PDF Sewing Pattern Guide
The Basics: What is a Sewing pattern? A sewing pattern is a group of paper templates and instructions used to cut out the correct shapes in fabric..before it is sewn together to create a garment. They are placed on the fabric in a particular way (information included in the pattern of how they should be placed) and pinned to the fabric to prevent any movement or inaccuracy. The fabric is then cut around the outline of the paper pattern piece to produce the shape, in fabric version. These fabric pieces are then sewn together by following the step by step construction guide included and a beautiful new garment is created.
PDF Sewing Patterns
Pattern shop specialises in PDF sewing patterns. These are sewing patterns which are downloadable, in a digital PDF format. They are designed to be printed on a standard A4 printer. All you need to do is tape together the pages and cut out the pieces, then you have your pattern to get to work with.
IMPORTANT: You must ensure that the printer setting is scaled to 100% when printing out your PDF File. There is also a ruler test panel on the first page of the pattern. Please use this and test against a tape measure or ruler at home to ensure it is the correct size. Even a few millimetres difference on the test panel will make a huge difference on the whole garment. Otherwise, the garment will end up being far too small, both length and width.
Step by Step on PDF patterns:
- Purchase one of our patterns and you should receive an instant download, otherwise we need to grade the style and size you have chosen, so you will receive the PDF via email within 24 hours following your purchase.
- Download and Print the PDF document. Remember to ensure the printer setting is scaled at 100% and test the ruler panel once printed.
- Each page is numbered and you will receive a page with a grid on displaying exactly how the numbered pages should be ordered. This will make placing the pages together correctly nice and easy.
- There is a cutting line marked on the pages where the edges should be cut. Cut along these and tape the edges together, joining the pages in the correct order.
- Once the pages are all connected, you can cut out the actual pattern pieces. Now you have your pattern all set, you are ready to begin the actual garment construction.
- There are instruction written on the pattern pieces themselves, indicating how the fabric should be cut out. Please refer to our glossary if needed. There is also an instruction guide included with your PDF with step by step instructions on how to construct and sew up your garment.
Note on seam allowances: If the pattern has double contour the seam allowances are included. If the pattern has single contour, the seam allowances are NOT included and need to be added when laying out the pattern.
Note on length of fabric: Attention! The amount of fabric needed for your pattern is not included. It will depend on the selected pattern size, the width, and design of the fabric you plan to use. Print all the paper patterns and lay them out at the width of fabric you plan to use (usually from 90 to 150 cm). Measure how much fabric you will need. Don't forget to account for pieces that need to be cut multiple times and pieces that are cut on the fold.
PRINTING: Please use Adobe Reader software to open your PDF pattern. You can get Adobe Reader free of charge at this link https://get.adobe.com/reader/. Make sure you print your patterns at actual size (100%% scale or None) and on single sides of plain A4 paper. Verify that the print out size is to the correct scale by measuring the test square on the first page. The upper edge of the square features a centimeter scale, and the bottom edge features an inch scale. Trim top and/or right margin of the pages where you see the scissors symbols. In the center of each page, the number of row and column is printed, separated by / sign. Construct layout pages according to these marks (for example, page marked 2/3 is in the second row and in the third column). Align pages using margins and tape or glue together.
CUTTING: Note on cutting: Lay out your pieces according to straight of grain as marked on the pattern pieces.
Some pieces will be cut on the fold, the corresponding edge will then be marked with a fold mark. Kindly pay attention to notes regarding type of fabric and quantity of required pieces on a block. For example, [ Main, Interfacing - cut 1+1 ] on a pattern piece means that you need to cut 1 piece as is and 1 mirrored piece from the main fabric as well as from interfacing. Make sure to mark all notches and other design features such as pleats etc. from the pattern piece onto your fabric. When sewing the garment, pay attention to notches, they must match up.
* The capital letters in brackets correspond to the pattern blocks preview on the right.
Sewing as a beginner can be especially challenging when you are not familiar with the sewing terminology that is used in the instructions. Even experienced sewers may still come across a term they are unsure of. That's way we have published a simplified sewing glossary for our customers to refer to if you are not sure of a term. We hope it will make our patterns more accessible for beginners in particular.
