At first, working with the downloadable patterns can be a bit confusing. There are specific settings on your computer that you will need to be aware of. I’m going to walk you through it all.
On the project main page, there will be download links for various documents that apply to that specific project.
The PDF pattern download will be labeled “Home Print”. The “Home Print” PDF is formatted for both 8 ½” X 11” and A4 paper sizes. Id the PDF opens in a browser window, I suggest downloading the file to your computer instead of printing from the browser window. Once the file has completely downloaded to your computer, open the file using Adobe Acrobat Reader. There are other PDF readers that will open the file, but I format all the patterns using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Once the file is open in Adobe Acrobat Reader you can scroll through the document to make sure that everything looks good. To print the file, click on the “File” menu at the top and select “Print” in the drop-down menu. At this point you will see the “print monitor”, which has a lot of options to choose from. There are only a few settings you really need to worry about.
First, at the top of the print monitor make sure that your printer is selected. If you have multiple printers on you home network, you may need to click the drop-down menu to select the correct printer you need to print from.
Then decide how many copies you’d like to print; most will just need 1 copy.
You will see an option to select which pages to print. I have formatted the patterns so there is extra information in the PDF, so you will select “All” in this section of the print monitor. All the other information about the pattern is a separate PDF download.
Your print monitor may not be set-up exactly like min, but you should have a similar area to mine here, which says “Paper Sizing & Handling”. This section is very important. For the pattern to print at the correct size, you must select “Actual Size” or select “Custom Size: 100%”. If these settings are selected correctly, the pattern will be printed out at an incorrect size.
One last setting you may need to adjust is the document orientation. I always have mine set to “Auto Portrait/Landscape”. If your print monitor does not have this option, it will still have an option of choosing “Portrait” or “Landscape”. In this case, refer to the first page of the pattern and it will specify in the top left hand corner which to print it in. It will say, “Print in Portrait Orientation” or “Print in Landscape Orientation. When I format the patterns, I try to lay them out to conserve paper, so this is why some will be “Portrait” and some will be “Landscape”. But again, if you have the “Auto Portrait/Landscape” option, you may not need to worry about this.
Before you print, lets have a look at a couple more things. If your print monitor is similar to mine, then you have a document window that gives you a preview of the pages that will be printed. You can scroll through them to see all the pages. You should also be aware that the document window tells you what paper size the document will be printed on. Mine up here says “8.5 X11 in”. This is the paper size in your printer, not the PDF document size. If you have multiple printers in your home that print several different sizes of paper, you may need to change the paper size. If this says something different than 8.5X11in or A4 (depending on your country) you will need to go here, into the “Page Set Up”, and in here you will be able to change the paper settings. I assume that if you do have multiple printers with various sizes, you already have knowledge of these options and settings.
If everything is set correctly like I have it here, then you’re all ready to print.
Now that the pattern has been printed, we need to start assembling it. Right now, it just looks like a bunch of lines printed on the pages, some pages may not have much printed on them at all. However, every page will have 3 distinct marks. One mark will be a number, this a sequential number sequence you can follow for layout. A picture of the number sequence can be found in the Pattern Instructions PDF. Another mark will be a distinctive thick black line, which borders the page. This is to help with assembling the pages correctly. This border should line up and make a rectangle that encases the pattern itself. An additional mark will be faint dotted line. These dotted lines are where you will cut the paper away, only on the dotted line. I’ll cut this away now.
Once all the pages have been cut, we can start assembling. The first page, number 1 will always be the upper left corner, then 2, 3, 4 etc. will follow to the right. The upper right corner page, no matter what number it has, will be with the thick black borderline as a corner, same as the first. The sequence begins again on the left side, lining up the black borderline. Refer to the image in the Pattern Instructions PDF for correct placement of the pattern you’re working with. It helps if you tape as you go.
Once all the pages have been lined up, I like to go back and tape everything more secure, especially of the areas where I will cut the pattern out.
Now, before I cut the pattern out. This particular pattern is for one of the first projects; it’s a pillowcase, so there aren’t many pages. If this were one of the apparel patterns there would many lines on each page, there are multiple sizes per pattern. In this case, you may not want to cut out the size you want to make at that point. Instead, use a piece of larger paper and trace off the size you need at the time. This way you still have the main pattern intact, just in case you’d like to make another size you won’t have to print the pattern again.
So now the pattern is all cut out and ready to use!
Before I let you go, I want to tell you that this process will not be included with every project video. The project videos will begin with pattern layout and cutting. The pattern you will use for each project will need to be ready to go before hand.
Ok, so now you’re ready to go! Make sure you have all your tools and supplies and prepare your fabric for cutting! Good luck! And don’t forget to have some fun on along the way!