Friday, April 22, 2011

Sewing Room Make Over: The Patterns

The first thing that I realized I needed to organize was my patterns.  My stash keeps inexplicably & spontaneously growing. And as I sew through my patterns, I realize that they end up bigger than they were originally. Especially since I prefer to make tracings, rather than cut the originals.

This thread on Pattern Review has tons of ideas & tips for storing & organizing your patterns.  I decided to implement this system.  But I keep my pattern pieces (and tracings) in 9x12" manila envelopes, and my pattern envelopes & instructions in a 3 ring binder.

My favorite thing about this system is that I can easily flip through my pattern stash. If I want to make a dress, I just open up my binder, turn to the pertinent section & shop away.  It's easy enough to slide the pattern envelope out to see what I need for notions & yardage.

I had a small quantity of the supplies that I needed already on hand. So before I fully implemented this plan, I used what I had as a practice run.  Here's what I used:

3 ring binder
9x12" manila envelopes
Sheet Protectors

After I was sure this would work for me, I went ahead & invested in larger binder(s) from Costco, as well as a couple more packages of manila envelopes.

I separated my pattern tissue & placed it in a labeled manila envelope. If it was pattern that I've used, I put my tracings in there, too. Also, if I made any alterations or construction notes, I slipped that page in there as well. I keep these in a space separate from my sewing space...I happened to have this box on hand.

The pattern instructions themselves stay with the pattern envelope. I decided to do it that way in case I wanted to look over the instructions real quick to see how involved the pattern is.

Then the pattern envelope (with instructions) is placed in it's own sheet protector within the binder. Easy Peasy.The only thing that I dislike about my binder is that there is so much extra room within each sheet protector.  It's a small thing, but I wish they fit more snugly rather than sliding around while I'm flipping through.

So there you have it. My new & improved pattern organizational system. How do you keep your patterns from taking over your house?


  1. Yes, I like your system too!

    I really like how you have all the pattern envelope pics is one central location.

    I may try it this weekend because right now I have at least three pattern envelopes and materials sitting on my sewing room floor eating up space!

  2. That's genius! My pattern stash has been growing as well but I never thought of using a binder.


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