How to Use PDF Patterns

Posted by Sarah Wadey
on July 16, 2018

This post was originally published at

Have you ever been tempted to try a PDF pattern but not sure about printing it and putting it together? This guide will help you feel confident using print-at-home PDFs!

At My Handmade Wardrobe Patterns, we provide all our patterns as downloadable PDFs as well as printed paper patterns.


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With most PDFs you usually get 2 pattern files; an A0 pattern sheet which you can send to a copy shop printers to print off- we recommend Netprinter- and a print-at-home version which you can print onto A4 paper and assemble. I’m going to take you step-by-step through how to put together your print-at-home PDFs.  

All our PDF downloads include a PDF sticking guide so you can easily see which bits join to which. You will find sometimes you don’t need to join all the pages together for instance in the example below you don’t need to join pages because they don’t have a pattern piece overlapping the join. This can save a lot of time and tape!

There are no file print limits – you can print the patterns off as many times as you like. All we ask is that you don’t share your patterns, we work hard to create awesome patterns for you and we want to continue so by encouraging your friends to buy their own copy of the pattern you will help support us to create more in the future!

So how do I use a print-at-home PDF?

What you’ll need:

  • Some sellotape or scotch tape preferably in a tape dispenser -this will save you a lot of awkwardness and can double up as a pattern weight!
  • Paper scissors
  • Pattern weights or a couple of tins of beans can be useful to hold everything down while you tape

Printing and constructing your PDF

1.       Download your zip file and save it somewhere safe on your computer. Printing PDFs usually works best from a computer rather than a phone or tablet.

2.       Un-zip and open the zip folder – most computers come with built-in software to do this but if yours doesn’t you can download unzipping software online. 

3.       Open the PDF sticking guide – it is a good idea to print this off to reference.

4.       Open the tiled PDF pattern.

5.       Print onto A4 paper making sure the “fit to page” option is NOT selected. Print page 1 first and use a ruler or tape measure to check the sizing box to ensure the pattern is printed to scale. If it is correct then print the rest of the pattern.


6.       Fold the right-hand edge of all the pages which join to another page – you can tell which ones these are by looking for this symbol…

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7.       Place the folded edge of one page over the following page, matching the page outlines and stick using small pieces of tape overlapping each other.

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8.       You should now have rows of pages stuck together. Next, starting at the joins, fold the lower edge of these rows of joined pages (except for the bottom row).

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9.       Place the folded edge over the following row, again, matching the page outlines and stick using small pieces of tape overlapping each other. Start at the centre and work out to avoid too much slippage!

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10.   You may want to add tape to the back to hold any flaps in place

When you have stuck your A4s together it is up to you if you want to cut them out and use them as they are or trace off your size. If you are using a thin or stretchy material it may be a good idea to trace off your size onto thinner paper which can be easier to pin to wriggly fabrics.

Tempted to try a PDF? Take a look at our range here.



Are you a sewing teacher or a sewing club leader? Have you heard about our teaching packs?

Our teaching packs are ideal for sewing schools and clubs and are used in our own in-house classes.

Each pack consists of:

Paper pattern, Instruction sheet in a large A4 format ideal for teaching and a pattern info sheet - All in a handy popper wallet for each student

Teaching notes with handy tips, timings and troubleshooting advice

And for a limited time only; an MHW tote bag for each student - whilst stocks last!

PDF teaching packs are also available. Contact us for more details.

You can buy all our patterns now at Don’t forget to share your makes with us on Instagram at @MyHandmadeWardrobePatterns using #MHW Patterns so we can spot them and you!


Happy Sewing!

Sarah x