How to Print PDF Sewing Patterns

How to Print PDF Sewing Patterns

Need help printing?

We often get questions regarding PDF patterns: How can I print this entire pattern on a small piece of paper? There are so many sizes! How can I print just the size I need? How on earth do I assemble this thing? We’ve been there! Let us hold your hand and guide you through the wonderful world of PDF sewing patterns.

Why we love PDF sewing patterns…

  • They are cost-effective.
  • You can print indefinitely. Meaning, if you are sewing for a child who, naturally, grows very quickly you can print a new size as they grow.
  • Instant gratification – No more waiting to go to the store when you feel like sewing. Just print and sew.
  • Variety – The selection of PDF sewing patterns out there is immense. You will never run out of options.


Download the files on a laptop or desktop. Save the file somewhere on your computer that you can easily find later. Many computers automatically place downloaded files into a downloads folder so if you cannot find your file, it should be there.

File organization tip

  • Create a master folder titled ‘Sewing Patterns’
  • Within the master folder you can create a folder for each pattern company you purchase from
  • If you prefer, you can also have folders for pattern type: children, adult, tops, dresses, etc.
  • The sky is your limit!


Open the file using Adobe Reader. If your computer does not already have Adobe Reader installed you can download it for free!


In order to access the layers panel you need to access the side panel. If your file does not like like ours, click on the arrow shown in the image on the left.

Let’s do this thing…

Now that the side panel is open, select the layers icon. This icon looks like 3 pieces of paper stacked on top of each other, shown in the image on the right.


All of the layers included in the file will be visible when you open your file. To turn off the unneeded layers, you will click on the boxes next to the layers that you do not need.

Make sure to leave the “eyeball” on the boxes next to the sizes that you need. You will also leave the MUST PRINT layer turned on. This layer includes necessary pattern notations.

Step 5: PRINT

In Adobe Reader you will see a button in the top left corner that says File. Click File and then scroll down to Print. Click Print. When the print dialog box comes up, you should see something similar to these photos. Follow these settings:

  • Choose “Pages” and then change the numbers to the pages you need as defined on page 16 of your tutorial
  • Scaling: Print at either Actual Size OR 100% Scale
  • Page Orientation: Auto
  • Make sure that “Choose paper source by PDF page size” is NOT checked

Uh oh, something weird is happening…

If you are using an HP printer and your lines have printed with filled-in areas or turned jagged instead of smooth like they are supposed to, choose these options from the printing menu: Advanced>Print As Image


All Sunflower Seams patterns include a test square. Included are a 1″ test square as well as a 5cm test square. Always measure the test square to ensure that your pattern has printed properly.

Here’s a tip...

Print just the page with the test square first to be sure your printer is printing properly. Once you have ensured that the scaling is correct, you can print the rest of the pattern pages.


In the corner of each page, you will see a circle with letters and/or numbers as well as grid lines. There will be another page with corresponding letters/numbers. For example, one page with J in the circles should match up with a second page that has J’s in the circle. Use tape or a glue stick to adhere the pages together. It is easiest to go row by row or column by column. For example, finish two entire rows and then you can attach the two rows together.

Here’s a tip…

Place the papers over a window or light box to be able to easily overlap your pages. Or, snip each corner off so you can easily see the corresponding circle underneath.


All Sunflower Seams patterns include layers so you likely only printed one size. However, if you’ve printed more than one size, cut out the pattern following the line that corresponds to the size that you need to sew.

Now that you know how to print PDF sewing patterns, you are all set to start sewing your heart out!


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