Hello Mermaids! If you’re new around here, we’re so glad to have you! This post is an extension of our FAQ’s and Troubleshooting post, and will help you get started with our PDF patterns.
After purchasing, your patterns are available in your account on the website with unlimited downloads. If the patterns are also available in A0 & A4 paper sizes as well as US Letter, You will see 3 options for downloading in your account (see image below). Choose the appropriate paper size for you (more on paper sizes below).
All of our patterns released since January 2017 are available in US Letter, A4 & A0 paper sizes. US Letter is standard in the US and Canada, while A4 is standard in most other countries. A0 is the large format, copy shop size. This means no more taping pages together! You can download our Free Pattern Checklist to see which of our older patterns have been updated since then to include all 3 sizes. The patterns that are not available in A4 can still be printed on A4 paper. You will just need to overlap the pages a little more at the top and bottom (just overlap the diagonal lines on the pages!)
Unsure which version you have downloaded? Look at the top of your screen in Adobe. The US Letter size file name is “M4MCharlottePattern”. The A4 size file name is “M4MCharlottePatternA4”, and A0 is “M4MCharlottePatternA0CopyShop”.
Layers and Printing
Most of our patterns have been updated to include the layers feature. This feature is only available in the Adobe Reader Program. There is a photo on page 2 of your pattern to show how to use the layers feature, but we also have a video to help even more!
Every page of our patterns has a 1″ scale to ensure that the pattern was printed correctly. Many people think that if the 1″ scale is 1/8″ or even 1/16″ smaller that it won’t affect the overall fit of the pattern. But it actually makes more of a difference than it seems. Let’s go back to math class for a minute 😉 If the 1″ square measures 1/8″ smaller, that means for every 8″, the patterns will be a full 1″ smaller. Since the smallest women’s sizes are typically more than 8″ wide across each pattern piece, that means even the smallest sizes are losing a minimum of 2″ around the width (once front and back are added together).
Have I lost you? Below I have the new Mama Paige pattern – the blue lines are the appropriate 1″ square. The red lines are with the 1″ square measuring only 1/16″ smaller. Only 1/16″!
After adding it up – you have lost 1/2″ on each side of the front piece, totaling 1″. You will lose the same amount on the back. That means 2″ lost through the entire width of the pattern. While you may not notice the difference as much on a relaxed fit like Mama Paige, on a pattern with negative ease like Mama Joy, losing 2″ could prevent you from even wearing the garment. Again, this is with the 1″ scale measuring only 1/16″ smaller. Re-print if your 1″ square does not measure exactly 1″!
All seam allowances are included in M4M patterns. Those seam allowances are generally 1/2″, but page 2 of your pattern will tell you, and each pattern piece includes the seam allowance, as well. We often see people saying that they only take 1/4″ seam allowance. It’s easy to take only 1/4″ seam allowance when using a serger because it doesn’t require you to cut any off, but it also makes a significant difference in the final fit of the pattern. You gain 1/4″ on each side of each piece, so between the front and back pieces, your garment will be 1″ wider if you only take 1/4″ seam allowance. On a garment like Mama Sommer, where the negative ease is needed to hold the bodice up, the extra inch could result an ill-fitting garment. Consult your serger manual to determine seam allowances on your particular machine.