With the launch of Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns and our updated online Studio Books + Patterns page on Friday—including new garment patterns and stencils offered as downloadable PDFs—we are offering a growing range of designs that require printing, either from a home printer or from wide-format printers found at print shops across the globe.

Alabama Stitch Book, Alabama Studio Style, and Alabama Studio Sewing + Design included paper pattern sheets that allowed home sewers to create Alabama Chanin designed garments. And while this is a straight-forward process, there are new printing options available that may streamline patternmaking for the home sewer.  Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns comes with a CD filled with ready-to-print PDF files for new garments and stencils, plus all of the garments from our previous three books. Additionally, beginning this Friday we will offer new garment patterns and stencil designs for purchase from our Studio Books + Patterns page—also in PDF form.

Electronic versions of all of these designs can be emailed from your computer or brought to a local copy/print shop and printed out on extra-large paper so that there is no joining or overlapping of the pattern pieces necessary. Wide-format printers are readily available that print up to 36” (90 cm) and sometimes as much as 44” (112 cm) wide and as long as the roll of paper fits the machine. Look for a copy/print shop in your community that works with architects, who also have large-scale printing needs. In our experience, prices for printouts can vary widely from shop to shop, and so it pays to take the time to research the best value available. If you cannot find a wide-format printer in your own community, there are a range of online services that will print digital files and ship to your door.

This is how we suggest you print Alabama Chanin stencils, so you won’t have to spend any time piecing together the tiled paper or face irregularity due to scaling. The price will vary depending on where you print and the finished size of the print, but our local print shop charges less than $10 for each wide-format stencil printed—ultimately much less than the cost of ink cartridges for my home printer.

From time to time, we receive phone calls from copy shops requiring copyright permission from our company for reproduction. As long as the artwork is being reproduced for home—and not for commercial—use, it can be printed at your local copy shop without permission from us. You will find this text embedded in each PDF as we put good faith and trust in each our customers that they will use the materials and tools personally. We ask that you support our work and artisans by agreeing to an honor system of not sharing files that we provide for individual use—or using our designs for commercial ventures.

If you don’t have access to a copy shop with a wide-format printer or if you choose to print your stencil artwork at home, our PDF files can be viewed in Adobe Reader version 10.0 or higher (version 9 does not support tiling), which is free to download here. Unless you have a wide-format printer at home, you will need to print using a tiling option. Beginning Friday, our stencil designs and new garment patterns on our Studio Books + Patterns will come with additional pages featuring tiled versions of the patterns—designed for printing on a home printer using A4- and letter-sized paper. Make sure your printer is set to print to the actual size, and not scaled to fit the page.

Our new stencil artwork PDFs offer instructions for printing.  You will choose to print only the page with the full-scale pattern for wide-format printers or the range of pages for the tiled A4- or letter-sized paper. The overall dimensions for width and height will print on the artwork pages. Be sure to double check the measurements as soon as you receive your printout, and before cutting and working with your pattern and fabric.

Each garment pattern sheet features a sizing square with the Alabama Chanin mark (as shown below) that should measure 2” (5cm) when the pattern is printed at full size.

2" Measuring Square - Alabama Chanin

If you are working with files that aren’t already tiled, we’ve added instructions below for printing full-scale garment patterns and stencil designs in a tiled manner.


1, Choose File > Print.

2.  Under Page Sizing & Handling, select to print the Poster option.


If the tile options are not in the menu, make sure that the following options are not selected in the Advanced Print dialog box: Print As Image or, for Acrobat only, Separations or In-RIP Separations. Also check your version of Reader. Reader 9 does not support tiling.

3. We recommend setting the following options:

  • Tile Scale – Make sure that actual size–or 100%–is selected. .
  • Overlap 1” or determine the amount you want each tile to overlap with adjacent tiles.
  • Cut Marks – Adds guide marks to each page to help you trim the overlap
  • Labels – Adds the filename and page number on each “tile”.

Cut marks show where to trim pages. Overlap gives you space to adhere the pages together without covering a portion of the image. Labels indicate which portion of the document is shown on a page to help you assemble the pattern in the correct order.

4. Click OK or Print.

5. Trim and paste, or tape, your design together.

6. Cut, sew, make, and be happy.

Please remember that Alabama Chanin patterns and designs are copyrighted for individual home use only. Good work takes time and resources; support the work of designers and artisans you love by agreeing to purchase their designs and to use fairly. By using our work fairly, you make it possible for our design teams and artisans to create new works, which in turn allows us to share more designs and techniques with you. This circle of respect creates a beautiful and endless cycle of designing-making-sharing-making-designing.

Thank you for your support in this important act.

P.S.: See, print, and share the free design manifesto from the Council of Fashion Designers of America here.



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Click to read 25 comments
  1. Billie Wolf

    I would also like to add that the enlarged stencil prints made at a professional printing business are wonderful to frame by themselves… lovely art work for those of us who love Alabama Chanin’s work !

  2. Marijke

    I sure appreciate the guidance and cautionary notes on this! I checked with a few places locally and found really big differences in the prices charged for black&white large format printing (as in: one place charging 5x as much as another!). I did get the two new patterns printed, the little square is exactly right (2×2 inches).

    I can’t wait to get working with these patterns!

    1. Alabama Post author


      Thank you for this note… and, yes, always compare prices. So happy to know that the patterns printed exactly right. Happy sewing!
      Natalie and all of us @ Alabama Chanin

  3. Carolyn Ingram

    You cannot imagine my disappointment when I saw the cd in my new book as opposed to the paper patterns I am used to with all of your books I have purchased. $35.00 for the book and it appears I will be spending double that to have all the printing done. In addition to the travel and bother of asking three print shops in Huntsville to give me estimates. I’ve only spoken to one person, who is an architect and he said to be prepared to spend maybe more than that amount.
    Very disappointing. Love your work and appreciate your talent.

