Up until last year, I didn’t know PDF patterns were a thing. The very first pattern that I bought were the Peg Legs by Patterns for Pirates. I struggled trying to piece together the pattern and my stubbornness wouldn’t let me watch their YouTube video on the ease of putting it together. As Hancock Fabrics was going out of business, I stocked up on all the traditional patterns I could.
And I haven’t used not one of them.
Bye Bye Traditional Patterns
I’ve tried to use traditional patterns since I started sewing over 20 years ago. Geez… I feel really old all of a sudden but I digress… Back then I couldn’t understand the directions and when I started back up sewing 10 years ago I tried again with all the easy patterns only to find myself lost amidst thousands of pieces and terrible directions to create a semi-mediocre piece of clothing.
The sad thing is to this day, I can still count on one hand how many things I’ve successfully made from using a traditional pattern. Even though with the help of Hancock Fabrics I now have some 100+ traditional patterns, I still refuse to use them. Ok, not all of them. I will use the Kwik Sew patterns because they’re made of a thicker paper so it’s not so hard to cut out. Their directions are also way easier to follow than most others.
The main reason I don’t like the traditional patterns is because once you cut your size you’re using, that’s it. Sure if you’re experienced you can grade out but if you’re a lazy seamstress like myself, this sucks. In this moment, I’m wearing plus sized maternity but this is about to change. I do plan on getting smaller and traditional patterns just don’t account for size changes in women or children.
PDF Patterns Are Bae
Ok so I struggled through my first one and possibly my second one but now? I’m like expert level at piecing together these patterns. It only takes me about 15 minutes to put together and cut out the pattern to use. The best part about these is as my family and I change sizes, I can always reprint so I don’t lose my favorite clothing!
PDF patterns are also tested on the everyday woman–all of us. I love being able to be part of a community of PDF sewists and get questions answered from the pattern designers or other experts. You don’t get that with the traditional patterns. And the instructions are always so much easier to follow. All the tester groups I’m apart of have been intentional about making patterns easy to understand for all levels of sewing.
If you’re struggling to get started in the sewing arena I totally recommend ditching the traditional patterns and going the PDF way. Not sure if you want to make the investment? Most PDF designers offer freebies for joining their groups!