Hey sewists!  Today I’d like to share my system of pattern storage.  It’s super simple and allows me find patterns quickly.  It is also very economical.  You will need:
NOTE:  As always, never buy storage items until you know how much you are going to store!  Wait until you weed through the pack.  Never, never, never! I know-I’m bossy.  Trust!

  • IKEA magazine files-these are the super-economical ones that you buy flat and assemble.
  • Something to make labels on and to write with.  I printed mine on regular printer paper, but you could write them on any paper or label.  Get creative!  Make them pretty.
  • Generic zip-top gallon storage bags.  Get the flat kind as opposed to the ‘boxy’ bottoms and without the little zipper pull.  These are bulky and get in the way.  The bags help the patterns slip in and out of the file boxes and are bigger than most pattern envelopes, so you don’t have to refold so accurately.  I gave up trying to get the patterns back in those tiny envelopes years ago!
  1.  Sort and purge  As with all the rest of my possessions, I’ve gone through my patterns and ruthlessly weeded out the excess.  I had gazillions of patterns, folks.  Now I just have tons.  This was terrifying and liberating at the same time.  I gave away many to students and the rest to charity.  If you have the time, you could sell them online.  I have bought plenty that way.  I just didn’t want to take the time to do this.
  2. Categorize  Next I categorized them in ways that are meaningful to me, so I can find things quickly.  Put your patterns in in piles by category.  The categories will change as you sort.  Let it happen!  I have 15 file boxes:

Bags, Hats & Scarves
Blouses & shirts
Dresses-formal….and so on.

  1. Count your piles.  Each box will hold about 10 patterns.  Sub categorize, if necessary.
  2. Now you may buy your supplies.
  3. Bag up your patterns, load your boxes and label.  Place on shelf and admire!  YOU ROCK.

Now go sew something fabulous, you’ve earned it!  Next time we’ll talk about storing your fave tutorials and magazine clippings in a meaningful way.  You can also see the latest class listings  here.
Until next time–
Move around, eat something green and take a stitch!
Xoxo Helen