PDF Stitcher: The Skinny

I recently learned about a fairly new piece of software called PDF Stitcher, and I'll tell you, I got excited! Thank you Wendy for sharing!

PDF Stitcher logo

It's a tool made by a sewist, to stitch together PDF sewing patterns from A4/letter sized pages into wide-format pages. The original purpose was for projector sewing, and the development owes a lot to the online projector sewing community. But in many cases, you can also use this tool to make wide-format pages for printing. Cool, right?

Even better, it's free and open source! Which means if you or someone you know wants to help improve it, you are welcome to contact the developer to contribute. The website includes a few links if you want to support the development financially, but that's not required.

Patterns by Mood Wandflower Tank: the first page of the pattern is an outline of how to place the letter-sized pattern pages together into rows of 6.

Here's how it works:

As an example, I'm using the Wandflower Tank pattern from Mood Fabrics, which is free. But Mood doesn't provide A0 or CopyShop formats of their patterns. So let's try turning the 36 small pages of this pattern into one big page.

You need to download the program onto a computer, sorry this one won't work on a phone or tablet! Once you do, open the program, upload your file, and choose some options.

This pattern has no-margin pages, which means the pattern goes right to the edge of the document page. So I don't need to trim or overlap any page edges, they line up just right. That's the trickiest part of the process, but you can try different sizes of margins and generate the result as many times as you need until you get it right.

For this pattern, I just need to select which pages I want (skip page 1, that's the printing layout), and tell it how many columns or rows to arrange them into.

The Wandflower Tank pattern with the pages side by side in a grid, to make a single page

The result is a single page PDF file with a grid of 6 pages by 6 pages, with all the pieces together, yay! But there is one problem: 6 pages wide at 8 inches per page is more than 36 inches, so this won't fit in my printer.

The main limitation with this software is that letter-sized pages taped together (and projector patterns) aren't restricted to 36" wide like the Spool & Spindle printer is. So in many cases, just tiling the pages like I show above will make a page that's too wide.

Don't worry, I can still print that, but I will have to split it onto 2 pages, and there will probably be a little bit to tape together. Nothing like the headache of a 60+ page pattern, but still, not nothing. And occasionally the pieces split awkwardly across the centre line, which can make it hard to tell whether you have things lined up correctly.

My recommendation is to give it a try, and email me the file to check. I'll let you know if I think it can be printed correctly, or if there are small changes you can do to make sure the final result gets you the pattern you want. 

Let's try something sneaky:

The Wandflower Tank pattern, only the lower front piece and the edges of other pieces around it.

Here's another option you can try. This pattern is broken up fairly well, with each piece on as few letter-sized tiles as possible. So why not print each one separately?


For the Lower Front piece, I need pages 2-5, 8-11, 14-17, and 20-22, arranged in rows of 3. The result is 31" by 41", which is perfect! (This is the picture on the right on a big screen, or above on a phone.) I can do the same with the other large piece, the Upper Front, then combine the other small pieces onto one short page (the picture below). Now there's no taping needed!

The Wandflower Tank pattern, pieces for the back, front tie, and straps.

An important disclaimer: I check to make sure that the calibration squares on patterns print at the right size, but if you tile a pattern with software like PDF Stitcher, I can't guarantee that it will be correct. If your overlap settings are wrong, or if there is no calibration square to check, you might be disappointed.

Also, Spool & Spindle will not use this software or any other program to stitch a pattern together or otherwise edit it. You must send a final PDF file to print, whether from the designer or generated by you.

While I will always reprint or refund a pattern if I made a mistake, there are no refunds for prints of files that you generate incorrectly.

Now go forth and practice! There's more information and full documentation on the PDF Stitcher website, including some helpful links.

I hope this helps you save time on your favourite patterns, by any designer, even if they don't provide the A0 format!