Monday, August 15, 2011

All about pdf patterns

The new frontier of sewing patterns is digital. Everything seams to turn to digital at some point and sewing patterns are no exception. E patterns are now being offered by the big four (Simplicity, Butterick, McCall's and Vogue) as well as a dozen websites including

The great thing about digital patterns is that you can buy them and print for a fraction of the cost. There's no waiting for the mail to come, as most are emailed to you within 24 hours, or better, directly downloaded. I highly recommend for downloading patterns. Here's my favorite:

That's right,  you click download, and this pattern (which is free, by the way) is on your computer. You hit print, tape the pieces together, and start sewing.

Now, my very favorite thing about digital patterns is that some enterprising individuals, (yes, including myself) have started taking rare, expensive, hard to find patterns and making them available for download. Most of these are vintage originals whose copyrights have expired. Some are just used as inspiration to create an original pattern that still reflects the style and design so sought after in certain digital patterns.
Mary Anne Bandeau Pattern

Now there are some drawbacks to print at home patterns. They can be bulky and hard to store. There are two ways I store my larger printed patterns. One solution is to store them in a labelled file folder. My favorite way to store them though, is to print the pattern picture out and tape it to an envelope. I use the 6" x 9" manilla envelopes so they fit right in with my other regular patterns.

Marilynn Apron Pattern
Another great thing about pdf patterns is that once you buy them, they are saved on your computer. If you rip a piece, or lose one, or want to make it in a different size, you can just print again.
Some pdf patterns are larger and more complicated to put together. Many buyers are put off by the paper and ink they'll have to use up on their home printer. An easy way to get around this is to save the pattern to a cd or small thumb drive, take it to your local print shop (xerox, staples, they all do it) and have them print it for you.

So just in case you're interested, and so you know I'm not just plugging my shop, here are a few of my favorite pattern pdfs:
Also from LaPrairieLady
From PatternRunway
From BettieMarie
Any questions?


  1. Oh plug your shop away because you have a great shop and everyone needs to know ;) I love your patterns and what you do to create the pdf's. I also have a vast collection of patterns and I think it is a wonderful idea to replicate those, it's on my list of things to do. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I use them a fair bit from Burdastyle, and I agree- storing them can be a bit of a pain when you're limited with space. I like your idea with the envelopes! I also love those scalloped shorts. There's also this asymetric dress free from neu4bauer (love her!) that I've been wanting to try.