Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What is a PDF pattern?

A couple of years ago, I had no idea what a PDF pattern was either!  I've designed sewing and cross-stitch patterns for years but they were booklets with line-drawing illustrations.  Not a whole lot of color photos, as the cost to print was prohibitive.

Enter the wonderful world of computers and Adobe!  Now pattern publishers can email their customers the patterns right away. And you can download my patterns right after you pay for them in my Etsy Shop! You get the file and open with Adobe's free software.  Then you can zoom in, translate to another language, or print out at your leisure.

Features of My Patterns

The first thing I try and do is provide clear photos of each step.  Many of my non-English-speaking customers are able to follow very well just by looking at the pictures.

I also provide paper pattern pieces in addition to rotary cutting instructions!  Because you'll print your own pieces on regular-size paper, you may need to tape a couple of pattern pieces together before cutting your fabric.

Coming from a quilting background, I do prefer to cut with the rotary cutting instructions.  But many customers requested the paper pieces and it's especially easy for those from other countries who use Metric measurements.

That's another thing I provide (by request).  A Metric Supplement which translates all measurements on the pattern so you don't have to!  Thanks to my friend Mia from Sweden, who helped proof-read many of the Metric supplements, and who bugged me until I did them!!

How do I do it?

Every PDF pattern begins with my original design.  I make a prototype after sketching an idea, figuring out measurements, and inventing techniques.

Sometimes I have to make more than one prototype, but sometimes I just make a couple of changes to the design or construction.  When the bag or purse is just right, I make the PDF version.

As I cut, iron, and sew, I take photos.  I use an Ott Lite with a natural bulb and try to zoom in to get all the details.  These hundreds of photos are then adjusted on Photoshop to make them as clear as possible.  I add measurements, arrows, or other things to the photos to make them understandable.  The photos have to be resized, too, so the final PDF size won't be too big.

I draw the pattern pieces last (because I test the rotary cutting measurements when I sew) on CorelDraw.  Then I write the pattern, import my photos and Corel drawings, and convert to a PDF (Adobe) file.

You can buy my PDF patterns for purses, bags, and accessories in my Etsy shop.

I LOVE PDF patterns!

Years ago I had this pattern and made LOTS of baby booties for  baby showers. I couldn't find it ANYWHERE in my studio and knew that's what I wanted to make for a particular baby shower.  Finding it online and getting the PDF pattern was actually thrilling!!

I love to order PDF patterns from other people, too. Sometimes you just have a hankering to crochet some baby booties or sew a particular item tonight!  PDF patterns fit the bill!

Remember when you order a PDF pattern, you do not have the right to share it with your friends or post it online.  But you can print it as many times for your own use that you want.  And you can back it up on a cd so you'll never lose it again!!  

Have you used a PDF pattern lately?


  1. Thanks for the explanation; I didn't realize that it took so much work! Your price is a bargain, considering that we can make as many purses as we want, adjust them however, and all the info is right there for me!

  2. Thanks Christina! I'm so glad you enjoy the patterns.

  3. I use them all the time, and I've just bought some of yours tonight too :o)