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Sewing Blog

My favourite way to tape & assemble large PDF Sewing Patterns

I know a lot of you out there are daunted by the idea, that to make a print at home PDF sewing pattern you have to tape it together, and that means taping together 20, 30, and even 40+ pages.

I have to admit I mostly send my patterns to the copy shop, but sometimes you see a pattern, and you want to dive right in so there's no way around it and you have to bring out the tape.

But I have done my fair share of PDF sewing pattern taping, so I thought I'd share my favorite way to prepare and to assemble them in a video.

I’ll be using my Elskan dress pattern, which if you print all versions, contains 44 pages. I've printed around 24 pages to make the dress with the long sleeves.



To trim the pages I use an Exacto utility knife + a metal ruler + a cutting mat.

My trusty utility exacto knife, to trim pdf sewing patterns tiles
My cutting mat

My step by step process:

  1. before you do anything, check the scale of the pattern by measuring the test square.

    On my patterns, each tile has squares to line up the pattern pieces and check the scale. The rows have numbers and the columns have letters.
    The smaller squares are 1cm and these larger squares are 1inch.


  2. I'll start by trimming the bottom edge of each row, then one of the sides. To speed it up a bit I stack the papers per row and trim the entire stack.


  3. I'll tape each row first and set them aside until they are all done.


  4. Complete the pattern by taping the rows together. I roll the pattern up as I go or hang the pattern over the edge of the table.


  5. Once the pattern is all taped together I roll it up and set it aside until I find time to trace and sew.


But because it's easier to show than to explain I made a step by step video of my favorite way to prepare the pattern tiles and assemble a large PDF sewing pattern:

 

Click & Subscribe on youtube

   

As always there are other ways to do this. For example:

  1. Cut the edges off with scissors or simply fold them back, although that does sound like it would get a bit bulky.

  2. Cut off only the corners and don't trim any of the sides, there will be overlap, but for the most part, it won’t matter. I like the idea of this method, but with my pattern, the markings are probably to light to be seen through the paper.

  3. Use a glue stick instead of tape.

I don’t know if there is a huge difference in how long it will take to use these different methods but it’s interesting to give these different methods a try and see what works best for you.

I would love to hear your favorite way to assemble PDF sewing patterns, please leave a comment and share your fav technique.

PS: Newsletter subscribers and customers can download handy templates from the resource library. click here and sign up.

Sewing templates and rescoure library

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How to download and print PDF sewing patterns at home



To download and print a PDF sewing pattern, you'll need to download Adobe Acrobat (you can download it for free here) a printer that can print on A4 or letter size paper and a desktop/laptop.

Make sure you are using the latest version of Adobe and that your printer software/driver is up to date.

I've made a video showing the steps for the Elskan dress / top pattern, which covers the basics but I wanted to elaborate on a few topics and common questions on how to print and download PDF sewing Patterns at home.

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5 steps to pick the right sewing pattern size + get a better fit. Even if you are a beginner!

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You pick your first pattern put your blood, sweat, and tears into that first garment, only to find out it's too baggy or too tight and you start second guessing the whole plan of sewing your own wardrobe.

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You never start because you lack confidence and question everything...Which pattern size should I choose? What should I do if I don’t fit into any of the listed sizes? What if I fall into different sizes? How do I take my measurements?

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I've owned a serger (or overlocker) from when I started sewing, so I've mostly been able to use a serger instead of a sewing machine. That being said, I have used a sewing machine on knits (hemming, attaching elastic, sewing underwear, topstitching, etc.) So below are a few tips and tricks from my experiences working with knits. Continue reading

New Pattern: Elskan Dress & Top + Tester Round Up

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

Elskan is a batwing style dress or top and it has a short and long sleeve option. The Elskan pattern is a great addition to your handmade wardrobe if youlike to wear drapey tops and tight skirts, the dress combines both. The shape of the pattern might surprise you, but it's actually quite an easy garment to make. 

You might be wondering what this dress looks like in different materials and how the different versions look like. Well take a look at some of the tops and dresses the pattern testers made.

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