This is the fourth in a series of posts concerning a survey that I conducted among some digital sewing pattern testers a few weeks ago. The initial post is here: https://fruitfrommyhands.com/2016/04/14/a-survey-for-sewists There was another post that prefaced this whole journey here: https://fruitfrommyhands.com/2016/04/11/what-digital-pattern-customers-want/.
My fourth question continued to explore the printing scenario. It asked “Do you print .pdf patterns on a home printer or do you take them to a commercial print shop like Kinko’s or Office Max?”. The options that I provided as answers were “Home printer (I enjoy taping all those 8.5″ x 11″ pages together.)” or “Home printer (I tape them but I wish there was a much better way.)” or “Commercial printer”.
I know that there are many sewist who have expressed a great appreciation for digital sewing patterns. I completely understand they have no local sources for sewing patterns. I completely understand that the internet has brought them more than they could have ever dreamed of in sewing.
Many, many pattern instructions and sewing bloggers use the phrase – patterns can be taken to a print shop or local copy store as a major selling point. This makes them more attractive and useful over ordering paper pattern through the mail or traveling to a fabric store to purchase the traditional printed patterns such as those sold by the Big Four pattern companies. But do sewists really do that? Inquiring minds, etc….. so I asked and I had a little fun with it in the meantime.
Two people out of my entire group take their .pdf patterns to a commercial printer. And no wonder, none of the patterns I have bought have offered me the option of a large format print file. All of the patterns I have experienced (and my experience is not very vast) were supplied in .pdf format for 8.5″ x 11″ paper so there is really no need to go to a print shop. Going to a commercial printer could eliminate the need to tape all of those pages into a large grid. It takes time, a computer with appropriate software and some technical knowledge to convert a pattern written for an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper to a larger size sheet.
Seventy-five percent of users print the pages at home, lay out the giant grid and tape it together wishing the entire time that there is a better way to do this. I wholeheartedly agree on this one. Here is the very place that I think modern technology has been left out of sewing patterns.
Points to ponder: With all of the modern projection technologies and display geekiness and all other unimaginable innovations most often seen in an Avengers movie, there is no reason we should be doing all of this work for a sewing pattern. I’ve spent years in library technology and the cutting edge stuff is mind-blowing. Then, I go home and sit down to sewing patterns that are literally still back at the tracing paper and pencil stage.
As for those sewists who enjoy taping all of those pages together, bless your pea-picking little hearts, I have a huge stack of pages that I need to send you!