Monday, June 16, 2014

{Tutorial} Using and Storing PDF Patterns

I am so thankful for the success of my Pattern Shop. The more customers I have though, the more questions I get about the actual PDF patterns. Not the sewing, but what to do with the PATTERN.
So here are a few of my tips and tricks to putting together, using, and storing your PDF patterns.
*all PDF patterns are different. They are pieced and assembled differently. These tips use my own patterns.*
Your PDF pattern will have directions for printing. Make sure you follow the directions for setting up your printer to ensure the pieces print properly. I include a 1" square on patterns so you can be sure they are correct.
I only print the pages with the actual pattern pieces on them. It saves paper. You can refer to your computer if it will be close for sewing directions.

Your pattern will include instructions on assembly. Some will have dashed or dotted lines, some have points to match up. Line up your lines as close as possible. I trim my pattern pieces on the dotted lines before taping them together.

Tape your pieces together making sure you can see all size lines that you need.
*never cut your pattern to size before piecing the whole pattern together*

I always keep my full size pattern pieces (like above) intact.
I use large yellow envelopes, labeled with the pattern name and the sizes it contains, to hold the full sized pattern.

To save paper, and keep your sizes together, here's a tip...
Use tracing paper for your individual sizes!
I use freezer paper, because it's inexpensive and it's just see-through enough that I can trace my lines easily from the original pattern.
Trace your size, perhaps a 2T, onto the freezer paper, label the piece, then you have 1 full size piece of your pattern to use over and over again. No more taping or printing.
I store all sizes in my labeled folder, ready to use again and again. Patterns I have sewn a lot have thicker envelopes because I've sewn so many sizes!

I have a special folder on my computer where I store my PDF files for patterns. BUT I also have them on a separate thumb drive, or pen drive. I keep this little drive in my sewing room, so if my computer crashes, I still have all of my bought (and personal) patterns to use.

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