Friday, November 19, 2010

Organizing patterns: a sane way to navigate through 300+ mostly vintage patterns

This night as my small one kept me awake I as always was googling some some sewing content on my iPhone, at some point I came across the Gigi Sews Blog and her great entries on organizing he sewing studio.

One post, however, was particularly interesting for me, as I was a (vintage) pattern fanatic. Over the past three years, since I have arrived to the US, I have collected literally four large boxes full of patterns. I am going to let go half of the stash, but what do I do with the other half. While I am quite confident with patternmaking and draping, it hurts not to keep a great vintage or designer pattern. But seeing them cramped in boxes, with some pattern pieces loose... I could not bear it any longer.

Just yesterday I was thinking of how to get this situation under control. So, here is the link to the original blog post.

Basically, she suggests the following:

1. Remove the contents of the pattern envelope and place them into a 9x12  manila envelope, indicating the pattern company and a number on it. (Envelopes are organized by pattern company and then numerically)
2. Place the original pattern envelope into a sheet protector and place them into a 4" binder. (pattern envelopes are organized by garment type)

Materials needed for this organizing project:
9x12 manila envelopes
sheet protectors
4" binders

Costs, I guess it's not cheap. But read my update.

Clutter reduced: No! You will need more space (because of the binders)

So, what are the advantages of this system?

  1. Well, it does look very tidy and organized!
  2. It is much easier to browse through patterns, without the need to unpack the whole bix of patterns. Just grab a binder with dresses and search for your favorite one while sipping tea in bed.
  3. You can store all kind of related stuff in manila envelopes  (fabric swatches, copies of patterns, etc etc)
It's a great system! Thank you Gigi!

If I had less space I would have used iPhone app only. I will post a review in  my next post. Now, I am off to Staples to buy the materials for my new pattern collection.


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