1. Anchoring stitches
These are machine stitches that are sewn with zero stitch length, to keep from pulling out. This term can also be used to refer to when you stitch backwards for a couple of stitches, to anchor it.
This comes from the French word “appliquer,” which means to apply or put on. In sewing, applique is used to describe the process of applying one kind of fabric on top of another layer of fabric. This is fixed into place by sewing or by another fusing means. It can also refer to a surface embellishment.
The opening in a bodice to which the sleeve is attached; also known as an armhole.
4. Ballpoint needles
A type of sewing machine needles that are specifically designed to be used when sewing knit fabrics. The rounded tip prevents piercing, that would damage the knit.
Temporary long running stitches, made by either hand or machine, that holds the fabric together before permanent stitches are applied.
A direction of a piece of woven fabric. Usually referred to as “the bias.” This is a 45 degree angle to the gain line, or diagonal direction of the fabric.
A narrow strip of material which is sewn around the edge of a garment, a bag or even a quilt.
8. Blanket stitch
A hand stitch used for finishing a fabric edge.
The thread that comes up from the bottom and meets the thread from the spool to form the stitch. Bobbins need to be wound up and inserted properly into a sewing machine.
That annoying tangled loop of stitching on the bobbin side of the fabric, that is a result of improper tension applied to the sewing machine.
A small cut in the fabric that is bound with small stitching. The hole has to be just big enough to allow a button to pass through it and remain in place.
A folded over edge of a garment, which is usually at the waist. It is used to enclose a way of adjusting the fit – for example for a drawstring.
A twisted fibre, somewhere between rope and string.
A method using yarn and a hooked needle to make a garment, fabric or lace.
The line of fabric perpendicular to the selvage edge of the fabric.
16. Cross stitch
A needlework stitch that uses 2 stitches that cross over to create a cross shape.
17. Cutting mat
A self-healing board used for cutting fabric on. They are often marked with measuring grids.
A common technique used for shaping garments. They normally appear around the waist and bust.
19. Darn (or darning)
Usually refers to the repair of a small hole, most often in knitwear, using a needle and thread. It is often done by hand, using a darning stitch. It can also refer to any number of needlework techniques that are worked using darning stitches.
20. Double needle
2 machine needles attached to a single shaft, that sews 2 parallel rows of stitches at once with 2 spools of thread and a single bobbin.
The fluid way that the fabric hangs in a garment.
Someone who makes custom clothing for women.
The allowance of space in a pattern for fit, comfort and style, over exact body measurements.
24. Edge stitch
Straight stitching very close to the edge of a seam, trim or outer edge.
A decorative item added to improve the look of a garment or other project. Embellishments can include buttons, beads, jewels, ornamental stitching etc.
An ancient variety of decorative needlework. Designs and images are created by stitching strands of one material onto another.
The front of a piece of fabric (the right side).
28. Fat Quarter
A quarter of a metre of fabric measuring 18 x 22 inches. Used for patchwork and other craft projects.
29. Feather stitch
Hand stitch used to smoothly join 2 layers of fabric. Can also be a form of decorative hand stitch.
Small jagged feet that sit under the presser foot of a sewing machine. By lifting and lowering them, you have the ability to use the machine for free hand embroidery.
The art of unpicking stitches.
A way of gathering the fabric to create fullness in the fabric, such as ruffles. It is a technique for shortening the length of a strip of fabric, so that the longer piece can be attached to the shorter piece.
Describes the direction of the warp and the weft in a woven fabric.
The finished bottom edge of a garment. The hem indicates the edge which is usually folded up and sewn, thus creating a neat and even finish.
35. Hooks and Eyes
Small and sturdy fasteners used at the points of a garment opening.
A term for a textile used on the unseen (wrong) side of fabrics. They support and stabilise the fashion fabric of the garment.
37. Jeweller’s knot
A simple knot tied on a strand of thread and then pulled down on a pin or needle to the base of the thread.
38. Ladder stitch
This is a stitch used to close large openings, or, alternatively, to join 2 pattern pieces seamlessly. Stitches are made at right angles to the fabric, creating a ladder-like formation.
