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PDF Pattern Questionaire

Tomorrow I will have another tutorial for you for 'Sewing 4 School.'

Until then, I wanted to ask you all (since you have so much wonderful information!), what you think about PDF patterns.

**Do you like them?
**What do you like about them?
**What don't you like about them?
**How much are you willing to pay for a PDF pattern?
**Do you prefer a pattern that has one, simple item in it, or a pattern that has a couple of versions or multiple clothing pieces included?
**Anything else you can think of to add. . .

Just leave me a comment telling me what you think. Or, if you want to remain annonymous for any reason, just email me at

Thank you, thank you!


Emily said...

I'm new to using PDF patterns and I've felt a mixed response so far. I like being able to print on a whim and not have to wait for a 99 cent sale on patterns at the fabric store. I HATE when pattern makers don't think ahead and there is tons of white space on pattern pieces when the pieces could have been more condensed. I just paid $10 for a raglan shirt PDF pattern and I have to admit it made me gulp a little to shell out so much. I did feel a little better knowing I could make shirts & PJ tops for my little guy from it for the next ~10-12 years though. So nice that I can just make a few clicks to print the exact size I need at the moment and not have to worry about cutting off larger sizes if I had a conventional pattern. I like having variety with different versions in each pattern. Good luck with your pattern making!!!

Lisa said...

I've loved all my PDF patterns that I bought. I think 7.99 for a simple pattern and up from there. I loved Lil Boo Blue's pattern that gave a scale reference so that I KNEW I was cutting out the right sizes and not a slightly miniature version. I love patterns that have either a dress with a couple different length and sleeve options or a top with the same. If I think of anything else, I'll let you know :) P.S. If you every need a pattern testers - I'll Volunteer!!

Vanessa Hewell said...

I pretty much learned to sew from PDF patterns. I love them. Granted, there have been a few that were a bit disappointing, but for the most part, I always learn something new and the convenience simply can't be beat.

What I like:
*often you can get them downloaded instantly so no waiting around when you want to make something when inspiration hits you
*the ability to print what size you need, when you need it
*photos! so much more helpful than those migraine inducing line drawings from store bought patterns
*they often include great beginner tips
*most pattern designers encourage you to email them with questions which is a plus if you get stuck along the way

what I don't like:
*with clothing patterns, a lack of specific measurements for the different sizes (waist elastic, for example) especially with patterns that allow you to sell items you make-I don't want to have to guess what waist size, etc for sizes I don't have a model for

* $10 to $12 is prob my upper limit and that's for patterns that include lots of variations and extra info

*yup, definitely prefer patterns with different versions, etc

For those new to PDF patterns, Google the designer's name for blog reviews or search Flickr for stuff other people have made using their patterns/tutorials. Seeing that others are able to end up with a nice looking item usually means the pattern is good.

Carla said...

I use them when ever I can. It saves you, as the designer, from having to purchase plastic sleeves and printing the pattern out for sale. This way we can just download and save for when we are ready to use them. It also saves on storage space.

felicia said...

Do you like them? I love them!

**What do you like about them? I like that I pretty much have them instantly. I also like that when I cut it up I don't have to buy another pattern to get the next size. I like that I can cut it up and try to modify it and if it doesn't work and I screw it up I just print it again.

**What don't you like about them? I don't like having to carpet cut them together to make the larger pieces but that's pretty much unavoidable.

**How much are you willing to pay for a PDF pattern? I agree, 10-12, as long as it's well written.

**Do you prefer a pattern that has one, simple item in it, or a pattern that has a couple of versions or multiple clothing pieces included? I like having options.

**Anything else you can think of to add. . . I love when there are photos of different variations. Also remember registration marks so that carpet cutting it together is easier.

If you ever need a pattern tester let me know :)

Keri said...

I'm a big fan of PDF patterns. Why?

1.) Hate the tissue paper patterns that seem to quadtumple in size after they leave the envelope. When using regular paper, I just file them away in a file folder.

2.) I usually trace tissue patterns before I cut so that I'm not ruining the other sizes. That is sooo annoying and time consuming. With PDF patterns, I just print out another copy and cut the appropriate size. Love it!

3.) You can easily cut up and alter PDF patterns because you just print out a copy to mess with.

What don't I like? They are usually more expensive (than the 99 cent pattern deals or the 1.99 pattern deals).

I like patterns that combine several sizes or projects, so I know that even though I'm paying more, I am still getting a deal.


Amanda Fetters said...

I LOVE them....I don't think I have anything bad to say about them! I get them right away, can print them up whenever I want, and the instructions are usually very detailed (since the author didn't have to worry about fitting all the instructions onto a printed page). I think $6-8 is a good price range for most things. DO IT! :)

Morgane @ Bear,Dolly and Moi said...

