For those of you not familiar, a "PDF" is just a type of file, (like jpeg, tiff, or png ) and stands for "Portable Document Format." It's essentially a file like any other you might encounter and usually requires Adobe Reader to open, (which I might add, is on just about every computer these days).
|Underwear and Lingerie E-book.|
The great thing is, wonderful, beautiful, rare things are being digitized and protected from decay and disappearance and made available at the click of a button for research, education, or just pure pleasure. E-books in pdf form may be read on your computer desktop, kindle, iPad and even most new cell phones! They can also be printed out and enjoyed away from a digital device.
|1920s Tunic Dress - an instant download, print at home sewing pattern.|
PDF sewing patterns can be downloaded with the click of a button and printed out at home. No need to pay shipping costs to get a pattern from anywhere in the world. Just download, print and get to work!
|Fashion Dos and Donts for the Plump E-book.|
Most "digital (PDF) sewing patterns, new or vintage, are just images of parts of a pattern that, when printed and taped together, make a full-sized pattern ready to cut out and sew.
The quality of the pattern that prints out depends on the skill and experience level of the person creating the pattern, and perhaps how good their design software is. I have downloaded patterns that were simply scans of an original, and some that have been designed with professional pattern drafting software. One is not necessarily better than the other, though the price and image quality are usually quite different.
|A Print-at-Home instant download pattern taped together.|
Any pattern from Mrs. Depew Vintage described as an instant download, print-at-home pattern will look like the above when you print it out and tape the pages together. They are designed to print on your home printer to A4 or US letter-sized paper. Once put together, they are full-sized, ready to cut and sew patterns.
Other digital patterns can be drafting instructions or diagrams that you can print at home and draft your own patterns from. Take for instance this pattern:
To get a full-sized pattern you first print out the measuring band and miniature pattern, then use them to draft the pieces scaled to your measurements, much like the Lutterloh system.
You can read all about the different types of patterns available for download from Mrs. Depew Vintage on our pattern types FAQ page.