    1. Alabama Post author


      So sorry to read about your disappointment. Of course, you can return the book to us for a full refund. Just email orders (at) and we will be happy to organize your return. Apologies for your trouble. If you ever make it over this way, both PSI and Herald Printing have extremely affordable wide-format printing.


  4. Catherine

    There are also apps available (I can only speak for Macs) that can create tiled versions of PDFs, allowing you to print from a home printer and assemble tiles into full sized patterns.

  5. Qoya Williams

    I’m so happy that I received my new book with the CD! I’ve already had two of the files printed and can’t wait to get started on my new projects! In my opinion, the pre-printed patterns were less user friendly and took too much time piecing together; time I needed to sew and embellish! Great work ALABAMA CHANIN…I’m in love.

    Appreciatively, You’re greatest fan♡

  6. Emily

    Thank you so much for the cd with the new book. I love having all the patterns on my computer. I also love being able to print each pattern multiple times so I can try different alterations without having to trace off the pattern. I have found that Fedex print shops do a fine job of printing these patterns, no need to go to a special architectural printer. Now i have to decide which one to make first…

    Thanks so much!!

  7. Amisha

    I love the inclusion of the CD in the new book– it is great to have the option to print tiled pdfs at home (very nice for late-night crafting!) or use a copy shop. And I am so very excited about your new downloadable garment and stencil patterns! You have shared so much incredible inspiration over the years, and this new book will be taking its place alongside your earlier works on my shelf as both a valuable reference guide and a source of visual delight. Thank you all for everything that you do! Your artistic vision, generosity, and business model continue to inspire and it is a joy to watch your work grow and evolve.

  8. Julie B

    I have a question to clarify the fair use of your designs and patterns. Is it permissible to make for sale a custom garment for someone else using your patterns and designs?

    1. Alabama Post author


      Hope this finds you well! Our patterns and designs are intended for personal use and not for commercial ventures. Hope this helps clarify…

      Happy sewing!
      Natalie and all of us @ Alabama Chanin

  9. Barbara Hartsell

    Hey Natalie,
    So excited that the book has been released. I preordered and have not received mine yet. So sad! Hurry up mailman!

  10. Penny

    I’m new to this site and sewing style. I ordered the new book and waited for it, looked for it each day when I got home. I received it and loved the contents, and was happy with my purchase because I thought I had all the patterns on the cd. When I put my cd in the computer this morning, however, there were only 10 patterns and 5 stencils on it. I’m confused. I thought I was going to have upwards of 20 patterns and 6 stencils. Now I’m disappointed and don’t know what to do. I wanted to dive in and print patterns and start sewing, but I guess I’ll have to return the book to Amazon and ask for a replacement.

  11. Beth

    I received my copy of the new book last week and devoured it cover to cover! Have already printed out tiled copies of two patterns at home with no difficulties. Thanks so much for the extra information re: margins and cut lines – that was helpful. I absolutely love your sewing style and cannot wait to get started on a swing skirt ASAP! Thank you so much for releasing these patterns on the CD – it will provide me many years of enjoyable sewing as well as some beautiful wardrobe additions!

  12. Kathy

    I’m in Australia and haven’t yet bought the new book,as I want to find out whether I can find a print shop to print out the larger patterns,old and new.
    Could you advise what size paper is required as the largest size I have found so far is the
    A0 – 33.1 x 46.8 in (841mm x 1189mm) which I’m not sure is big enough?Otherwise is it possible to print out over smaller size at print shop eg 2 lots of size B1 – 27.8 x 39.4 in (707 x 1000 mm) and tape together? Just wanted to look at other options other than the A4 tiling + taping.

    1. Alabama

      Hi Kathy,
      We’ve checked the finished sizes of everything on the disc and found that the following patterns will fit on A0 paper:
      T-Shirt Top/Bolero
      Swing Skirt
      Small Polka Dot Stencil
      Large Polka Dot Stencil
      Magdalena Stencil

      The following will fit on 2 (or 3, if noted) pages of B1 paper:
      A-Line Top/Dress/Tunic (3 pages)
      Fitted Top/Dress/Tunic (3 pages)
      Classic Coat/Jacket/Cardigan
      Camisole Dress
      Wrap Skirt
      Medium Polka Dot Stencil
      New Leaves Stencil

      We hope this helps. Please contact us with any further questions.

      Happy sewing!

  13. Colleen Barber

    SO UPSET. I anxiously awaited the book to be sent. 35.00 is an investment for me. I live in a rural area and going to get a pattern printed is ridiculous, particularly when I spent money on the CD. I believe that to allow customers to think they can just easily print on their home computer before purchasing is extremely irresponsible. I feel sorry for other women with even less than me. What are they supposes to do either? I WAS such a fan 🙁

    1. Alabama Post author


      I’m so sorry that you are upset about our decision to provide a wider range of digital patterns. The intention was certainly not to upset or dismay. If you bought the book from us, we’ll be happy to offer a refund.
      Hope that you continue to enjoy our other books.

      With warmest regards,
      Natalie (and all of us @ Alabama Chanin)

  14. Maggie McKernan

    I bought the book with accompanying cd in the UK. None of the printshops here or websites that specifically print digital sewing patter scan print the patterns for garments. I don’t understand what to do now. Patterns aren’t tiled for good e printing. It’s very frustrating.
    Maggie McKernan

    1. Alabama Chanin

      Hi Maggie,

      We apologize for the difficulties you are having. Someone from our guest services team will be reaching out to you to help.