Our Essential Guide To PDF Patterns – Part 3 – The Cutting

If you have been following along with our PDF How To, we hope you have enjoyed the journey so far! We are now at part three and it’s about to get really exciting! We are in the final stages and you will soon have your pattern cut out and ready for the fabric. So let’s get started!

If you need to jump back to Part 1 here or Part 2 then simply click here

Select your Size

Mark your pattern – PDF How To

Take a look at the instructions for your pdf pattern and decide on the size you are going to cut. The paper pattern should have a size guide or a Key which will show the markings you need to follow to cut the right size.

TIP – Remember to take a look at the finished garment measurements.

You can see from the picture above that I was going to cut out a size D and that the markings for that size were a dot and dashed line. The designers usually make this really easy for you as they make all of the lines very different, so its easy to tell them apart. Sometimes, they are even colour coded.

Grab your paper scissors

The first thing to do is to roughly cut out all of the pattern pieces. Work your way though your stuck together pattern, separating the pieces from each other. At this point, there is no need to cut them out properly, just get them cut down to a more manageable size.

Do you need all of the pattern pieces?

Check your PDF instructions for the exact pieces you need to cut out. Your pattern may include extra pattern pieces which you don’t need for the version you are sewing. For example, you may be sewing a sleeveless blouse but the pattern may come with a sleeve option. Put the pieces you don’t need to one side for now, so you don’t get confused.

Grab your highlighter!

PDF How To

We like to use a highlighter to mark around the pattern pieces before cutting. This is a great tip for beginners but is also very useful for complex patterns. It may also be useful to mark any darts or notches that you need to use when cutting the fabric.

Grab those scissors again!

PDF How To

Next, use your paper scissors to cut around your highlighted pattern pieces. Take your time and cut accurately on the line. Make sure to put your cut out pattern pieces in a pile and don’t mix them up with the leftover paper.

We have mislaid many a small paper piece by mistake, so take care!

Now your ready for the fabric!

Well Done ! PDF How To

That’s it! Well done!

You are ready for your fabric and getting everything cut and ready for sewing!

Do you want to master Commercial Patterns?

How to use sewing patterns is a fundamental skill, and commercial sewing patterns offer huge variety and value for money. In this class, we walk you through every aspect of using them to help build your confidence – from calculating fabric to getting a good fit.


Make sure you check out our Youtube channel for some more sewing goodies and fun.

Happy Sewing!

1 thought on “Our Essential Guide To PDF Patterns – Part 3 – The Cutting”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top