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I’ve Pieced It Together: Web Sites Offer Full-size Patterns

The Amy Butler Sexy Hexy Love Quilt PDF pattern download included a complete guide to the fabric used in the sample quilt. The pattern pieces are actual size; some are large enough that must be pieced together from two sheets of letter paper.

I hope I’m not too far behind the times but I’ve just realized you can download full-size patterns from Web sites. I love that they offer patterns at the actual size! You don’t have to scale them up on graph paper or copy them freehand, which I think can be a chore.

How it works: You download a PDF file, print it out on in sections on letter paper, then assemble the papers into the pattern.

Two sites I know of that offer full-size (and free) patterns:

  • Burda offers free as well as for-a-fee premium patterns on BurdaFashion.com. Only registered users may download patterns, but the registration process is quick and doesn’t cost anything.

Once you’ve registered, click on the “Downloads” tab in the Web site navigation bar. Burda has an excellent tutorial to show you how to check the scale of your printouts against a “control square.” If the scale is correct (and they tell you how to make adjustments in your printer settings if it isn’t) you print out and tape the paper pattern pieces together. I counted at least 44 free patterns from Burda – garments, accessories and home decor items.

  • At the Amy Butler Web site the home page menu has a “Free Patterns” link, which is subdivided into sewing patterns and craft patterns.

The sewing patterns feature colorful home decor projects, including quilts and pillows, plus bags and other accessories. Not all of the patterns print out at actual size, but the recent ones do, and the instructions are very detailed. I like that the site has separate files you can download that cover specific issues such as pattern terminology or how to convert the English measurements to metric.

As I mentioned, I’ve just started to explore online for downloadable patterns. If you know of any other Web sites that have patterns, please share. If they offer full-size patterns, wonderful, but that’s not absolutely necessary! I’d also like to hear about anyone else’s experience using patterns from the Web. Were they accurate and complete? Just let me and the other Threads community members how you use the Internet to find patterns and inspiration.

In a few weeks, I plan to post about “The Rasterbater” an application you can use online or download to your computer that exponentially increases the size of images. You can take a small photo, motif or pattern – nothing copyrighted of course! – and create huge versions that cover multiple sheets of paper. It’s very cool and comes in handy for many projects.



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  1. vividkitty | | #1

    I would love to give these a try, but they often seem to be in US letter paper format, which I am struggling to find in the UK.

    Does anyone know where I can get the paper at a reasonable price or have any tips for working with A4 size.


  2. coastie2250 | | #2

    When printing out patterns, go into the page setup in the pop up for the printer and under preferences change the paper size, they should automatically resize. If that doesn't work, the difference between US letter and A4 isn't much an the patterns should still print out ok.

    Good luck

  3. alifoster | | #3

    I love your magazine! I just wanted to let you know that I make pdf sewing patterns. All the patterns are full size and designed to print on regular letter size paper (you just tape them together when necessary).

    My site is alifosterpatterns.com. I also sell on etsy. There are several other people on etsy who make pdf sewing patterns as well!


  4. Snuzal | | #4

    You can also download most big brand (simplicity, vogue, butterick, etc etc etc) and print them from http://www.sewingpatterns.com :o)

  5. Snuzal | | #5

    Should also add I've done this with a few patterns, and it's perfect. I really enjoy doing it, as it costs so much here to buy a pattern.

  6. BaysicKnits | | #6

    I have tried printing patterns from sewingpatterns.com and I don't recommend it. It is very tedious and time consuming to match up about 50 sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper. Also, the print scale has been off when I print by just a tiny bit, but that is enough to throw off the whole thing by the time you get to say, the 20th sheet of paper. I have contacted the customer service about it twice, but they have not offered any assistance.

  7. kmegamom | | #7

    WOW, thank you for this information! This is great news, and I am anxiously waiting for your information on the "Rasterbater", I have had a problem with this very thing, I take a stunning picture of something (like flowers or landscapes) and when I go to print it out on something, if I enlarge it, everything comes out fuzzy! My camera is limited, so to have a sortware that could take care of this for me would be great!

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