Measurements inaccurate after printing

You could draw a fixed size box or lines inside you pieces and measure it, if you want to sure that the printing is OK.


Everything I make is extremely snug. There is little room for error when it comes to measurements. Makes me nervous.

I have found that with the particular pattern making system I used, my attempt to make a bodice for a real person to wear came out with a very snug garment. Then I realized that in my case this was because the instructions were for a fitting bodice. To create a wearable garment, I needed to add “wearing ease”. You can add a fixed amount (in this case 3" was suggested) or you can add a percentage of the dimension. The percentage is good if you want the same pattern to be useful for doll clothing (or a tiny fitting dummy) and also be useful for a full size human.

You need to consider the design you are doing and the fabric or material before you will know how much wearing east to add. If you are working with latex, you may intentionally NOT add wearing ease because material is designed to stretch. For example swimwear made of lycra has what they call “negative ease” because it is intended to stretch to fit over the body.

That issue is really not an issue with the software. The issue of wearing ease will exist if you draft patterns from measurements on a commercial system, by paper & pencil, or with Valentina.

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I actually like @Stinde’s suggestion of placing an internal path of a 2cm square into each pattern piece. Once you have printed, you can quickly measure each 2cm square and check that they are actually that. Then you will know that your settings are correct for your printer.

However, I do suggest that you keep a record of the settings you used to achieve this so you can use them as your standard for every pattern that you print.

However, I’m going to be boring and repeat something that no one wanted to hear before, but keeping your printer clean and maintained, setting the paper guides to feed the paper into it snug against the paper but not too snug, etc. etc. can also help in getting the perfect print outs that you require and this can’t be blamed on the software.

I’ve printed a number of patterns and all of them, bar the first one ever, turned out perfectly. For some reason, the first one, I managed to get it about 10 sizes larger than life :frowning: So yes, there is a bit of trial to getting the settings right, but once you have it, you shouldn’t have any more problems.

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I actually do a separate pattern piece - a box 10X10 cm and print it out just to make sure


pretty sure it has to do with margins. But the way you have it set for one way of saving/printing doesn’t necessarily work for them all. I mean it is easy to get all pieces to print perfectly by cranking the margins but then you end up with half a dozen sheets of paper with just cut grids and nothing else. it’s not at much the pattern pieces themselves that are the wrong measurements. From my earlier experiments it was just that if they don’t print right you don’t have the proper splice/cut guides.

And yeah @kmf with latex there is negative ease as well… for now I am experimenting with just 0 ease and see how that goes.

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If I exported a large photograph of my cat as a tiled PDF, the software couldn’t determine the difference between the wall in the background and my cat. The entire photograph will be printed across multiple tiled sheets regardless of whether any of the sheets contained a cat piece.

The same is true for a large layout image containing all your workpieces. The software can’t determine the difference between the background white space and the workpieces. You THINK it’s empty space, it’s actually part of the image.

Valentina exports images as 96dpi.

Inkscape is 96dpi, so when I import my PDF, SVG, PS, or EPS layout images into Inkscape I don’t have to worry that the image will shrink.

Some PDF readers are by default 90dpi. Investigate the options for your software to make sure your image is imported as 96dpi, otherwise the image will shrink.

the foreground/background discrimination issue @slpencer just mentioned is the reason why I use preview tiled pdf rather than print tiled pdf. I have proven to my satisfaction that the preview function works and creates the correct scale. print would generate all the blank pages. preview allows me to pick and choose. saving to pdf introduces an extra variable and to get a valid sized output you have to set any factors in whatever PDF utility you may later use to print it. So, the options are

  1. have a big printer or plotter
  2. generate the output directly from valentina (preview tiled pdf - print from within)
  3. either validate the specific tool or configuration that you use to print the pdf is scaled correctly or live with faulty scaling. Just know that if you use a separate tool, it is not accurate to blame the scaling problem on valentina

Note 1: Always for any PDF, tiled PDF, SVG, etc: If you print directly from Valentina then print size is always right.

Note 2: If your entire layout image actually fits on a single A4 or Letter sheet, then don’t print it as Tiled PDF. You’ll get an error if you try to divide it into multiple sheets.

Note 3: FOR TILED PDF (printing a large layout image split into Letter- or A4-sized chunks to a printer which uses Letter or A4 paper):
1.) Generate Layout

  • Select 24" roll paper
    Usually Roll paper is best because you don’t have to select the option to join the paper sheets together.
    Usually 24" is best because …<see next section 2 below>.
  • All layout margins can be set to 0 (true only for Tiled PDF) because you DON’T need extra length at the top and the bottom of your image, and you DO need to use the entire 24" width for your image.
    *The Left & Right Margin settings will reduce the 24" width ( for both roll and sheet paper.)
    *The Top & Bottom Margin settings will add a top and a bottom length to your image. (True only for roll paper.)
  • If you have a workpiece which is too big for 24" roll paper then you will get the dreaded “Several workpieces left not arranged, but none of them match for paper” error.
    In this case, try a custom paper size and keep entering widths and lengths until it is big enough to hold all of your workpieces.

2.) File/Layout/Print

  • Select Print as Tiled PDF
  • Select your desktop printer and select the printer Options button to access the printer’s options :wink: Set printer margins to .25".
    8.5" —> left margin 0.25" + 8" + right margin 0.25".
    24" / 8" = 3 —> Exactly three letter size pages per row, this uses your paper efficiently
  • Print, or Preview then Print

Note 4: FOR LARGE FORMAT PRINTING (printing a large layout image to a printer or plotter which uses paper that is BIGGER than A4 or Letter)
1.) Generate Layout

  • Select the ACTUAL PAPER SIZE (roll or sheet) loaded in your printer or plotter.
  • Set the layout margins to be the ACTUAL MARGINS defined in your printer or plotter.

2.) File/Layout/Print

  • Select any option which is NOT Tiled PDF
  • Select your printer or plotter
  • No need to enter printer options to set printer margins
  • Print, or Preview then Print

Heh. I didn’t notice the dates on the messages before creating a new, scalable test square. Ah, well. Here it is anyway, if someone wants to use it. (The diagonal lines help with making sure that everything lines up properly when printing tiles.)

TestSquareD.val (11.3 KB)

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Hmmm… Not sure where to post this, but an option to fill a pattern piece with a diagonal grid would really help with tiled pages. Even a rectangle with a diagonal grid fill that surrounds each piece or the whole layout would work well enough.

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custom layout is what I go with now. Less blank pages that way. Still some, but not as many… and as was mentioned… preview tiled pdf then printing from there has given the most consistent without being a pdf/printer expert


@KeithFromCanada - When the issues list reappears you should enter these as issues.