paper patterns x PDF Patterns – Sewing

paper patterns x PDF Patterns – Sewing

There are 2 ways to get around your sewing patterns - let me lay out the pros and cons for ya - then pick your poison.

Posted: 26 September, 2022

Paper Patterns

The original way to buy patterns, and my personal favourite because I like sewing without using a computer.

Neatly packaged in an envelope with an illustration/image on the front and printed fabrics requirements suggestions and body measurements, sometimes even in colour.

These are compact and complete easy to store and are ready to use immediately. Because they are not digital – you can flick through like a library and get inspired without forgetting what you own.

On the downside, not all companies offer printed patterns, which is actually a good thing because sometimes the shipping fees and the air miles are just not worth it.

Vintage sewing patterns were always printed, so thats always a nice thing to look back on.

Personally I love the tactile nature of the paper pattern. But I will buy a pattern in any form if its cool enough!

PDF Patterns

PDF patterns that ping straight to your email instantly! Just don’t forget to file them neatly cause you only get to download it a limited number of times.

New modern independent pattern designers love this option, it gets the pattern to the people without the printing and packaging overheads.

You can use an at home printer (or lets be honest – the work printer), print out 20+ pieces and cellotape them all together which is extremely labour intensive and can be messy to use afterwards.

Or, you can upload the AO sized PDF files to a printing service and save the sticky tape. You get both options with most pattern purchases, but double check! Sometimes its cheaper to home print small projects.

PDF’s are harder to store because the paper is much thicker, and if you remember from school, you can only fold a piece of paper 7 times. Tissue many more – try it.

But it does mean you can cut to your size and reprint your pattern over and over again until you get your fit right or loose it. And if you are a corrupt sewer you can even hand it on to someone else to use.

Instructions can be printed out or read on your computer or phone, links can click through sometimes and you can blow up the text and quickly check out YouTube for tutorials if you get stuck, but then on the flipside you now have your phone in your hand and likely have lost 10 minutes to checking your emails and liking shit on instagram.

You can get PDF patterns made from all over the world this way, which is a fucking cool concept.

I don’t get any joy opening files on my computer looking for inspiration. But ya know, swings and roundabouts.


Paper quality 
Tissue / heavy duty
envelope provided / roll up or clear file
fold out sheet or booklet / online
limited / QR codes and links to tutorials
ready to cut / AO at print shop 
ready to cut / piecing A4 pieces together or AO




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