How-To: My Pattern Organization

I dunno….admin work puts a sneer on my face….even if it’s for myself. The idea of “filing” patterns makes me just want to burn my bra.

That, and I need to SEE what I have….just the other day I was cruising the inter webs, going to finally buy a Renfrew and a Miette pattern, when I was positive I needed a knit-wrap-dress pattern too. I opened up my binder of patterns, and there was a Vogue knit-wrap-dress pattern staring indignantly at me. I already have one! (I have to come up with another reason to get a Cake pattern now….)

Which brings me to…well, I use binders.

The Binders
The Binders

Specifically, BIG white view binders in low-VOC and D-rings if I can get them.

I use sheet covers and tabs.

Tabs
Tabs

Tabs not because I’m going to actually number and collate and make a table of contents…oh hell no. hahahaha. NO. Just to have a place to mark between patterns.

It came time again to take the piles of patterns I had been accumulating and stashing around, and add them to the binders…so I took a few shots.

Time To Organize
Time To Organize

If this idea helps you, great. If not, eh. It’s just an idea. Filing works for some people, just not me.

Here’s an example of a store bought Burda pattern. I use the crap out of this pattern–specifically the pants.

I put the envelope and unused portion in one sleeve.

Burda Kids Envelope
Burda Kids Envelope

And the cut part and instructions in another…with any notes I may have. This pile happens to also be in a plastic bag.

Burda Kids Bag
Burda Kids Bag

My beloved Colette patterns get traced. I keep the booklet and original patterns in one sleeve and the traced patterns in another.

Laurel Booklet
Laurel Booklet
Laurel Traced Pattern
Laurel Traced Pattern

PDF patterns are similar. Instructions in one, cut patterns in another.

Peek A Boo Sun Hats
Peek A Boo Sun Hats

The inside pockets can hold wonky, oversized patterns.

Oversized Patterns
Oversized Patterns

I use the view portions to hold receipts, mostly so I can remember the fabric types, a ballpark of costs and what ever miscellaneous items I’m too lazy to find a place for…

View Binders FTW
View Binders FTW

After this cleaning, I can see I need new binders for quilt patterns and bag patterns as they’re growing to that point.

Need Another Binder
Need Another Binder

So…the pros are that I can leaf through them like a magazine. I can get an instant view of what I already have vs. what I might need. I also have no problem storing multiple traced sizes or versions to one set of instructions.

Cons are storage for the binders…they could, after this, still go down in a large drawer if you wanted, but mine sit on a shelf. Also, I’ve yet to decide how to handle traced patterns out of Ottobre or books. My traced patterns are very well labeled, but the visual of the finish photo would help. I’m not into printing more than I have to…so we’ll see. For example, I’ve printed the Miette pattern recently without printing the instructions, and I have some Craftsy patterns I haven’t printed yet…more decisions. My Burda book patterns, which I have the book on iBook, are ok because of the instruction covers.

I need to make a decision there soon because I totally forgot about the Craftsy patterns! Whoopsie! I may not have needed that Renfrew after all….oh, who are we kidding, sure I did!

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