How to Organize Printed PDF Sewing Patterns

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How to Organize Printed PDF Sewing Patterns – An Inexpensive & Easy Method

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. I didn’t even consider how to organize printed PDF sewing patterns back then.

sewing patterns in a cluttered mess 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

printed PDF sewing pattern neatly stored in manilla envelope

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 or envelope?
  • 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!

Organize Printed PDF Sewing Patterns with Manilla Envelopes

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, have a clear label on the outside of the pattern, easily add my own personal notes, and have room to expand my collection. It also gave me the most flexibility.

glue main photo for sewing pattern on front of envelope

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.

leafing through organize printed PDF sewing patterns

This cube storage box was the perfect solution. It easily comes off the shelf and I can quickly leaf through my different patterns to find the one that I’m looking for.

Extra Tip!

add notes or tips to the backside of the envelopes

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.

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