8. Transforming your finished pattern into a Multi-page PDF sewing patterns

Paper sewing patterns are slowly becoming redundant, mainly due to the cost of commercial printing, packaging, and delivery worldwide. It is this slow transition from paper to digital that is making independent pattern companies a huge success. Now that you know how to adapt your patterns digitally, it’s time to start selling and sharing them as multi-page PDF sewing patterns. In this tutorial, we show you how to transform your finished digital ePattern into a physical product by copying and pasting it on to one of our multi-page PDF sewing pattern templates. We have a range of paper sizes to choose from: US Letter, A4, A3, A2, A1 and A0. Not only that, but we also show you how to lock your PDFs with a password, allowing printing but preventing people from editing your pattern.

 

Draft or Download a Digital Basic Block

Follow along with our tutorials and learn digital pattern making in Adobe Illustrator CC. Purchase and download one of our editable digital basic blocks. We have a few options for you to choose from...

 

Tutorial Overview

1. Download the multi-page PDF templates pack and select the paper size(s) that suit your needs.

2. Copy and paste the pattern on to a PDF template.

3. Arrange the blocks by moving and rotating in order to economise printing.

4. Removing redundant pages or Artboards that do not feature pattern pieces.

5. Saving the finished layout as an Adobe Illustrator file for editing later.

6. Saving the finished layout as a multipage PDF with the option to add security.

Downloads

What’s Next?

Put your skills to the test, and improve your ability at pattern making in Adobe illustrator CC with our Style tutorials. Simply find the style you love, auto-draft your custom-fitting basic block, and follow the tutorial. When you’re done, why not add yet more design elements such as a neckline or sleeve to create a truly unique design!

44 Comments

  1. Sam Lasenby

    Thank you so much, your course is brilliantly helpful. I have an issue with sizing. When pasting your the designs into the he A4 PDF converter doc, the designs are enormous. But when checking the measurements in Properties, the measurements are correct, it’s the A4 PDF template which is small for some reason. Tried a few different ways but the problems repeating each time.

    Is there a work around for this please?

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Sam, thanks for your comment! Our A4 print templates are designed with enough printer border to work with the majority of modern printers, this means that the print area is a bit smaller than expected. If you would like to make your own custom Print templates then check out this tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB_g2_kKd38. You can then define the size of your printer margins and save on even more paper.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Hi I’m struggling with the cutting part of patterns I’ve watched all your tutorials however I can’t seam to do the cutting of pattern is this because my Mac has downloaded the 2021 version? Also I want to do kids patterns and design do you have any tutorials etc on this and designing your own patterns ?

    Reply
  3. Lusjaan

    Hi ! Thanks so much for these videos !!

    I have a little problem with my pdf so I hope you can help ! I followed all the instructions, but when I print, the pattern has “moved” on the page. I don’t really know how to explain this, I understand that the artboard is smaller than A4, so the margins don’t “eat” the pattern, but I thought the pattern would fit in the middle of the A4 page when it prints ? But it doesn’t it places itself on the left top corner. There is no margin on the top and on the left side of the A4 page, so when I print, the pattern is cropped.

    Can you help me please ??

    Reply
    • Margo Anderson

      I’m having the same problem, but with US letter size paper. It’s printing with a 1/8″ margin on the left side and a 1″ margin on the right. Is there any way to fix this? Please help!

      Reply
      • Ralph Pink

        Hi Margo. This should not be happening and I’m not sure exactly why. It could be due to your printer settings. We have just launched a brand new tutorial that shows you how to make your own PDF print templates. Following this tutorial to create your own might help resolve the issues you are facing. You can find it on our YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/NB_g2_kKd38

        I hope this helps!

        Reply
  4. Sarah Cartland

    Hi Ralph,
    thanks so much for these tutorials. You have mentioned several times that the free transform tool is not suitable for grading patterns. Could it perhaps be used for scaling patterns instead? For example, I understand that I could not reduce the sizing from a UK size 12 to a UK size 8 but could I take the UK size 12 and scale so 1cm=2cm for the purpose of trialling a pattern and reducing fabric waste? I am a school teacher and want to show my students some digital pattern making but don’t want to make full scale garments as it uses too many resources. If this would work, they could test their pattern on a small scale and then re-enlarge the final design once they are happy.

    Reply
    • Justine L Kohn

      Sarah, Yes scaling would work for you to do half size or even 1/4 size blocks. You can use the transform dialogue box to scale it using a percentage such as 50%. or decrease by 75%. Hope that helps and happy teaching! ( I am a teacher as well)

      Reply
  5. Natalia

    I’m soooo grateful for this tutorial!!! OMG! can’t thank you enough! Just one question. Is it possible to edit the multipage pdf as to add customize informartion and (sorry for this in advance) replace the patternlab logo with my own? (sorryyyy) And if so, how?- Thanks a million again!!!

