How to Print a Layered PDF Sewing Pattern at Home

From now on MC2patterns are published as layered PDFs.

It means that in our latest patterns each size is on a different layer and you can make visible/printable only the size you need. You can also print, let's say, two sizes when you want to implement changes by emerging them into one pattern making it fits you. Or you might want to print all sizes one-by-one!

However, first thing first – choose a correct PDF file for your printing format:

  • _A4/US-Letter.pdf file – for an Everyday Printer (home or office option) and will print on multiple pages to be tiled together;
  • _Plotter36inch.pdf file – for a Plotter (printing services) and will print on a continuous piece of paper.

Why Layers?

Why bother, if you can print all of the pattern sizes nested? Perhaps, this is not a big deal for you, but why let such a waste of ink and your time?

You also might find it handy to print fewer sizes at a time because the markings on nested patterns can get a bit hard to read, especially on small details.

 Selecting Layers

Start by opening your pattern in Adobe Reader. There are many programs that can open pdf files, but Adobe Reader is the standard and free (download here).

Once your file is open, on the left-hand side there will be a line of icons.

Click the Layers icon in the navigation panel.

If the Layers icon is not visible, choose View Show/Hide Navigation Panes Layers.

  • Note 1: layers are supported on non-mobile versions of Adobe Reader only.
  • Note 2: In Adobe Reader, you can open the Layer Properties dialogue box, but you cannot change the settings.

Now you see a list of all the layers in the PDF file, i.e. each size is on its own layer and there is an extra layer “Text - keep OPEN”. You can select which layers you want to be visible by clicking on the eye icon next to the name of each layer.

Make sure that you keep “Text – keep OPEN” selected no matter which sizes you decide to print.

In this example, all sizes were deselected except Size M (as well as the “Text – keep OPEN” layer).

Printing Layers

Once you have selected your layers, it’s time to print.

The important thing with printing is to make sure that your pattern is printing at the right scale.

For MC2patterns, each sheet is 178x254mm (7″x10″) so that it will print on both A4 and US Letter paper formats as multiple pages. Select “Actual Size” or manually set the scale to 100% (your printing program may look slightly different or have slightly different wording but it will definitely have these options). Do NOT select “Fit” or “Fit to page” as this will stretch the pattern larger.

All MC2patterns have a test square on them that should be 5cm x 5cm (2”x2”) after printing.

Usually, this is on the first pattern-page. Test-print this page and measure the test square to make sure that your pattern is printing at the right scale. ONLY then print the rest of the pattern.

NOTE: Your pattern pages will print out in the order in which they should be attached together. 

  • Let the whole lot print, then remove from the printer.
  • Split the batch by rows for your convenience.
  • Cut off margin from two tile edges: top and left.
  • Overlap the tiles and tape or glue by rows first.

Generally, tiling a PDF pattern by the overview image (attached to patterns) is no different from assembling a kids jigsaw.

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