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What To Do If Your PDF Sewing Pattern Prints Weird and Wonky

You've downloaded your new pattern, printed it out, and started taping the tiles. But, halfway through, you notice that some of the lines look all weird and wonky and they aren't matching up. UUUUGH!

I know it can be frustrating, but you can still use the pattern, it just means it's time for a little troubleshooting first.

Step #1 - The first thing you want to do is update your printer drivers and then restart your computer. This will solve the problem 98% of the time.

Step #2 - You want to compare what the pattern lines look like on the screen with with how the lines look on the paper.

Here, for example, we have page 10 of pattern #121. You'll notice screenshot #1 shows that the skirt lines are rounded and the corner of the bib band is evenly spaced. This is what the pattern should look like on screen AND on paper.

pattern page 10 computer screenshot

Now let's look at page 10 of the paper pattern (screenshot #2). Some of the skirt lines have gone wonky and they're pointed instead of smooth. There's also a line on the bib band that is not spaced evenly with the other lines and is lower than it should be, so it doesn't match up with the line on page 11.

wonky pattern photo

Step #3 - If your pattern looks right on screen but WRONG ON PAPER, then there's most likely a communication error going on between your computer and your printer. If this is the case (and if you have tried updating your printer drivers and restarting your computer...see Step #1), I would advise downloading the file to a different computer (a friend, partner, work...with permission of course, the library, etc.) and printing the pattern pages from there.

Also, if you are trying to print from a phone or tablet...for some reason, trying to print from either of those has proven to be problematic at times. If you have access to a computer or laptop, I would definitely recommend printing from one of those. It will make things a lot easier.

Step #4 - If your pattern looks wrong ON THE SCREEN (pointy lines when they should be smooth and wildly uneven spacing), then the file may have been corrupted during transfer (i.e. uploading and downloading from Etsy or this website). If that's the case, then contact me to let me know and I will email the file directly to you and hopefully that will take care of the problem.

{Please note that these troubleshooting printing pointers are mostly used for MVD patterns. You may be able to use them with other patterns, but I don't have access to the files of other designers, so you'll need to contact them personally for issues with their patterns. Thanks!}

Happy Sewing!