How to download and print PDF sewing patterns

Tips and a video on how to download, open and print PDF sewing patterns.

As the readership here at So Sew Easy has been increasing, and I've got more and more pattern downloads every month, so the number of emails I get asking for advice on how to download and print PDF sewing patterns has also increased.  This also seems to coincide with the increase in mobile devices since Christmas, and so I thought it was about time I shared with you the best way to access the patterns, download, and print them.

Take a look at the video where I will go through a couple of examples of how to download patterns and open and unzip them, with examples from Facebook, Google Drive, Craftsy, Unzipping, Adobe Reader, and printing.

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Examples used in this video:

Where will you find the patterns and downloads

Over the last 18 months, as the site has evolved, I've tried various different options for the best and most reliable way to bring you access to downloads and patterns.  I've tried Dropbox and Google Drive for documents and spreadsheets, and Payhip for patterns and tutorials.  The Payhip platform caters to high traffic and has been the most successful and reliable for me.

But no one way has proved to be trouble-free for all users and this seems to be simply because of the huge variety of ways in which readers try to access, download, and print the patterns.

Which Devices to Use

mobile-devicesAlmost all of the problems with downloading and printing are coming from users with mobile devices.  These are now a really popular way of browsing the internet but are really intended for just that – browsing.  Once you try to use the same mobile devices for file management, downloading, and printing – then the problems begin.  Many mobile devices and browsers are not optimised to download all document types, so while you may be able to download e-books to your reader, you may NOT be able to download and open .zip files.  And printing is another problem.

So, I highly recommend that if you want to download a pattern, document, spreadsheet etc, that you use a ‘regular' computer to get the easiest and most trouble-free results.  Use a laptop, or a desktop computer, or one at the office instead of your Smart Phone or Ipad etc.  Technology will no doubt evolve and improve over time, but for now, if you have trouble with your mobile device, it probably doesn't have the apps/software you need for what you are trying to do.  Switch to a regular computer and browser such as Chrome.

UPDATE:  WINZIP and others are now available for Ipads and Android, but you need to have the app on your device before downloading will work.  Check out these links:


What Software Do You Need?

It depends on what you are downloading.


I do offer some spreadsheets I think you will find useful for sewing:

These will need to open in a spreadsheet program, such as MS Excel, Open Office Calc, MS Works.

PDF Files

reader_windowsMost of the sewing patterns and tutorials will come as a PDF File. This is a standard file type used for sharing, and is easily opened with free software from Adobe.  Most computers will come with Adobe Reader installed, so when you click a PDF file it will open automatically.  But if yours doesn't or you need to upgrade to the latest version (highly recommended), then you can download Adobe Reader for free from here – ADOBE READER.  If you want to print some of the free sewing patterns, they require the poster printing option which is only available in more recent upgrades so if you have trouble – upgrade to the latest version.

ZIP Files

demoZip files are needed where a pattern contains two or more documents.  To make printing easier, I usually include one PDF document with the sewing instructions and notes, and another separate PDF document with the pattern pieces for printing.  For you to get these files in a single download, they are ‘zipped'  together into a file with a .zip at the end.

To open the PDF documents, you first need to ‘un-zip' the file.  Again, many computers will come with the right software to do this already installed, so double-clicking the file will take care of the unzipping,  But if not, you can use programs such as WinZip, or Express Zip.

If things still aren't working

Please watch the video above and see if you can follow through my instructions.  If you still can't download or open the pattern, where to go to get more help:

Your IT friends – got a friend or colleague who knows about this sort of stuff? Or a family member such as son/daughter or even grand-daughter?  It seems the younger you are, the easier it is!  No offense intended to anyone, but I didn't grow up using computers and I know many of my readers didn't either, so if in doubt, ask someone for help.  Often it's easy when someone shows you how to do it.

I hope this video and these tips and links will help you out if you get stuck and that you'll have no trouble downloading and printing the patterns you want to sew.  Good luck!

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47 Responses to How to download and print PDF sewing patterns

  1. Diane says:

    Love the pattern, can it be printed on a large format printer. My daughters have one and makes it so much easier for me.

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Hi Diane, this is a free version and it is only available as a PDF where you would have to paste the pages but if you align the squares you will not have to trim the pages at all. Kind Regards,

  2. carol knill says:

    Hi, I’m sorry but my computer is running windows 10 and when I go to print I do not have an option of ‘actual size’, do you have any suggestions please?

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Hi Carol, do at 100%, print the fort page with the 2″ X 2″ square test. If it measures 2″ then you are good to go. I have never used a window computer so I am not sure if this will work. If not, you need to use Adobe Reader a free program from Adobe, Then you will get the option to print on Actual Size.

  3. Ronelle says:

    strugle to down load the pattern

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Use Adobe reader, it is the only way.

      • Marian Theron says:

        I am trying to add the pattern of the pleated blouse to the cart, but to no avail. It does not work. Is there a code which I need to add?

        • Mayra Cecilia says:

          Hi Marian, very hard to help you since I do not know what blouse you are talking about, what platform you are using, browser, using adobe? have a window blocker? Do let me know so I can help you further.

