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Assembling a PDF Pattern at home By Deepika on 3/31/14 1:40 PM

Do you love digital (pdf) patterns? We do! Who doesn't like instant gratification and if you have the right tools, you can assemble digital patterns quickly and accurately. Here's a quick tutorial on to do that. We've featured our brand new Winter Street Dress pattern (Available April 1st) here but the method is similar for any PDF pattern. The only thing which will change is pattern layout. So let’s begin.

Printing the Pattern

Load your printer with regular copy paper. In Adobe Acrobat Reader, open your PDF pattern and click on Print. When the print dialog comes up, make sure that all the pages print in actual size and that your program is not automatically resizing it.

Most pdf patterns will have a page with a test square. You should definitely print that page first to check the settings if you have not done this before.

If your PDF pattern comes with a pattern layout, it is helpful to print that as well. It makes laying out the sheets much easier.


Most patterns come with an overlap which is helpful when taping. We will need to trim RIGHT and BOTTOM overlap for each sheet.

You can definitely use paper scissors to trim the pages but if you’re going to be using digital patterns, I highly recommend investing in this paper trimmer. Fiskars surecut. The reason I like this paper trimmer over others is because it has a handy wire guide which makes cutting a snap. See how easy it is to place the sheets with the dotted line right under the guide? It makes for a very accurate cut. And you can buy additional blades when the current one dulls. I can easily trim 3 pages at once.



Once all the pages are trimmed, start taping. A tape dispenser is super handy for this. I like to tape all the rows together first.


Put all the assembled rows together and tape down to create your final pattern.


Then simply cut your size or roll and store away as your master pattern.


Ready to test it out? Click here for all the digital patterns available on

Filed Under: Tutorial  

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21 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
puckcarrier said... (12/20/15 4:07 AM) Reply
How does the Fiskers Surest work with the curved lines. It looks like its mostly for straight edges.
Kiwirose said... (11/18/15 2:09 PM) Reply
Nice tutorial, thanks :-)
Judy Kski said... (8/10/15 12:13 PM) Reply
Thanks for including a link to these instructions with all the PDF patterns on this website.
Merry G said... (6/19/15 6:20 PM) Reply
love this ide...thanks sew much!
Deepika said... (11/25/14 1:03 PM) Reply
@NancyGT all our future patterns will have the copyshop option.
NancyGT said... (11/25/14 11:18 AM) Reply
It would be great to have a printshop option to print on larger paper. Note to PR?
AnneM said... (11/19/14 5:15 PM) Reply
This is really helpful! I never trimmed some, and had to try staring through the pages to line them up. This method will be easier.
sewpelican said... (9/7/14 6:04 PM) Reply
I just finished taping my Ina skirt, first downloaded pattern for me. These instructions are full proof, coming from me that is saying something!!! Thank you so much for all the tips in the comments as well as this tutorial.
Nancy Rhodes said... (8/29/14 12:30 PM) Reply
Is there an option to take to a printshop and have it done on wide paper? Pen plotter sort of thing Not sure what they are called but paper is 36 inches wide or something like that. I don't have a computer that I can print from. I would gladly purchase a paper pattern & a greater cost is OK by me as well.
RachelStonebreaker said... (8/24/14 11:55 AM) Reply
Very helpful idea using the Fiskars cutter, thank you! I always just cut by hand and dealt with the wavy edges.
MaureenMun said... (7/29/14 11:52 AM) Reply
Many thanks to the Commenters -- you all had awesome tips, as good as the tutorial itself!!
joannt10300 said... (7/23/14 2:47 PM) Reply
I buy the tracing fabric from JoAnn's, cut it into 8.5 x 11 sheets and run them through my inkjet printer, then fuse the pieces together. They last much longer and are much easier on pins, scissors, blades than paper is. I do run the pages through one at a time to avoid jamming my printer which takes a little longer but I figure it's worth it for the better quality pattern.
Danvillegirl said... (7/23/14 1:01 PM) Reply
I sometimes use a glue stick instead of tape. Elmer's glue is good also. Most the time I do use scotch tape.
Annseams said... (7/23/14 10:53 AM) Reply
I use my glass patio door as a giant light box. It's easy to see the overlaps or registration marks through the paper. Also use the lightest weight paper your printer can handle. Repositionable tape is great too.
islander said... (7/23/14 10:25 AM) Reply
I use paper tape that is reposition able made by the famous maker that comes in a blue box. It makes bubbles and wrinkles so much easier to fix!
Melinda_B said... (7/23/14 10:17 AM) Reply
What do you do with a pattern such as Lekala which doesn't have margins on the sheets? Theirs are printed right to the edge.
Gail Lyle said... (7/23/14 8:22 AM) Reply
Great 'HowTo'. Thank you.
Tindi said... (4/19/14 8:26 AM) Reply
Very handy article. I should have read this before printing 65 pages. I think this article should be featured with the promotions that may involve digital patterns. Great article!
velosewer said... (4/5/14 11:07 PM) Reply
A heavy tape dispenser makes the taping part quicker. The lighter weight tape dispensers can move around a bit too much.
sacjeanie said... (4/1/14 6:55 PM) Reply
I tape down the front pages with smaller pieces of tape and the back pages with larger lengths of tape. This way, when you cut the pieces out, they are still taped together securely on the back side and don't flop out of alignment.
schmammy said... (4/1/14 8:55 AM) Reply
I have a Fiskars Surecut and it never occurred to me to use it for this! Thanks!

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