Team PDF

OK, lets get one thing clear – I am not a member of team PDF. Paper patterns all the way for me! But PDF’s do have a couple of major advantages:

  1. You can get hold of patterns that would be otherwise unavailable to you due to your location
  2. Independent pattern designers are able to ‘distribute’ their patterns without the hefty outlay

The Love to Sew girls also highlighted some additional advantages in episode 17 of their podcast, such as being able to print the pattern multiple times, having access to the pattern immediately and (if the PDF supports layers) being able to print your exact size.

But these advantages, to me, are far outweighed by the drawbacks:

  1. You have to stick the damn thing together
  2. Sticking the damn thing together inevitability leads to slight distortions to the pattern
  3. The cost of paper, ink and sticky tape may work out as expensive as buying a paper pattern
  4. You have to stick the damn thing together

These reasons are probably why only 12% (yep I worked that out!) of my patterns are PDF.

Fortunately some pattern company’s now provide A0 or ‘copyshop’ sized PDF’s so you can get someone else to do the hard work for you. I decided to test two of the major printers that specifically offer printing of dressmaking patterns.

Patternsy

patternsy-long-colour-72_orig

Ordering

I decided to print the Silvia Coatigan by Schnittchen Patterns, primarily because Patternsy were doing a deal with this pattern company at the time which meant I also got to print the Laisa top/dress for free!

So, the first thing to note with this company is that the ordering process is a little less straightforward than usual:

  • You create a login
  • You upload your pattern
  • A quote is emailed to you
  • If you accept this quote a PayPal money request will be sent to you
  • Once paid your order will be printed

This process might be a bit off-putting for some, we’re so used to completing orders in one go, but it really wasn’t a painful process. I believe though they are looking to create an automatic system in the future.

How Much?

As of July 2018 the website states:

£3 per metre (A0 size 84cm width)

Postage:

  • UK: 50p per order + 50p per file up to a maximum of £2
  • Europe: 60p per order + £1 per file up to a maximum of £5
  • USA & Other Countries: £1.50 per order plus £1 per file up to a maximum of £8

My order for the Silvia pattern cost £9.12 for approx 2.75m length (including delivery).

For comparison purposes this equates to £3.30 per metre including delivery.

I also got the Laisa pattern printed free as part of a special offer.

The Finished Article

20180701_135033

I got my printed pattern within a couple of days of placing my order, and a day after making payment – in total two working days.

It was perfectly scaled and printed with colour printing as standard!

I’m not a fan of tissue printed patterns but thankfully the tissue paper is of a heavier weight than that of the Big Four pattern companies.

Other Good Stuff

Patternsy will try their best to reduce the cost to you!

The overwhelming majority of our customers save money by allowing us to reduce the blank space in the pattern or substitute a designer approved compact version of the pattern. We achieve these savings by moving, rotating and mirroring the pattern pieces to reduce the blank space. All pieces are included at their original size, no pieces are overlapping and, where possible, we join together pieces which would otherwise be supplied to you in 2 or more parts.

Patternsy will also reassemble A4/A3/US Letter format files @ £0.30 per A4 sheet – great if no A0 size PDF is included by the pattern designer.

They also offer deals for groups of sewists who order a minimum of 25 patterns to a single address.

Net Printer

netprinterlogo

Ordering

I decided to print the Marion Coat, also by Schnittchen Patterns.

1-Schnittmuster-Mantel-Sewing-Pattern-Coat-Marion-Cover

You must first create an account with Netprinter which is straightforward. Once complete you can upload, order and pay online – the cost of your order is worked out immediately and you are automatically taken to their PayPal payment page to complete the order (you don’t need a PayPal account). Simple!

If you order before 12 noon (Monday-Friday) you can have your prints delivered the following day (excluding weekends).

How Much?

As of July 2018 the website states:

A0 size (84 x 119 cm) prints on 60gsm weight paper are:

  • B&W £1.50
  • Colour £4.00

Prices include delivery.


My order for the Marion pattern cost £10.80 for approx 3m length (including delivery).

For comparison purposes this equates to £3.60 per metre including delivery.

The Finished Article

20180701_134742

I got a pattern printed on nice thick paper, rather than tissue – love it! I decided to print in black & white to keep costs down although colour printing is available.

The pattern was printed true to scale with quality inks and delivered on time (within 2 days as I had ordered after 12 noon).

Conclusion

Having a company print your pattern isn’t a cheap option. The Schnittchen patterns cost approximately £7 plus printing costs of around £9 gives a total of £16  – more than most paper patterns!

For me Netprinter has the edge – just because of my personal preference for paper, rather than tissue, patterns. I would definitely consider them for patterns I know I would use again and again as they would stand the test of time. However, I would still consider sacrificing paper for tissue to get good value colour printing at Patternsy – a real bonus when cutting out more complicated patterns.

 

If you’re team PDF, but can’t be bothered to trim and stick then this handy table may help you make up your mind!

Patternsy Netprinter
Order Upload online Upload online
Payment Request quote, pay online Calculate and pay online
Print type Colour Black and white**
Material Tissue Paper
Delivery 2 days 2 days
Value £3.30 per metre*  £3.60 per metre*

*Based on my order outlined above and includes delivery

**Also offers colour printing at additional cost

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