I've gotten to be a pro at assembling my own patterns over the last three years. I print and cutout sometime up to 10 pattern drafts before I release a final design.
It's not always the quickest process, but I've learned a few little shortcuts that have taken my pattern assembly time from up to 15 minutes to less than 5!
No doubt, if you're like me, you're interested in saving a few minutes on the most mundane aspect of garment making with pdf patterns.
Before I get into some of the tips and trick you can use to speed up the process, lets touch base with the anatomy of the pattern tiles.
Pattern tiles are bound by a grey dotted line.
Pattern tiles are 7.5" x 10", which will fit US letter and A4 paper sizes. Pattern tiles are filled with a light grey, 1"x1" grid which you can use to reassure yourself that you've printed correctly.
Page 1 will print with letter's A and D for pattern tile matching, with no scissor icons.
Pages 2, 3, 4 will print with letter markings and a scissor icon on the lower left hand side of the pattern tile.
Pattern tiles (excluding page 1) which are to be placed on the left hand side of the pattern layout will include letter markings and a scissor icon on the top right edge.
All pattern tiles which lay below the top row, and inside the left side of pattern tiles will have letter markings and scissor icons on the top right edge and bottom left edge.
Importance of scissor icons
The scissor icons on the pattern tiles are super important and will save you a ton of time in building your pattern printout.
Only trim off the excess paper beyond the grey dotted pattern tile edges which have a scissor icons. There is no need to cut the entire pattern tile free from the paper. In fact, the excess trim beyond the grey border is important to piecing together the tiles.
Sometimes the scissor icons will be buried under pattern lines so keep an eye out!
Now that we've covered that, let's get down to business!
You've got your pages printed out. Now, cut only the edges with scissor icons on the bottom left.
Next, build your pattern printout 1 row at a time by matching the letter icons which lay at top, bottom, left and/or right on the pattern tile page. ( A to A, B to B, etc. )
I piece my tiles together by matching the top corners of the grey border on matching pages. I place my index finger at the place where they meet and pivot the page that I'm holding with my other hand in an effort to align the the dotted bordered edges.
DO NOT overlap the pages. Simply place the bordered grey lines together.
Once you have all rows completed, leave the top row as is.
All of the lower rows need to be trimmed along the top edge. ( All pattern tiles on the top edge of these rows will have a scissor icon. )
Tape the rows together along the grey bordered edges, matching appropriate letters, at the top and/or bottom.
Once you've got your pattern tiles joined, cut out your pattern and get started making something amazing!
I hope that helps you understand your pattern a little better and even affords you a few extra minutes in the day!
As always feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns!