Screen Previews and PDF measuring tools

Using screen previews and PDF measuring tools
to review patterns before printing/cutting fabric


Patterns from Apostrophe Patterns are automatically generated to body measurements entered and style options selected. But even the best pattern algorithms need a human eye to look over the results and check that the resulting pattern looks reasonable, catch any mistaken measurement entries, or just review to adjust selected options before printing (or projecting) and cutting fabric.

How to preview your pattern

The easiest way to do a screen preview of your pattern is to select “Projector File” on the page size selection screen in the Apostrophe pattern generator. 

Then press Next button and Download button on last screen. This will download a PDF file with your pattern, and you can double click that to open it and review it.

For a more detailed review, it is best to get the file opened in a PDF reader, like Adobe Acrobat Reader on computer, or Xodo PDF Reader on mobile.

When reviewing pattern, you can do the following checks:

  • Do the pattern shapes look reasonable for what could fit the body measured, or are there some unusual shapes that could be caused by a mistaken measurement or data entry error? Or is there a drawing error such as a shape not closed, or cut off the page?

  • Do the style options chosen correspond to what you expect? For example, on joggers, does yoke size and pocket size look reasonable; on joggers, leggings and underwear does waistband size and main pattern shape match up to what you expect? You can zoom in to pieces that have measurements included, for example knit/yoga waistband, and leg/arm bands/bindings and see if the measurements if you’d like to see those as well.

  • Zoom in on the measurement summary if it includes ease amounts at bottom. MyFit Joggers pattern will list ease at hips, knee and calf, and MyFit Underwear has waist opening, leg opening, and ease at hips. See this blog post to learn what “ease” is and how to use the ease amounts in the Joggers pattern to customize your fit.

Using measuring tools to analyze your pattern

In many cases, it’s also a good idea to review the pattern in more depth, using the measuring tools in your PDF reader app. Measuring the pieces is helpful to see what the ease is in various places, and to check that lengths of inseams, sleeves and overall girth have generated correctly.

When comparing pattern pieces to body measurements, we have to account for seam allowances on pattern pieces when measuring them to have an accurate ease calculation. One easy way to do that with Apostrophe pattern generators  is to set the seam allowance to 0 in the program for your pattern. (Make sure to then download pattern without saving, so your saved pattern keeps your proper seam allowance. Or save the pattern with a new name such as No SA added at the end, so you keep it separate.)

Then if you measure your zero seam allowance pattern, you can directly compare pattern measurements to body measurements, to understand how much ease the pattern is including.

To measure pieces use ruler in the measuring tools in your PDF reader:

  • Measuring Tools in Adobe (available in free version, no paid or trial version needed)

In menu select Edit>Manage Tools and click Open under "Measure". 

A ruler will show up in toolbars - click the ruler and measure any distances on pattern.

You will see a box in corner with measurement, you can also zoom in to see the  measured amount on the ruler drawn on pattern.

  • Measuring in Xodo

Xodo PDF Reader is a free PDF reader app available from the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store.

The measuring tools in Xodo can be easier to use than the Adobe tools, so it can be helpful to do the measuring in Xodo even if you are printing or projecting pattern from computer afterwards.

In Xodo to measure pattern, use the following steps:

Click down arrow at top of screen to change to Measure mode and the ruler tool will appear in toolbar. 

Draw a line with the ruler tool in the area you want to measure. 

Then click X at bottom to close ruler tool. 

Next zoom in on the line and you will see the measurement in small type.

Bunny Costume Pattern Measuring 

Taking the time to do the steps above to measure the Bunny Costume pattern PDF is especially recommended if sewing it in larger child or adult sizes.

This pattern is different than other Apostrophe patterns that have undergone extensive testing in many body sizes. The Bunny Costume pattern is a quickly released free pattern released to have fun with before Halloween and has mainly been tested on small children and dolls (adult fit has been tested as parts of other patterns, but not extensive costume-specific adult testing yet). This pattern will disappear after Halloween to undergo testing and be released at a later date. 

If you want to use it for adult sizes as a fun pattern for Halloween, measuring these areas will allow you to preview how it will fit before cutting fabric, so you can make adjustments and ensure your muslin/test garment is a good success:

  • Measuring the length of the pattern from high shoulder point to the level of the crotch ( in a straight line parallel to grainline). Compare this measurement to that same length on the body. The pattern should be a bit longer to have ease at crotch. 

  • Measure and across chest below armscye. Measure front and back pieces and multiple by two. Compare to chest circumference.

  • For a bust with larger cup sizes, you may also want to measure across back of pattern at shoulders, to compare to your shoulders see how much of a dropped shoulder the pattern will give. Entering upper bust instead of full bust and doing a manual FBA is one option for better shoulder fit, until the pattern is released with an automatic FBA that other Apostrophe patterns have.

If measurements show inconsistency with body measurements, such as not enough ease, or too much ease (keep in mind for the Bunny pattern it is a costume fit, so the ease should be generous in some areas, especially the crotch/girth), you can adjust measurements to customize the fit. Or you can also email the details to or post in the Apostrophe Patterns Facebook group to see if the pattern can be adjusted, if there seems to be an error in how it is drawing.


 ~Cynthia and the Apostrophe Team


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