There are a ton of sewing patterns, and there are always new patterns coming out. But, what do you do with all those patterns you have, today’s post is about how to store your sewing patterns.
Before I talk about how to store sewing patterns. First I’m going to talk a little about sewing patterns.
You can get PDF sewing patterns and paper patterns. And there are all kinds of wonderful sewing patterns out there for you to use.
There’s clothing patterns for both people and dolls ( I love the patterns for the 18 inch dolls). There’s also quilt patterns, bag patterns, decor patterns, and so much more. I mean there are so many things you can make with sewing patterns, I can’t think of them all just off the top of my head.
You can buy the sewing patterns or you can also get a free pattern. A lot of sewing bloggers create free sewing patterns you can get on their blogs. Free patterns are always usually PDF patterns.
Sewing patterns can be easy with few pieces, or complicated with a bunch of pattern pieces. Some patterns seem like they have a million pieces when they only have about 20, while some only have about two pieces.
But, no matter what skill level of pattern you get patterns are great to create a unique outfit.
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What’s better PDF or paper patterns?
It depends on your personal preference. Digital patterns are great because you can get them instantly and print them out right then.
But, if you don’t have a printer you’d have to find a copy shop or an office store. So, the PDF format may not be the best way for you to go.
A lot of the time I like the paper patterns. I like to look though the patterns at the fabric store. Fabric store will have a big book of their patterns and you’ll find the pattern you’re looking for by it’s pattern number.
Sometimes the envelope system for finding a pattern can be confusing. But, at a fabric store you can always get help find the sewing pattern you’re looking for.
And I especially the vintage patterns. There are reproductions of vintage patterns or you can get the actual vintage paper pattern. I have a couple of vintage patterns from the 60s and 70s, with the original envelope.
Sometimes people will take the vintage patterns and digitalize them. I know on Etsy you can find vintage patterns that are PDFs, and you can get vintage pattern PDF bundles.
But, both types of sewing patterns are great, and they both have pluses to using them.
How to store your digital patterns
First, I’m going to tell you how I store my digital pattern files. What do you do with the PDF files after or even before you print out the pattern. Even if you’ve already printed the pattern out, you may need to print the pattern pieces out again, because the next time you may need another of the patterns different sizes.
Well, first you’ll download the sewing pattern file to your computer. And after you’ve downloaded the file you need to organize it, so you can find it quickly and easily.
What I like do is store my downloaded pattern files in different folders on my computer. For example I have all of my patterns for 18 inch doll clothes in a folder called AG sewing patterns.
I like to separate my patterns by the type of pattern. Like, I’ll put my clothes patterns in one folder and my quilt patterns in another. And you’d separate your adult sewing patterns and baby or kids sewing patterns.
You can also store your digital patterns on a thumb drive. That’s great for moving the patterns to a different computer or if you are running out of storage on your computer. Then you don’t have to worry about your computer crashing and losing all your sewing patterns.
I’ve also heard that you can upload and save your sewing pattern files on Google Drive or DropBox. But, I’ve never used anything like that to save and backup my sewing patterns, so I really don’t know how those work.
You could also save your patterns on a mobile device like your tablet if you don’t have a computer. But, I wouldn’t save them on my phone, because phones are easily lost or broken and then all your patterns would be gone.
Storing your printed patterns
Now I’ll tell you some of my favorite pattern storage ideas. Because having your sewing patterns all organized and neat can save space in your sewing room or sewing space, and save time.
And storing your sewing patterns will help you to keep all the pieces of a sewing pattern together. And keep the sewing patterns from tearing, because paper is very easily tore, no matter if it’s printer paper or sewing pattern paper.
And a lot of these things can be found at a office supply store.
This is what I use to store my printed out PDF patterns, but you could also store your paper patterns in them. Here is a pack of ring binders I found on Amazon.
You’re probably wondering how I store my patterns in a ring binder. I use sheet protectors for my printed patterns. I just slide the pattern instructions and pattern pieces in the sheet protectors and then put the clear plastic envelopes in the ring binder.
In the ring binder I organize my patterns alphabetically. You can also use different binders to organize the patterns by garment type, and that makes it easier to find the specific pattern you’re looking for.
With ring binders you can slide a piece of paper with the types of patterns in the binder on the binders spine, or you can use a label maker. Then you can organize the binders on a bookshelf or table.
Magazine File Holder
A magazine holder is also one of the great things to store your sewing patterns. Here are some really cute ones I found.
These would be great for both types of patterns, printed PDFs and store-bought patterns. To store the printed patterns, I would place the pattern in a manila envelope. And write the pattern name on the front of the envelope.
Magazine holders can be made from wood, metal, plastic or cardboard. They also come in different colors and designs.
Comic Book Storage
Comic book storage boxes are also a great idea for storing your collection of patterns. The great thing about this one is that it is collapsible.
It’s great for original pattern envelopes for store bought patterns or large envelopes for printed PDF patterns. The most important things for pattern storage is having space for your newest pattern.
I know filing cabinets are a more expensive option. But, file cabinets would be good to have in the corner for your large pattern stash, because they have a lot of space for the patterns.
There are so many different styles and prices of filing cabinets that I didn’t link any specific file cabinet. You can get tall skinny ones or medium long ones, ones with rollers. More expensive ones or cheaper ones, there are different filing cabinets for you to choose from so you can pick out the best one for your sewing room.
Plus, you can get all kinds of pretty colors of manila folders or file folders for your filing cabinet. Instead of calling it a filing cabinet you could call it your pattern cabinet, and they are good for easy access from all your patterns and to help you find the exact pattern you’re looking for faster.
A plastic storage bin would also be a great way to store your pattern collection. If you get the plastic totes with lids you could even stack them up in the corner.
You can also label the totes with masking tape and write on it the types of patterns in the plastic bins. I like to store all my cotton fabric in these plastic totes.
Another great thing for pattern storage boxes would be cardboard boxes. If you can get the cardboard boxes with lids, those would be great to stack up in the corner like the plastic storage boxes.
There are a lot of affordable options for sewing pattern storage. And it’s a good idea to keep the pattern out of direct sunlight, especially vintage patterns.
I hope that you found the best storage option for you, and you could also store your patterns in plastic bags like ziplock bags if you need a quick storage idea. Whether you make your own patterns or have a bunch of old patterns, all of these storage ideas for your sewing patterns would be great for your sewing space.
I’ve heard that some seamstresses like to hang their patterns on pattern hooks, but I prefer to fold the the pattern pieces and put them in manila envelopes or in a ring binder. Thank you for reading my newest post and I hope it has helped you.
Check out my other sewing posts
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- Eight different types of scissors to use for sewing
- The 3 best french curve rulers to use for sewing
- What are the 5 best sewing clips to use for sewing
- What’s better to use sewing clips or sewing pins