Today I am so excited to show you how to upload your PDF sewing pattern into Cricut Design Space. I am here to show you it’s a very easy process. I’ll also cover what to do if your pattern pieces are already cut on paper! Are you ready?
Now if you’ve been sewing for quite some time, you may be thinking; why bother with uploading a PDF sewing pattern into Cricut Design Space when I can quickly slap my fabric on the cutting table and use pattern weights to steady my pattern pieces then get right into cutting each pattern piece with my trusted fabric scissors!
Well, I hope to help by sharing some of the advantages I’ve found by using my Cricut Maker to cut the fabric out before I share my easy tutorial. I’ve also prepared a video for uploading PDF patterns into Design Space for those who love to learn visually like me!
Why Cut Fabric with a Cricut Maker
- Doll clothes: Most are small pieces so there is no issue fitting them on the fabric mats. All pattern pieces need to fit on either a 12 X 12″ mat (for fabric sized no larger than 11.5 X 11.5″) or a 12 X 24″ mat (for fabric sized no larger than 11.5 X 23.5″ mat). Ok, fun fact: I can lay my fabric on the cutting mat, press load, and go on the Cricut Maker, walkout to the kitchen, grab my large water bottle, fill it with ice and water, take a few sips. Walk over to my cat and dog in the family room, pet the cat and dog, then back into my craft room and walla! My fabric is done cutting 🙌
- Intricate pattern pieces: You know the ones! The ones you dread cutting. Example: Cutting out delicate expensive fabric for a “perfectly” sized pattern for a brassiere. And since I mentioned Brassiere’s here is a lovely free pattern I found for you! FREE Bra Pattern:
- Precision type pattern or pieces: It is truly amazing if you take a detailed pattern piece full of curves and a few important notches. Cut one out by hand and the other one cut by the Cricut Maker. When precision counts, you can absolutely with no question count on the Cricut Maker to cut it out precisely! Example: This cute doll pattern can be found here shown below. Too cute!
- Slippery fabric that may shift or move around when trying to cut with a pattern by hand. Fabric such as Viscose/Rayon.
- Multiple pieces of the same pattern piece. Think, quilt pieces, hand warmers for 100 people, fabric flower petals for gift wrap, etc.
- Anytime Arthritis or Carpal Tunnel becomes an issue and affects the ability to use scissors or rotary cutters.
- It enables you to quickly and easily re-size or alter pattern pieces.
- I also want to add, it may just be one or two collar pieces or special pockets from say a dress pattern and you plan on cutting the rest by hand.
- I also have used it for cutting “bias strips”.
I hope these ideas or suggestions give you inspiration for how you may want to use the Cricut Maker to cut your next project out!
Now let’s get to the tutorial before I ramble on about sewing!
OK, well one more thing! If you love to make doll clothes, how about making a doll outfit out of a high polyester content so you can use Infusible Ink on your doll outfits as I did here!
How to Upload PDF Sewing Patterns into Cricut Design Space
These instructions are for Desktop or Laptop Computers using the desktop version of Cricut Design Space.
Instructions for uploading sewing patterns using an iPad can be found here.
Instructions for uploading a PDF Sewing Pattern using the Print then Cut Option can be found here.
Now this may seem like a lot of steps in this tutorial format but I promise you it’s very easy. I might even suggest watching the video so you can see just how easy it is!
You will be taking a screenshot of each pattern piece with the “test size square or lines”.
Windows Screen Shot Short-Cut
Snip it tool: Press the Windows Key+Shift+S
(In my video below I share how to add the snip it tool to your lower task bar and how to find it via your search feature instead of the shortcut)
Apple/MAC Screen Shot Short-Cut
- Open your PDF file and choose “more tools” then “fit one full page”. If you don’t have or use Adobe Acrobat Reader to view your PDF files, you can use the % symbol to size down the pages to fit a pattern piece onto each page. I have found that 75% usually works well with most patterns.
I am using the same skirt pattern I used in the video but will only show 1 pattern piece in this tutorial.
2. Line up the first page so the pattern piece and the “test size square or line” is showing.
3. Take a screenshot. Save the screenshot in png format or jpeg. I love to save mine on my “desktop” on my computer so I can just drag and drop the image into the “Upload Image” section down below in Step 6.
4. On your Cricut Design Space Canvas choose “Upload”
5. Choose “Upload Image”
6. Now you have the option to “drag or drop” (my favorite way) or choose “browse” to find where you saved your screenshot.
