Video: How I store my sewing patterns

June 10, 2018 12 Comments

Video: How I store my sewing patterns

June 10, 2018 12 Comments

An honest look into the, somewhat messy, way I store my various types of sewing patterns. Including how I sort my sewing pattern envelopes, keep track of my traced pattern pieces, keep a tab on my large collection of pattern magazines and even some info on how I store my oak tag patterns.

As I say in the video, this is not meant to be inspirational necessary, there are lots of room for improvement when it comes to my methods,  but I do think my type of storage can be helpful for other messy people, as it allows me to keep a decent order without having to spend hardly any time on organising my stash.

Now  I would love to hear how you store your patterns! And I’m also curious on if (or how often) you purge your sewing patterns. I do think purging regularly makes it easier to keep the storage under control, but it can be kinda emotional to get rid of older patterns too.

Videos of my sewing spaces

How I built my Ikea hack sewing cutting table

Morplan: Seller of my pattern rack (perhaps not sold anymore)

Johanna Lundström

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  • Angela June 10, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    I just love listening to your accent! I am always impressed by people who can speak more than one language, for I certainly can not. As far as pattern storing, I have nothing helpful to offer – pattern storage is the bane of my sewing room organization.

    • Johanna June 11, 2018 at 7:38 am

      Thank you! The English speaking culture is quite prevalent in Sweden and that helps for sure. And the next generation who watches YouTube without subtitles, well they are getting even better training than we did growing up! And pattern storge is tricky! I’ve gotten a bunch of great comments on the video, that I will compile because there are so many great ideas that we can learn from!

  • Kathy June 11, 2018 at 1:32 am

    Here’s a pattern folding tip. I thought I read it in a tutorial on Coco’s Loft but I don’t find any tutorials there, so I’m sorry I can’t give credit where it’s due. You need a long plastic quilter’s ruler which is just slightly less wide than the standard size pattern envelope. Layer your pattern pieces on top of each other with the smallest ones spread out on top. Lay the ruler on top of the stacked pieces at one edge of the stack and start folding it over, folding the pattern stack around it. When the stack has been folded as much as it can be, gently slide the ruler out one end. Mash the folded edges down to compress the stack. Then fold the ends in to match the length of the pattern envelope until you have a neat package which should slide right in! I hope this makes sense! Love your blog.

    • Johanna June 11, 2018 at 7:39 am

      Thank you! I do have a quilting ruler so I’m curious to try this. Because that is totally my biggest struggle, getting the fold small enough to fit into the envelope again. What a great suggestion!

      • Angela June 12, 2018 at 5:35 pm

        Mine too – the patterns never seem to fit in those tiny envelopes!

  • Kathy June 11, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Johanna, I just checked and my ruler is an O’Lipfa by Olfa and is 5” wide by 24” long.

  • helen mclean June 12, 2018 at 6:23 am

    Hi Johanna,
    I store all my patterns in shoe boxes by garment type (knit tops, woven tops, etc) and also by the people I sew for. I am hopeless at throwing patterns out and therefore have a gazillion shoe boxes!

    • Johanna June 15, 2018 at 6:06 pm

      I realise now that I should have used garment type and not brands when I began organising my sewing patterns. And I feel you about not wanting to throw anything away, every sewing pattern has a story!

  • Gwen June 12, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! It is refreshing to see pattern storage that isn’t picture-perfect, because I’ll never be able to maintain that!

    I don’t have a great system for PDFs. I don’t cut out my copy shop PDF printouts, so I store the original rolled up and standing on end in a box. I keep the traced/altered copy in comic book cardboard/plastic with a text label with designer+pattern name. For home-printed PDF patterns, I cut these out and make my pattern adjustments on the original copy. Because the paper is thicker and harder to work with if it has been folded, I clip the pattern pieces together (using clips made for hanging party lights) and hang these in my closet.

    • Johanna June 15, 2018 at 6:08 pm

      Yes, totally! Life is too short to spend our time organising everything all the time, I much rather spend my time sewing! I like the idea of using clips, need to check out what party light clips are. I sometimes use regular office metal clips for my rolls.

  • […] Video: How I store my sewing patterns […]

  • Judith van der Leeden April 5, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Hi Johanna, thank you for all your video’s! I have a lot pattern magazines, like Burda Style and Ottobre kids and I put them in magazine racks. One rack for each month per year. And I also copied the overview pages with all the patterns of each magazine, put them in plastic folders in a binder, also ordered per month. So when I look for a summerdress I can try to remember in which magazine it was, or just try to find it by browsing the magazines of the season or I can take the binder, which is in fact an index to my patterns. For me taking the binder is the easiest en quickest way. It takes a lot of time copie all the overview pages and put them in the right way in the folders, but it’s really worth it!
    O yes, speaking of a summerdress: I saw your video about your dresses which you can’t wear. But why not? I cycle 40 km every working day, every time of the year, and always wearing dresses and skirts. Just because I like them (instead of trousers). On chilly winter mornings, I wear my active wear legging (ment voor ice skating, which I also do a lot) under my skirt. Not really nice, but really warm! And that’s all I want for those days. Bye!

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