I've only used this method for Iplehouse SID and EID ladies, but it has worked very well.
I use pdf patterns, which are very easy to scale down to the right size when printing them out.
I buy patterns in pdf format from Burda; and from two Russian sites - they both sell the same patterns from Leko, under license.
Patterns from these sources are totally legitimate, and there are no issues about using these for your own personal use; whether for you, or for your dolls!
Pattern sites which sell pdf patterns:
Burda uses a credit card payment system, and you can pay using PayPal on the Russian sites. Burda patterns come in multiple sizes. You must choose the right size from the other sites. You can customize the sizing on the Russian sites, but I don't bother to do this – the standard sizes seem to fit fine.
How it works:
In a nutshell, I reduce the patterns to 35% of original using Euro size 36 for my SID girls (medium breast), and Euro size 38 for my EID ladies (medium breast).
Using the patterns:
None of these patterns include seam allowance, so remember that when you cut them out! I also add a few extra centimetres to the hems, as these ladies have very long legs.
I don't follow the sewing instructions faithfully, as I find written instructions hard to follow, plus I usually try to sew the garment in as simple a manner as possible. I can't really help you here – but if you've sewn before, you'll be okay. I baste the pieces and fit them on the doll first, and adjust the fit where necessary.
The lekala and bootstrapfashion sites have more print options than BurdaStyle, so I'll start with Burda first.
After the patterns are downloaded, save them then open them in Adobe Reader - if they open straight away, they may have opened in a Windows 'viewer' which does not have the print options you need to print the patterns in a reduced size.
I print the patterns out, then trace them on to tissue paper, which I then cut out to use on my fabric.
All these patterns have a 10cm by 10cm scale square printed on them, which should measure 3.5cm by 3.5cm if you have printed them out at the correct scale.
I print out on A4 size paper, but American letter size should work as well.
Before you start printing, make sure that you choose 'Size', then 'Custom scale', and type in '35' into the percentage box.
You could print the whole pattern, scaled to 35%... but you will use a lot of paper. Each page will have a little square in the middle which you will need to cut out, and paste together.
Instead, you can just print out the first page of the pattern, which shows all the pieces 'laid out' on fabric for cutting out. Since the patterns are computer-generated, this is shown to scale! This might take a few pages, but it will be a lot less than printing the entire pattern at 35%!
I have found the layouts are at 1/10th scale so far, but print this page out at 100% or 'Actual size' first and measure the scale square.
You can then print this out to the right scale by enlarging it, e.g.
If the scale square measures 1cm then enlarge by 350%
because 3.5cm / 1cm * 100% = 3.5*100 = 350%
Another example – the square measures 1.7cm x 1.7cm so
3.5/1.7 * 100cm = 206%
Another example – the square measure 0.6cm x 0.6cm so
3.5/0.6 * 100 = 583%
and the same formula when we want to reduce the pattern;
3.5/10 * 100 = 35%
These don't provide a layout page – but instead these sites allow you to choose a print option which would normally be printed on continuous paper. The patterns are fitted on to the paper width you choose. You can then print out the continuous pdf page on A4 or American letter size paper, and then tape the pieces together. Easy-peasy, and it saves paper too!
To get this kind of pdf, choose Print/plotter width in bootstrapfashion.com and wide pdf/printing width in lekala.co
A4 is 21cm wide, so choose 21cm / 0.35 = 60cm paper width (remember the length is continuous so varies with the patterns needing to be fitted on to the page).
American letter is 21.59cm wide, so choose 21.59/0.35 = 61.7cm wide.
Then when you print the pattern out, scale to 35% of the original size - remember to check the scale square – it should measure 3.5cm by 3.5cm!
Using the “Poster” size option if it is available will result in a nice fit to as few pages as possible.
For some reason, the poster option doesn't work with BurdaStyle patterns.
Hopefully, this is enough to get you going... it becomes second nature with a bit of practice!
Based in New Zealand, I've been a collector of ball-jointed dolls since 2011.