With the launch of Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns and our updated online Resources 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 Resources 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 Resources page 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.
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.
HOW TO TILE A PDF FOR PRINTING IN ADOBE READER
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”.
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.