39. Lapped seams
Seams lapped one over the other – wrong side to right right – with seamlines meeting in the middle.
A piece of material used to finish the inside of a garment. Linings can hide the seam and make the garments easier and more comfortable to wear.
41. Long stitch
A stitch for tapestry or embroidery which can cover 1 – 12 threads in a single stitch.
42. Match point
A point marked on one pattern piece so it can be matched to a similar point on another pattern piece.
A fabric texture that runs in a particular direction, and requires all other pattern pieces to be cut facing the same orientation.
A term for the handicraft of decorative sewing.
All of the accessories used in sewing projects. Think zippers, thread, buttons, hooks, ribbons and so on.
This refers to the top layer of fabric, when there is a different one underneath.
Also known as a serger, this is a specialist sewing machine that trims and neatens the edge of fabric.
A form of needlework that involves sewing together small pieces of fabric to create a patchwork like effect. This is very popular for quilting. Can be done by hand or by machine.
A template on paper or cardboard from which all of the pieces of the garment are traced onto fabric. All the parts are then cut out and assembled to create the final piece.
A narrow, stitched fold of fabric. This style is usually seen in multiples and creates a stylish and smart finish.
A type of fold in the fabric created by doubling the material back on itself and securing it in place. When ironed, they create a sharp crease.
52. Presser foot
A small piece of metal near the needle on the sewing machine. It is the function that keeps your fabric in place while you sew.
53. Princess seam
A vertical seam line which gives shape to a garment in place of darts. Usually found on bodices, dresses, jackets, and blouses.
The art of making a quilt – a decorative piece of bedding or wall hanging made from small pieces of fabric sewn together in batted layers.
55. Raw edge
The edge of the piece of fabric after it is cut but before it is hemmed. If left raw, the fabric might fray.
56. Right side
The front, or face of the fabric. This is the side of the fabric designed to be on the outside of the garment.
Also known as gathering. Sections can be gathered into seams.
58. Running stitch
A hand-sewn stitch that weaves in and out of the material. This creates a dashed line effect.
The line where 2 pieces of fabric are held together by the thread.
60. Seam allowance
This is the width of the fabric beyond the seam line. The standard seam allowance is normally 1.5cm.
61. Seam ripper
A small tool used for unpicking stitches.
The woven edge of the fabric that runs parallel to the lengthwise grain – also called “selvage.” They are the finished edges that do not fray.
A type of sewing machine that can seam, trim, and overcast raw edges.
Stitching placed on or just outside the seamline. It is used to stablise the fabric and prevent it from stretching out of shape.
65. Straight stitch
A simple, straight stitched line.
Big stitches used to hold 2 pieces of cloth together to make it easier to sew. These temporary stitches are removed once a permanent seam is completed.
67. Tailor’s chalk
A piece of chalk used to mark fabric.
68. Tambour needle
A pointed hook that is very thin and sharp. It is used to apply beads or sequins, or even chain stitches.
69. Termination point
The place where 2 seamlines end.
A protective implement worn on the finger or thumb when sewing.
71. Top stitch
A line of stitching parallel to a seam or edge, sewn from the right side. These can be decorative or can be used to add strength to an item.
A stitched fold of fabric. This can be used for decorative purposes or to add shape to a garment.
The layer of fabric underneath another layer of fabric.
When the seam allowances are stitched to the facing along an edge.
75. Vertical bobbin
When the bobbin moves back and forth to pick up the thread.
A fibrous material used for filling items such as quilts. Can also be known as batting or filler.
77. Walking foot
A presser foot that steps across the fabric, as opposed to sliding.
The lengthwise thread in woven fabric.
The crosswise threads in woven fabric.
80. Wrong side
The inside or back of the fabric. The side that isn’t on show.
A continuous length of interlocked fibres. Can be made from natural or synthetic fibres.
A term for an undefined length of fabric.
A panel across the shoulders or the waistline.
84. Zigzag stitch
A zigzag stitch is a literal stitch made with a zigzag pattern. Often used to sew along raw edges to prevent them from fraying.
85. Zipper foot
An attachment for a sewing machine that is designed for installing zippers.