I have noticed several camps of sewists out there when it comes to envelope vs. PDF patterns.
There are those who loathe PDF’s because they must print, cut, and tape them together. I sew from a lot of PDF patterns but have never had a problem. It seems that everyone is trimming the edges before taping. The good news? You don’t have to trim! No need. Just overlap them and tape. Trimming is not required. Actually I think it would be more difficult to get the edges to align properly if they were not perfectly trimmed.
Sometimes the matchlines or symbols are not dark enough to see through the paper so I use a window to tape against. Sliding glass doors are the best. At night when there is no light coming in I’ll tape against my shower door which has a light behind it. I’m also lucky enough to have a built-in light box which works well for smaller pieces.
Once taped up I roughly cut the pattern pieces apart, trace them, and put the originals away for safe keeping.
There is also the camp that doesn’t like the overlapping pattern pieces on one sheet like BurdaStyle magazine. Did you know that they tell you where they are located on the sheet? Just use a highlighter or marker around the pieces you need, then trace them onto your tracing paper.
You are tracing your patterns right? Right? I’ve learned from experience never to cut or modify my original pattern pieces except to cut them apart. You never know when you might need to go back and look at the original after you have tried to fit or modify something beyond recognition. Also if you decide to do some selfless sewing you will most likely need a different size.
Are you a taper? Cutter? Tracer?