Sewing Pattern Organization! ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Sewing Pattern Organization!

You may remember from yesterday's post that I bought a few patterns, which I love love love!

So now to the process of organizing them, which would be terribly boring for most people, but I have a system that I love!

First of all, I do not have a huge sewing/craft room, so everything that I need to sew has to always be immediately put away.  Also, I do not have space in any rooms or closets to store my patterns, so no filing cabinets like in the stores.  Of course, I dislike spending money when I don't need to, therefore it needed to be free or close to free.

After putting my thinking cap on, I came up with an awesome pattern organizing system for small spaces!  I'll go through the steps of how to replicate my system and what you will need.  Let me warn you that this may not work if you have an especially large collection of patterns, but my ever expanding pattern stash is growing and growing!

What you will need:

Say hello to my binders!  I use one for the pattern envelopes of dresses and the other for everything else: coats, tops, skirts, shorts, pants, bags, home decor, and crafts.  You can adjust your binders according to your needs.

The way I sort my patterns is by having the projects I want to accomplish first towards the front (usually more fun items or patterns I haven't sewn yet).

You could arrange it by season or style as well, especially if you have a larger collection.  Here's how I maintain mine!

First, take your newly purchased patterns and place the instructions and pattern paper in the quart-sized Ziploc bags.  Maker sure the pattern number is visible without having to open the bag.




For larger patterns, like Vogue or printed patterns, you can use the gallon-sized bags.

Sort the items by pattern company, and then arrange them by number.


All the patterns are sorted and stacked in my soon-to-be labeled tins, which I purchased from IKEA a million years ago and were empty at the time.  Each label will signify the pattern company and number range, just like in the store!

Ignore the pattern envelope, only patterns in Ziploc bags are placed in each tin!

The empty pattern envelopes are placed in sheet protectors and placed in the binder, in the appropriate section.  I like to have a piece of blank paper behind the pattern so they are stabilized in the middle, and it makes everything look very neat!

Lastly, I stack my boxes (6 in total) behind my closet door, so they do not become clutter but are easy to get to.  You could also place each box on a bookshelf, under a bed, wherever you can find space!

I love this system because I have my two binders full of pattern envelopes handy and it's very easy to look through, like a lookbook.  Then, when I find the pattern I want, I simply grab the appropriate tin and it's super easy to find!

How do you store your patterns?


  1. this is adorable - but the thing I'm taking away from this is using a stabliser in the floppy sleeves! I trace my patterns and keep my tracings with their adjustments in folders which don't behave very well because of a lack of stabilising! How could I forget to interface :-P

  2. Ha! I have to admit, interfacing is my least favorite part of the sewing process, so I can understand why you would forget about it!

  3. I have to chuckle a little bit. What are you going to do when you have hundred's of patterns like some of us? I use shoe type boxes that are made especially for patterns. I sort them by Item, such as dresses, younger, older, Accessories, home, and so on. I do use a binder but only for projects I am working on as I generally seem to have more then one project ongoing at a time.. Seems that is why I have so many UFO's. LOL

  4. I love this idea, but I also photograph my patterns and put them in an app like springpad (or ever note if you prefer). Then when I'm at the store I don't double buy or buy a similar pattern.

  5. Great minds think alike! I have this on my phone at all times:

    Also, my entire pattern collection is online, so I could always check my webpage!

  6. Sew clever and organized! Great combination! You are an awesome example of a modern woman! Keep up the excellent work. Oh, and be happy too!!!


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