenging.

  2. Layer Support: Our PDF sewing patterns use layers to allow users to choose specific sizes. Adobe Illustrator may not fully support these layer features, making it difficult to select and print individual layers accurately.

  3. Line Thickness: Adobe Illustrator may default to thin lines, which can make pattern lines appear faint or unclear when printed.

  4. Pattern Assembly: Adobe Illustrator lacks features designed specifically for pattern assembly, such as alignment guides, page tiling, and pattern piece labels.

For optimal results, it's recommended to use Adobe Acrobat Reader for printing PDF sewing patterns. Adobe Acrobat Reader is specifically designed for viewing and printing PDF documents, ensuring accurate scaling, layer support, and print settings tailored for sewing patterns.

Q19: What is "sewing with projectors," and how does it differ from traditional pattern printing? 

Sewing with projectors is a great advancement in the sewing community that uses a digital projector to display sewing patterns directly onto fabric, eliminating the need for printing and paper patterns. This method offers several advantages:

  1. Paperless Sewing: With projectors, you can avoid the hassle of printing, assembling, and storing paper patterns. This is especially useful for sewists looking to reduce paper waste.

  2. Adjustability: Projectors allow you to easily resize, move, or rotate patterns on your fabric before cutting, making it convenient for fitting adjustments and pattern customization.

  3. Precision: Projectors provide excellent pattern accuracy, ensuring that lines and markings are displayed clearly and to scale on your fabric.

  4. Cost and Time Savings: Over time, sewing with projectors can save money on printing costs, and it eliminates the time-consuming process of taping or gluing pattern pieces together.

To sew with a projector, you'll need a projector, and a computer or tablet to display the pattern. Most of our patterns come in a Projector format. You can also use A0 files to project the pattern. You can find more about sewing with projectors here: