I really wanted to solve the issue of pdf sewing pattern printing for us Canadians. I love the convenience of the instant pdf pattern download and to have all the sizes available in one pattern is great; but, I have grown to dislike intensely gluing or taping together all those pdf sewing pattern pages! Sticking them together, tracing and then storing can drive you up the wall.
The good news is that I found some really great Canadian options. I also found some good references here and there for specific print shops in local areas and even some Staples locations. Let me just say that in my own experience/research, Staples is stupid expensive and/or not set up generally for this service (many stores have no clue how to process the A0 files).
[Click here to jump to my full Canadian resource list] Read further to see my personal experience and recommendation.
Labour: Print, Trim, Tape, Trace
It is usually upwards of 50-60 pages and even more – seriously!. Some pages even have to be trimmed first. Tedious in the extreme even while watching TV or listening to podcasts to occupy the mind. If you have ever done it, you also know the pages shift slightly as it grows and it seem impossible to get them to line up towards the end. For me, glue is better than tape, but they both pull away though as the page edges get caught as the whole pattern flows off the edge of the table. And seriously, don’t even try unroll it after a few weeks or months! They fall apart and OMG it can be so frustrating!
Then I still have to draw out the pattern onto tracing paper and cut them out. I wasn’t sure if pdf pattern printing would solve all this, but I was willing to try.
I’m also just not prepared to spend a lot of money on printing. Seems bad when I could just do it myself. Also, my limited crafting funds are better focused on buying patterns and fabric which can already get kinda pricey – amiright? Adding a pdf pattern printing cost to each pattern could easily double the cost.
Storage is a minor issue overall I guess, but… Glued together pages are really difficult to roll up neatly with the pages coming unstuck in odd places. It looks so messy. Unrolling them, if you must, is also a frustrating as pages get caught together and pulled apart. If I put on a elastic, it gets caught between pages as it splits. I try not to go back to the pattern once I have the tracing paper done. Bottom of the closet with them!
My full Canadian List: My list of pdf pattern printers includes those shops that specifically offer this service and ship across Canada. Check it out here.
Gilmore Reproductions in Ottawa
UPDATE APRIL 2021:
I contacted Gilmore when I noticed that the link that I used for uploading files is no longer working. This was their response:
You can email your files directly to the plotting department at email@example.com. If the files are too large to email please use the Gilmore Upload Tool. When using this system you can only send one file at a time. If you have multiple files you must zip them together to upload them. All fields with a red* must be filled out or the upload will not send. Please include your print instructions in the comment box & use firstname.lastname@example.org as your Gilmore Contact email.
This was such a great experience. I will never paste together another full size pattern!
- First, I selected 6 of my pdf patterns for the test run. I found the “A0” or “copy shop” pdf version for each pattern and put these into a separate folder I could easily find. It was a total of 13 pages and two 8.5 X 11 that got slipped in by the patterns makers (one was an letter authorizing the print and another was a cover page).
- On the Gilmore site, I registered with a few personal details for a login profile.
- After I signed in with my new login, I created a new job and answered a few questions, like, project name, date required, who to invoice and where to ship.
- Once I hit the upload files button, I selected my 6 pattern files.
- A few additional questions include quantity (1), paper weight (20lb. bond) and B&W or color (b&W) for each A0 file. I chose B&W for this test since I also didn’t see any cost estimates.
- I immediately received a confirming email for the order at 3:30 pm. By 4:30pm, I got another email saying my order was complete and ready for pickup! Wow!
- As I drove there, I was kicking myself for doing so many at once. Now I would find out what the cost would be! Maybe I should have just sent one first to get the price. If it was around $5 a page, maybe $65 plus tax…. ?
- I walked in a bright, clean location at Woodward Ave. in Ottawa (very easy to find) and received a tightly-rolled wad of all my printed patterns! Just like that!
- Price? $22.34 plus HST for a grand total of $25.24 CAD! I kid you not.
They charge by the square foot and mine came to 159 square feet plus the two 8.5 x 11s at .08 cents each. Next time I may try colour but I will definitely get all my patterns printed this way – eventually. If you are in or near Ottawa, this is definitely the way to go!
Drop me an email or comment below with your own Canadian experience.