Elizabeth Street

Tips for Assembling PDF Patterns

MakingLiz TubmanComment

After posting my pro + con list last week debating the merits of PDF and paper patterns, I wanted to share a few tips for those times when you do want to use a PDF pattern.  Of course, they take a bit more prep time and work than paper patterns, but when you just can't wait for a paper version to arrive in the mail, they're the perfect burst of instant gratification to get your sewing started!  Here's a few tips I've gathered on putting these bad boys together:

Tip 1: Print the page with the size guide first! You'll save yourself so much grief if you measure that little box to make sure you're printing with the right settings.

Tip 2: Use washi tape - it's reposition-able! (and extremely cute.)

Tip 3: Cut + piece together individual pattern pieces instead of the whole thing.  Instead of trying to perfectly align a grid of 20+ pages in multiple rows and tape them all together, I lay the pieces out and focus on piecing the individual pattern pieces together.  This method seems to go much faster and I can ignore any extra bits that aren't part of the size I'm using.  

Tip 4:  Use tape right on the paper edge joins for your specific size and at intersections of 4 pieces.  It's really easy to use a ton of tape, but I find taping at these strategic points really does the trick. (see photo below as an example)

Hopefully these tips help you tackle your next PDF pattern assembly without a second thought!