How I store things is a neverending story for me (even with furniture). As a kid I would move the furniture around in my room biannually because I needed a ‘fresh’ start. Crazy I know, but I still have that urge now. Were it not for my boyfriend and my stepdaughter I would still do that 😀

Ever since I delved into the sewing world I became obsessed with how all the sewers out there store their patterns. Add to that my neverending (and lifelong) strive to make everything organized and orderly, I think I watched all the videos and blogs out there to find the perfect way to store all my patterns.

Bianca from Vintageontap stores them in a nice IKEA box with folders (amazing idea, check out her video here). Some store the pattern envelopes in a binder and keep the actual patterns in envelopes inside boxes. Jessica Lorraine keeps them in a filing cabinet in plastic envelopes (check out her video here). Abi from The Crafty Pinup keeps all the patterns in a lovely turquoise IKEA trolley (I have the same one, yay!). When I picked up sewing again this is actually how I started storing my patterns (check out Abi’s video here).

Alas, all these methods really did not work for pdf-patterns which I like way more than paper patterns. So I bought small yellow envelopes to store my pdf-patterns in. But as you might have guessed, some patterns have a lot of pieces and, printed on normal paper, the envelopes were too crammed. Moreover, my paper patterns were always dented, unproperly folded, the tracing paper did not fit back into the envelope, etc. I needed more space and stability overall for my sewing patterns.

After I watched a video by Athina Kakou on how she stores her pdf-patterns, it clicked for me. She stores the original copyshop printed pdf-pattern rolled up (not something I wanted to do, because of space issues) and the traced pieces as well as the instructions in envelopes. She glued a plastic envelope onto the paper envelope with the pattern picture and sizing information on it (check out her video here). Athina (at least in her video at that time) was not sure, if she would store the paper patterns the same way since it meant destroying the original pattern envelope. I thought ‘to hell with it’ and also cut up my paper pattern envelopes. I chose to store my patterns like this because a) it looks neat b) it has enough space for pattern pieces and instructions c) the sizing information is clearly visible without having to turn the pattern around and d) I have all the patterns in one place.

Here is how it all turned out.

What you need is a cutting mat, a knife, a suitable envelope and a pattern (of course)

Cut off the top of the envelope. Don’t worry the number will still be visible on the sizing information.
This is how it should look to fit into a plastic envelope
If there is no space under the yardage information glue the sizing info in into the black space between the ‘back and front’ page
Glue the plastic envelope onto the paper envelope and insert the pattern information. Finally put all the pattern pieces and the instructions into the envelope – you’re done!
This it how it looks for other pattern companies and for a pdf-pattern

Generally I store my patterns alphabetically (Company) and then numerically (e.g. B4587, B8797, Closetcase Patterns Ginger Jeans). I stash my patterns in the trolley just as Abi from The Crafty Pinup does, because I can freely move the thing around. Whenever I work on a project I hang the pattern information up on my wall behind the sewing table (this is new, but it feels really motivating).

Let me know how you store your patterns and maybe make me change my mind (again) how to perfectly store my patterns 😉

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