Organizing Patterns

Thank you all for the birthday wishes!

Over the last four years, my pattern stash had become a bit unwieldy for my taste. I had bunches of patterns crammed into those narrow paste board boxes, out of sight, out of mind, as I was beginning to forget what I had packed away.

A few weeks ago, I ran across this helpful tip on Pattern Review: Organizing Your Pattern Stash. The author of the tip, KarmenG, suggested something that made me gasp: separate my patterns and instruction from the envelope!

You see, I’m the kind of person who likes to keep everything together. When I was little, I wouldn’t let my cousins put the wrong clothes on the wrong Barbies. Magic Curl Barbie’s dress could not be put on Great Shape Barbie. That was the way I ran things.

So the thought of separating my patterns from the envelope was a bit disconcerting to me. But my pattern stash was a mess and unnavigable. So I thought I’d give it a try.

First, I bought a pack of page protectors and placed each pattern envelope in a sleeve. (Another tip: I ironed some of my “out of shape” envelopes to flatten them before I placed them in the page protectors.) Second, I sorted each envelope by garment and placed them in a 3-inch binder. I divided my binder into the following categories: Tops, Skirts/Pants, Dresses, Combos/Wardrobe, Jackets/Coats, Costumes, Accessories, and Crafts.


For my actual patterns, I bought gallon-sized Hefty storage bags, hanging folders, and two large crates. I placed each pattern in a storage bag with the instruction sheet facing out so I can clearly identify the pattern number and company. I then filed them in my hanging folders numerically, and placed them in the crates.

The beauty of this system is that I can now conveniently browse through my pattern collection and locate the pattern I wish to use when I am ready.

Here are all of my patterns stacked in the corner, easily accessible.

I’m still working on the Burda WOF jacket. We’ve had snow again! so I get an extra day to work on some sewing. Yay!

Be blessed,

6 thoughts on “Organizing Patterns

  1. Oooh… I like this! Although I don’t think I’m quite ready to separate my envelopes and patterns. Maybe I’ll just scan a copy of the envelope to put in page protectors. Baby steps! LOL

  2. Oh, Magic Curl Barbie! Is that the one with those little activator packs? Made her fro turn into a jheri curl? I had one of those.

    I L-O-V-E your pattern organization system. I’m in the process of organizing my crochet patterns and my yarns. My sewing patterns could use some help too. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. Isn't it great! I organize my patterns this way also & I love it. I have such a large stash of patterns that it took me awhile but now as I buy new ones it's easy to just store them like this.

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