How to Create a Print Download PDF Pattern For Free

Today I’ve begun a new adventure. After using Google’s Keyword Tool, and noticing a number of searches for hat patterns, I’ve decided to share one of my own. It is a hand drafted pattern I created in 2012 called the Biker Hat that works in many fabrics.

Conversing with fellow designers and sewing friends, a realization was discovered:  print at home pdf patterns are transforming the design world. Many creative people, sneezers who spread new concepts, are utilizing this new technology. Piecing together single pieces of paper to form one large pattern with tape, is a technique that can bring the design instantly into your world (whether you are in a remote land or want access to more selection in patterns in general). Printing patterns from the internet is easy and fast. Click this, click that, you’ve got the pattern on your desk top and you’re ready to print it and get started. Its super cool!!! And cutting edge. So how do you do it?

Most pattern drafting applications like CAD have a ‘save as’ to a pdf. My patterns are hand drafted so I have a different proposal for you to get your patterns out there for others to discover.

Here’s what I did in 12 Easy Steps:
1. Create a template for paper tile. Margins should be about 1 inch at each side and 1/2 inch at upper and lower edge of paper. (Use my free tile to help you get the process started)

2. Print the tile page and tape it together. Print as many tile pages as you need to accommodate your pattern’s size. For example, the Biker Hat pattern fit onto 2 sheets of paper. A jacket pattern may be up to 20 pages, just depends on how large the pattern size.

3. Tape the tiles together creating your surface to lay out your pattern. Fold margins instead of cutting them off. Later you’ll deconstruct each page and scan it, so you’ll need the full single paper tile intact for accurate scanning.

4. Layout your pattern onto the tiles and trace pattern pieces with as minimal amount of paper so when it re-prints it uses the least amount of paper.

5. Label all pieces according: name of the pattern, label the piece (ie front), how many to cut, size, seam allowance included (ie 1/2″), date. Also mark the grainline and foldline. Sign pattern as it is an original.

6. Make markings where tiles meet so end user can put them back together once they are separated. Use A1, B1, C1 to label markings.

7. Carefully separate your tile pages keeping them in order from top left to right.

8. Scan each page in order (first page and so on) and save to card. Your scanner may be connected to your computer, in this case you’ll save it to PC/Mac. My scanner is not connected so when I need to scan a document, I save it to card and then upload the document from the card to my desktop.

9. Convert documents for free from any format to pdf using Zamzar.com – Free online file conversion. Upload each page and convert and save to a pdf file.

10. Now it is time to compile all your files into one pdf.  Merge your files for free with pdfmerge.com (Upload each file in order!)

11. Go over to Craftsy.com and upload your pattern for free or list it as a pattern for sale. No charge to do this, just set yourself up with a Craftsy account.

12. Check out my hat pattern and many other indie designer patterns.

Hope these insights helped you along your way. Leave a comment if you have questions or want to share your creative pursuits. It would be a pleasure to see what your working on! best, MJM

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