The first sewing pattern I ever purchased was the Geranium Dress from Made-by-Rae. I was sewing for a baby, so the pattern pieces were tiny. It wasn’t too hard to fold them together and stick them in a box.
A year later I’ve accumulated more patterns for my daughter and several for myself. The simple practice of folding the pattern pieces together and stuffing them into a box, wasn’t going to work anymore. My pattern stash was a hot mess. It would have been easier to reprint and tape the pattern than to find all of its pieces.
Different Ways to Store Printed PDF Patterns
I needed a clean and neat way to store my sewing patterns. Through my research there were a few different options that I came across:
- Hang the patterns on the hangers with pants clips.
- Roll the patterns and secure with a rubber bands
- Store the patterns in binders with clear plastic dividers.
- File the patterns into manila folder and label the outside.
Questions to Ask Yourself
When you’re considering pattern storage for your patterns, try to think of the experience you want when you are going through your patterns.
- Do you want to be able to easily tell what the pattern is?
- Do you want to prevent creasing your patterns?
- Do you have the storage to hang them or put them in a box?
- Do you have bulky patterns that will be difficult to fold into a plastic sleeve?
- Do you want to protect your patterns from dust and fading from the light?
These are all things to consider when choosing how to store your patterns!
Storing Sewing Patterns in Manila Folders
Storing my patterns in manila folders or envelopes was the best option for me. I wanted to be able to store the patterns away neatly in a box. I felt like they had more room than the plastic binder sleeves. I also liked the idea that I could clearly label the outside of the envelopes for the specific pattern. I could also add notes to the envelope and have multiple envelopes for different sizes of the same pattern. It also just gave me the most flexibility.
Some sewists write the pattern name on the folder. You can easily go this route if you want to. I thought it would look cleaner and be easier to leaf through if I printed out the first page or title page of each pattern and glued it to the front of the folder.
I stored them in one of those cube storage boxes. I can easily take it off the shelf and leaf through my different patterns to find the one that I’m looking for.
These envelopes are the first thing that I see when I’m returning to a pattern. They are a great place to write down any notes that you had from previous projects to help inform you to make a better garment the next time around. If I have any thoughts about the fit or adjustments that I made, I simply write it on the back of the envelope.