Jackie: printing your pattern

If you already know how to print pdf patterns, ignore this post.
The jacket construction posts are next so stay tuned.

Did I hear you say ‘I don’t use pdf patterns’?
If you did, this post might help you realise pdf pattern are a fast way of getting the pattern you love right now.
You know you want to. But you may have had a bad experience. Am I right?

Iconic pdf facts
Here are three pdf pattern facts about Iconic patterns.

  • If you decide to use the print shop version, Iconic Patterns can be printed on 36″ (91 cm) wide paper.
  • You can use A4 or US Letter size paper to print your Iconic Pattern at home.
  • The sewing instructions are part of the pdf and there are additional instructions on the Iconic Pattern website.

PDF patterns will have a test square for you to check your printer settings are correct.

Lena has already written a neat post about printing pdf patterns.

Check the version
If you decide to print this pattern at home, make sure it’s the latest version. So if you have a pdf pattern in your pattern stash and you’re not sure it’s the latest version, check with the pattern designer. Send them an email. Am I right Gabrielle?

Print the pages with no scaling
Tiled patterns are printed with either ‘no scaling’ or at ‘100%’. I always choose ‘no scaling’ when I print so I know the version I printed pattern is not changed.

Don’t print from the skydrive or cloud
That’s what I did thinking this would be faster than downloading the pdf file to the computer and than printing it using Adobe Reader. 
When I printed the pdf pattern from the sky drive, the pages didn’t print off correctly. Bits were missing. The pattern tiles were not complete or to scale.

This was printed from the sky drive – wrong.

Then I tried again by printing the pdf using Adobe Reader. The pages were perfect.

Leave the borders on your pattern pieces.
Iconic patterns line up nicely with the border lines left on each piece.
To keep your master pattern firm, have at least one side overlap so the paper pieces are stable to use again and again.

I cut the border off the pattern pieces in sets of 5 and they looked too small. That was a disaster waiting to happen. There are no tile matching notches on Iconic patterns so you’ll need to leave the page borders on each page to make sure each tile lines up correctly.

Read this if this is your first crack at pattern downloads using a pdf file

Grab Adobe Reader for free to download your pattern and find the test page. Adjust some of the print settings in the Adobe Reader Print dialog.

Try this:
1. Open the PDF file.
If you can’t find the pdf you downloaded, check your hard drive ‘downloads’ drive.
Still can’t find it?  Search ‘1501’ in your file search field. 1501 is the name in all three pdfs for Jackie.

2. Page through until you are viewing page 12 with the test square. 

Print this page off first and check the test square dimensions. If they are wrong, try changing the printer setting page settings to ‘none’. 

3. Start the printing process by pressing Control +P or go to File, then select print. 

4. To print only the test page, in the Print Range box, click the radio button to select Current Page (the page you are currently viewing). Note that you can use various settings in the Print Range box to control which pages to print.

5. In the Page Handling box, use the Page Scaling drop-down list and select None. (In my experience, this is usually the correct Page Handling setting for printing PDF patterns.)

6. Click the OK button to print the test page.

7. Measure the test box on the printed test page. If it’s the right size, then use None as the Page Handling setting when you print the entire PDF file. .

Others who have good printing pdf patterns posts are: 

Burda Style
Christine Johnson
Lekala patterns

Cutting Tips

  • Choose your size based on the pattern measurements.
  • Cut out each piece along the corresponding lines but leave the borders.
  • Keep your tape handy in case you need to make the paper a little more secure.


  1. Yes you're right Maria – email! I should have…

    These posts are going to be invaluable when I get to make a Jackie for myself, thanks for going to so much trouble.


  2. That's only if you think of it at the time. When projects aren't working, I find it very difficult to think logically.

    Now many pattern companies are becoming more available to us humble sewists so I think contacting them directly gives us and getting a response leads to a happier sewist and great finished project.


  3. I've been using pdf patterns for a while so this problem threw me for a while. Lena was great in walking me through the problem solving process.


  4. Soooooo…the issue for me with digital patterns is the number of pattern pieces. How long does it take you to tape together 66 pieces (the number of pieces in your screenshot above).

    I have printed digital bag patterns (since I felt I could handle that) and a free t-shirt pattern (not too many pages) and agree with you about leaving page borders, at least on one long and one short edge–it makes it go together much more easily!


  5. Good point Kyle.The pattern covers 55 pages or 20 minutes to tape together. I used to work on the ground and wait until everything was taped together before I cut out. Now I tape and cut out the pieces as they form without affecting the next row of pages. This strategy keeps me motivated.

    Does that help resolve this issue?


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