How to Print Layered PDF Sewing Pattern

If you are new to sewing, you must be wondering what layered PDF sewing pattern is or why on earth you even need a guide to know how to print out PDF sewing patterns? Simple. Because layered PDF sewing pattern is what help us save time, energy and paper! Here’s why:

What is layered PDF sewing pattern?

PDF Layer is a feature that allows some content to be made visible or invisible in the PDF files. It means one Sewing Pattern file can contain many sizes and each size is on a different layer. You can print all the sizes you want (it may look very confusing) or you can just select only the size you want to sew for printing. You can also select a cluster of sizes in case you need to grade between sizes!

All sewing patterns from You Can Sew It are offered in layered PDF format for your convenience. You can print on either A4 or Letter sized paper, using almost any kind of home printers. When printing our sewing patterns, it is important to remember and follow these two steps:

  • First, be sure that the “Actual Size” option is chosen.
  • Second, be sure to choose “Auto Portrait/Landscape”.

If you do not choose these two options, you could end up with a garment that doesn’t fit because the pattern didn’t print properly.

Scroll down below to see our step-by-step instructions.

Let’s get cracking!

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Now, let’s get to business. I recommend you to use applications like Foxit PDF Reader or Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download the applications for free.

For those who use Foxit PDF Reader:

This is how it looks when a layered PDF file is opened with all layers displayed.

Sewing Pattern Printing guide - Foxit Reader 1

Now you click on the Layer icon on the left of the screen. You will see a list of layers which are the sizes in the pattern file. For this pattern, I have 6 sizes from S to 3XL, and they are all checked so they are displayed on the screen.

Sewing Pattern Printing guide - Foxit Reader 2

To hide the sizes that you do not want to use, just uncheck the box next to the names of the layers. For example, I want to print just size XL, so I will uncheck all other sizes. The layer named “Print for all sizes” must be checked all the time because it contains all the information needed to use the file.

You will see that the file looks much cleaner without unwanted sizes (for example, I uncheck all the sizes except for the XL size that I desire).

Sewing Pattern Printing guide - Foxit Reader 3

Now just click Print, choose print at actual size or 100% scale and you will get the pattern ready!

Sewing Pattern Printing guide - Foxit Reader 4

Click Print (or shortcut Ctrl+P) to print the pattern. Choose Actual size (or Custom scale: 100%) to print out actual size. Check in the Printer Properties to see if the paper size is set to A4 or Letter size.

Sewing Pattern Printing guide - Foxit Reader 5


For those who use Adobe Acrobat Reader:

It is similar to printing layered PDF files in Foxit Reader. Open the PDF file, you will see all layers are displayed:

Sewing Pattern Printing guide - Adobe Reader 1

Click on the Layers icon on the left of the screen, you will see the list of layers – each layer is one size. The print for all sizes contains all information needed so it must be checked all the time.

Sewing Pattern Printing guide - Adobe Reader 2

Uncheck all unnecessary sizes, leave the one you desire (here I choose size XXL).

Click Print (or shortcut Ctrl+P) to print the pattern.

Sewing Pattern Printing guide - Adobe Reader 3

Sewing Pattern Printing guide - Adobe Reader 4

Choose Actual size (or Custom scale: 100%) to print out actual size. Check in the Printer Properties to see if the paper size is set to A4 or Letter size.

Printing guide - Adobe Reader 5