We are a bit obsessed with organizing our sewing materials around here. Maybe it's a lack of a sewing room and making the most of an area given, or maybe it's our OCD nature that EVERYTHING MUST HAVE A PLACE. Either way, we feel that if our organization is in place, our sewing production will have to drastically improve. While there are many areas in need of organization (dmc thread, bobbins and spool area, fabric, etc.), today we'd like to share the beginning of our organizational efforts. Hopefully, we'll have other helpful tidbits and tips to pass on as we work through organizing ourselves.
After much experimentation, this is the pattern organization method we've decided works best for us. Remember, however, there are two of us. One uses the sewing machine; one does not. That frees up a lot of 'extra time' to keep a pair of hands busy on organization.
First, we made a binder with information from all patterns we own. Each pattern has a two-sided page in our binder. The front is an enlarged pattern photograph and the back has the fabric, notions, etc. needed to complete it. The binder is alphabetized by designer for a quick and easy search. We take this binder with us as we 'fabric shop' and is a hot topic of conversation when browsing in stores. Major benefits: we don't over buy fabric and can determine what we want to make without sporadically buying random fabric yardage. While we have been known to change our original plan for a garment at times, most of the time it helps us stay on task.
But what do we do with all the patterns?!?! All patterns are different. Some are traceable; some just have to be cut. We take a given pattern and do one of the following:1. Cut the original (most Children's Corner patterns are set up to do this), and store in 6x9 labeled (by pattern and size) envelopes.
2. Print all sizes of a digital pattern (free downloads, bought PDFs, etc) and cut / tape pieces together. Then, store as mentioned above.
3. Trace and cut all available sizes within a pattern, and store as mentioned above.
Then, once the various sizes are in their designated envelopes, we file them alphabetically by designer and pattern name in a three-drawer cart storage bin. That way, when it is time to sew a particular pattern, it will be ready to grab and go for the particular size needed to be cut.While this is extremely handy, there are some very important items that don't seem to have a place in our three-drawer storage area: TUTORIALS! There is seldom a pattern we don't rely on a tutorial to guide us through the sewing process. So, we use a filing box for our go-to tutorials. While we will probably outgrow this box quickly, it works for now and is useful in our organizational method.