Saturday, January 14, 2023

Organizing my Sewing Patterns


The more I make my own patterns, either from drafting, draping, or sizing up originals from period magazines, the more I realized I needed a good way to store them. I used to put my patterns in big manila envelopes, but they often got jumbled or lost, and I wanted some way to keep them all together in one place where they'd be easy to find.

My new plan was to use heavy-duty 5-inch binders, and keep the pattern pieces in their own clear sleeve protector. The problem with that is that sleeve protectors are usually open at the top to let you slide pages in and out easily, and I wanted to keep everything secure. Then I discovered that they make binder pockets with zippers! 

Neither the 5-inch binders nor the zippered pockets were cheap, so I decided to start with one binder and see how well my plan worked before ordering more.

5-inch binder, Office Depot, $35
Zip storage sheet protector, Staples, $9 for a pack of 10 pages

Since I have so many self-drafted patterns from books or original magazines, I made a fancy cover page for all of them so I could see all the info about the pattern at a glance.

The pattern pieces went into the zipper pocket, and the cover page went on top so I
could see all the info.

My original plan had been to make a separate binder for each garment type - corsets, petticoats, bodices, etc. But after the expense of just purchasing enough supplies for one binder, I decided to just keep everything in one and expand as needed.

It worked great! I went ahead and put in the rest of my patterns.

For printed e-patterns, they went into a pocket with their instructions and their original cover image.

The e-patterns definitely take up the majority of the room in the binder, as there are unused pieces from views I didn't use, or sizes I don't need. They're pretty chonky.

After a while, they ate up all the space in the first binder, so they eventually got their own. 

I'm really pleased with how these all turned out, and I'm glad I have my original patterns organized and ready to find. It definitely beats the system I had before, which was to throw it into an envelope and hope I don't lose track of it!

Zip pocket sheet protectors:

5-inch binder:

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