Storing My Patterns

When I first started wanting to sew clothes, I did what most normal people do and I went out and bought some patterns. My problem? I could not make heads or tails out of them. Sure, they explained things in a well written paragraph. I'm more of a "hands-on learner" though, so unless it had pictures, it was all gibberish to me. It also didn't help that when I would sew the thing up and get it to look roughly how it was supposed to, the garment always turned out 20 sizes too big. I bagged using patterns and would just wing it. Sometimes an item would take me forever to figure out, but it would at least turn out and fit my child. 
For years it went like this. Now, my BIG sewing dream is to be able to make nice jeans for me. My legs are ridiculously long and finding jeans to fit them......yeah. Sorry short girls, you can complain all you want about having to hem your jeans. I would gladly trade you any day! I could not for the life of me figure out a pattern and how to put them together though. Then one day I happened upon Peek-a-boo Patterns ShopSkinny Jeans Pattern and after a little debating with myself, decided to take the chance and buy it. 
OH MY GOODNESS! Step by step instructions! Being able to print out and use more durable paper! And the finished product actually FIT my child! YES! That was all it took and I was on my way down the PDF patterns road, never to turn back again. I have to admit, I went a little crazy and bought almost 80 patterns with-in a month. WOW. 
I really needed a storage system and one that my kids couldn't easily destroy or mix the pattern pieces up. I chose to buy binders and plastic sleeves.
(Don't you just love my childrens artwork on the fronts of some??)

One of the big white ones holds Dress patterns (I have that many) and the other one holds all of my shirts, pants, shorts, skirts, leggings, etc. I separate each category with tabs:

 For the smaller ones, one is my Japanese book patterns. 
I have the "master patterns" in one sleeve, then each pattern in their own sleeve.

Then one each for each season of Ottobre. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. And after my son ripped off the cover to one issue, I decided to put them in a sleeve too.

Now for the nitty-gritty. I print off a "Master pattern" and then trace out the size I need and tape that together. Here's my master plan and pattern pieces ready to go into a sleeve.

I always put the master pattern in the front and the pattern pieces that I've cut out in the back. And because I'm more of a "visual" person, I added pictures of each pattern, so that way I know what the pattern looks like. They are also alphabetized, cause I'm weird like that. lol
(And in case you are wondering the pattern in the picture is the Little Geranium Dress by Made By Rae.)

Both the Itty Bitty Baby Dress and Little Geranium dress by Made By Rae, and are a free download. :D

And here's how I label my pattern pieces:

So that's how I store my patterns. What about you? 


  1. That is a really great idea! I am taller too and between the length of my lengths and lovely roundness of my behind, jean shopping gets really tricky. Thanks for sharing!

  2. so organized! my patterns never fold up tight enough for the sleeves - or maybe I am just bad at folding... Yours looks so tidy though! I do homemade folders and put masters and traced in there and line them up on my shelf

  3. It's like you read my mind! Organizing my patterns is on my short list of things to do. I kind of currently have two systems. The ones that aren't digital are organized in a file cabinet by type. The digital ones that I've printed are in expandable files, which are okay but I like your binder idea better! Thanks for showing us your way! :)


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