How to Print and Assemble PDF Patterns
Closet Core Patterns offers all of its patterns in instant gratification PDF format. Using our convenient digital files, you can print your pattern at home or your local copy shop (see below for copyshop printers).
When you purchase a PDF from us, you can either download your purchase immediately after checkout, or by using the link sent in the order confirmation we'll send by email. Hot tip: If you ever lose your download link, you can get sent a new one by entering your email address here! Now, as a best practice, the minute you download your pattern, save it somewhere safe. We love Dropbox for cloud storage, but if you're on a computer, please create a folder just for your digital patterns. It's fun to build up a digital library you can browse when you need inspo!
Our digital patterns always come with the following files:
- A digital instruction booklet in Letter/A4 format. Depending on the pattern, it may include hyperlinks to supplementary online content. You can print this, but we prefer to follow along on a phone or tablet to save paper.
- Print at home pattern: letter/A4 paper. This format can be used on any home printer, whether you're using imperial or metric paper.
- Copyshop pattern: 46"x48"/A0 paper. This is the file you'll send to your copyshop to print on a large scale plotter printer. It will work on imperial or metric paper.
- Copy Shop File Directions: This will explain how to print our files at a copyshop, and give you permission to print it.
Printing Files at a Copyshop
If you would like to save yourself time from taping and assembling our patterns at home, you can print our larger copyshop/A0 files at any copyshop with a large format printer. Any print shop who prepares prints for architects will be able to print our files; look under the local yellow pages for "blueprints". Each one of our copyshop files includes a message making it permissible to print copies for individual use. More to note:
- Our copyshop files are copyright protected and cannot be opened in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop - they MUST be printed from a PDF viewer such as Adobe Acrobat or Reader, or Mac Preview.
- Most of our files are in A0 format but can fit on a standard imperial 36" x 48" sheet.
- The copyshop must print at "no scaling" or 100% scaling to ensure the scale is correct.
If you would like to send your file away to be printed and shipped to you, here are a few online businesses who will do this for you:
- Pdfplotting.com - inexpensive with fast shipping. Our size sheets (will fit on 36" x 48") cost about $1.20 each. Minimum order is $7.50 and shipping is $7 within the US.
- Blueprints Printing - Sheets are $1.50 each, with a set-up fee of $7 when your order is under $35.
- Staples - available in person or online but may be more expensive than the first two options.
- Stitch Sew Shop - Printing is $5 for up to two pages, $2.50 each additional page, per pattern. Patterns will be shipped to you, folded.
- Sublime Grafx - 6-10$ per pattern, not per sheet, different choices of paper. $10- $14 shipping.
- Sew YYC - $5 a page, no minimums when mailed folded.
- Nap and Notch Costs are $3.50 per page Black & White prints. $5.00 per page colour prints. Mailing costs: 1-2 sheets $4.00, 3-5 sheets $7.00. Pick up is available for Stony Plain, Spruce Grove area.
- Spool and Spindle $4.50 a page. Shipping to Canada and the USA.
- Net Printer - A0 Sheets are £0.75, postage is £3.
- Printing & Plotting - A0 sheets are £0.70, minimum order is £5, postage is £5.
- Print Your Patterns - COmpany that exclusively prints sewing patterns, shipping is included. 1-2 pages = £6.50, 3 pages = £8.50, 4 pages = £9.50.
- Sysiden - (Denmark)
- Schnittherzchen - (Germany)
- Preiswertplotten.de - (Germany)
- Repro-plotservice.nl - (Netherlands)
- Allkopi - (Norway)
Australia / New Zealand
- OfficeWorks - A0 sheets are AUS $4.10 a page. Order online or pickup.
- Plan Make Do - A0 sheets are AUS $3 a page. Order by email, shipping possible.
- Warehouse Stationery - A0 sheets are NZ$6.50 each. Order online or pickup.
Printing Files at Home
If you are printing at home, it is very important that you print your pattern to the proper scale. Always print the first sheet with the scaling box first to ensure your printer settings are correct. As of February 2019, we have started layering our PDF patterns, which means for select patterns you can turn on only the sizes you need prior to printing. You will need to open your pattern file with Adobe Reader, since Mac Preview doesn't yet support layers. The layers icon, once selected, should reveal a drop-down menu of the sizes. Click the eye icon on and off next to the corresponding sizes you want to print. Always keep the text layer activated when you print. If you need to grade between sizes, you can select the sizes you need and then trace between them on your printed pattern.
PC users can use any PDF viewing software, although we recommend Adobe Acrobat or Reader. In your printer dialogue settings, select "No scaling" or "actual size".
Print off the first page (with the scaling box) and measure with a ruler to ensure the scale is the correct size. Even a fraction of an inch can make a big difference! Our scaling box is always 4" or 10.2 cm square (measuring from the center of the line).
Once you have ensured the scale is correct, print off the remainder of your pages. Use the pattern printing diagrams to determine exactly what pages you need to print for your chosen view and dress length. It also helps to understand how the page tiles are set out. Just because a pattern is 60 pages, doesn't mean you need to assemble all of those in one mega sheet. We often break up pattern pieces into blocks. As you can see below, there are a few sections in this pattern where a natural break occurs.
Assembling Your Pattern
To assemble your pattern, you will need scissors or an exacto knife and a glue stick or tape. Cut off the right and bottom edges of each sheet only; this ensures you have a bit of paper to glue the next sheet to. We often get questions about where exactly to cut; straight down the middle of the line is the most accurate. If you don't see that light grey border line on your sheets, make sure the Text layer is turned on!
Once each sheet is trimmed, start assembling the pattern in rows. I prefer to do one row at a time, and then glue them all together at the end. This also ensures you can visualize where a natural break is (ie. where pattern pieces don't intersect with the bounding box) so you don't need to make a mega sheet. Glue sticks are easiest, but feel free to go to town with tape as well.
Follow the numbered guides to assemble your pattern in the correct order. At CCP, we give each row the same number, and then each page in that row a letter. That way it's easy to make your row.
Overlap your sheets and then glue or tape them together. If things don't line up *exactly*, don't have a cow, man. You may need to "true" or smooth to your line when you cut everything out but as long as it's not crazy distorted you should be fine.
Once you have your pages assembled, it's time to cut them out! You can of course use scissors, but for the speed demons among us, using an Exacto blade or an old rotary blade (for paper only!) on a self-healing matt takes no time at all. And if you're feeling super fancy, invest in a pattern notcher. It makes the cleanest cuts and makes it super easy to see your notches when you're cutting your fabric.
And that's it! From there everything is the same as an old-school tissue pattern. At the studio, we are total PDF converts since you can mark, grade, or draft directly onto your printed pattern. Best of all, if you decide to make it again you can use the same one or print out a fresh one and make new adjustments or try a new size. If you've never tried a PDF, we highly suggest trying it out! You'll be surprised by how fast and easy it is.