Technology can be a wonderful thing. The ability to have immediate access to a free sewing pattern is one of those wonderful things... unless you run into trouble with printing. We've answered countless emails from users who have fairly simple issues – an old version of Adobe Reader, or failure to set Page Scaling properly. We can't solve every issue, but this guide summarizes how to print our PDF patterns, as well as how to assemble patterns that require more than one page.
Printing PDF Patterns
To begin, be sure you have the latest version of Adobe Reader, and that you don't have "Internet Downloading" disabled in your browser preferences. If the tutorial you are using requires that you print a pattern piece(s), you'll find the links in the Getting Started section of our tutorial, as shown in the example below:
Click on one of the links and the PDF will appear in the same window once it is fully downloaded. Be patient, this may take a few moments.
To print the PDF, you can either go up to the File menu and scroll down to Print, or drag your mouse to the bottom of the image and in some (not all) browsers you will see a toolbar. Some systems may require you use the toolbar to print. In these cases, when you attempt to print from the File > Print menu, a blank page will appear. If this happens to you, as we mentioned above, try dragging your mouse to the bottom of the page, and print directly from the tool bar.
Once you have the Print window open, you need to check a couple of things prior to printing.
1) Change to Portrait or Landscape if necessary.
2) Be sure you are printing at 100%. DO NOT SHRINK TO FIT, or FIT TO PAGE (terminology is dependent on your browser).
Now you're ready to click the Print button.
It's critical to confirm your pattern piece is the correct size. On your printed pattern, look for the double arrow line labeled "Confirm your printer output is correct." On the example pattern piece shown in the diagram below, the line is 8" long. Use a ruler to measure the arrow on your printout. If it's not 8", go back and confirm you don't have "Fit to Page" enabled. Your pattern must be the correct size in order for you to successfully complete the tutorial. Once you have an accurate pattern piece, you can click on the back arrow to return to the tutorial and print any additional pattern pieces required.
NOTE: Our older patterns use a one-inch-square box for sizing confirmation. If you encounter one of these, use a ruler to measure the printed box to confirm it is exactly one inch.
Some patterns will fit on one 8½" x 11" page. Other patterns must be assembled from several printed PDF pages. In the example below, there are two pattern pieces that need to be assembled into one finished pattern. The two images on the right show the pages as they come out of the printer. After confirming your pattern is the correct size, cut along the outside solid black line. Butt the two pieces together as shown on the left; do not overlap the pieces. Align the arrows and tape the pieces together.
Sew4Home tests all patterns prior to posting. Most problems can be resolved by installing the latest version of Adobe Reader and/or adjusting your print window to print at 100%.