I was looking for a cardigan pattern to make in a stretch knit fabric - it's turned a bit chilly here and I do like a snuggly cardi to wear around the house. I came across a nice one but it was a downloadable pdf pattern and I have always avoided them before as I wasn't sure how they'd work. The process was ok and I thought I'd share it with you in case you weren't sure about pdf patterns either.
After choosing, I followed the instructions on the website and clicked the "basket" and "pay now" buttons. It was an American site, so I paid in $ through paypal who are very useful for these kinds of things. The company sent me an email confirmation and a button to click to download the pattern.
After *downloading to my computer, I opened the file and printed the whole thing off. The instructions and the pattern were in different files on the download, and in total there were about 40 pages of A4 to print. Paper and ink may be worth factoring in when you think of the price of a download. Although the patterns are usually a bit cheaper, it's not by much. It could be that you end up paying more for the dubious pleasure of printing and sticking it all together!! NB a tip, there should be a little test print square on your pattern files at the beginning, so that you can make sure your printer is doing it's job properly and not printing everything smaller or larger than it should....which would be disastrous and possibly a bit hilarious too.
So, there I am with a huge pile of papers that all need sticking together to make sense of the pattern. Mine was a multi sized pattern and all the sizes came through on the same pattern pieces - just as a normal pattern looks.
They were all numbered and had little triangles on the sides of the A4 sheets which helped you match everything together so there was no distortion. I had to do a bit of trimming and some folding before sticking to ensure everything matched.
When it's all stuck together, I then cut the shapes out roughly so I could use them.
An extra step: I didn't think the stuck together paper sheets would stand the test of time and numerous foldings, and I also thought it might be nice to keep the pattern whole so I could make other sizes more easily for friends and family....and post Christmas bulges etc. so I traced the relevant pieces onto pattern paper. (It's like really thick tracing paper)
Be sure to transfer all the markings and say what size your pattern is and who it is for. The date is quite interesting to add as well. You probably will remember these things over time, but I certainly wouldn't.
*(If you're not sure about downloads, you click the link on the download button in your letter, and your computer will store the files automatically for you - usually you can access them straight away by clicking the downward facing blue arrow in the top right hand corner of your screen. If it's at a later date, look under your apps for the Download File Opener and click on it. All your downloads will be listed and you click on the one you want. If you don't have this app your downloads will be listed and I'd start with This PC and follow the route through to your files)