7. Select “Complex”
8. Your screen will look like this below. You want to remove the white background from your image. So you will only be left with the 1″ square white box and your skirt white pattern piece. But the rest of the white (background) we want to get rid of. To do this use the “select and erase” feature. Choose the wand icon and then click anywhere on the white background area of the image (anywhere BUT the square and pattern piece)
9. After using the “Select and Erase” feature your screen should look like this below. The cute checkerboard pattern means you “erased” the background and you are only left with the pattern piece and 1″ square. This is what we want.
Then choose “Continue” in the lower right-hand corner.
10. Click on the side of “Save as Cut Image” and then “save”
Just to note: Yes you can save it as a “Print then Cut” but then before you cut it you need to remember to change your “fill” option to “no fill”. Honestly, I keep my PDF file open and if I need to reference where to place a marking I will. But this is my preference to simply “save as a cut image” I rarely mark my patterns but your case may be different 😊
In my video, I show how to add text and lines to your patterns with Cricut’s washable pen if needed. That is how I mark when I do 👌 So please, if you need clarification please watch the video or leave a comment so I may help further.
11. Now you will see your saved “cut” image. Click on your pattern image and then select “insert image”.
12. Now our image is in Design Space on our Canvas. The next step is to make that 1″ square the same size as a 1″ square as it comes in a little bit bigger than 1 “. You do this by using the double arrow size button and moving it in or out until that square is exactly matching Cricut’s 1” square canvas grid.
Again, I provide more tips and tricks in the video if you are interested. 😊
13. Now that your square is a perfect size, this means your pattern size is also true to the size the pattern maker wanted it to be.
Now we want to “contour” the square out of our image as we don’t want to cut the square, we only want to cut the pattern piece.
Choose contour in the lower right-hand corner.
I like to click on the square on the right…..but either square clicked on will yield the same result. (on more complex contour projects I will click usually on the left side).
This is what you would now see on your canvas. Your pattern piece minus the 1″ square.
From here you can follow the same procedure to add each remaining piece of your pattern.
I do mention tricks like uploading all your pattern pieces in, then grouping them and attaching them then you only have to size once.
I also show in the video these tips and more:
- How to mirror a pattern piece
- How to adapt a pattern piece to “place on fold”
- How to write with Cricut’s washable Pen
- How to write a line on your pattern piece by using a scoreline
- How to size the pattern piece down by 1/4″ such as when cutting interfacing for a pattern piece (even an odd-shaped pattern piece)
- I also cover uploading a physical PDF and cutting a 1″ square and scanning the pattern pieces to your computer.
VIDEO: How to Upload PDF Sewing Patterns into Design Space
How to Scan and Upload an already Printed PDF Pattern
So let me briefly explain how to upload pattern pieces into your computer so you can then upload them to Cricut Design Space if needed.
- You will be cutting the pieces just outside the outside line of each pattern piece. You have to have this outside line of the pattern piece in order for this process to work.
- Lay one pattern piece face down on a scanner along with a 1″ perfectly sized square piece of paper cut out and placed next to the pattern piece as shown below:
3. My Printer/Scanner currently is a Brother MFC-J650DW. I’ve had it for years. But most scanner options are the same or similar and pretty much easy to use.
Basically, once you’ve placed your pattern piece and square on the scanner bed and closed the lid, you will choose an option such as scan to file or image.
While in-progress your scanner may show a message like this:
Then you may see a message like this on your computer:
If you choose the image option it should save as a JPEG. If you choose the file option, it should save as a PDF.
But it may save differently dependent on your computer’s default settings or a setting you may have changed in the past.
My best suggestion is to pick one and see how it does.
If I choose to scan to image, my computer is set to Adobe Illustrator since I use it all the time, I have it set as my default image program.
Yours may be set to something more simple like a photo library where you store your images.
Remember, if it saves to a PDF file, you will have one more step as a PDF file is not supported for upload to Cricut Design Space.
All this means is you would need to get a screenshot just as we did further up this tutorial before you could upload it into Design Space.
And that’s it!
Wow, that is a lot of helpful information! It literally takes me long multiple hours to prepare a video and blog post of this nature. So much so that I may have forgotten to share a tip you may be wondering about.
Please always feel free to ask any questions or even leave a helpful tip I may have forgotten or did not think to include in this post!
Let’s all help each other and “create with love”.
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I look forward to all your comments!♥!