First, I want to say that I absolutely love PDF sewing patterns! That wasn't always the case. In the past, I would get completely overwhelmed with even just the thought of having to cut, then tape 30 pages (or more!) of paper together. I was like, "Hello! Ain't nobody got time for that!"

Now I find PDF sewing patterns so convenient. I see a pattern online that I love, purchase it, print it out immediately, and get the sewing process started. Yay! I also love the option of printing out a fresh copy if I want to re-design the pattern or make the garment in a different size. Win, win, win!

So instead of dreading the experience, I decided to embrace it. I started to look at it as a kind of meditation. In this day and age, we are all so busy, all the time. Why not enjoy the 20 to 30 minutes of silence or a good podcast while you cut and tape? As a mom to two VERY spirited kids, I know I look forward to this quiet time...

With that being said, I also know that it can be a grueling task for someone to assemble patterns for the first time. My advice is prepared, figure out ways to make it work for you, and have fun with it!

3 things you can do to prepare for pattern assembly

1. Figure out the best time of the day for you to assemble without any disturbances

Choose a day and a good block of time that you know you won't have to rush or get up to do something else. For me, the best time is in the morning, when I get home from taking the kids to school (after the morning chaos).

I make myself a big cup of coffee, put on a good podcast, and enjoy some quiet time while cutting and taping.

2. De-clutter your work area

First, find a spot in your house that's large enough for you to lay your pattern pieces out. That spot can be your dining room table, your living room floor, or any flat area where you can easily see your pattern come together.

I like to de-clutter my work area before I get started on assembling a pattern. Remove items that don't have anything to do with the task at hand. I always end up with tiny scraps of paper everywhere, so it's best for me to start fresh, in a neat and tidy work space. Clear space, clear mind. Right?

3. Set up your tools

Gather all your tools and place them on your table assembly line style. Figure out the best workflow for yourself and set up your tools accordingly. It's nice to know exactly where things are and not have to reach across the table for your tools.

I hope that was helpful. Now, let's do this thing!

HOW TO download, print + assemble pdf sewing patterns

1. Purchase + download

Upon completion of payment, a unique URL will be emailed to you with the email address you provided at checkout. To access your digital pattern, click on the link provided in the email. All PDFs automatically download to your computer's downloads folder unless you have manually set a unique destination. Double click on the .zip file and it will unzip (open).

Using Laila as an example, these are the files you will find when you unzip your digital pattern.

  • Cloth Story Patterns-1401 Laila-Contents.pdf
  • Cloth Story Patterns-1401 Laila-Instructions.pdf
  • Cloth Story Patterns-1401 Laila-All Versions.pdf
  • Cloth Story Patterns-1401 Laila-Version A.pdf
  • Cloth Story Patterns-1401 Laila-Version B.pdf
  • Cloth Story Patterns-1401 Laila-36" Copy Shop.pdf


Patterns are designed to print on both US Letter paper as well as A4 paper. You will need a PDF viewer to print this pattern. If you do not have a PDF viewer, you can download Adobe Reader for free at

  • Make sure your printer is set to print at 100% with scaling turned off.
  • Print page 1 and measure the 2"x 2" test square to make sure your pattern is printing at the correct size.
  • If the test square prints correctly, print the rest of the pattern.

3. Assemble pattern

  • Cut the borders off as needed and tape the pattern together matching the numbered/lettered diamonds.

Once you've assembled the pattern, cut the pattern pieces out. DONE!


I've shared 3 things I like to do to prepare for pattern assembly. What are some of the things you like to do to prepare? Please share in the comments section. I'd love to know!