Patterns - Organizing Them, Etc.

The catch-all forum for sewing questions and discussion.

Patterns - Organizing Them, Etc.

New postby lendube on Thu May 17, 2012 2:30 pm

Okay, Dorothy has inspired me, yes you, Dorothy, to make a skirt. Or maybe make two skirts even for this summer. I have two or three fabrics that would be suitable but I haven't decided on pattern or fabrics just yet. Haven't sewn a garment for quite a while either as a matter of fact. :think:

So, going through my many (but not so many for skirts I've found) patterns I was thinking about reorganizing them. I've got six pattern boxes of the cardboard variety. Four of them are about a hundred years old (okay, more like 30-40 years) and two are much newer, maybe twenty years old. They all work fine. I've also got several patterns (among other odds and ends) in old Coca Cola wooden crates with dividers that stand sideways on a table. Quite a mess, really. I guess maybe I should do some reorganizing soon. Spring clean my sewing room! Yes! That's it!

I will also count my patterns and maybe, just maybe, get rid of some that I know I'll never use again or won't ever use. I have many, many vintage patterns too. I picked them up at a yard sale years ago, a cardboard box full. They're very, very cool and go back many years. :think: What to do with those???

This has become an issue since we're all buying patterns for a buck a piece so tell me, how do you organize your patterns and if you dare, how about counting them just out of curiosity ------------- mine. I'd like to know how many you have. I'll get back to you on my own collection. :shock:

The Man who says it can't be done should not Interrupt the Woman doing it.
User avatar
Posts: 3249
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:52 am
Location: So. Calif. Mtns.

Re: Patterns - Organizing Them, Etc.

New postby temom on Thu May 17, 2012 3:06 pm

Wow, that will be interesting to count. I'll have to get back to you on my count. I have them in many places. I am proud of myself, as last week I put 3 or 4 in the give away pile as they are now too small for dd. The sad think was I had uncut patterns that hadn't been used that she outgrew!
I have a hard time getting rid of patterns, so I'm sure I have a lot!
User avatar
Posts: 1584
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: Southeastern United States

Re: Patterns - Organizing Them, Etc.

New postby pinecone on Thu May 17, 2012 6:47 pm

I have my clothing patterns in an old file cabinet that was used in the county probate office for filing wills. I made dividers like they have in the pattern drawers only have them labelled, "men" "Children" "nightwear" "skirts" et. I also have some from the 1930's and 40's that were my aunt's. I have mine from the mid 1960's. For grins, compare the body measurements of a size 10 now with that of one from long ago. (Mine are upstairs, I'll look later)
I used to work at a fabric store in the early 1970's and when we moved I threw out a 30 gallon trash barrel full!! :shock:

User avatar
Posts: 283
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:52 pm
Location: New England

Re: Patterns - Organizing Them, Etc.

New postby bridesmom on Thu May 17, 2012 10:59 pm

Mine are in the two top drawers of a dresser in the bedroom downstairs beside my sewing room. I keep taking ones out to throw away then put them back. Maybe one day I'll break down and get rid of some. I did pass a handful on to DIL who is learning how to sew, purses and bags and aprons. I know i have duplicates of some, different companies same pattern style so I should get rid of one of the extras. My sewing room is a disaster as I have been cutting out stuff for me and piling it on one of the ironing boards plus I have two quilts on the table to quilt.
Go Canucks!
Asking a quilter to mend something is like asking Picasso to paint your garage
User avatar
2008/2009 Stash Challenge Winner
2008/2009 Stash Challenge Winner
Posts: 4533
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: BC Canada

Re: Patterns - Organizing Them, Etc.

New postby MartySews2 on Fri May 18, 2012 5:20 am

If I ever get a sewing room, then I'll organize my patterns. Many I buy for details but have about 10-15 that I use on a regular basis. I gave a lot of my plus size patterns to friends who sew for the public. I know all of my patterns will fit in a 3 drawer bin but right now, they are scattered throughout the house & attic. Not organized at all.
Marty ;)
Brighten each corner where you are ... smile!
Posts: 4014
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:28 am
Location: Memphis, TN

Re: Patterns - Organizing Them, Etc.

New postby DorothyL on Fri May 18, 2012 7:44 am

Spring clean my sewing room! Yes! That's it!

I procrastinate that way too Lennie.

I have two drawers of patterns in the desk my sewing machines are on. I have another drawer of brand new unused patterns (some of those are decades old too). The drawers are stuffed full so when I need more space for a pattern I throw one away.
I have a big drawer in the dresser otherwise full of interfacing and some scraps that has bag, dog bed, hats that kind of patterns in it.
User avatar
Posts: 2992
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:53 am
Location: New York

Re: Patterns - Organizing Them, Etc.

