How to Print & Assemble PDF Patterns (ePatterns, eBooks)

on April 4 | in Sewing + Quilting Tips, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 4 Comments

Benita from Bettsy Kingston is back! Yesterday she covered How to Buy & Use PDF Patterns, and today she shows us how to print and assemble ePatterns. You might remember Benita from the fall when she shared her beautiful Baby Kimono Wrap Tutorial on the blog.

Today we’re offering 20% off all Bettsy Kingston PDF Patterns in the shop! Check out the full collection of fun patterns!

You have purchased a PDF Pattern and you’re wondering whether everything is upside down? You now have the task of printing and putting the pattern together. This post is specific to the “Print at Home” patterns I referred to in yesterday’s post. These are by far the most common form of PDF Pattern and I will try and explain some of the variations from designers in putting ePatterns together.

For ePatterns you will need a printer and either glue (preferred) or sticky tape.

Step One: Find Out What You Are Printing
Review the eBook or files provided, as you may have received not only the ePattern but also a cover, materials, specifications and instructions. You could save paper (and the environment) and not print everything provided– Just the ePattern pages.

In this Sis Boom ePattern, for example, there is a printing guide to let you know which pages should be printed for the size you intend to sew. Her pattern sizes are provided as separate patterns in the eBook.

Step Two: Print the Pattern
The first and most important thing is to make sure that your printer and PDF reader software (such as Adobe) does not adjust the scale of your pattern during printing. This is a particular problem when you are printing an ePattern (set for US Letter) on different sized paper (such as A4).

ePatterns are usually provided for printing at 100% so make sure your printer is set to ‘no scale’ or 100% before you print. Do not ‘Shrink to Fit’ (or similar) as this will distort the pattern. No scaling is usually a printer default but check anyway.

Step Three: Print the ‘Test Square’
To check that the scaling is correct, you will want to print the page that contains the test square first. Most patterns usually provide you with a test square, often 1”. This will be on either the first page, the first page for each size on the pattern or on every page in the pattern. Wherever it is, print it and measure with a ruler or quilter’s square. If the square size doesn’t match the described size, check your printer setting again.

Step Four: Print the Pattern
Now you know which pages you need to print and the printer is scaled perfectly! Fantastic– Go ahead and print out the remaining pages of the pattern.

Step Five: Assemble the Pattern
There are two common types of ePatterns:

ePattern Type 1

      - Pieces individually printed on pages you cut and then assemble into a pattern. I’m going to use a Sis Boom pattern to show you this type of pattern.

ePattern Type 2

    - A pattern printed on pages which you assemble and then cut into pieces. I’m going to use a Bettsy Kingston pattern to show you this type of pattern.

Sound confusing? It’s not, so let me show you.

Find a nice, large space (well large enough for the pattern you are putting together). Source glue or tape to put the pattern together. If using tape, use small pieces first when putting the pattern together, followed by large pieces of tape when you are happy with the final fit. Glue is a little easier as you can adjust the paper shape a little before it dries.

Putting Together an ePattern
EPattern Type 1 – Cut first, then assemble.
I’m going to use a Sis Boom pattern to show you this type of pattern; it’s very easy to put together.

Step A: Cut out the shapes on the paper. For the Sis Boom pattern the shapes are in order for assembly, so it’s super-easy to cut and line up.

Step B: Matching the instructions on the overlap sections, roll glue onto the overlap section and place one shape onto the other shape. Repeat this until all the shapes have been glued together to make up the pattern piece.

Step C: Repeat Step B for all the shapes until the pattern pieces are complete. Follow the diagram legend (which you may get with the pattern) to complete the pieces. Easy Peasy.

EPattern Type 2 – Assemble first, then cut
With this type of pattern you will use either a diagram legend or numbers/letters marked on the pattern to line up the pages. Once all pages are glued/taped together, the pattern is cut much like a paper pattern.

Step A: Lay out your pattern pieces according to the legend or markings on the paper.

Step B: Overlap the pages and glue or tape the sides of the paper.

Step C: Cut out the pattern and you are ready to go.

I think that is about all you need to know. Pattern designers will usually provide some details or a website/email if you are having problems putting it together, so check for these details within the instructions.

Happy eSewing, Everyone!

It’s Digital Delivery Sewing Month!

Today we’re offering 20% off all Bettsy Kingston PDF Patterns in the shop! (Discount available until 12 p.m. Eastern.)

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4 Responses to How to Print & Assemble PDF Patterns (ePatterns, eBooks)

  1. Seanna Lea says:

    Wow. I haven’t used an ePattern yet, but if I did I definitely prefer the first method. I wonder if there is an ePattern site that lists which style of pattern it is.

  2. Katrina H says:

    Thank you for the info, it’s nice to see it in a nice photo layout!

  3. Ramona says:

    Thanks for the tips!

  4. Amy says:

    Excellent! I appreciate the special notes on making sure that the printer will print at the right size and to print a test page. I’m always tempted to skip test pages, test swatches, etc. But I’ll be good and print the test page… ;)

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