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Natalia,

      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, our PDF patterns are not editable, therefore, you will not be able to change the logo. However, if you purchase an SVG (editable) pattern you can open it in Adobe Illustrator and then replace the logo with your own. Please note, you may not place your logo on one of our patterns without first adjusting or changing the design of that pattern. We have a whole series of Pattern making tutorials in Adobe illustrator that allow you to adapt our basic blocks into custom sewing patterns or designs. Please read our Terms & Conditions for more information.

      Many thanks
      Ralph

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Thank you so much Raph!!. I can’t thank you enough for the whole tutorial!!!! Sooo helpful, easy to understand, accurate, …just perfect! A million thanks!!!!!!

        Reply
  6. Kim

    Hi there!

    Thanks so much for these videos, they are so helpful! I see in your tutorial you delete a number of pages from the print template, however I am unable to do so. I would also like to remove the inches scale as I don’t deal with inches in NZ. Can you let me know how I go about doing these two things?

    Thanks!

    Kim

    Reply
  7. Merritt Tislon

    Hi Ralph- I’m trying to confirm something. How do I see the dimensions of the art board? I want to be sure that the boards I’m putting my pattern is going to the right place. I don’t know if American standard paper is A4 or US Letter or something else. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Merritt, sorry this is late, we’ve just come back from holiday. You should be able to see the artboard dimensions by hitting CMD + R, this will bring up the rulers at the top and left of the screen. To change the units of the rulers simply right click on the ruler bar and select, cm, or inches. If you then scroll to the far right of the artboard, you can see where the side of the artboard intersects the ruler marks. Hopefully, this helps answer your question.

      Reply
  8. Amy Lynn Colt

    Hi Ralph

    Love your tutorials. When I open the PDF Template, it only brings up page 1. . It is not in many pages as in your Tutorial. How do I get more that 1 page. I saw how you deleted pages but not how you add pages. I am actually working on CS3 but it did import. Thanks so much, AMY

    Reply
  9. Edita Kricenaite

    Thank you very much for this course. It was really professional and very useful. I wish you great success in your activity!

    Reply
  10. Kerry

    This is so helpful. I am wondering though, I cannot seem to edit the template. I don’t really want the scale coming up in the middle of my pattern. Is it possible to delete these?

    Reply
    • Kim

      Hey Kerry! Did you find out how to edit the template? I’d like to do the same thing, but I can’t figure out how?

      Reply
  11. Claire

    Hi Ralph,

    I would like just to say you MERCI!
    I was completely afraid by Illustrator before. beacuse many people said me “Oh it is very diificult to undetsrand and use it for patternmaking”
    You can’t imagine how you help me and show me No it is not so difficult! These video and tito are clear.

    I tried many other solutions to draft my lingerie patterns and now I have an overview what I have to do in my design process.

    So Merci beaucoup

    Reply
  12. Charlie

    Hi, these tutorials are brilliant, thank you. Please can I ask about your copyright policy? Do you allow people to sell the patterns they create on your cutting table and pages PDF? I would like to try and digitalise some craft sewing patterns I have developed and wondered if it’s ok to use your set ups for this or if I need to start from scratch?

    Reply
  13. emma

    how to measure the length of a curve?

    Reply
  14. Mary

    Hello!
    I love your tutorials so much and I am super excited to try making garments using these slopers as my base!! I did have one question. When printed, there is a white edge, which I understand is inevitable. When I buy PDF patterns, there is often a border in each page that allows me to line up the lines when I tape my pages together. Do you know if there is a way we can add that?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Mary.

      We’ve had a few people ask this question before. I’ll ask Mike and see if this is something we can add to our patterns. I’ll get back to you 🙂

      Reply
      • Mary

        Sounds great! Thanks so much.

        I made my first bodysuit sloper using your body glove block and using these tutorials to add SA and it fits perfectly. I am very very excited to see what can come out of using AI and your blocks. Thanks so much!

        Reply
      • Frank Gatto

        Hi I would like to know the same thing as well. Thank you and great instruction I have learned so much !!!

        Reply
        • Patricia

          You can do it easily! Draw a rectangle with the same measurement of the table. You should do this in all tables that you need for your pattern. I recommend modificate the PDF PRINT TEMPLATES of Patternlab and save it to work more faster in future projects! I did 😉

          Reply
        • Ngozi Nduaguibe

          Ngozi Nduaguibe

          Reply
    • Patricia

      You can do it easily! Draw a rectangle with the same measurement of the table. You should do this in all tables that you need for your pattern. I recommend modificate the PDF PRINT TEMPLATES of Patternlab and save it to work more faster in future projects! I did 😉

      Reply
  15. Ainslie Higgins

    Hello ! Thank you for your amazing video’s : ) I am trying to save a PDF pattern with multiple layers. I would like to save it so it can’t be edited or copied. When I save as advised above – I am able to protect my document – but I loose all my layers. Were you able to tell me how to protect my work and lock each layer ( permanently ) without loosing my layers. Note : I have saved each size of the garment into a separate layer, so the home dress maker can grab and print just the one size.

