Friday, November 6, 2015

How to use a Digital Pattern

Using a digital pattern for the first time can be a bit tricky.  So I thought I would throw together a quick guide to help with any confusion out there.


Your awesome new pattern should arrive in a pdf.  When printing check your settings to make sure that the computer is printing the graphics at 100% rather than fitting them to the page.  That way your garment will come out true to size rather than sucking.

this is an important square
On the first page there should be a calibration square.  Mine measures 5cm by 5cm.  The first thing you should do is measure this square to make sure it is accurate.  Otherwise there was something wrong with your settings and you'll have to print out the pattern again


The pages of your pattern are meant to overlap a bit, to help limit assembly errors. For me this overlap is exactly one centimeter, but there doesn't seam to be a industry standard.   I've also put a column and row designation on each page in case they get mixed up by mistake.

I've added marks on one side and the bottom

I've found that it's helpful to go through and mark one centimeter in on one side and the bottom of each page. That way you don't have to finagle with a ruler while lining up the pages.  You just slide them into place, and tape them down.  A self healing cutting mat keeps the pages from slipping at the last moment.

A couple of tips: Don't cut out the pattern before you've taped the pages together.  Otherwise you'll loose the orientation of the pages and the order, and it'll be like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that has been out in the rain for a week.

Also,  tape the pages together on on each pattern piece, because otherwise they would fall apart once you start cutting the pattern out.   ...I bet you can guess how I figured that one out.


Now you should have a beautiful  pattern all taped up and ready to go.  From this point on you can treat it like a tissue pattern that you would get from the store. The pieces are a little fragile, so I try not to assemble the pattern until right before I'm ready to cut out the fabric.

This is actually the pattern for my Great Coat Sew Along.  It's a little messy because I left all of the construction marks in.  After all, I'm the only one who is ever going to use this thing.

I haven't gotten a lot of feedback about wether or not you would like to see how I constructed the pattern.   If you would like to see all the "interesting" details then speak now or hold your peace.  I'll be constructing the muslin over the next week.

Happy Sewing!