Saturday, April 25, 2015

A How To: Print-at-home and Copy Shop patterns

For many of our pattern buyers, the print-at-home PDF version can be a great source of bamboozlement if you've never been down that pattern-buying road before. And so with that in mind, we've put together this blog post for those of you who might like some more info on how it's done. Don't worry - while it can sometimes be a little time-consuming (especially the first time), there are great sewing pleasures to be had with this instantaneous method of purchasing patterns.

All our patterns are available to purchase and immediately download from the pattern section in our online shop

Before you buy a digital pattern, be sure you have a PDF viewer. Adobe Reader is the most popular option so if you don't already have this, you can download and install it for free at

Once you've completed your purchase, you will receive an email like the one you see below.  If you can't find it, check your Spam/Junk folder.

Click on the link which will take you to a screen that looks like this:

Immediately save your preferred file/s to your desktop or somewhere easy to find. Depending on your software of choice, the 'Save' screen may appear differently to that pictured below. 

I've acumulated quite a few PDF patterns over the years so it's a good idea to create a folder so that all your digital patterns can be saved to one place.

Next up, getting ready to print. Make absolutely sure you set your file to print at 100%. If you have any of the other features turned on, your pattern will print at the wrong scale.

To ensure that your settings are correct, print out your test square page first and check that it measures accurately at 10cm x 10cm.

If it all looks good, go ahead and print out your pattern. When assembling your tiles, trim borders as required and match up the letters and numbers as per the layout guide. 

Use sticky tape or a glue stick (as I have done below) to join your pages together. I prefer to work in rows like this...

...and then join the rows together at the end. 

When it comes to print-at-home patterns, love (and patience!) can sometimes be lost. Especially when the pattern is a big one like our Lily and Eva dresses and the Ola Tunic Top. When you buy our digital patterns, you'll always get two pattern files - a print-at-home copy for the method I've shown here AND an actual size copy shop version. If cutting and pasting induces great feelings of fear/dread/repulsion/impatience/scorn, then go with the copy shop version. All you need to do is find a print shop that can do plan printing (for architects, town planners etc.) on a toner based large format plan printer. You'll need to provide them with the necessary sheet sizing and this info can all be found on the pattern product page. When looking for a print shop, do shop around! I've spoken to customers who've paid as little as $6 and as much as $20 per sheet!

If you have any more printing tips/links or can recommend some reasonable print shops, please feel free to share in our comments section.


  1. $4.00 per page black ink size AO at Officeworks.

  2. Glad that there is a copy-shop option as I don't have a printer at home (it's on its last legs and prints wonky). I have printed some patterns at Officeworks for $4 at A0 size like Angela above.

  3. My local copy shop charges $0.75 per square foot. Are the dimensions of the page available on the pattern or sewing instructions? Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Martha, all of the pattern product pages indicated the sheet sizes, most are standard sheet sizes like A0 and A1 however there are others that include sheet sizes that are outside of the standard measurements. All is detailed on their individual pages in the blurb.
      On our latest Jane Dress pattern for instance:
      You will also receive Print At Copy Shop version file (note: there are 2 files that need to be printed - Sheet 1 is A0 sheet size, Sheet 2 is A0 sheet size and Sheet 3 is A0 sheet size) along with the sewing instructions file (so that you can print these at home). Ensure that all printing is done on 100% Scale (or Full Scale).
      hope that has answered your question :)

    2. PS. also most printers will tell what sheet size by the file. But it's always best to check online before hand and to let them know. All printing must be done at 100%


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