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Tips & Techniques > Keep your pattern parts together while sewing

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Posted by: renren

About renren starstarstarstar
Member since: 7/20/05
Reviews: 284 (tips: 9)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 4/6/11 0:54 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 14 people   
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One of my problems with sewing has been a lack of organization. I have read many organizing tips while visiting PR but I have not really implented any of them.

In the last two weeks I have maniacally cut out several patterns--tissues and fabrics--and I have about 4 different piles of these cut-out patterns around the house.

I realized that it was getting to be a difficult problem finding everything I needed, especially because some of these pattern piles were merging!

So I decided that from now on when I cut out a pattern I will make a folder for that pattern. The folder is labled on the outside with the pattern number and in the inside I keep the pattern envelope on the left side along with the guidesheet(s); on the right side I keep the actual pattern pieces that my view calls for.

I'm not sure how useful this one little organizing step will be longterm, but in the current project I just completed, it saved me considerable time tracking down the guidesheets and pattern pieces I needed.

I am hoping to continue developing better organizational skills to help make sewing a more enjoyable experience while I eliminate some of the needless frustration.

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persevering said... (7/22/13 10:11 AM) Reply
Thank you for this tip Renren ... I've been greatly admiring your sewing progress... and this is a useful tip that I plan to apply.
adelaide original said... (5/9/11 11:50 AM) Reply
I also use a dish pan style system to organize my pattern activities. I have a couple of small plastic baskets that I put my projects in. I have a cat who likes to watch everything I do but I have trained him to accept no for an answer so he finds a place to lie down or sit down and keep me company. We spend many happy hours sewing together.
grey ann said... (4/9/11 8:07 PM) Reply
Wow, am i glad I opened this tip. So many good ideas. Cat cloths - fabulous idea. I use the zip-top gallon size bags to keep patterns in. I also keep a journal page for each garment with notes on alterations, techniques, thread and st lengths, etc. that way when I use it again, everything i did or changed is there. I love the idea of the cheapo dishpans to contain everything - great idea.
bbj91942 said... (4/7/11 11:00 AM) Reply
I love the cat cloth tip! So simple, but a useful one. I buy plastic dish pans at the dollar store and use them for projects in progress, sewing and knitting. They are big enough to hold all attributes yet small things cannot fall out. Pattern pieces are rotated to the bottom as they are no longer needed for construction. I repackage the pattern when the project is completed and have safeguarded all the pieces.
Mufffet said... (4/7/11 10:28 AM) Reply
I pile the cut and folded parts and put the pattern and direction on the top, then the next cut pattern, and so forth. Then I drape a precut piece of knit fabric I use as "cat cloths" on top of the pile. My cat invariably sleeps on the pile so the cover has to be there. I have several little cloths about 18" or 24" square that I serge and use for "cat cloths." :) The piles sit on the sewing table and are slowly sewn up over the months after a cutting-out-binge.
abcameo said... (4/7/11 9:49 AM) Reply
I put everything in a large zipper lock plastic bag--the real zip type, not the press bags (I probably wouldn't press it all the way, and things might fall out!) I find this works fine. I have the envelope showing and all the pattern pieces fit in just fine--and you don't have to fold them into tiny sizes.
EleanorSews said... (4/6/11 10:38 PM) Reply
Your idea is quite helpful! Thanks. Had I been doing likewise this past fall/winter, I would not have had to purchase a second Vogue blouse pattern last sale at JoAnns. The sleeve piece was AWOL and no hope of re-appearing.
Winifred said... (4/6/11 6:50 PM) Reply
After seeing "joysews" comment I too have a cat that is sew helpful - eats, shreds, carries round the house in her mouth , paper pattern pieces, instruction sheets, pattern envelopes, tape measures ( trailing behind her) thread etc. Shut her out of the room ? Never !!! x
Winifred said... (4/6/11 6:44 PM) Reply
Thankyou for this - sounds good ! I am the worlds worst, trying to do too much in a short time, being so untidy and ending up in a total frustration with myself ! Perhaps your suggestion may sort me out !
joysew said... (4/6/11 8:27 AM) Reply
Excellent idea-I too am disorganized & usually patterns for me are a one-shot deal because they are lost ,torn,or shredded by the cat before I'm finished!
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