Pattern layering: how to print just your size
A few weeks ago, a customer reached out to me in my Etsy shop saying she was having a hard time following her size when cutting out her pattern. She attached a photo and I realized she didn’t know about pattern layering. When I sent her a quick explanation, she responded with this emoji: 🤯
So, I figured it would be a good idea to write a blog about it, in case she wasn’t the only one. If you don’t know about pattern size layering, I hope this post gives you mind blown emoji feels, too!
What is pattern size layering?
At it’s core, it’s simple. Once the pattern is graded, we have (usually) 10 individual pattern sizes, sizes 2-20. When these sizes are put together in one file to print, you have 10 cutting lines all intersecting one another.
It can be hard to follow your size, right? Especially around the curves. Well, with PDF patterns, we have the ability to put each size on it’s own “layer” and you have the ability to choose to print whichever layer or layers you’d like! So instead of printing your patterns with alll the sizes, you can select a size or two and print those only! It makes cutting your pattern A LOT easier.
First, you’ll need to make sure you have the free Adobe Reader program downloaded. It’s free and works on both Mac and Windows. This is the program that you’ll use to open your PDF pattern file in order to work with the pattern layers.
Once you have your pattern downloaded, you’ll want to open it in Adobe Reader.
On the left hand side menu bar, you’ll see a column of 3 icons. The third icon that looks like three pieces of stacked paper is the one you’ll want to click.
Once you click the layer icon, a new column will open out. You’ll see all of the available sizes each with a little “eye” to the left. You’ll also see a base layer.
Now, all that you’ll need to do, is uncheck any unwanted sizes while keeping the base layer checked. So, if you’re printing a size 10, you’ll keep the size 10 checked as well as the base layer.
Then you can print your pattern directly from Adobe Reader. When I print my patterns, I generally take them to my local print shop to print on A0 size so I don’t have to tape together the tiles, and I’ve just explained to them the process and they print just the same. This can also be handy if you’re using a projector to print your patterns like Nastasia does!
That’s all there is to it!
Do you have any questions about it? Let me know below!