Home Sewing 101Sewing Tips and TricksOrganizational Tips and Tricks Organizing Patterns, An Occasional Must-Do

Is your sewing room a little disorganized?  Is that an understatement?  Do you have patterns stashed here and there?  It seems every quilter ends up with a load of patterns that they just haven’t gotten to yet.  How do you store those?  Let’s talk about pattern organization.

Diamonds Binders Are a Girl’s Best Friend

Binders are your friends.  Maybe not your best friend (that’s your sewing machine, right?) but still, binders are in your friend group.  Buy some binders and use those sweet little inventions to store patterns!! Binders can be easily stacked in a corner or aligned nice and neat on a bookshelf.  Buy clear 3-ring page protectors to go inside each binder.  You can easily slide any pattern right into the protector.

This picture is from Rake & Make Blog. This blogger loves to organize and her pattern organization is on point! Read more here to learn her storage secrets.

Magazines – Ugh! They’re everywhere!

Are you storing a ton of pattern magazines and don’t even remember why?  Magazines take up a lot of room.  A great option is to thumb through each magazine and tear out any patterns that you would like to make one day.  Take the pages you have saved and slide them into those page protectors. Throw the rest of the magazine away.

Patterns Saved on Your Computer?

Do you have a lot of bookmarked patterns saved on your computer?  Or perhaps you’re following a sew-along but don’t have time to make the blocks each week?  Go ahead and print those pdf’s.  Then, you guessed it, slide them into those page protectors.

Don’t Forget to Label Everything!

You could label your binders by source (online patterns, purchased patterns, etc), by designer (MSQC patterns, Moda patterns, etc) or by purpose (Christmas patterns, baby patterns, etc).  Pick whichever method makes the most sense for you. Set yourself up to easily find what you know, that one day, you will be looking for. These labels found here are perfect for this and they are super cute!

These bolt labels from Missouri Star work great on binders too!
They come in a variety of sizes and are just pretty darn cute.

Don’t Freak Out… but the Trash Can is Your Friend!

If you saved a pattern years ago and it no longer appeals to you, pitch it into the trash.  It is okay to throw things away!  When your sewing room is less cluttered, you’ll be happy you did.  Besides, it’s not like there aren’t hundreds more patterns out there waiting to take it’s place on your shelf. 

Decluttering Makes Room for Creativity!

Taking a few minutes (or hours) to tidy up your sewing room and organize your patterns will clear room for the creativity in your head to take over.  Watch out world, you are inspired and ready to sew again!

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Patty S.
Patty S.
9 months ago

Great info!

Carol P
Carol P
8 months ago

Very good information. I love organizing tips & shortcut ideas to make things easier.

8 months ago

How about if we recycle the patterns and magazines and not pitch them in the trash? 😉

8 months ago

I am a sewing enthusiast (clothes mostly). I scanned all my pattern fronts and stored them on my computer by brand and number and what the pattern contains, i.e. S4567 Shirt Top Skirt Vest [not a real example] would be Simplicity 4567 and has patterns included for a shirt, top, skirt and vest. That way, if I wish to make a shirt, I can search my pattern folder for “shirt”, and all the patterns that have shirts will come up. I store my patterns in boxes, in alpha-numerical order.

6 months ago
Reply to  Sherree

Great if your computer doesn’t crash when you need your pattern.

8 months ago

Decades ago I purchased a metal pattern cabinet when our local fabric store went out of business. It wasn’t that expensive and I find it’s the best way to store my many patterns. The top two drawers are full of patterns from the1950s to the present, sectioned off according to the type of pattern. The other two drawers hold extra supplies. I use the top space to wrap gifts/packages. It’s in the basement awaiting a space in my future sewing room.

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