  4. Wanda says:

    I love your sewing. You are so clear and precise. Thank you

  5. Kim says:

    Hi, You have really great resources! I’m just starting out and want to try one of your patterns (the men’s pj shorts, they are just too cute). I am in Europe though, so I was wondering about paper size. Is it letter paper you use or A4. Any idea if this will change anything when printing a pattern?


    How do I make printin paper to teaach grandauther how to sew. Hans shakey, can’t seem to typw

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      HI GLoria, Please use Adobe Reader, it is a free program, Landscape mode and Actual Size. Do not scale any pattern at all at least not from this site. Any other question please send me an email.

  7. Althea says:

    Hi, I have downloaded a few patterns from this site and I understand that they are stored securely in the pattern library- where can I locate this pattern library so that I can print off the patterns, TIA

  8. Pingback: Long Arm Oven Mitts pattern - So Sew Easy

  9. Ingrid says:

    Hi, I have downloaded some of your patterns before, but now I tried to download the Proteus cardigan 1 and 2. I simple get a blanc page.

    What is going wrong?
    I have Firefox latest update on a Windows 7 computer. with the latest system update. I have Acrobat Reader for PDF. Before it all worked just fine. But the latest patterns that I tried will not download.

  10. Sheila Le Mottee says:

    i downloaded and printed the sports bra pattern, but it only prints the black line for the largest size, so I changed my print options to grayscale and it prints the black line size and the blue size only. Do I need a colour printer to printer the multiple size lines in this pattern?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Sheila, not sure why is that, but I will have a look at the file and if something is wrong with it I will let you know, otherwise check you settings and make sure you are using Adobe Reader, not scaling the pattern and printing on Landscape.

  11. ANGELA Miranda says:

    Eu estou tentando fazer este arquivo maus não estou conseguindo oque está acontecendo ?

  12. Dorothy says:

    I ordered book front to download it was from amason don’t know how to download it they say. Something about kindil hope you can help. I am 92 and love my laptop

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      HI Dorothy, when ordering from Amazon you need to make sure weather is a kindle or not. Do you have anyone near you with a kindle that can let you read the book you purchased, otherwise you can ask for your money back I am sure you can get that back since you have not downloaded nor read the book.

  13. Bonnie sibert says:

    I downloaded the pattern for the anti pickpocket purse and the small cross your body wallet . I got the templates but NO instructions on the sewing of these items, Please tell me how get the directions on sewing the item. Thank you

    • So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Bonnie, the instructions on our the website. If you want to print, you can use the sharing buttons on the left, choose the three dots to see more options, choose “printfriendly” and you’ll get a printable .pdf if that’s what you need. Hope that helps and happy sewing. Mayra

  14. download zip files on iphone says:

    Your work is just excellent.I really love your work and thanks for sharing this resources.

  15. Linda Furley says:

    Hi, so glad I found your site. I’m trying to print the pattern for the boho tunic but my pages all have a white border around the edge so the lines aren’t going to the edge of the page. Have you figured out a way of solving this problem before? thanks.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      HI Linda, Please Use Actual Size to print. I live in a country where US letter setting on paper or printer does not exist, we use A4 so you will have to trim the edges. In fact, US letter setting is only available in Canada, USA, and Mexico the rest of the world uses A4 so it is hardly a problem. I will try to offer the pattern in both settings, but this will be done only on paid patterns only.

      • Cecelia Mercer says:

        Mayra, Thank you for that information. I thought that might be the problem and trimming is no problem for me at all. Thank you so much for the Eve blouse pattern!

  16. moira says:

    big thank you for advice video very helpful

  17. Julie says:

    What’s the best way to join the pieces of paper together? I’m using bits of sticky tape but wondering whether you’d recommend double sided tape or glue of some kind instead? Great site. Thank you 🙂

  18. Marya Vistad says:

    I enjoyed your vedio, I don’t have a fax machine so how can I get the pattern?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Marya, you need a printer not a fax machine. If you do not have one downloaded into a memory stick and take it to a printing shop they will be able to do it for you.

  19. Mel says:

    is there a way of downloading this pattern using desktop instead of APPS?

  20. Where is the pattern? I would like to download the free pattern, but can’t find a link?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Tarryn, not really sure which pattern you’re talking about? This article is about how you download and print PDF patterns generally. You can find a large selection of free PDF patterns here in our gallery: Just download and follow the instructions in the article. Hope this helps and kind regards.

  21. Judy Livingston says:

    Should the So-Sew-Easy Tunic be printed out in Portrait or Landscape?

  22. Donna says:

    Deby: I have absolutely no idea how to ask a question so I am asking via this route. If it is wrong, I apologize and send me the correct link. I am looking for an easy backpack pattern. Can you help me?
    I love your other stuff and you make it easy to follow you.

  23. Jacqueline says:

    Very thorough tutorial Deby. For those without access to the latest adobe version, you can use Libre Office, which has a ’tiled printing’ option. Works exactly like the ‘poster print’ in adobe.

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