Thursday, 29 October 2015
Paper or PDF: The Great Pattern Debate
A question that is often raised in the sewing world these days is, "Which is better? PDF or paper patterns?". A legitimate question, but one that strikes me as rather odd because PDF and paper are simply the delivery mechanism for the pattern. It's a bit like asking "Is an apple tastier in a bowl or on a plate?". Surely it depends on the apple itself and not the way in which it arrives at your table. This debate doesn't extend to sandwiches though, which everyone knows taste better cut into triangles than squares.
Now, don't get me wrong, there are definite differences in the delivery modes of patterns, as discussed below, but the quality of a pattern should come down to the individual designer and not the way in which they are presenting their wares. If their designs appeal and they write clear and concise instructions, with correct and accurate pattern pieces, then load up your cart and buy away. If you limit yourself to only one type of pattern, you're missing out on an entire world of sewing knowledge and experience.
What are the pros and cons of PDF and paper patterns? I've put together a brief list based on my personal experience with both types.
Before we begin, let's avoid confusion by using the following definitions:
'PDF' refers to a digital file that you download on your own device and print personally, either at home or at your local printers.
'Paper' refers to the older style of pattern printed on tissue-type paper and sold in an envelope. It does not mean a paper print out of a PDF pattern, which is yet another option.
As far as I'm concerned, there really is no way of saying that a particular type of pattern is better than another. It all comes down to the design, instructions, and what you, personally, are expecting.
What are your Pros and Cons for Paper and PDF patterns?