How to print a pdf sewing pattern?

Keep seeing PDF sewing patterns for sale? They are a great way to get access to indie sewing pattern designs and get you even more options to choose from. But how to actually print the pdf sewing pattern? 

overalls sewing pattern open to read

Most PDF sewing patterns will come with a few files attached so you can choose your options. You don't need to print out the instructions if you want to save on paper. But if you don't have computer access near your sewing machine you may want to have them on hand. 


  1. Generally there is a home printing option. Either an 8.5 by 11 inch or A4 home printing option. You will have to print out the pages, tape them together and then cut out the pattern pieces. 

PRO: This is great if you want to get started on your project right away. Also consider the number of pages you have to tape together. This option works best for smaller patterns like kids clothing or bags. 

CON: Depending on the size of the pattern this can mean printing lots of pages, upwords of 75 pages for adult size dress or coats. This may not be the best use of your time if you don’t want to do that much printing, cutting and taping. 

2. Some brands will offer a larger "copy shop" size pattern. This could be an A0, A1 or 24 by 36" inch page depending on what the designer sent. 

PRO: This lets you send the file to your local copy shop to get it printed, saving you the time of taping the pieces together.

CON: It does however have a cost and may not be efficient if there isn't a copy shop close to you. Some fabric shops are starting to offer this service though so it could not be super difficult. 

Not gonna lie, I was a little intimidated to go to a copy shop the first time. I didn’t know where to go, what to ask for and really what it was going to cost. So let’s get into it. 

1. Where to go? 

In my area local copy shops are offering great prices and short turnaround times. So that has been my best option. Depending on where you are, you can look for online services that will mail to you. Some fabric stores are getting into the printing game as well. And there’s always the big box store option if that is nearby. You can search google for local listing, looking for “copy shop near me”

2. What to ask for?

Look for large printing, particularly architectural drawings or blueprints. They are generally in black and white and very economical. But color options exist too if your PDF has color in it. A search for “blueprint print near me” should give you a rundown of what is in your area. 

3. What is it going to cost?

This will vary by location and printer. I’ve seen everything from $3 to $20/page for a 24 by 36 inch page. So its worth it to shop around to find a good price. Go ahead and contact the shop if they don’t have the price listed on their site. Generally, they are responsive and will give you a quote promptly. Once you send or upload the file, they usually have it ready in 1-3 business days. 

PDF patterns are a great way to access more garment and sewing choices for your next project. And there are a great way for indie pattern designers to get their work out there for more customers. They can even work out to be cheaper than printed paper patterns if you have a local copy shop or fabric shop print the pages, some offer prices under $5. 

Learn more about my selection of childrens sewing patterns here ready for your next project. All the sewing patterns are available in sizes 1-6, perfect for toddlers.  And they are available as a paper sewing pattern version if you are still not sold on the downloadable pdf. 

What do you prefer? Paper or pdf sewing patterns? 

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