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Ainslie, thank you for your comment.

      I’m not sure I entirely understand what you are asking, but I will try and provide an answer to your first question.

      Imagine you have created a set of patterns on the Cutting Table, each one has its own layer. You want to move these patterns to the PDF Print Template. If you select and copy all of the patterns on the Cutting Table and then paste them to the PDF template, Illustrator places them all on one layer. Is this your first issue?

      To resolve this, select and copy all of the multi-layered patterns on the Cutting Table. Next, go to your layers tool dialogue box (right menu column), click the burger menu (three horizontal lines) and then click the “Paste Remembers Layers” option. Now, when you paste your multi-layer patterns into the PDF Print Template, it will remember the layers so they appear in exactly the same way as they did on the Cutting Table.

      I’m not sure I understand your final question about adding password security to individual layers. Possibly you can give me more insight?

      Reply
      • Sharica

        I think I know what Ainslie means. Despite this being an old question, maybe someone else may still be wondering the same thing. If you want to further preserve the layers (e.g. the different sizes) that you created in Illustrator, in Adobe Reader, simply click the tick box “create acrobat layers from top-level layers” when you go to save your Illustrator file as a PDF. Hope that helps someone. Thanks again for the wonderful tutorials, Ralph!!!

        Reply
  16. Annie

    Hi! I have CS5 illustrator and I’M trying to open the PDF template page and I cannot open the templete will all page in the same time.. My illustrator open page by page. I tryed to open the document with the muitipage pdf files but your template is not a pdf but a ai. document than it doesn’t work. Do you have a solution for me?

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Annie. Thanks for your comment!

      We’ve updated the PDF print template download to feature compatible files for CS4, CS5, CS6 and of course CC (2020). We’ve also added the download to every page of our “Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator” tutorials, so it should be easier for everyone to find. Let me know how the new files fair.

      Thanks
      Ralph

      Reply
  17. Marijke

    Hi, I am interested in making my own patterns using your blocks, is it possible to work with Affinity Designer too? Or another not so expensive vector program?
    Nice work and video’s, I am curious what will be added in the future. I hope that the patterns work well for plus size. Most pattern systems have fitting problems around the shoulders and sleeves when women have a pear shaped body.

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Marijke, Thanks for your comment!
      I’ve tried our basic block using the software package you mentioned. A lot of our customers use Inkscape as an alternative to Adobe Illustrator. Unfortunately, we don’t have any tutorials on cusotmising your basic blocks in Inkscape just yet I’m afraid.

      Enjoy your blocks!

      Reply
  18. Katherine

    Hi, first of all, would like to thank you for these tutorials which are awesome!

    Quick question, when opening the A4 pdf templates, i checked the individual artboard dimensions, I couldnt find the A4 paper size which is 21 cm X 29.7 cm but instead I found 17.98 cm Vs 26.60 cm. Any reason for this?

    Please clarify,

    Thanks in advance

    Katherin

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Katherine.

      Thanks for your comment. The artboards are smaller than the actual paper size to take into consideration the margin or border of the printed page. Unfortunately, most printers can’t handle edge to edge printing, instead, there is a good 1-1.5cm around each page which is unprintable. If we create PDF artboards that were exactly A4 in size, we’d lose a lot of the pattern to this unprintable area (margin/ border). Our artboards have been sized to fit most A4 printer margins, to ensure the document can be printed full scale without any cropping or resizing of the pattern.
      Thanks, Ralph!

      Reply
  19. Charlie

    Hi, I’m doing the Multi page PDF tutorial and cannot find the multi page template download anywhere. Can you point me to the file please?

    Reply
  20. kiki

    where to download the multi-page PDF templates pack and select the paper size(s) that suit my needs

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Charlie and Kiki.
      I’ve now added the download links for these files to this page. (Please see buttons above) Sorry for the missing content. I’m not sure why this wasn’t posted. Enjoy!

      Reply
    • Glenda Salazar - DeFour

      These tutorial are awesome! I am a Pattern Maker for over 35years now. I like doing computer generated drafts. I used to do my own thing on Draw. But., illustrator is simpler to use…thanks to your free courses!

      Reply
      • Ralph Pink

        Hi Glenda. We’re so glad you love the tutorials. Enjoy!

        Reply

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