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How to download, print and assemble PDF sewing patterns | Your Sewing Friend

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PDF patterns are all the rage these days – and for good reason! They’re easy to find, usually free or very inexpensive, and can be printed at home. But if you’re new to PDF patterns, they can seem a little daunting. Have no fear! This tutorial will show you how to download, print and assemble PDF sewing patterns like a pro. Let’s get started!

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Go to the website of the sewing pattern company you want to purchase from

Shopping for the perfect PDF sewing pattern doesn’t have to be hard when you know where to look: the website of the pattern company you want to purchase from. With so many printing PDF sewing patterns out there, it can feel a bit overwhelming, but once you find that dream design, it’s time to start surfing and clicking! From printing the pattern pieces to creating the garment or accessory of your dreams, everything is possible with just a few clicks and a couple of scissors (or rotary cutter). Let’s get crafting!

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Downloadable PDF sewing patterns have been around for quite some time.  The first time I noticed them was from Burda Style, which offered print at home options at a reasonable price.  Since then the Indie sewing pattern world has exploded.  If you are new to printing and assembling PDF sewing patterns or just find them frustrating, then this is the place for you!

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Find the pattern you want to buy and check the PDF formats (Letter, A4, A0)

Shopping for sewing patterns can leave you feeling overwhelmed, especially with the dizzying array of PDF formats available! Whether you want to download a letter size sewing pattern, an A4-sized one, or even an A0 sewing pattern for a bigger project (you can send this to a print shop like Staples and have it printed on sheet and there is no piecing the pages together), you can find everything you need. With easy-to-read descriptions and visuals to guide your choice, it’s never been easier to pick exactly which pattern format fits your sewing project. So go ahead—take a deep breath and get ready to choose the sewing PDF size for your latest sewing adventure!

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Some PDF patterns have layers to select only your size to print (saving ink and making it easier to read)

Sewing can be tricky enough on its own, but luckily, we have the perfect accessory for your fashion-making quest: Sewing PDF Pattern Layers! By selecting the layer with your size before printing out your pattern, you’ll save ink and get a pattern that’s much easier to read and cut out (no intersecting lines, and if you have trouble with your eyesight or are colourblind you don’t need to guess which lines belong to which size pattern). Who said you had to be a sewing expert to create something amazing? With Sewing PDF Pattern Layers, all you need is a printer, paper, and some time – and we guarantee it will up your summer wardrobe game!

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PDF patterns allow you to print and cut multiple sizes without having to trace the pattern (like traditional tissue sewing patterns)

PDF patterns are such a timesaver when it comes to sewing! Instead of having to trace the pattern with a pencil and ruler like with traditional tissue paper patterns (or only have one size if you but into the main pattern paper), PDF patterns allow you to easily print and cut out the size you need. No more wasting time guessing your measurements, or accidentally cutting off part of the pattern. PDF sewing patterns make sewing so much easier and quicker, and now I almost can’t even imagine doing things any other way!

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To start open the .PDF file on your computer and then when you go into your print selections and ensure that you have ‘NO SCALING’ or ‘ACTUAL SIZE’ selected.  This ensures that you have printed the files in the correct scale.  There is also a handy legend on most PDF patterns where you can check you have printed out the right scaling.  Another note with PDF sewing patterns is to ensure that you do not have duplex or double-sided printing on.

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For A4 and letter printed sewing patterns, glue, or tape them together

Who knew assembling a PDF sewing pattern would be as easy as pie? All it takes is a bit of patience and the right adhesive. To assemble your A4 or letter printed pattern, simply glue, or tape each page together. Whether you opt for a glue stick (no white or liquid glue, please) or tape, be sure to check each individual patterns instructions on whether to trim the edges off, fold them back (or if they are trim less) and you can rest assured that your pattern will look fab! And don’t worry if you make a mistake with the adhesion – the only person it’s important to impress with the neatness of your assembly is you after all. So don’t forget to put on some tunes and enjoy the process.

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After it is all printed out you need to match up the pattern pieces.  Each Indie sewing pattern is just a little different on they come together.  Some have diamonds or circles to match up (with the page overlap borders drawn in), where others will have numbers or letters to match them up. 

I find it easiest to cut off the top and left edge (except for the top row where you only need to cut off the left edges) so that there is not as much bulk.


Ensure that you tape through all the areas that you will be cutting so the edges are not left open.  This helps to hold your pattern piece in the correct shape.

Once this is all done you can cut out your pattern size.  The nice thing about the .PDF patterns is you always have the digital version of the pattern available, so you do not have to trace the pattern, as you do in traditional tissue patterns.

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Now, if you are not one for all this printing and piecing, you have the option to send the file to a large format printer if that pattern comes in an A0 size.  They then ship you the pattern pieces in large pieces saving you so much time!

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Easily store your PDF sewing patterns digitally to quick reference later

Sewing pattern organization just got a whole lot simpler! PDF sewing patterns can now be stored digitally and easily referred to down the line. It’s almost like having a digital assistant – store your patterns where you can access them quickly and get right to that creative stitching. Gone are the days of sifting through boxes and totes to that one pattern (well, i still do, but I also like to store my PDF and print patterns with the alterations on them). Plus, having our pattern library all in one place makes it easier than ever before to pick up our projects without having to waste time searching for materials, we had put away temporarily. Now you can store your PDF sewing patterns and have access at the click of your mouse. No more lost patterns (or destroyed patterns) or chaotic desk drawers – store digitally for smooth sailing!

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PDF sewing patterns are amazing and convenient! They allow you to save time and ink, and you can store them digitally for easy reference later. If you’re not sure how to get started with PDF patterns, check out our YouTube channel for a quick tutorial. And don’t forget to subscribe while you’re there!

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I love to hear from you and you can subscribe to me at @SheerStitchery on Instagram #SheerStitchery and Sheer Stitchery on YouTube – yes, I have a sew along up for this make if you want to join along.  Check out the video on how to print and assemble PDF patterns at home.

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