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Tips & Techniques > Pattern storage system

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Posted by: aunt saidee
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About aunt saidee
CA United States
Member since: 9/8/06
Reviews: 1 (tips: 1)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 8/4/07 4:52 AM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 10 people   
My pattern storage system is similar to others I have read about here, but a little different. When I was sewing for other people, I arranged the patterns in my binders by sizes within the types of garments. The advantage of this system for me is twofold: I don't have to try to get all the pattern pieces back in a small envelope and I can preserve the integrity of the pattern envelope. Well, really there are three advantages, because I can go directly to a certain section of a binder to look for a pattern, and even check the guide sheet, without pawing through boxes of patterns.

My pattern system is this: I pull the pattern 'guts' (tissue pattern pieces) and put them in 9X12 envelopes and write the pattern # on each of 3 edges (vertical top, and both horizontal edges). I include the pattern company name, and size or sizes under the number at the vertical top. These envelopes are filed by number in a file cabinet, horizontally. The PATTERN ENVELOPES with their GUIDE SHEETS in them, are put in sheet protectors and filed in binders by type of garment.

When I start a project, both the pattern envelope + guide sheet in the sheet protector and the envelope with the tissue pattern pieces go in my jumbo ziplock project bag, along with the fabric and notions.

The pattern as it comes out of the pattern envelope is my "master pattern" and is never cut, except to cut the pieces apart. I trace the pieces and make my adjustments on exam table paper until I get a pattern that fits me. Then I make another 9X12 envelope labeled with the pattern info plus my name and date for my personal version of that pattern. (I include my name because I still sew for other people sometimes. Mostly my mother.)

I have had rousing debates with my best friend about separating envelope from pattern pieces, to the point that we can no longer discuss the issue, but I LOVE my intact pattern envelopes and keep my mouth shut when she folds and irons her patterns to get them back into their now bulging envelopes!

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SewTwin said... (8/10/07 2:02 AM) Reply
WELL, just when you think you have the better way, someone builds a better mousetrap!I am seriously thinking about your idea, since I have just organized my patterns at least by diff companies.This is a great idea, especially with all the different size pattern envelopes, Big 4-small,ADRI-large,JALIE-huge..Also, when you make a muslin tracing, and I def want that,too..It really gets bulky for that little envelope...Hmmm, thinking, thinking....any other ideas out there??...She sounds like my DH, resisting change..Kudos for the tip, and explanations......
aunt saidee said... (8/5/07 4:57 AM) Reply
It is so wonderful to be able to download pattern fronts and other info: great suggestion. When I am considering a pattern, I often want to look at the guide sheet, which is why I prefer keeping the guide sheet IN the envelope and slipping the envelope into a sheet protector. Sometimes when I look at the guide sheet, I put it right back and say to myself that I just don't have time for THAT right now! (I've also been known to look at guide sheets before buying a pattern...!)
martinanne said... (8/5/07 1:20 AM) Reply
This sounds like an excellent system!
Joey in Katy said... (8/4/07 1:03 PM) Reply
I like this a lot! I've done the 9x12 envelope thing and have taped the pattern envelope to the outside of the envelope (pattern envelope slit open so I could see front and back). My way makes it hard to flip through and search patterns -- because I'm flipping 9x12 envelopes. I really like your two-part approach -- guess I'll be converting this weekend!
ryansmumAria said... (8/4/07 11:57 AM) Reply
This is a great technique and I have my students do this as well. You can download a copy of the pattern picture and line sketch if it is fairly current from the pattern company or just make a copy of the pattern envelope. THIS IS SO MUCH EASIER than going through all your patterns. I would encourage everyone to do this and you will avoid buying similar patterns as you can easily take this binder of pattern copies with you when shopping. It is one of the best systems to keep that "flow" in your design room.
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