I am a big lover of PDF sewing patterns. Their instant delivery and competitve price make a PDF pattern purchase hard to resist, especially when I am feeling impulsive. Since I have been using PDF patterns, I have tried a few different methods to assemble the pages. After a bit of experimentation, I have finally worked out how to get the cutting and sticking bit done as fast as possible.
1. Cut ALL pages in one session
As soon as I have printed my pages, I sit down in front of the tv and cut every single page. You only need to cut 2 edges of each page. It doesn't matter which edges you choose however you need to cut the same edges on every single page.
You will be surprised how quickly this goes, especially with some good sewing entertainment at hand.
2. DON'T use tape!! GLUE-STICK is your friend.
This is the single most important trick to getting your PDFs quickly assembled!
Use the glue stick along the uncut edges (outside the page border) and stick your cut edges on top. If you mis-align the page, you can easily lift the page off the glue and re-align.
3. Print the Pattern Printing Layout
The pattern printing layout outlines all the pages in the pattern in a single A4 page, how they are arranged and which pattern piece is where. Here is an example from the Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Patterns.
4. Cut away each pattern piece
Assembling 30-40 pages (or more) into one big sheet is a recipe for disaster. I always end up getting my pages seriously skew and it can be super frustrating.
Instead, I use the pattern layout to assemble each pattern piece on their own. This means sorting through your bundle of paper to find the appropriate pages. You may not necessarily be sticking the pages in order but I promise it is much quicker and more accurate this way.
Another way you can do it, is to stick the pages in order but roughly cut around each pattern piece as it is completed.
5. Trace your size
I know, tracing a pattern is not every sewists dream but sticking the same large PDF file together multiple times, will not be the most joyful experience either! Let's also consider the environmental paper waste too.
I hope that you have found these tips useful. If you would like to know how I store my PDFs, then give me a shout below or on Instagram to let me know and I will happily share.