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Why do print at home patterns never line up for me?
isidore
isidore
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Date: 3/25/13 9:12 PM

I just started a sew along with a pattern that was only available to be printed at home, and taping it together this evening I remember why I never do these... they never line up! I'll have two pages with multiple curving lines that cross both pages, and if I line them up at the top of the page they don't quite line up at the bottom. It's not an issue of scaling, and the test square measures right. Sometimes it seems like all the pages need to be spaced apart a tiny bit more than the border lines suggest, but it's hard to do this consistently across 40 pages. By the time I get to the end, I worry that their might be a eight or a quarter inch of error across all the taping - that would be a whole size for some pieces.

Does anyone else have this experience, or is it just me? I'm printing on a mid range laser printer - would that be inaccurate from page to page?

GoSewGirl
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In reply to isidore <<


Date: 3/25/13 9:36 PM

Maybe you need to match up edges of your paper, instead of matching the printed lines on the pattern (overlapping the paper at the edges.)

My printer doesn't print a true *borderless* print, meaning there will be a tiny border of white around all 4 edges (and depending on how the pattern was fit onto the page, some gets *cut off* around the edges).

If you butt the corresponding edges of the papers together (not overlapping), drawing in any missing bits of lines, do the lines of your pattern pieces match up then?

HTH!

-- Edited on 3/25/13 9:37 PM --

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rivergum
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In reply to isidore <<
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Date: 3/25/13 9:58 PM

I have a similar problem and expect is is quite common. I tend to look at the pattern pieces as a whole though as I assemble, and correct where needed. I.e. it does not matter to have a space in between that is a bit bigger or smaller than it should be, as long as each pattern piece is the right size and shape.

I assembled a pattern on the weekend and made a mental note to start with the middle row next time and work outwards to see if this will help.

Also, unless you iron the tissue paper for conventional patterns they will be out a bit as well somewhere. I don't iron and don't really have a problem. As long as you remember that some parts of patterns are more critical than others.

-- Edited on 3/25/13 9:59 PM --

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NhiHuynh
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Date: 3/25/13 10:56 PM

Having done extensive research and testing to create our Lolita Pattern Fuchsia PDF pattern, your situation is not uncommon. Every printer prints differently, no home printer prints completely straight. That's why we have to have a border. We tested printing to the edge and it was an epic fail. We also we mindful on pattern pieces no going over onto more pages than necessary. No little slivers hanging out on another page from us. We also added numbered skulls to help match up the edges. Pic here. Even with all this I still get small discrepancies from time to time. The trick is to try working with pattern pieces and not trying to get all the pages to line up. By working with a piece you only have to get a few pages to match at once. This is much easier. I also use a glue stick. It doesn't dry right away so I have wiggle room when I need it. How this helps. E-patterns are so popular I'd hate to see you frustrated by them.

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isidore
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Date: 3/26/13 0:38 AM

@rivergum: I think what you're saying is that my perfectionism is the real problem, which is probably right considering I totally iron my tissue pattern pieces!

@NhiHuynh: My pattern pages do have a border with a solid line that I am trimming down to, and they still don't quite line up. It sounds like you put an awesome amount of work into laying out your patterns, that's great. This pattern has a collar point just barely overlapping a page border... I know I'm going to end up clipping that corner anyways, but it still bugs me! Nice to hear you think about those things too.

Looking at my pattern sheets again, I've noticed that the distance between border lines the long way varies by a good 1/8 inch. The sew along has photos of the pages taped together and they look a lot better. I think my laser printer might be sliding or skipping the paper on some pages making them longer than the others, which really messes up my grid. I guess I'll try another printer next time and see if that helps.

sewsally
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Date: 3/26/13 0:59 AM

Be sure you have downloaded the latest drivers for your printer.

NhiHuynh
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In reply to isidore <<


Date: 3/26/13 3:28 AM

If the border is squared, it doesn't matter that the border edges are uneven. A couple of ideas for you. Try nicer quality paper. The cheapy copy paper is thinner and causes me all sorts of headache. if you can get to the feeder wheel make sure no gunk is on there. Ditto for the paper guide. You can also test with a different printer or have a Kinkos print it, if its black and white. Color prints are $$. You can test print just a few pages so you don't waste paper and money. Depending on how they created the PDF, it could be the pattern. But it sounds like the printer if you are having the same problems on different e-patterns.

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I finally have a blog. www.detectivehoundstooth.com :)

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