If you would like use PDF patterns (or already do), but hate the thought of taping a lot of pages together, you're in luck - because most PDF patterns include an A0 file (AKA Copy Shop or Large Format) that can be printed on blueprint sized paper! In this post I'm going to share with you some info and tips on printing A0 sewing pattern files, and provide links to some shops that offer this service.
A0 is a large format paper size that is used mainly outside of North America, but since it prints nicely on large format printers of nearly all types, most copy shop files for sewing patterns are sized as A0. The pages are 841mm by 1188mm, or approximately 33.1" by 46.8".
The advantage of printing large patterns this way is clear - no taping! You do typically pay more for large format printing than you would for paper/ink/tape for the home printing method though - but if you're a busy person, as we know, time is money!
Most copy and print shops are capable of printing this size of paper, but many of them (especially the large chain stores like Staples) will charge exorbitant rates - like $10-20 per page (or sometimes even more!) - and an adult clothing pattern will often need at least 3 large format pages!
Thankfully, there are now many fabric shops and specialty print shops catering to sewing patterns that charge much less - about $1-4 per page, depending on your currency (US dollar, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, etc) and location. If you are in a small town you likely won't have a local place that does this, but if you order several patterns at once to reduce the shipping cost per page, it becomes quite affordable. At the bottom of this post, I will provide links to a number of shops that offer printing services for sewing patterns, in various countries.
Many people have also found local print shops that aren't too familiar with sewing patterns, but print a lot of blueprints and similar sized documents, and these often have quite affordable rates as well.
Before purchasing, read the pattern listing carefully to see if it comes with an A0/Copy Shop/Large Format file. If it doesn't (or you already own a pattern that didn't come with one) try sending an email to the designer and checking if they might be willing to create one. It doesn't take very long for designers to copy a pattern over to a larger pdf page size, and often they will do it on request and then add the file to their listing.
For easy shopping, the Sew PDF website has handy filtering options that allow you to filter your results to show only patterns that already have A0 files! We sell patterns from more than 25 different designers.
PLEASE NOTE: We have not tried all of these services personally and are not liable for any issues that may arise from transactions with these shops.
PDF Plotting - this is the largest and most popular option due to their inexpensive prices ($2.45 per page, with volume discounts available). They do shipping only (no local pickup) and do NOT offer the option to print specific sizes, even if the pattern file has layers. Patterns are shipped rolled.
Pattern Printing Company - pricing is $2.49 per page plus shipping. The patterns are folded and shipped in a letter sized envelope so shipping rates are lower than rolled. Specific size layers can be printed.
Stitch Sew Shop - pricing is $5.50 for up to 2 pages, and $2.75 per additional page, plus shipping. Patterns are shipped folded. Located in Alexandria VA, local pickup is available. Specific size layers can be printed.
Practical Pixie Goods - located in Calgary Alberta, with local pickup or shipping available. Pricing is $4 per page and they sometimes offer sales for $3/page. Specific size layers can be printed.
Black Rabbit Fabric - located in Penticton BC, with local pickup or shipping available. Pricing is $4 per page plus shipping - folded or rolled. Specific size layers can be printed.
Sew YYC - located in Calgary AB, with local pickup or shipping available. You can order folded pages starting at $5 each with shipping included, or rolled pages starting at $4/page plus shipping. Specific size layers can be printed.
Netprinter - pricing starts at £1.75 per page, plus shipping. Patterns are shipped folded.
Officeworks - unlike chain stores in other countries, Australia's Officeworks chain actually offers reasonable "plan" printing at AUD$5 per page. Not all locations/employees may be familiar with the requirements of sewing pattern printing, so be careful to specify that you need your file printed at actual size, and don't count on being able to print specific sizes (though it's possible you may get someone familiar with layers who can do this).
We will continue to update the list above as we come across more print shops - if you know of any, please feel free to add them to the comments below. Also, please let us know if you have any other questions about large format printing that we can answer for you!
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