hoard stash pretty much anything related to sewing. Patterns are no exception. I’ve been through a few different sewing pattern organization systems but I think I’ve finally hit on one that works well for me. It’s systematic, thematic, and allows for both easy perusal as well as easy growth (because, let’s be honest, I’m constantly adding new patterns to my collection). I store all my patterns in storage systems meant for storing comic books – cardboard boxes, tagboard backers, and plastic sleeves – and it works a charm. (This is not my original idea. I know I got the idea from another sewing blogger, but I can’t for the life of me remember who!) My organization system goes deeper than just “boxes”, so I thought I’d share in case it helps or inspires anyone else.
Since I have a lot of patterns, I have them organized into boxes by type of garment since, if I’m looking for a specific pattern or even just some inspiration, it usually starts with “I want to sew a dress today” or “I’m in desperate need of a shirt.” The current box categories I’m using are: Jumpsuits & Dresses (1970-now), Dresses (pre-1970), Separates (pre-1970), Separates (1970’s), Separates (1980-now), Kids, Baby/Toddler & Maternity, Mens & Outerwear, Lingerie/Pajamas/Swimsuits & Accessories & Crafts.
On the upper right hand corner of each pattern, I put a colored dot corresponding to what is inside the pattern. This is helpful when I have multiple categories in a box and particularly helpful for the separates category because often a “separates” pattern contains several different separates in the same envelope. If I’m wanting pants patterns, I can easily just flip through only the patterns that contain pants.
Finally, on the upper left corner of each pattern I have the year the pattern was released. I file the patterns in each box chronologically. I love seeing how fashions change year by year as well as how they stay the same for sweeps of time.
How do you organize your patterns? Do you like my system? Any ideas on how to make it even better?