Friday, September 18, 2009

Organize Your Pattern Stash

Reading through the SewStylish Blog today, I ran across this post from a reader about their idea to organize their patterns. I'm happy that another sewer out there is as crazy as I am. I've scanning my pattern envelopes front and back for the past 2 months. I was so tired of seeing a great fabric in the store and wishing I had my pattern envelope with me for a particular style. Many of my patterns are now out-of-print so I can't even look them up in the store anymore. I decided to invest some serious time reorganizing them. I still have a ton of Vogue patterns to scan but my project is almost complete.

To keep my patterns handy:
  • I scanned the front and back of each envelope and logged each pattern into an Excel spreadsheet as I scanned them. My spreadsheet contains company, pattern #, size(s) of the pattern, brief description, and category (tops, pants, etc.).
  • I stored the scanned images in folders on my computer by company (Vogue, Butterick, etc.).
  • I printed each scanned image and inserted them into a sheet protector and then into a binder. You could just put the envelope original into the sheet protector but I wanted to keep all the pieces together for storage in my sewing room.
  • I organize the pages of the binder by company and then numerical order.
  • I have 2 printed copies of my Excel spreadsheet in the front of my binder: (1) organized in numerical order by company, and (2) organized by category (so I can quickly find a tops pattern when I'm shopping).

This system has worked for me as the binder has a shoulder strap so my hands are free while I shop. I also place swatches of fabric with each pattern when I plan a project. This helps me match up thread and notions in the store quickly.

Pictures of my "shopping" binder:

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