The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

Do you make muslins?

How do you store your patterns? I live in a tiny flat and organisation is key! Just wondering how you file your patterns away!

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Re: Storage: Each pattern goes into it's own 1-gallon Ziplock bag. Once I'm working on one, the pieces and notions will fit in the bag, as I work on more than one project at a time.  Sometimes I leave notes for ideas in the bag, too, instead of in my process notebooks, where I'll forget to refer to them.  As much as possible in the Ziplocks with the pattern envelope picture facing out.  Then, each Ziplock is stored upright in low-cost, square or rectangular fabric storage bins from Joann's or WalMart.  I purchased four together for uniformity's sake and to use space wisely.  Then, I break them down by large groups: Dresses, Skirts, Wardrobes, Shirts, Historical & Vintage Pre-'80's, Corsets and Undies, etc.  (Those are my categories, yours may differ.  Some people prefer storage by pattern company and numerical storage.) There are pattern boxes with lids and dividers manufactured, but they were more than I wanted to spend, although all things considered, it may work out to the same, cost-wise, to do what I do. I used recycled cardboard to make tall dividers (old cereal boxes work) and labeled them with a Sharpie.  The tops of the gallon plastic Ziplocks are a little tall, so I fold them back over and tuck the top down to keep things neat.  It's a little obsessive, I guess, but fun.  Sometimes works-n-progress will store back the pattern bins, but often, they go into the works-in-progress bin, which is separate.  With the bags, I don't have to worry about folding them to squish them back into the pattern envelopes.  This is *not* archival storage!  This is just work storage.  I don't store acid-free, I use my patterns constantly and I don't live in a museum.  :-)  This is a great question and I look forward to what others have to say.

Hi Kim.  :)

I'm assuming you're asking about non-packaged patterns...  I've taken to folding up my printed patterns (like BurdaStyle) and putting them into a binder that goes on my bookshelf.  I combine all the pattern pieces and the directions in one clear sleeve.  It gets them out of the way for sure. I used to roll them around old wrapping paper rolls but found that I had to go through several layers to get to the one I wanted, and it was a bad hasstle.  So now I fold and store. 

Good idea with the binder.  I have old ones with clear sleeves I could use!

I store them by brand and pattern number on a book shelf, except for vintage patterns that go in closed boxes. Patterns traced from magazines or books or printed from online I fold up and store in labeled 5x7" manila envelopes which work great because they are the same size at the big 4 pattern companies' envelopes. I used to use ziplock bags but I like the look of the brown envelopes better and they aren't floppy.


The patterns on the shelf are easy to sort through because I can see them but I've started making a computer database of all my vintage patterns as an easy reference.

I  make muslins, and often re-use them for more muslins by cutting up the pieces so I don't waste fabric (or space).

This is a great question.  Love reading how others store their patterns. 

I do something similar to what Joann does.  I put my patterns in Ziploc bags, and use the milk crate type storage bins to store them.  I use hanging file folders to separate the patterns.  I do this with my Burda and Ottobre magazines. I write the month and year on the folders.  For the pattern envelopes I fill them the same way as Joann but I use the milk crates.  I like that I can store them one on top of the other.

I love reading how others store their work too! :)

I have a 4 drawer filing cabinet that I bought second hand for about AUD$60 - it was pretty ugly but I painted it a pretty blue and I store all my patterns in that. I can get several patterns deep, 2 side-by-side in each hanging file. Patterns that are cut out go into an A4 envelope or clear slip file.

I file by brand because I use Evernote to catalogue all my patterns, using brand/garment type/season etc as tags for easy searching.

In the bottom drawer I have these clear plastic zip up packets (about A4 in size but 4cm thick) that my net curtains came in, I store WIPs in those along with the pattern, thread, zipper, buttons etc :)

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