New postby lendube on Fri May 18, 2012 10:22 am

Well, I counted last night while looking for skirt patterns. The one I wanted to use was a bias skirt and the fabrics I have are not 60" which I'd need. So while looking through them all again I, #1 decided to make a blouse first and #2 found out that I have 164 patterns not counting the vintage of which I might have another 30-40. Whew!! And I have only ever gotten rid of 1 pattern. It was a jacket that I hated trying to make and one in which our very own Kaitlin was interested. So I sent it to her. Wonder if she ever made it???

The Man who says it can't be done should not Interrupt the Woman doing it.
User avatar
Posts: 3249
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:52 am
Location: So. Calif. Mtns.

Re: Patterns - Organizing Them, Etc.

New postby kjh9835 on Fri May 18, 2012 1:16 pm

My patterns consist of scrub tops and jackets, a few skirts/dresses and some kids' patterns. I don't have but 3 totes, all purchased within the last 15 years and some are duplicates for larger sizes. I need to toss the scrub pattens as the ones I use/re-use, I recut out of heavy interfacing for durability. I use these plastic totes from Sterlight as they fit perfectly with an inch or two at the top for "current" projects that I need to put away or for scraps of the fabrics I plan to use for a certain pattern that I also put right on top. Have a tote for each type of pattern or mix/match depending on season, size, etc. I think they are about $5 each. Another idea is to make them from a 1 x 10 board, whatever size you want, they wouldn't need lids and then they would stack. Lowes will even cut the wood for you :)

I made posterboard "envelopes" just by folding/creasing them and taping the sides for the patterns I made from interfacing. They all fit into one but I also made them for the kids' school papers I've kept for years but theirs are color coordinated too :)
When we were crunched for space, they went in-between the mattress/box springs. Then Joe put long hooks into a stud on the wall and I hung them. Now they are all in a big box up in the attic but the sewing patterns are under my table. Larger hanging file storage boxes might also work, they'd hold more but might not be the right width to file them vertically or even horizontally.

I've always wanted a bulletin board covered in a light fabric that old patterns were glued or fused to just for decoration and a "button" frame. One of the projects that will I never get around to.

pattern box 1.jpg
pattern box 1.jpg (5.62 KB) Viewed 1948 times

pattern box 2.jpg
pattern box 2.jpg (5.07 KB) Viewed 1947 times

Posts: 514
Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 8:59 am
Location: Mt Vernon, IN

Re: Patterns - Organizing Them, Etc.

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Fri May 18, 2012 2:11 pm

A couple of years ago, I started sorting my patterns. I got so far as having a stack of plus size girls patterns in a bit rubber band ready for donation, and a sizable stack of womens size patterns in another large rubber band ready for donation, and a box full of smaller kids patterns ready for sorting and banding, but that is as far as I got with that project. It will take me some time to gather them all and give you a count, but I will do it, even though it will shame me a little. But, in the last 20 years, I have only paid full price for 2 patterns, so I don't have a lot of money tied up in them. I use one over and over when I like it. Nobody knows that , anyway. They cannot look at my 10 tees and know they all came from one pattern. They just look at the prints.
Sew With Love
User avatar
LeapFrog Libby
Posts: 2044
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA

Re: Patterns - Organizing Them, Etc.

New postby Mule on Sun May 20, 2012 7:33 pm

I have tons of patterns, as it's very easy to buy them (as opposed to actually making the garment)! I hate to pay full price for them, so every time there's a 99 cent sale I buy every pattern I may possibly want in the future. Because I know otherwise I'll need it when there's no sale.... Or so I tell myself to justify this! :lol:

I do a few things to organize them. I have an Excel spreadsheet with a tab for each pattern company. I listed all pattern numbers purchased for each in numerical order. That helps me see really quickly if I already own a pattern. I did this after I bought a couple twice, having forgotten that I'd already purchased them.

That doesn't help me as far as viewing the patterns, so I use the Pattern Catalog feature on the website to record the ones I own. They can be sorted by last added, pattern company, type, etc. In fact, I probably don't need the spreadsheet but I had already made that first. I also like that it shows me if there are any reviews on my patterns so I can take that into consideration when deciding which one I want to use.

As far as storing the physical patterns themselves, I have clear storage bins that I've labeled into a few different categories. Not a perfect solution, but it works. I'm too lazy to file them numerically or anything like that.
User avatar
Posts: 421
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:35 pm
Location: Idaho


Return to General Sewing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest