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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > My pattern organization technique ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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My pattern organization technique
I love it, but it's so simple it's probably not worth posting.
solveg  Friend of PR
Member since 2/16/12
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thumbsup 6 members like this.
Date: 3/3/13 1:58 PM

When I buy a pattern, I download a PDF of it at the same time. The following instructions are for a mac... but it's a similar thing for PCs, I'm sure.

Kwik Sew has an entire single page pdf of both the front cover of a pattern, as well as the line work and yardage. You have to click control and the "fabric requirements" button and it will download. The other brands you can print the internet page, but instead of printing to your printer, you print to a PDF.

You download these pdfs into a folder on your hard drive called "sewing". In that folder I have subfolders for all the brands, as well as folder categories for all the freebies you come across and for digital downloads.

Now here is where it gets cool.

These PDFs take up very little space. You can take this main sewing folder and duplicate it if you want, and sort out the patterns in an alternate way, say by item type. So instead of McCalls/Vogue/Kwik Sew you might have shirts/pants/skirts. Or maybe you want to sort them by degree of difficulty, or by fabric type. The world is your oyster and you can play all you want. You can easily have these duplicate, separate folders for any way you might want play with your patterns.

But here's best part, on a mac at least: if you select a pdf and hit your space bar key, Preview will open up and you will see a full size image of it. Then, hit your up or down arrows, and you will just scroll down your list of pdfs will only see the picture change on your screen.

So if you want to make a nightgown, you would go to some folder you've already organized, spacebar-click on the first pdf, and then just hit your down arrow to see all the front covers/lineworks/yardage requirements of everything in that folder, one after another. It's a slideshow of your patterns.

If you have patterns which are out of print, you can at least still get the front cover image off by copying it of ebay... the spacebar-click technique works with all images.

As for physical storage of patterns: I trace mine off and put the new pices in a manilla envelope and print out the pdf for it and tape it to the front.

The originals I keep in a standalone bathroom cupboard. The shelves are exactly the same depth as the patterns. But there are a thousand techniques for storing the physical patterns. I just wanted to share the digital aspect.

Oh, and the pdfs can be moved or mailed to your kindle or other e-reader. I don't know about organizing them there, since I always use my laptop for this.
-- Edited on 3/3/13 1:59 PM --

PattyE  Friend of PR
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 3/3/13 11:15 PM

Sounds like you've got yourself a good system.
I just keep my patterns listed in the PR pattern catalog and have them filed in my sewing closet.

wendyrb  Friend of PR
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In reply to solveg <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.

Date: 3/4/13 0:10 AM

Thanks a lot! This sounds really nifty. The only way I'll get it is by doing it. Will have a school break in a few weeks and give it a go. Assuming I can access it on my iPad. While I don't pay for online service, I can browse and select patterns at home first then shop. I think all fabric stores should provide wifi.

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/4/13 7:46 AM

I use the same type of system! Aren't Macs great? The pdf print is so fantastic and when combined with tags or saved searches it is easy to find them.

I love the TV sewing programs and many offer free pdfs and patterns. I organize them in the same way. I am now an avid Evernote user so I can webclip as a pdf while watching the show and pull it up later to transfer into my Mac ext drive for storing.
Same with magazines- love browsing articles and classifieds in print version and using my iTouch or iPad to clip into Evernote as a pdf with the link. It goes into a Notebook named Sewing References.

I am just getting my system started for embroidery file downloads using Evernote on Macs. I can save the file, URL and pdf stitch outs and images. That makes visual searching on a Mac so easy. I also have Stitch Buddy which is a native Mac software program. It is an editor, image viewer and convertor for embroidery file types and lets me create a pdf image of any embroidery design file. I can't rave enough about SB, just so much easier to use and is fuller featured than Embrilliance Essentials. It was disapointing to discover that some of the great EE functions on the Windows version were not built into the Mac version- like no drag and drop or touchpad support. But its a great program if you are into fonts and monograms. SB is more for design editing and being able to save all my design edits as pdf files is handy for future searches.
-- Edited on 3/4/13 7:51 AM --

sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

Lynnelle  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/4/13 7:58 AM

I've digitally organized my patterns like this for years. Instead of downloading a PDF, I save the pattern image to my desktop and arrange from there.

marec  Friend of PR
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 3/4/13 9:05 AM

This sounds very useful. I've been using PR Pattern Catalog for years and also backing it up on Pinterest. Seeing all my choices of patterns on one board or page really helps me. The PR page is super cool because it links to reviews-always a plus!!

my blog:
Sewing through my pattern stash-145

MrsCharisma  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/4/13 9:30 AM

I love being digital too! I use the Sewing Kit app on my iPhone and LOVE it. It's really handy to see a fabric while you're out, and have the patterns right there at your fingertips to check yardage, notions, etc.

Otherwise the actual patterns are filed on two storage bins by category

Singer Talent 3321 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 38.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

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