Sunday, 8 June 2014

Pattern Binder Storage

Like a lot of other sewers I have built up a collection of sewing patterns - car boot sales have been quite good for building the amount I have.
I was starting to struggle to keep track of what I had and have ended up with some duplicates. I tried taking photo's to keep some type of spreadsheet but then got annoyed when I had to turn the computer on every time I wanted to see what I had.
This is the storage I had before
Then I stumbled across The Domestic Diva blog post about pattern storage and decided that it was exactly what I needed.
Here is how I now organise my patterns. I try to do this as soon as I get the pattern.

  • Open the pattern envelope and remove all pieces and instructions sheets. 
  • These then get put into a plain white A4 envelope.
  • I then fold the envelope around the contents and tape shut. 
  • The details of the pattern are written on the plain side of the envelope -include the pattern make and number, type of item (top,trousers,etc) and the sizes included.

envelope taped shut.
Details written on envelope

All of the envelopes then get stored in a box. I use an old paper box that I have covered but you can use anything you like. 
covered paper box
I sort my patterns
  •  firstly by type (top, trousers, etc)
  • then by make (Burda, etc)
  • then by number
  • add tabs for the different types (categories)
You can store them anyway you like and are comfortable with.

All sorted in the box
Tabs to find what I need

The original pattern envelopes are then put into clear plastic wallets - some people open the envelope flat so they can see both sides but I prefer to keep mine sealed. I put a cardboard insert into the plastic wallet to give it a bit of stability, each wallet then holds 2 envelopes - sometime 3 depending on the size.
The plastic wallets are then stored in a 3 ring binder in the same order as the corresponding envelope in the box.
Pattern envelopes in binder

To make it easier to search through my binder I added tabs to match the box on the sides of the plastic wallets and a categories sheet to the front. I also colour coded all the sections in both binder and box.
Categories list
Binder tabs

I can now flick through my own pattern book, decide what i am going to make and go straight to where the pattern in stored.
Choosing a pattern
Where my box is kept.
Binder on shelf

I store my box on the corner of my cutting table for now and just move it to the floor when I need more room. Yes that is another box of patterns waiting to be sorted. The binder sits on the shelf with my other sewing binders

A print out of my PDF patterns are stored in the binder with the patterns being stored on hooks (currently awaiting a place to call home)
PDF print outs
Hope this helps others to organise their patterns.
How do you store your patterns? Leave a comment below.


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