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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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Tie Dress: Wrap Dress Hack

Tie dress PDF sewing pattern hack and alterations

When I originally designed the Tie Dress, it was part of my small ready to wear collection and it was made in a small size range in my studio in Rotterdam. I have no idea how many we made and sold, but I still had this indigo/purple/Yves Klein blue version lying around, there is a small fault in the fabric, right on the boob but not that visible at all...maybe that's why it never got sold? Anyway, I love the colour (which is nearly impossible to photograph well) but the size was too big for me. And since it's #AlterItAugust I though I join in and alter this blue beauty from the archive.

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Introducing: Kitsune Strapless Dress

Kitsune is an easy to sew strapless summer dress. With only three pattern pieces it´s a quick sewing project with maximum effect. Perfect for the beach or the city when dressed up with heels and a cropped blazer. Kitsune (Japanese for fox) got it's name because I feel foxy wearing it ;)

PS: To celebrate the introduction use code foxy at checkout and receive 25% off of your purchase until monday 23:59 CET 

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