5 Tips For Creative, Simple And Effective PDF Patterns

comments (0) January 6th, 2016     

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Charlieday Charlieday, member
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A sewing pattern is a tricky map to follow, especially for beginner sewers. With thousands of patterns, styles and formats to choose from, how do you create just the right pattern that is simple enough to understand yet easy to print and share with friends? Take a look at these five highly effective steps to include in every successful PDF pattern.

PDF versus Craft Store Patterns

While it is nice to browse the unique selections of patterns, styles, and options at a fabric store, you're taking a chance in getting an outdated, slightly tainted pattern, in turn making the process difficult to read and follow the steps. A PDF pattern can not only offer better, higher quality instructions, it also lasts as long as desired. The clarity in the instructions, such as abbreviations and icons, and photo details allow the reader to easily understand the pattern and work with it efficiently. PDF patterns make it simple to adjust the formatting, print out as many as needed, and share with others instantly.

Hardware, Software, and Materials

It doesn't take a tech genius to learn the art of creative PDF patterns. All you need is a compatible hardware system, such as a powerful windows laptop from Lenovo, a printer and scanner or combination, software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat, and some handy tools. Lenovo laptops come in a variety of configurations, and their large screens and fast processors make them excellent tools for creating PDF patterns. Photoshop and Acrobat will enable you to draw blueprints of your work and format them into PDFs. Other tools to keep on hand are a ruler, pen, and a roll of tape. Be sure to continuously upgrade your software so the process of downloading and creating PDF files runs efficiently. For added effects, you could use a color printer. This option is especially handy for color coding icons, special instructions, etc.

Draft Mode

When starting out, turn off the scale setting and set the printer to draft mode. This mode uses less ink while printing quickly. A quick draft will allow you to see at a glance how the pattern is going to look. The lines may appear a bit faded, but it should still be legible. Once you have your draft printed, and it's the proper size and measurements, print the pattern in standard mode. Patterns that print more than one page usually have markings such as 1A or 1B, that need to be matched for assembly.

Assembling and Cutting

Before cutting out each piece, check to make sure there is a seam allowance. If not, add it to your pattern. This makes it easier to cut without tearing the real pattern. Then use the tape to assemble the entire pattern, matching each piece with its adjacent ones. 

Digitizing and Finalizing the Pattern

Now, the fun part! The first step is scanning the pattern to Photoshop for digitization. Make a new document in Photoshop which is large enough to accommodate your entire pattern. Lay each page of the pattern on the scanner and scan it, creating a new layer for each page. Select the paint bucket tool, set it to white, and paint each new layer white.

After you've scanned all pages, the next step is to assemble the pieces digitally. Select each layer and decrease the opacity so you're able to see the pattern underneath, and move it to the proper place in the whole pattern.

Next, select the pan tool, click on one end of the pattern and draw a line to the next. Continue all the way around your pattern until all sides have lines. Adjust the pen tool so that it bends, by pulling the center of the line to the desired curve of the pattern. Once the outline is in place, select the option to "Define area," set the paint bucket to light grey, and click the middle of the pattern to apply the color. Use the text tool to write text in the proper places around the pattern. Next, select the original layer, click the eye in the middle of the page to make it invisible, then select the tab to flatten the image.


Finally, save the document as a PDF, then use Acrobat for viewing, printing, and sharing your pattern.

posted in: chic, vintage, yarn, other fiber, twine

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