I like both types of patterns, I have bought a few PDF, and most of the time I have enjoyed them (mostly from "you can make this", where I first heard about you!)
It is nice to have extra pictures, but some times there is too much explanation, I feel there should be the condensed version and the full version of the directions.
My computer is also far away from my sewing machine, and as I am too cheap to print the directions, I spent a lot of time going back and forth!
It is hard to spend about $10 for a PDF without knowing the quality. I purchase heirloom pattern at this price (as there is no $0.99 or $1.99 version!) but usually I am able to open them and check them out.
I would prefer multiple versions!
I think you should do it, you write great directions, we know we read them everyday!

Leigh said...

Being in Australia I absolutely love PDF patterns. I like it when a pattern has multiple sizes for the same item, like Lil Blue Boo! There is nothing like finding a good fit for you child, something they are comfortable in and then them growing out of the pattern the next year.
I would pay up to $13 dollars US for a well written pdf. Unfortunately we don't have the 99c pattern sales in Oz, it would make sewing clothes a much cheaper option for a family if we did!

Design Lab 443 said...

I like pdf patterns. Please include a photo of the finished product, that is very helpful!

Heather said...

I am an avid sewer, and PDF patterns changed my sewing life for the better, I LOVE them!
What I like?-instant delivery (most times) to my inbox, and I can print what I want, when I want. I have 7 children, so I am ALWAYS needing multiple sizes, and I like not having to trace the pattern out for each size I need, I just print it out and cut it out on the right size.
What I don't like?-Poorly written instructions and hand drawn pictures instead of actual photos. Rarely does a drawing give an accurate depiction of what I am seeing as I sew, but a photo can, and is the best way to go in my opinion. And I wish more patterns went up to larger sizes such as 10-12-14, for both boys and girls. So many seem to only go as high as 6 or 8. I have older children I want to sew for, but often I am left to try and re-size the pattern to make it fit them, just so I can sew for them too. For example, I love and own two LBB patterns (her t-shirt dress and her leggings), and my older daughter would love for me to sew something like that for her, but I can't use those patterns for her since they're not in her size range. It would require a bunch of lengthening and such on my part to try and get it to fit her, so it's a no go. Just my own gripe, that's all.
And price? Well, I never have a second thought buying any pattern for $6 or less, but I don't mind paying $10-$12 if I know it's a well written pattern and has numerous sizes to work with, and I will be able to use it for more than just one look/style.

Monique said...

I really enjoy PDF patterns. The printing and taping is a bit of a pain, but I deal with it.

I live in the middle of no where and the nearest craft store that carries patterns is a long drive away. If I can't find it on the internet, it had better be something that I can wait months for.

I've done pattern reviews for some independent pattern makers and that was super fun. I used to be an English teacher, so I even enjoy "correcting" the text.

Oh! And color photos are SO much better than the black and white line drawings.

Andrea @ said...

I like them for convenience. I prefer the fewest possible sheets of paper so if pieces overlap I'm ok with that. I don't pay for PDF patterns though, unless I really, really like them. They are so expensive. I have bought a few though. I think if they include more than one item (or an item with many variations) you can charge the $4.95 they all seem to cost. If it is just one simple dress, I think they should be cheaper. That's just me though. Obviously the market rate is higher.

Natalie said...

I guess I am the odd one out. I prefer paper patterns, especially the ones that are printed on actual paper like Kwik Sew. Printer ink is so expensive and like a previous commenter said, I don't like having to run all the way down to my computer to get the directions and printing them out is expensive because it uses a lot of ink! I do love the step by steps with pics etc. and maybe it would be easier if my computer was closer to where I sew.

That being said, I have many pdf patterns, and I am ok with them. Some of them are really great patterns, and the convenience is nice.

As for price, I think $6-10 because the pattern maker doesn't have to pay for printing and packaging. $10 if it has at least a couple options included.

Sarah said...

**Do you like them?
**What do you like about them?
**What don't you like about them?

Yes and no. I like being able to get them fast, print them when I want etc. I don't like piecing them and printing it all (lots of ink). The convenience really is nice though... and if I buy one, it is usually cheaper than other options for me. For some reason, in my mind, I feel like tangible patterns are better quality overall--but that is not always the case--and might not be the case at all... that's just my mind set.

**How much are you willing to pay for a PDF pattern? Honestly, I think they should be less than tangible patterns (tissue paper/paper). Why, I don't know... because you do have to print and piece them. I'm about to get one that is $6, and I'm okay with that. I think $10 is generally too much, but it does depend on the pattern.

**Do you prefer a pattern that has one, simple item in it, or a pattern that has a couple of versions or multiple clothing pieces included? Depends on the price, but probably one that just has a couple versions.