Sewalongs / Tips & Advice / Tips & Tutorials

How to print, assemble and use PDF sewing patterns

How to print, assemble and use digital PDF sewing patterns | Megan Nielsen Patterns on Youtube

Digital PDF sewing patterns have become incredibly commonplace and are a wonderful instant gratification option for those who want to get sewing right away. If you’re not familiar with PDF sewing patterns they are a digital version of a sewing pattern which you are able to access on your computer and print at home.

There are a number of features of PDF sewing patterns that make them a really attractive option for makers.

  • When it comes to cutting out your pattern there is no need to trace, you can simply print out another copy in the future – i really dislike tracing so enjoy this feature immensely.
  • All of my digital patterns come with lifetime updates, so you will always receive a complimentary update email when any new features are added to a pattern that you have purchased.
  • PDF patterns are available immediately after purchase, so if you are keen to get making right away you can!
  • Because of the digital nature of PDF patterns you also don’t need to pay for shipping,or the print cost of the pattern which makes them a really affordable option.

If you’d like to try using one of my PDF sewing patterns we’ve put together this comprehensive video on our Youtube channel for you which will walk you through how to order, download, print, assemble and use a PDF sewing pattern.

All of my PDF patterns include the digital instructions in A4 and US letter sizes, the pattern pieces in A4 and US letter sizes, and pattern pieces in large format A0 and 36×48″ sizes. The A4 and US letter format files can easily be printed on your home printer. For the pattern piece file you will then need to tape your tiles together to make the full size pattern pieces. When it comes to the instructions you can choose to print off the instructions or simply view them on your computer. The large format pattern piece files will need to be printed at a copy shop/print shop.

We don’t recommend opening your files on a phone or tablet as this often causes downloading and printing issues. Instead we recommend saving your files to your computer for future use, and printing from your computer.

Please note that some features mentioned in this video will not be available for all patterns.

Over the past few years I have been in the process of adding layering to all of my PDF patterns, and am slowly working my way through my back catalog. Layering is a feature which allows you to print only the size that you are making rather than the entire pattern nest. If you have purchased a pattern which does not currently include layering don’t be concerned – you can still enjoy your pattern, you’ll just need to print out all the sizes available. We’ve worked really hard to make sure that when we nest our patterns all sizes are clearly visible. As soon as layering is available you’ll receive a complimentary update.

Another feature that is slowly being added to each pattern is a diagram showing what the tiled pattern pieces look like when taped together. If your pattern doesn’t currently include this feature don’t worry as we always include a list of what pages you need to print for each view on the first page of the print at home pattern options. Simply look for the diagram of the view you are making, and underneath there will be a list of what pages you need to print out.

If you’re looking for a low pressure first PDF pattern to try, why not download one of the free patterns available to my newsletter subscribers. You’ll need to subscribe to my newsletter first to obtain the complimentary discount code.

I really hope you find this video helpful and if you have any questions at all please let me know in the comments!

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
10 months ago

Thanks for this info! I hope it doesn’t mean you are phasing out print patterns. I find pdf’s are just not as accurate, no matter what, and very cumbersome to alter (forward shoulder, blending sizes, moving darts, etc…nothing elaborate). And the cost to take a pdf to a copy shop and have it printed, combined with the pdf cost, is more than I want to pay. I love your patterns and 2 are TNT for me (Flint shorts, Brumby skirt). Just some food for thought for you, and a voice that says the printing and taping is not the hurdle for me. It’s consistency and accuracy (combined with price).