PDF Pattern Series: What They Are And Why They Rock!

I know for many, this may be an unnecessary post, but we feel like there are enough people out there that could use this information, that we are creating a whole series of posts on what a PDF pattern is and how to effectively use them. So if you're a fan, follow along... you might learn something you didn't know before, and that's always fun. First up in the series... What is a PDF pattern? And what makes them so awesome?

PDF Pattern Series: What They Are And Why They Rock!

What is a PDF pattern?

A sewing pattern is basically a template of pieces that you use to assemble a finished product. A PDF sewing pattern is a digital version of that which includes the pieces and instructions you will need in order to successfully sew a complete garment. You can find PDF patterns to make a wide variety of things. Clothing, bedding, wallets, purses, bags, stuffed animals, home decor items... literally just about anything.

Why do they rock?

There are SO many reasons that PDF patterns are absolutely amazing! Let's just walk through some of those reasons.

Bella Sunshine Designs Emmaline Dress


For one, storage of them is SO much easier since they're digital. Could you imagine how much room hundreds of paper patterns would take up? Now think about how great it would be to have all of those patterns stored in the cloud? At your fingertips and perfectly organized whenever you want or need them? Never lost to some random corner of your house or dragged off by a child or animal? It's a definite bonus.

Bella Sunshine Designs Alice Dress


While they may not always be as immediately inexpensive as a paper pattern on sale at JoAnn's, I can promise you that you will ultimately be saving money. Let me explain. First of all, with most PDF patterns, you will get ALL of the sizes included as opposed to just a few. A whole range of kid's sizes, or women's, or men's... So with one pattern, you have it all! You also need to consider how much wider the range of sizes is with most PDF designers. Us plus-sized girls can get all the cute we want for us now too! Plus, if you lose your pieces? Or your kid outgrows a size? Just reprint it! No need to repurchase!

Bella Sunshine Designs Felicity Dress

Ease of Use/Support

Once you get used to using PDF patterns, you'll likely never want to go back. They tend to include much more comprehensive explanations and instructions than traditional patterns. Plus, most PDF designers have Facebook groups (like Bella Sunshine), where you can talk directly to the designer or loads of other talented seamstresses if you get stuck and need a little help figuring something out. Community makes sewing so much more enjoyable! And then you have the perfect place to show off your creations too!

Bella Sunshine Designs Sophia Racerback Dress

Instant Gratification

Shopping for PDF Patterns is the ultimate in instant gratification! Browse from the comfort of wherever you are... no getting dressed, going to crowded stores, standing in long lines... You can shop at ANY time of the day or night. In the wise words of one of our fans, "I can buy them without having to wear pants. Apparently, Joanne's frowns on that."

Bella Sunshine Designs Juliet Flutter Dress

More Current Styles

PDF designers are constantly looking for all the newest trends and designing for them, so the clothes you make will always be in style! Plus, if you're talented enough, you can take those patterns and hack them into some pretty amazing cosplay/Halloween costumes!

Bella Sunshine Designs Violet Flounce Dress


One of the things that always made me cringe with paper patterns was that flimsy tissue paper it's printed on. It tears so easily, it's hard to get back into the envelope... and if you happen to accidentally get it wet? Forget about it, it's toast. With a PDF, you print it on regular paper. And while I'll admit, it's mildly inconvenient to have to piece them together, ultimately, I'd rather do that then deal with the tissue.

Bella Sunshine Designs Vintage Grace Flutter Dress


Many PDF pattern designers are now using the layers feature when creating their patterns. What does this mean? It means, when you open your pattern in the Adobe reader, you can choose which size(s) you need and ONLY print that! No more confusing intersecting lines and trying to decipher what's supposed to go where with what. SO much simpler. And if you're blending sizes, only seeing the lines you NEED to see is a benefit you can't ignore!

I'm sure there are bonuses that I'm forgetting, so if you have a great reason to love PDF patterns that I haven't mentioned, please add them to the comments below! And I'll be back next week with more PDF fun!
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