How I Digitize Sewing Patterns to Share

My current method for digitizing hand-drawn patterns is a lot more streamlined than it was at first. Digitizing my Ceremonial Leia pattern involved tracing the pattern, cutting up the copy, mounting each piece on a template, and scanning each of those pieces. It took a while! This method is much faster!

You need to use an app that lets you scan documents and essentially identify where the corners are so the app can “square” the document. I have a sheet of white corrugated plastic that I used for some other project that now measures 51" x 36".

I lay the pattern pieces out and use the Notes app and “Scan Document” feature on my iPhone. I always check the corner location and try to get it as close as possible to the corners of the corrugated plastic. Then, I open up my iCloud on my laptop and download those images.

Then I use a program called Inkscape. It's the free version of Adobe Illustrator. I import the scanned images into a copy of this file:  and enlarge them to 51 in by 36 in. The proportion isn't always perfect but it's close enough. If you’re going to use this template, you should read up on the final pieces of software I use, the one from TitchyThreads, below. There are reasons why most of the elements are in the template, and you’ll need to know what you can safely delete, and what you can’t.

In theory, I could draw new lines in Inkscape over all the pattern lines from the scan, and it would be really clean and pretty. But as long as the lines on your hand drawn pattern are dark enough it works. People may use a bit more ink to print it, but it's the fastest and easiest way to share.

For the last step I use a program from TitchyThreads which will export the pattern layer into the printable PDF at the right scale. The regular version is $70, and I have the pro version.


1 comment:

  1. Super helpful! I'll be going the Android way on this but so far this seems a lot better than everything else i see.