Paper or digital patterns?
3 years agoprideandjoy @prideandjoy
Now that I’m a mom, I’m interested in sewing garments for my little one. I’m torn between digital and paper patterns. Digital seems like a good idea because you can reuse the pattern in different sizes. However, I like the idea of buying ready-to-go paper patterns. Can paper patterns be reused for larger sizes? It’s been a long time since I’ve sewn with a paper pattern, but from what I recall, once you cut it that’s the size you’ve got.
Which is your preference and why?3 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
Hi there! There are benefits to each, and I’ve bumped a few older threads where there might be some interesting tidbits.
A quick summary:
Less likely to be lost, for some folks
Preference for O+S’s heavier weight tissue
Already ready to trace or cut
Quick, free “shipping”
Less likely to be lost, for some folks
Preference for heavier weight printer paper (if choosing large format print)
Can print off a fresh copy whenever you like
Can view/store on tablet or similar device
If you’re not familiar with tracing to preserve your original pattern (you’ll be able to use every size as many times as you like), have a peep here:
There are a couple of different ways to do it. I should note that O+S patterns are done a bit differently than others I’ve seen and both the paper and digital versions are rather nicer (in my opinion!). They’re thoughtfully tiled to save your printer ink, and there’s also a large-format print option which is my personal favorite way of doing it.3 years agoLiesl GibsonKeymaster@liesl
We’ve been really surprised at the reception to the PDF patterns. Many of you prefer them over the paper! And I must agree–Todd has done an exceptional job of formatting them. He’s such a smart guy. (And I’m sure I’d say that even if he wasn’t sitting right next to me as I type this…)3 years agoprideandjoy @prideandjoy
Thank you so much for all of the good info! Can’t wait to get started.3 years agoNicole @motherof5
I am totally won over by the PDF’s and I was a hard core paper pattern girl.3 years agoLightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch
Great! I’ll take your paper copies of a few of the out of print ones thanks Nicole!! 🙂
The PDF would only win out for me if I needed it instantly. No local option of large scale printing and once I’ve tiled it I still trace it off as pinning paper to fabric just doesn’t feel good, so there’s no labour saving.
The only tablet computer is my husband’s work one and that has a compulsory log out which seems to be timed to perfectly coincide with any single sewing step in a pattern. Infuriating!
But mostly I just like my shelves of matching, aqua bordered paper patterns. Spoken like a true collector, huh.3 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
Don’t wait underwater for those, McStitch! Nicole’s collection is legendary, if it goes anywhere it’d be to a museum (did I mention I’m a museum director? cough cough).
Having to tile would sway me, too, I think, but for some weird ASMR-y reason I really like those giant prints.3 years agohoneymadeit @honeymadeit
I also have a tendency to collect things but we live in a home that is just under 1000 sq. ft. I love that I can have over 100 patterns and they are all on my laptop and my mobile devices. I also have them backed up on the cloud just in case we ever get evacuated again due to fire or hurricane. I trace all my patterns because I don’t like using printer paper. Someone should invent pattern paper for home printers. LOL I have a few of the older patterns from before O&S went digital. I plan to replace them with PDF after I get all the rest.
I never print the instructions, I read them on my Galaxy Tab so I can make them as large as I need. I have vision problems and at times have to make things 150% or better.
I keep the printed pages in a binder just in case I might want to work on something without electricity. LOL
If I had to choose one over the other I would choose PDF.3 years agomeleliza @meleliza
You can re use the paper patterns. These are made of substantial tissue. I use a tracing wheel and dressmakers carbon most of the time. If I really think I’ll use the pattern over and over, I will trace it out. I have only made the pjs so many times I’ve worn out the pattern. Even if you use the pattern more than once, you’ll probably do a different size each time, so you can still use the paper over and over.
Personally, I can’t stand the time it takes to print and tape all those pieces together. I have zero patience for technology glitches. I like it ready to go, no time wasted and more time for sewing.3 years agomeleliza @meleliza
And I agree with lightning mcstitch that the pattern tissue is far easier to work with than all those tiled stiff paper sheets. I’m sure there is large scale printing here somewhere because I live downtown in a major city, but I still haven’t found the time to do the legwork necessary to make that happen. But when a pattern is special enough, I will use the PDF. These are very well put together and much better to work with than other PDF patterns.3 years agoTamara @justsewit
I prefer the paper patterns simply because I have so many of them already and it would be a shame not to keep adding to the collection in that format. Having said that though and because I live in another country where you have to wait two weeks for your patterns, I sort of “cheat” a bit and grab a pdf copy of a pattern that I really want to work on straight away. Liesl’s pdf’s are great introduction to the pdf pattern format. They are easy and not that time consuming to put together and you don’t have to go cutting into them if you don’t wish to. They are also handy if you are like me and in the (earlier sewing days) cut the patterns instead of traced them (which I what I now do) and the pattern is missing a piece or two. That is when the pdf version can come in very handy because you don’t have to wait another two weeks for a replacement pattern and you can just print that bit off – and have the digital as a back up copy.3 years agohousecall @housecall
I’m a paper girl all the way. I still use a paper planner/calendar. Digital has replaced everything, so it feels almost sacred! I can’t stand the printing and taping, only to still trace my size. I’ve used a large scale printer in town, but that prints on very stiff paper.
I too have almost all the O + S patterns in both sizes in paper form, but still can’t get my hands on a few…it wouldn’t be much of a collection if it was all PDF 🙂3 years agoroundtheworldgirl @roundtheworldgirl
I like both. At first I preferred PDF because I found tracing patterns off of tissue to be very fiddly and irritating; this way I could print, tape and cut, which seemed to me to be faster than the alternative! But now I find I’m coming around to paper patterns and when I have a choice and time is not of the essence, I choose paper. I prefer to have the pattern instructions printed on paper than having to consult a computer screen each time (I suppose I could print out the pattern instructions but that seems annoying too).3 years agoLiesl GibsonKeymaster@liesl
How many of you who prefer paper absolutely WON’T buy a PDF pattern. For example, the Liesl + Co patterns? I know there are a few of you, and I wish we could offer them in paper. But do you buy the PDF when that’s the only option? Just curious.3 years agoenajybbil @enajybbil
I begrudgingly buy PDF when it’s the only option (L&Co). To have it printed on the 36″ stuff at fed ex kinkos usually costs around $18. That’s an expensive pattern. Taping 8×11’s is the last way I want to spend my sewing time. For some reason, if I have TAPE AND SCISSORS out, my kids just won’t give me a break ;-D O&S paper patterns are truly the nicest paper patterns out there.
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