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How to Use Sewing Patterns (Digital & Traditional)

Learn how to use digital sewing patterns along with traditional sewing patterns. Knowing the differences will help you out!

Updated January 21, 2020
How to Use Sewing Patterns - Digital and Traditional

Learn how to use a sewing pattern in this free sewing video. This expert video, How to Use Sewing Patterns, explains the difference between digital and traditional sewing patterns.

Offering the pros and cons of each type of pattern as well as tips and tricks for both, this how-to sew video is a must-see for all sewists.

Whether you are brand new to printable sewing patterns or just need a refresher course, this full video gives you all the information you will need to create flawless projects from sewing patterns.

If you need to know how to use either type of sewing patterns, this video will have the answers for you. We also have the tips and tutorials written below the video, so be sure to scroll down to that.
 

How to Use Sewing Patterns Video Tutorial

This video will walk you through the differences between traditional and digital sewing patterns with examples of the same pattern in both forms. Take a look by pressing the play button on the box below.

How to Use a Sewing Pattern (Traditional)

Traditional patterns are the type you can buy in stores. They usually come in packets containing the pattern and pattern instructions.
 

Image shows an example of a sewing pattern packet and pattern tissue.


A traditional sewing pattern includes pictures of the finished design on the front and information about what you'll need before starting on the back of the packet.

Inside, you'll find the instructions on newspaper print style paper. You will also find the pattern on tissue paper.

How to use traditional sewing patterns/tips:

  1. Be careful when unfolding as it can tear easily. There may be several sheets depending on the pattern.
     
  2. Use scissors to carefully cut out the pattern pieces and then follow the directions.
Pros of using traditional sewing patterns: It's physical so no printing or digital tools are needed. The full pattern is in one package. Brands have (usually) assured the pattern directions are clear and correct.

Cons of using traditional sewing patterns: No duplicates unless multiple packets are purchased. A tear in the tissue pattern piece could ruin the entire process.
 

How to Use Digital Sewing Patterns

Digital patterns are printable from the internet. These can include brand patterns (and you can get some of the same patterns digitally as you can in physical form) or bloggers who have created printable PDFs for their original designs.
 

Image shows Angel (woman) in a craft room holding a printed out digital pattern.


Digital patterns are all different but the end result should be the same. Included with digital patterns should be materials needed, instructions, and pattern print-outs.

How to use digital sewing patterns/tips:

  1. Download the pattern and locate the file on your computer.
     
  2. Read all of the instructions for printing first.
     
  3. Assure your paper size and scale is correct before printing. Print the test pattern first if available to make sure the pattern will print correctly. 
     
  4. Once printed, follow the assembly guides (such as bars, rectangles, or lines) for cutting. Using regular paper scissors, cut the excess margins or printing lines off first. Then tape them together as directed.
     
  5. Cut out the full set of paper pattern pieces and follow directions for the pattern.
Pros of using traditional sewing patterns: It's digital, so it can be printed multiple times if needed. No need to leave your home for your next sewing project. The thicker paper (vs tissue) is easier to cut, use, and store.

Cons of using traditional sewing patterns: A computer/smart device and printer are needed. You may need to download additional software to get or print the pattern, depending on the website/brand. Some designers/bloggers may miss instructions for their original designs.
 

Up Next

Free Printable Sewing Patterns >>>

Do you use mostly traditional or digital sewing patterns?
Let us know in the comment section below!

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Is there a new link to the video? This one has bee deleted!

What great information on digital patterns when you download them. I use the traditional ones but have seen some that I really like for free on some sites but was not comfrontable on how to use them and after watching this video with great information I am ready to give them a try. So if you are not feeling comfrontableabout a digital pattern do yourself a favor and watch this video.

I use mostly the traditional pattern. Didn't know too much about the Digital ones until this video. Thank you for the information.

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